Liberia: We Work Thing, Not I Work Thing

Flashback: President George M. Weah at the official opening of the country bicentennial celebration in Jan: “Let us, therefore, continue to embrace the tenets of National Unity as we move forward – together...”

A Paramount Chief was in front of his Villagers who were tooting a dead elephant to the Village. The Villagers were singing: we are tooting our elephant to Town. But the Paramount Chief was singing: I am carrying my elephant to Town. 

The Villagers called the attention of the Paramount Chief to change his song and sing the Villagers' song but the Paramount Chief continued singing the song that he was singing. So, the Villagers put the elephant down from their heads and placed it in front of the Paramount Chief. The Villagers were doing the We Work Thing but the Paramount was doing the I Work Thing.

The We Work Thing would have made it possible for the elephant to enter the Village for the benefit of all Villagers. But the I Work Thing made it impossible for the elephant to enter the Village. The Paramount Chief alone ate the elephant meat and got very fat until he died. The We Work Thing was the right thing to do to save lives. 

The I Work Thing was the wrong thing to do. The Villagers were doing the right thing because they were informed about how doing the right thing saves lives, as they were interested in saving all lives. They were carrying the heavy load for all to benefit. But the Paramount Chief was interested only in his benefit.

The powers that be continue to do the wrong thing by forcing the people to carry the load while they, the powers that be, alone benefit. The house called Liberia is set ablaze by the powers that be, as seen in the longstanding and widespread poverty and the attendant corruption but many people continue to expect the powers that be to put out the fire. 

This expectation is due to the lack of knowledge about the source of the burning of Liberia. The source of the burning of Liberia comes from the State management that promotes the production of raw materials for export with no prioritization of Value Addition. 

The Legislators elected by the voters continue to have access to at least USD1,000  a day and their partners, in the commercial sector alone, continue to have access to at least US$2 million a day while nearly all of the people of Liberia continue to remain poor with access to at most less than USD2 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF, ADB and UNDP). 

No wonder, 80 percent of the people of Liberia say that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction, as they continue to experience this poverty (Afrobarometer, 2020).

When the people of Liberia complain about their suffering from poverty, the powers that be blame their suffering on the immediate past GOL, the global economic conditions. the health pandemic and the Liberian "progressives.”

 These are the same powers that be who said in their election campaigning that they know better and will begin to correct the suffering when they take over the GOL and they will do so on the ground running, Now that they have been elected to run the GOL, the suffering of the voters continues. And the same blame game continues. 

Interestingly, the Women of West Point in Monrovia who are considered to be illiterate, unintelligent and uncivilized, came up with the solution to Liberia's societal malaise through their organization, Seven Sisters. When I was a Guest of the Seven Sisters, they greeted me with the well known chants, "bati-o bati-o and zehwi-o zehwi-o."

 Then the Cheerleader yelled: the money problem? The members yelled back: Is not Liberia's problem. Again the Cheerleader yelled: But the wha-na (what now)? The members replied loudly and clearly: the management! What were they saying? They were saying that the powers that be were operating a GOL not based on merit but based on "who you know" rather than on "what you can do.” 

Basically and truthfully, they were saying that in the midst of State managed corruption, there was no Teamwork in the GOL to raise consciousness in ways that the voters can be motivated to get the right thing done for Liberia through the Rule of Law. They were also saying that knowledge was not being used to raise consciousness in ways that motivate the voters to transform the electoral system from UNFAIR to FAIR so that persons with good records, records of helping people to help themselves, can be elected to serve as State managers.

Most, unfortunately, illiterate people, who comprise the majority of Liberians, and are mainly women, are considered to be unintelligent and are deprived of the right to participate in decision-making that affects them. So, the people who love Liberia have to turn to the Community, the entity that has an interest in putting out the fire in the house called Liberia to take ownership of the poverty alleviation process and elect persons with good records, persons who are into the We  Work Thing rather than the I Work Thing.