Need, Not Greed

Togba-Nah Tipoteh.  

The military takeover in Guinea and other undemocratic takeovers remind us that the pursuit of NEED NOT GREED remains the way forward for the better. Whether one takes the wisdom from  Christianity (Ecclesiates 5:10; 1 Timothy 6:10) or from Islam (Quran 2:276; Quran 109:1-3), the emphasis is on the fulfillment of NEED NOT GREED.

Many people consider the expression The Love of Money is the Root of Evil to mean staying away from money. However, the expression really means staying away from greed and following need. It means giving top priority to working for others rather than for self. God or Allah, our Creator, is not seen face to face by us Believers in the Creator but by treating our neighbors, especially those in need, as ourselves, we see our Creator in Spirit and this is how we show love to our Creator and our neighbors. Such prioritization of need over greed does not mean that money is not needed because we need money to engage in transactions, buying and selling. However, prioritization of greed over need, being money-driven, leads to the worsening of longstanding and widespread poverty that has become the pretext for violence, even coups d'etat and Civil Wars. 

In Liberia, poverty became the pretext for the coup d'etat that overthrew the Tolbert government and civil war that overthrew the Doe government. In Guinea, poverty became the pretext that ended the Conde government. Governments in Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Mali and Burkina Faso ended the same way. 

In this syndrome of greed over need, the "powers that be" continue to live in luxury while nearly all of the people continue to live in misery. The "powers that be" continue to bite the people with the teeth of misery and then blow breeze on the misery by making promises that are never delivered. The only promises that get delivered are promises made to the rich, who continue to get richer while the poor get poorer. No wonder, the immense natural resources. like Bauxite in Guinea, and rubber, iron ore and timber in Liberia are produced mainly for export to the developed world with no prioritization of value addition to move away from poverty generation and go into poverty alleviation,

In the face of  poverty generation, non-ruling political parties, just like the ruling political party, continue to make promises while not showing any record of their having done good things, actions that move away from greed for self to need for others in the struggle to improve the living conditions of the poor sustainably. These parties have no record of liberating the people of Liberia from injustice to bring in Justice for All, the only ingredient for lasting Peace and Progress. 

The political parties are campaigning by patching roads, fixing foot bridges and using taxpayers money while spreading money around, giving scholarships and food items, as the USD250 million amount is spent on the importation of rice, Liberia's staple food. Although Liberia has some international renowned experts in various fields, the State management has spent USD20 million, 78 percent of the amount spent by ECOWAS countries during the past four years on lobbying in the United States of America, not forgetting the more than a million United States dollars given to foreigners for economic advice over the same period.  

When we who Love Liberia work together to use scientific knowledge in ways that motivate people to take non-violent actions through the Rule of Law to change the electoral system from an UNFAIR one to a FAIR one, then good persons will be elected to take actions that will end injustice and bring Justice for All.