By Bartum N. Kulah MD, MBA
According to Edward Heart:
“The greatest threat to a more just and fair Liberia—are Liberians from America. The vast majority of us come back home with this sense of superiority, seeking jobs in Monrovia that don’t reflect what we are doing here in the United States and yet we want the $10G a month job at the expense of the Liberian people to live the life that we are not living abroad.
The second greatest threat to Liberia are Liberians living at home who see the country as an elephant meat—our owner time na come to dig and cut out a large portion of this meat for ourselves since we been watching other people enjoying when they were in power.
The third and most painful threat to our national security are those in power who feel it is their birth right, and therefore never want to relinquish power.”
He goes on to ask the profound question that I have pondered over and over, “What will change us?”.
I totally agree with the assertions above, and pray that our experiences of the TWP One Party hegemony 1847-1980, Doe’s military rule from 1980-1989, our conflict from 1989-1997; Taylor’s benevolent Dictatorship from 1997-2003, Bryant’s “grab and go” Interim Government from 2003-2005, and Sirleaf’s “free speech kleptocracy” of 2006-2012 will change our thinking; and that these elections will reflect our maturity .
It is up to the 2 million plus electorate to pick one, not because we owe him the presidency due to his/her philanthropy, “his heart for the country”, because he built a STEM school 2 years ago, paid WAEC fees, or because he’s passing medical supplies around from hospital to hospital.
We shouldn’t give anyone the presidency because he’s been in the race three times, or because he’s articulate or he/she speaks the language of corporate America.
In addition we shouldn’t give someone the Liberian presidency because he’s been “a parked car in the garage” and now he wants “an opportunity to show us what he can do”.
Yet we shouldn’t award anyone with the presidency because “he’s a farmer”, or because he employs Liberians, due to the fact that he has one of the highest shares in Lone Star MTN.
My fellow Liberians we shouldn’t elect anyone because he’s our tribesman, because they are articulate, or because they are not so articulate.
Instead we should vote in the person that we feel has our personal interests, and yes the interests of our fellow Liberians at heart!
Look at the history of each candidate from their adult life till now; and look for those that have been there advocating for their fellow Liberians through words and deeds; seeing to it that all had quality education, health care, jobs, and opportunities regardless of their ethnicity, tribes or connections to the powers that be. Then go in that booth and choose a number not because it is the same as the last digits of the current year, or because its “sweet 16”, or because of Numbers in the Bible; but instead choose an individual that shares your values and has your interests, and that of your children and grandchildren at heart.
For if you make the wrong choice, you will continue to watch as a few get wealthy while you continue to die of curable diseases, and have no choice but to play DV year after year.
May God bless you and lay it on your heart to make the right choice for all Liberians.
May God continue to bless Liberia, and may the elections be peaceful.
May we have a leader that has Liberians at heart, not Liberia at heart! For I strongly believe that if you love your fellow citizens (Liberians); you will want what’s best for them, and not just a select few.
However, if you have “Liberia at heart”; I believe you only love Liberia and not it’s citizens. Indeed that tells me you love what the Liberian nation, i.e., its natural resources and the trappings of power have to offer, and not its Human Resources, or your fellow citizens. Perhaps that’s why every government since 1847 has been about corruption, and the patronage system.
I believe that it’s time to have a paradigm shift; its time to love Liberians and the Liberian state, equally!