One Body, Many Parts

Many people become confused when they think about the unity of Liberia or any country. They wonder about how it would be possible for any country to unite when the country has many parts, with people coming from many different backgrounds. What truth can be told to these confused people? 

Well, the truth is that any country, like the human body, can function only when the parts of the country are functioning. Where would the body be without the tongue? Where would the body be without the nose? Where would the body be without the ear? Where would the body be without the eye? Where would the body be without the hand?

Well, the above mentioned five basic senses are most important for the body to function. The body can not function without any of the five basic senses. Starting with the family, we see that the family. like a tree, can not function without any of the family branches.

 Moving to the country, Liberia, we can see that Liberia can not function without the population, made up of people who live as families in villages, towns, chiefdoms, districts and and counties. It is true that any entity can function in two ways: good or bad. The good way for any country is called good governance and the bad way for any country is called bad governance.

The electoral system in Liberia has managed the election of national decision-makers, who continue to promote longstanding and widespread poverty through the production of raw materialls for export without any prioritization of value addtion, as in the selection of human resources and locally made products. 

Poverty generation is being promoted rather than poverty alleviation, as Legislators who are supposed to be representing the interest of the voters, especially the poor, continue to have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their partners, in the commercial sector alone, continue to have access to at least USD2 million a day while over 80 per cent of the people of Liberia continue to have access to at most less than USD2 a day (Annual Reports of LIGIS, CBL, MFDP, MCI, UNDP, WB/IMF. EU. ADB and USAID). On the basis of this inequality reality some 80 percent of Liberians are of the view that Liberia is headed in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2020). 

Essentially, it is poverty that has become the pretext for violence, including coups d'etat and civil war, as in Liberia where some 300,000 lives (ten percent of the population at the time) were lost, with infrastrutural damage worth billions of dollars, and the economy has not recovered to its pre-war level. Most unfortunately, State managers and their foreign partners continue to maintain that "things are getting better" (MFDP, WB/IMF. 2021) but the reality, in terms of reliable data, points in the opposite direction). resulting in the conclusion of the people of Liberia to the effect that "Liberia is headed in the wrong direction".

There is an urgent need for action to get Liberia moving in the right direction to avoid societal chaos because prevention is a better cure and this is why the people of Liberia have concluded that Peace is Better Than War and that Peace is What We Need. 

How can Peace come? Sustainable Peace can come not through the absence of war but through the presence of Justice for All. For Justice to prevail to generate honestly the joyous chorus All Hail Liberia All Hail, Truthtelling has to prevail among the people in ways that motivate them to work together through the Rule of Law to transform the electoral system from UNFAIR to FAIR in order for good governance to replace bad governance. 

Out of the National Conference held in Ghana in 2003 came the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA), now a part of the Laws of Liberia. In efforts directed at transforming Liberia from a State of bad governance to a State of good governance, the Good Governance Commission (GGC) was set up under the leadership of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Later, the GGC was renamed the Governance Commission (GC) and placed under the leadership of former Interim President Amos Claudius Sawyer. 

As much as the GGC and the GC worked assiduously to assist in the transformation of the electoral system, longstanding and widespread corruption in State management eroded the prospects for good governance to the point that upon the turning over of immediate past State management to the  present State management, President Ellen Johnson  Sirleafsaid that corruption remained systemic, despite efforts to minimize it under her tenure of State management.

The present State management agrees that corruption is the "enemy of the State '' but State intervention to minimize corruption is not taking place, as prioritization is not given to the prosecution of persons accused of corruption, viewing the records of the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC). The LACC is now beseiged with the problem of alleged coruption involving Deputy LACC Commissioner Kanio Bai Gbala.

Then, there remains the most vexing problem of the UNFAIR posture of the electoral system, as supervised by the National Elections Commission (NEC). The only way to get Liberia moving in the right direction, where there is Justice for All, is to get good persons elected. Good people can get elected when the electoral system becomes FAIR!!! When good persons are elected, they will do the right thing by making sure that each part of the body called Liberia is connected to the other parts for all parts to be connected to function to promote good governance. 

Yet once again, NEC operates in violation of the Constitution of Liberia: NEC Commissioners are non-Liberians; NEC does not check on the citizenship requirement of eleced officials and candidates; foreigners vote in elections in Liberia; Liberian voters cross county lines to vote; the voter registration roll remains uncleaned; there is the lack of prioritization of the voter registration roll; the voter registration machines imported by a foreign partner are not functional; representatives of NEC at voting centers are not vetted before selction, resulting in the personalization of over 1500 such  representatives, and the personalized decisions of the 19 Election Magistrates.

Is there any hope for the better? Yes, as seen in the record of the Legislators of the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures. Nearly all of these Legislators wanted to be reelected but the voters denied them their desires, thanks to the raising of awareness about the injustice that prevails. This trend of voting is highly likely to continue with the 54th Legislature to make way for good persons to be elected. 

The youth of Grand Cape Mount County. with whom I interacted recently, like the youth in the other Counties, are saying that candidates must be elected on the basis of their record. Candidates with bad records will not be elected. Only candidates with good records will be elected. The youth are determined to correct their mistakes of electing persons on the basis of things other than their good records. The youth say that Never Again should voters be driven to elect people who do not Walk the Good Talk. When a candidate Walks the Good Talk, then voters must work together to get the candidate elected.The good talk is about getting Justice for All to Prevail. Walk The Good Talk is the Way Forward for the Better!!!