Whither Good Governance in Liberia?


    The Daily Observer Editor last Friday received a desperate call. In tears, the caller asked, “Mr. Editor, what are these people doing to our country?”

    The caller had seen the Daily Observer’s front page, which carried as its lead story the election of a new Speaker of the House of Representatives. No, it was NOT Hans Barchue, the Grand Bassa lawmaker whom some powerful people used to get rid of
    House Speaker Alex Tyler. The new Speaker was someone else, in the person of Emmanuel Nuquay, Representative of District Five of Margibi County.

    What had happened?

    The powerful individuals had used Barchue to wage a vicious and relentless battle against Speaker Tyler, to force him out of office. And once that was accomplished, what happened to the illustrious and triumphant Deputy Speaker Barchue? The same powerful people whose bidding he had religiously and passionately executed dumped him.

    Barchue, at the height of his presumed triumph, having accomplished the task to which he was assigned, summarily adjourned the House, thinking that he and all his House colleagues were now on vacation until 2017.

    Alas! The powerful and unconscionable manipulators seized the moment again and immediately threw their weight behind someone else—Mr. Nuquay, leader of the new “majority.” Now that Barchue had taken his “triumphant parachute”—or so he thought, Nuquay promptly convened this new majority who—you guessed it—elected him the new Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    Did Barchue not know that if one allows himself to be used by others to engage in a nefarious act of whatever kind, when that act is accomplished he would have to watch his back, because these same powerful instigators could be coming for him? The Bible says, “When thou shall cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoilt.”

    Had Hans Barchue failed to grasp or detect the power at play in the Supreme Court, when they refused to grant Speaker Tyler’s petition to stop the very Barchue and his rebellious gang from their plot to remove him (Tyler)? Or was Barchue deceived into thinking that he was acting on the strength of his own power?

    What happened in the House and in the Supreme Court was a classic case of political manipulation, which students of political science need to study, analyze and write about. This may serve as an important lesson to politicians of tomorrow. If well analyzed and forthrightly presented, this study could well serve as a warning for tomorrow’s politicians: Beware of people who try to use you to get at other people, especially in matters of crass (tactless, ridiculous) deception and betrayal.

    For your time, too, may come to reap the consequences of your own unethical and malicious actions.

    The same thing happened in the Senate. Senators from the highest level on down have been used by the same powerful manipulators to do their bidding. Does anyone know what really happened to high ranking Senator Oscar Cooper?

    The students of political science again have a great opportunity to investigate this and tell the story to academia and to the world. It may serve a highly useful lesson to politicians of tomorrow. Why was a man who knew so much about the inner workings of that very important Ministry summarily removed from his position as Chair of the Committee on Public Works? Who was behind it and why?

    The burning question persists: Do we still have three branches of government in Liberia? Or has Ellen reaped what she many times told us—that she would not pursue “an imperial presidency?”


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