By: Kadiker Rex Dahn, PhD
Routinely, many voters rightly or wrongly vote and elect individuals based on diverse reasons. Some vote because a candidate is handsome, celebrity, outspoken, intelligent, educated, experienced, and the list goes on. Whatever reason one chooses to vote to elect an individual whether to the Presidency or the Legislature, it is always prudent and better to consider honesty, integrity, genuine education, experience, and competency. If an individual elected for example, to the Office of the President is not experienced and lacks some of those essential qualities of a leader mentioned above, the presidency appears intricate. Such an individual simply will be immersed in blatant incompetency and the obvious result is that such a country will become stagnated and to borrow from Chinua Archibe, a Nigerian Author, things will begin to Fall Apart.
Sincere Liberians of all persuasions are witnesses to this claim that since the incumbency of George Oppong Manneh Weah as President of Liberia, everything is falling apart. The pro-poor agenda, ill-conceived, formulated, and sugar-coated by George Weah and his lieutenants to deceive many like false prophets of ancient Israel has not worked, is not working, and will not work; instead, it is killing the poor. Conscious-minded individuals who helped ushered George Weah into power are living witnesses to those conditions unfolding in Liberia.
Certainly, President George Weah as we know was once a decorated soccer player, a man who up to his election as president did not occupy any seat in leadership. In the soccer arena, he became World Best, European Best, and African Best. However, it is one thing to be an excellent soccer player and quite another to lead a nation of nearly 5 million people with political and leadership intricacies.
There are lots of governing and pressing issues on President Weah’s plate and to put it bluntly since President Weah has not been able to perform to expectation, Liberia is going through a political and economic, pandemonium and the apparent outcome is that Liberia, once a beacon of hope has now become hopeless. Liberians will have to live with President Weah and his government for the next three years even though the Liberian society is certainly now an incompetent society headed by incompetent individuals.
What we observed was that Liberians were not thoughtful with their votes but blindly and ignorantly elected the soccer legend thinking that just as he excellently performed on the pitch, he would likewise do the same in political governance. Ironically, he has not been able to deliver and as a result, Liberians have found themselves in an incompetent society, under the leadership of an incompetent government.
We ask, what then are the responsibilities of citizens during an incompetent government? When we speak of an incompetent government in the Liberian context especially in the current political dispensation, our thoughts are strictly directed at the underperformance of the government of President Weah.
Definitions of operative words and phrase
To fully know and understand some of the responsibilities and functions of citizens in an incompetent government, it is necessary that we define the phrase “an incompetent government” as perceived and conceived by Kadiker Rex Dahn and Team. Firstly, we will dissect and define the word “incompetent” follow by “government” and then the operative phrase, “an incompetent government.” Incompetent means not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. So, when we say a person is incompetent it means the person lacks the mundane ability to do or carry out a task; a total blunderer. With this definition, kakistocracy comes to mind.
Kakistocracy is defined as “the government by the worst persons or a form of government in which the worst persons are in power.” In this definition, incompetent and kakistocracy are intertwined, interrelated, and can be used interchangeably. Government is defined as “the authority that sets rules for the society, helps its members relate to one another and to others, and keeps it running smoothly, securely and peacefully.” Concisely conceived, considering the definition of both incompetent and government, we define an incompetent government as a government that is incapable, blunderer, inept, disingenuous, unsophisticated, dull, and poor in thoughts and performances.
Broader definitions of an incompetent government in the context of Liberia
An incompetent government is a government where the sitting government breaks ground before conducting a feasibility study for either construction or building of a road. The proposed New Monrovia City on Bali Island near Bushrod Island is an example. An incompetent government is a government where the President of the nation and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces is not able to have a live interaction with journalists but almost every communication is relegated to the presidential press team. An incompetent government is a government where a foreign national, Nubusi Nwabudike fraudulently made his way among Liberians, ill-got free education as a Liberian citizen, made his way into government, and was caught, exposed, and rejected from confirmation as a Chairman of the National Election Commission.
Before that, he was an Executive Director at the Liberian Anti- Corruption Commission. After his rejection, he returned to the LACC as the Executive Director with the approbation of the Appointing Power even though he is an imposter. An incompetent government is a government where the Appointing Power appointed an individual who plays “tricks” on a client as a Solicitor General, at the Ministry of Justice. An incompetent government is a government where the Appointing Power flamboyantly walked on the campus of the University of Liberia and declared free education without counting the cost. An incompetent government is a government where the President and Vice President do not speak with each other or get along; Vice President being denied her benefits.
An incompetent government is a government where the Speaker of the House of Representatives has a questionable academic credential yet such academic fugitive is the love child of the sitting government. An incompetent government is a government where the rule of law is undermined, where the President can dismiss a judge. An incompetent government is a government where an appointee and social acquaintance of the President allegedly slapped the First Lady and no known actions taken by the Appointing Power. An incompetent government is a government where donors’ funds are misapplied and the government’s chief spoke person referred to it as a “Dig-hole cover hole.”
An incompetent government is a government where each government’s ministry and agency speaks for itself without the Ministry of Information fully in charge even though the Appointing Power over and again has warned against doing so. An incompetent government is a government where government ministers publicly challenge one another. For example, a prohibition issued by the Minister of Health against making public disclosure of individuals with covid-19 was opposed by the Minister of Information.
In fact because of such blatant unbecoming behavior and lack of inter-ministerial collaboration, Daily Observer on Aril 8, 2020, wrote an editorial under the caption, “When Will They Ever Learn?” An incompetent government is a government where an individual wanting to manipulate the Appointing Power in order to be appointed an Ambassador to Japan publicly said, “Kru people, this is our time.” Even with such an elementary utterance by a man who once considered himself a progressive, the President who doesn’t usually understand and follows these things meticulously, went ahead, nominated, and appointed him as an ambassador.
An incompetent government is a government where a former warlord on the list of the TRC to be prosecuted publicly said he will form a Kru Defense Force yet nothing happened to this rebel. In fact, he was considered to be the President’s, own man. I am from Nimba County. What if I call and say there is a need for Nimba County to form its own defense force, what would be the government’s reaction? Will they go after me and the people of Nimba County like what was illegally done to Menipakei Dumoe? Better still, what if each county decides to have its own defense force, what message will that send? The Armed Forces of Liberia is the only defense force Liberians have and anything, on the contrary, must be rejected but a Kru man said it, and George Weah and his lieutenants embraced it. Certainly, that is another mark of the incompetence of a sitting government.
An incompetent government is a government where about 95% of those appointed are from one geographical/regional part of Liberia, a region where the sitting president is said to have hailed from. An incompetent government is a government that publicly proclaimed, “This is our time.” Whether this is their time to ransack and loot the national cake, President Weah will tell Liberians. An incompetent government is a government where the National Chairman of the ruling political party in a leaked audiotape claimed that funds generated as a result of presidential visits were set aside for the president’s personal use. He also claimed whether true or not that most females brought into the government are there because of quid pro quo. This is a president who claimed to be a “feminist in Chief.” We ask, Mr. President, are you a feminist in chief to violate the rights of women? An incompetent government is a government where the Appointing Power removed a seasoned female scholar and academician as president of the state-run university and replaced her with his kinsman, a Seminary graduate with simply a diploma in pastoral theology. An incompetent government is a government where an expelled student of the University of Liberia went to court to challenge his expulsion, and the court upheld the University’s decision. The Appointing Power disregarded the court’s decision, nominated and appointed the expelled student as an Assistant Minister of Agriculture for Planning, Research, and Development. An incompetent government is a government where the Foreign Service is weak. As a result of such weakness, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not been able to maneuver in the diplomatic circle so the current Liberian president can freely travel to the United States like other democratically elected presidents of Liberia.
The President does travel to the United States but on a restricted visa during the UN’s General Assembly required by all members Head of States. An incompetent government is a government where there are serious infightings among presidential appointees for control over the ears of the President. An incompetent government is a government where barely a few months into power, 16 billion dollars got missing followed by misapplication of 25 million dollars. An incompetent government is a government where during the inaugural address, the President boastfully claimed that Liberians will no longer be spectators of their own economy and as it turned out, Liberians are not gatekeepers and not even allowed on the field of Liberianization.
In this article, we defined incompetent, government and an incompetent government. We made the case that the current government under the leadership of President Weah is a kakistocracy. Broader definition continues in part two of this article before outlining those responsibilities of citizens during an incompetent government. In the Cause of the People, the Struggle Continues!!!About the author: Kadiker Rex Dahn holds a PhD in Historical, Philosophical and Social Foundations of Education from the University of Oklahoma. He is a member of the North America scholar Consortium,] membership with the highest Honor. Contact: [email protected]