Liberia: Inclusion, Not Exclusion

Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu

As we look into the history of Liberia while celebrating the Life of Prof. Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu, Liberia’s Internationally Acclaimed Historian, we find out the overriding Truth about the people of the Land called Liberia.

For 175 years, since the founding of Liberia, exclusion rather than inclusion has been the order of the day. Although the Constitution of Liberia calls for Democracy, the Will of the People, the reality continues to be an autocracy, the will of few persons, the powers that be. 

This prevailing autocracy is seen in the longstanding promotion by the State of Liberia of the colonial production of raw materials for export without any prioritization of Value Addition that remains the source of longstanding and widespread poverty, the main societal problem in Liberia.

This poverty has become violence-oriented and used as the pretext for coup d’etat and civil war. Some persons have overthrown the government of Liberia, using as a pretext, and rationale, the lack of interest by the government to end poverty. But when the unconstitutional government comes in to govern the State of Liberia, it has nothing better to offer and proceeds to blame the worsening societal conditions on the immediate past government, the global market, and the Progressives. 

This is the same government while running to take over State power, which declared that it had the solution to the poverty problem and would hit the ground running to solve the poverty problem. This is also the same government that has declared corruption to be the main enemy of Liberia.

But this government sees corruption in broad daylight and does nothing to stop it until its global commander issues the sanction command for top officials of the government. Then, this same government places the sanctioned officials under suspension. But the sanctioned officials resigned with no investigation, as called for by the Constitution of Liberia.

Ironically enough, it is the same global sanctioning commander that gives financial support to the local powers that be, as seen in the financial support from the World Bank, the IMF, the AfDB, UNDP, EU, and USAID in the form of grants, loans, and budgetary support. In reality, the sanction command is a signal for the local powers that be to prepare for their exit from local State power because they have not managed the State well enough to generate the level of profits desired by the global commander.

The global commander has already begun the selection of another set of local State powers that be. The local powers that are to be installed as the new State managers have no fundamental difference from the present State managers, except that they will pledge to manage the Liberian State to generate the appropriate level of profits for the global commander.

The raising of awareness by the people who love Liberia is making it increasingly difficult for the will of the global commander to prevail in Liberia, as seen in the emptying of the National Legislature of Legislators with bad records. Nearly all of the Legislators with bad records in the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures were not re-elected.

This trend is highly likely to continue in the upcoming election for Legislators and candidates for the Legislature because the awareness raising is stepping up and spreading throughout Liberia non-violently, as called for by the Constitution of Liberia. Most people of Liberia are  educated, intelligent and civilized, with the exception of “some people who know book but have no sense”. What the people need is the raising of awareness, which is being given from the knowledge of persons like Prof Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu, who has passed away but his knowledge will not pass away. 

We have to take this sense that we get from the awareness raising to move Liberia from the prevailing exclusion that is autocratic and against the Constitution of Liberia to enduring inclusion that is democratic and called for by the Constitution of Liberia. But this move from exclusion to inclusion can be done only non-violently, through the Rule of Law. We must work through the Rule of Law to change the UNFAIR electoral system into the FAIR electoral system.

It is only through a FAIR electoral system that persons with good records can be elected to serve the people of Liberia rather than be served by the people of Liberia. The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia must be changed to operate constitutionally. Only a FAIR NEC can supervise elections so that persons with good records can be elected!!! The raising of awareness about NEC will lead to the moving of Liberia from the prevailing situation of exclusion to the enduring situation of inclusion!!!