Press Statement

For Immediate Release

New Year’s Message: “Audit is Not Witch Hunting – Churches in the Mano River Basin
Advocate for Accountability and Transparency in the Public Sphere”

December 31st , 2023, Monrovia, Liberia: Beloved citizens, foreign residents, and our cherished Christian community of Liberia. It is with profound sorrow that I extend my deepest condolences, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Faith and Justice Network, to the families and community affected by the devastating fuel tanker explosion in Totota, Lower Bong County on Tuesday, December 26, 2023. The loss of over 60 precious lives in this tragic incident is an immense tragedy that has deeply shaken us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this incredibly difficult time as you mourn the loss of your loved ones. Please know that our hearts ache with yours, and our organization stands ready to offer any support or assistance needed during this trying period.

As we stand on the threshold of a new year, reflecting on the moments that have shaped us and looking ahead to the possibilities that await, the Board of Directors of the Faith and Justice Network extends its heartfelt gratitude to the citizens and foreign residents of Liberia for their active participation and commitment to a peaceful and transparent run-off election held on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. We commend the collective efforts of the outgoing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Government of Liberia and the incoming government led by the
Unity Party (UP) for their dedication in ensuring a fair electoral process, a fundamental pillar of democracy.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Amb. Joseph N. Boakai, President-Elect, and his government as they prepare to assume the mantle of authority in January 2024. We extend our sincerest wishes for success as they lead Liberia toward a future guided by integrity, equity, and
accountability. We trust in their commitment to steering Liberia toward progress, equity, and integrity.

On the threshold of a brand-new year, 2024, let us collectively embrace the promise it holds and the opportunities it offers. It’s a time for reflection, renewed hope, and unwavering determination to steer our nation and community towards progress and unity. The Faith and Justice Network remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering a society where justice, transparency, and accountability prevail. We stand ready to support and collaborate with all stakeholders dedicated to the advancement of these principles for the betterment of Liberia and the Mano River Basin.

Fellow citizens and foreign residents, recent trends and observations in Liberia have indicated the potential glorification of misconduct, particularly among the youth, which could pose a significant challenge to the nation’s harmony and development if left unchecked. This phenomenon, if not addressed swiftly and decisively, could potentially undermine the values of responsible citizenship, ethical engagement, and the rule of law.

We can critique the outgoing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC)-Led Government in Liberia with fairness and sincerity regarding the indoctrination of militancy to glorify misconduct among young people. This critique acknowledges the need for incoming governments to channel youthful energy and enthusiasm positively while cautioning against inadvertently encouraging behaviors that deviate from responsible citizenship and ethical engagement.

The approach of the outgoing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) towards engaging young people has, at times, raised concerns about the glorification of misconduct and militancy. The outgoing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) messaging and strategies, while aiming to
mobilize youth support and enthusiasm, have occasionally bordered on glorifying behaviors and actions that promote misconduct rather than emphasizing constructive engagement. There has been observable rhetoric and actions that inadvertently romanticize or encourage behaviors
characterized by aggression, confrontations, and disrespect for the rule of law. Such approaches, while seeking to foster youth participation and support, risk normalizing conduct that deviates from the principles of responsible citizenship and peaceful engagement.

This pattern of indoctrination or messaging may inadvertently cultivate a culture where misconduct is seen as a means to effect change or gain political recognition, potentially undermining the values of peaceful dialogue, civic responsibility, and ethical conduct among the youth.

In light of these observations, it is critical for both the incoming government and society at large to take proactive and decisive steps to alleviate this menace as quickly as possible. It is crucial for leadership, especially within government, to model and promote behaviors that align with constructive engagement, ethical conduct, and adherence to the rule of law. Encouraging young people to participate in civic activities and contribute positively to society must prioritize peaceful means of expression and constructive dialogue, avoiding the glorification of misconduct
or militancy as a means to an end.

Also, our recent observations and consultations with various churches in the Mano River Basin have highlighted a growing concern regarding the need for enhanced accountability in public governance. Therefore, we wish to emphasize that the call for audits in any of the MRU Member
State is not an act of witch hunting or political vendetta but a vital step towards ensuring financial probity and responsible governance.

As an organization committed to upholding justice, fairness, and transparency, the Faith and Justice Network stands firm in advocating for accountability and transparency in the public square. We firmly believe that transparency is not an option but an essential component for the
progress and development of any nation. The Faith and Justice Network echoes the collective voice of the churches in the Mano River Basin, urging both the outgoing and incoming administrations of Liberia to prioritize accountability and transparency. We reiterate that the call for audits by the people of Liberia is not intended as an act of witch hunting or political reprisal but as an essential mechanism to ensure financial integrity and accountable governance.

Furthermore, we encourage a collaborative effort between the national governments, churches and civil society organizations in the Mano River Basin to implement comprehensive and transparent auditing processes that uphold the highest standards of accountability. These measures will not only bolster public trust but also pave the way for sustained growth and development in the region.

As Liberia eagerly anticipates the inauguration of the new government on January 22, 2024, it is imperative to signal caution and awareness regarding potential concerns that may impact the stability and progress of our beloved nation. The incoming government must take proactive
measures for the nation’s stability and progress.

i. Facilitate constructive dialogues between the government, youth leaders, civil society organizations, and community leaders to understand and address the underlying issues fueling glorification of misconduct in Liberia.

ii. Implement targeted programs that channel the energy and enthusiasm of young people towards positive engagement, civic responsibility, and skill development, fostering a sense of purpose and contribution to nation-building.

iii. Launch educational campaigns aimed at promoting responsible citizenship, ethical conduct, and the importance of peaceful engagement among the youth, emphasizing the value of dialogue and civic responsibility.

iv. Encourage leaders at all levels to model behaviors that uphold the principles of ethical engagement, respect for the rule of law, and peaceful resolution of differences, serving as examples for the younger generation.

v. Foster community-based initiatives that promote unity, social cohesion, and mentorship opportunities, providing guidance and support for young people in positive directions.

As a united nation, it is incumbent upon all stakeholders to take proactive measures to swiftly address these concerns. By nurturing a culture of responsible citizenship, ethical engagement, and constructive dialogue, we can safeguard our nation’s unity, progress, and prosperity. Let us work together to instill values that will propel us towards a brighter, more unified future as we embark on this new chapter in our nation’s history.

To the wider Christian community, let our faith be the cornerstone of our actions. As we enter 2024, let’s reaffirm our commitment to love, compassion, and service to others. Our faith binds us together in a shared purpose, empowering us to be beacons of hope and agents of positive

To all citizens and foreign residents residing in Liberia, you are an integral part of our vibrant and diverse community. Let’s embrace the spirit of togetherness, fostering an environment of understanding, respect, and collaboration. Together, let us strive for a Liberia that thrives on unity, diversity, and collective progress.

In the canvas of a new year, let us paint a picture of hope, resilience, and progress. Let’s work hand in hand, fostering a society where justice, faith, and unity reign supreme. Together, we can build a Liberia where every individual is valued, and every voice is heard.

Wishing you all a year filled with blessings, prosperity, and the courage to overcome any challenge that comes our way. May 2024 be a year of remarkable achievements, unity, and peace for Liberia and our global Christian community.

With heartfelt blessings and renewed determination,


Bishop Samuel Jerome Quire, Jr.
Board of Directors – Faith and Justice Network

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