NCCU Prof to Run for President of Liberia PDF Print E-mail
By Purity Kimaiyo -- Black College Wire   

N.C. Central University professor James Guseh is so concerned about the situation in his home country of Liberia that he has decided to run for president himself.

According to Guseh, Liberians are suffering from corruption, illiteracy, unemployment, violence and poverty.

"It is time for new moral leadership," he said.

Purity Kimaiyo/Campus Echo
Professor James Guseh
Liberia, which was established by freed American slaves in the 18th Century, is one of the world's poorest countries.

It has the second highest unemployment rate of 75 percent and an illiteracy rate of 77 percent for women and 46 for men. According to 2010 report from Transparency International, Liberia is the world's most corrupt country.

Guseh, who came to NCCU in 2005 and has training in developmental economics and political economy, will be one of 20 candidates in Liberia's upcoming October 2011 elections.

His biggest rival will be the incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is both the first woman in Liberia, or even Africa, to serve as a national president.

Guseh said the current government has no will to help the people and has failed its citizens. He said a common expression of government workers is "Enrich yourself or else you are a fool."

According to Guseh the biggest problem facing Liberia is corruption.

"I intend to fill everyone's cup. I have no baggage," he said.

Guseh says it is high time to unify Liberia, a country which was racked by two civil wars that began in began 1986, and Guseh will be running under the Citizens Unification Party, which he says has the integrity to best represent the common interests of the nation.  Guseh has the much-needed expertise in Liberia for the job.

From 1980-83 he was a legal adviser and senior economist in the ministry of finance, and from 1983-87 he was the assistant minister of justice for economic affairs in the Ministry of Justice.

From 2008-2010 he was a development consultant to the United Nations.

NCCU's director of international affairs, Emmanuel Oritsejafor, who has known Guseh for 10 years, said he was not shocked at his colleague's announcement.

He said he is convinced Guseh is the right man for the job.

While conducting researching together, Oritsejafor said, "we would chat about how we would make a change in the African Governance during long drives."

Besides, said Oritsejafor, "If the football player George Weah is running for president, why not Professor Guseh?"

At a Jan. 15 fundraiser held at Durham's Palace International Restaurant, Vincent Payne, a native of Ghana urged Africans in the diaspora to support Guseh.

"If he succeeds and wins in Liberia, we all — as the African community — win," Payne said.

Lovemore Masakadza, a former graduate student of Guseh's in public administration, described him as "passionate," as someone "who truly loves his country and has a lot to offer back to his country."

Guseh has come a long way from his childhood days in Zenalomai, Liberia. "I have six degrees without any student loans," he said.

"When I came to America, I washed dishes. I worked in factories and as [a] student aide," Guseh said.

Guseh, who will leave Sunday to begin his campaign, will take a yearlong leave of absence. If he wins he will be bidding farewell to NCCU.

Purity Kimaiyo writes for The Campus Echo, the North Carolina Central University student newspaper, which originally published this article.


Posted Jan. 20, 2011
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