Liberians must graduate from faulty precedences and let the court be the yardstick for everyone involved in the Global Witness Report, because the matter is more judicial than political, according to a position statement by the Association of Evangelicals of Liberia (AEL) yesterday.
The statement, issued by AEL’s Board of Governance and approved by its president Dr. Samuel K. Monwell, said excellent leadership is critical to Liberia’s progress because true leaders serve the best interest of those they lead and not their personal interests.
In this respect, “we thank the Liberian people and government for the level of maturity we show in dealing with thorny political situations. But we also admit that Liberia needs to grow fast along its recovery trajectory and every Liberian should prioritize this,” it said.
“Our focus is on the forest and not the trees. A Kpelle parable says: Ɓhei tó ŋún à tō nai, nãƃǝ gau a tàà nã (“where a palm head falls there its nuts scatter”). The palm head usually falls directly under the tree. When the nuts are ripe, they scatter where they fall and not elsewhere. This saying has many applications, including the situation we now discuss.”
AEL said precedence is very important to development. “For example, our recent electoral history reminds us that we have not attained the constitutional population threshold needed for elections for well over three decades. This became an issue in the 2011 Presidential and General Elections. We resolved this situation by saying since we conducted other elections (1985, 1997 and 2005) outside that requirement, we should go ahead with the 2011 elections under the same clause so that by 2017, we would have overcome the circumstances that created the threshold problem. Our argument was past precedence.”
The statement said the 2017 elections will be different in this respect. Similarly, the TRC Report recommended certain actions. After much heated debates and discussions, we swept, as it were, the TRC Recommendations under the carpet for reasons we know best, setting precedence again.
“Now in 2016 with the Global Witness Report, we tend to have forgotten the precedence with the TRC Report; and we again have moved to set another. Even if we argue that the situations are different, our point is that we focus on the forest and not the trees. Certainly, we admit that our leaders’ actions are honest and in Liberia’s best interest; and they are sincere, given how they handle critical national matters.
“As we approach 2017, AEL calls on all Liberians to remain peaceful and law-abiding and hope for a better, brighter Liberia, because Liberia has to get better. We shun all actions that potentially or actually threaten the nation’s welfare or detract from our collective gains, no matter who does them. Liberia’s peace, stability, progress and prosperity remain our chief concern.”
AEL called on “national leaders to be discreet, just and sincere in their dealings. We call on them to relegate self to the background and place Liberia ahead in their services. We hold our leaders responsible to display excellence and maturity in leadership and we expect nothing short of these. How they lead today will largely influence the Liberia we will have tomorrow.”