“Tribalism is a threat to national security and peace”

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– Says former assistant minister of culture at the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism: “We need to shape the direction of our country now by stopping it…”

Former culture minister Louise W. McMillian-Siaway has urged Namibians not to vote based on tribalism, which she said will leave them trapped in poverty.

Minister Siaway, who is contesting the Nimba County District #5 Representative seat, told her supporters and sympathizers yesterday that voting on tribal lines will only increase corruption and bad governance.

“This is the reality my people, if you vote based on tribal lines, you are not voting based on what the person can do for the county or country, but you are rather giving them power to enrich themselves.

“Please, it is not because I’m from your tribe that you should vote me into office. Vote for me because of my competency, not my tribe,” she said.

The minister added she is against tribal politics and that it is about time the people of Nimba County realize that tribalism is the act of judging and condemning someone solely because they are from a certain tribe or social group, not based on merit.

“It is ridiculous, and I condemn it. Judging someone based on tribe and not on their competence is bad for peace and development. When you vote based on tribal identity, you hijack the democratic process by judging people based solely on their race or the language they speak,” she added.

The minister further noted that people should base their “precious votes” on ideological affiliations or preferences, “but not tribal identities,” adding: “Voting on tribal identity makes you a slave because you continue to elect people who are not competent to lead. You are not poor, because we have human and natural resources, but you refuse to vote competent people in office.”

She went on to say “Tribalism is a hindrance to development and since you vote crooks to power because of tribal identity, you lock out better suited and more experienced individuals who could have been a better fit to lead Liberia.

“Let us be careful, what happened in Rwanda may likely happen in Liberia if we continue on this tribal paths,” she added.

Clarifying her comment, Minister McMillan said “And the reason I am saying this is because you people continue to make Nimba look like a county that is greedy for power.

“Let us live in unity and move this country forward by saying no to tribalism now, or forever live with the regret by voting incompetent and corrupt people to power.

“Tribalism is a threat to national security and peace. We need to shape the direction of our country now by stopping it. If you vote based on tribalism, blame yourself for any mess.

Mistake is made once, not twice. In 2011, you voted based on tribal lines, thereby electing incompetent as lawmakers. You voted for them because the person is from your tribe and you looked up to them as your godfather.”

McMillan said that the reason for Liberia being underdeveloped is not only because of bad governance, but also because of the practice of electing incompetent and corrupt people in office based on tribal identity.

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