By David K. Dahn + (231) 0775546683/0886568666
The biblical account is told of the exodus of the Children of Israel (Exodus 14, Authorized King James Version) when they were steeled down in a state of desperation and needed deliverance from Egypt. Indeed God delivered the Israelite using Moses as the lead character in this guided operation.
According to a biblical commentator, there was time the Lord told Moses to stop praying and instead get moving. This never diminished the importance of prayer, but, continue the commentator, there is also a place for action. Yona Zeldis McDonough (2002), in the book, “Who Was Harriet Tubman?” unfurls the story of Araminta Ross, a slave girl who later grew to be known as Harriet Tubman; an American abolitionist and humanitarian.
As one mulls through that biographical narration well pieced together, the story is told of Harriet Tubman who gained fame in life as a conductor on an Underground Railroad and led her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom during the turbulence of the 1850s. Critical minds would seek to analogize by asking “what is the nexus between both narrations?”
As an intellectual point of departure, these accounts, both biblical and historical, have been lifted to indicate that every generation has got its own battle to pursue and that heroes, in the words of Professor Paul Collier, “are expected to win their struggle”.
The biblical Moses was directed and he delivered his people. Harriet Tubman, grew under the harshest of slave conditions but she became the “Moses” of her people, citing her quoted constant refrain, “Mah people mus go free”.
What correlation am I attempting to draw between those supra mentioned characters and President Weah? That was the attention catcher. But here where I am about to drive you through. After 170 years of development drought (talking about improving the quality of Liberian lives), broken social contracts with one regime after the next and ‘time squander’ admittance, Liberians elected the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) as a time sensitive responder. There is no wonder why the chorus of the era is “This is our time.”
In my settled consideration, this chorus as is, is elliptical and needs to be made complete. The extended version, wrapped in honesty should suggestively now read, “This is our time… to take this country from catastrophe to prosperity, … to take this country from platitude to rectitude,.. to bring all our young but best brains forward for national progress under the virtue of patriotism.”
What this encapsulates is that those vices which punctuated our governance system in hindsight will now be eroded with the changing time. I stand on the strong conviction that President Weah could be the “Moses” of our time.
Not within the spatial context of physically moving the Liberians from one geographical location as was the case with the biblical Moses leading the Israelites from Egypt or Harriet Tubman championing the release of slaves to freedom. But here is the analogy as I read the lips of the Liberian people. President Weah could be the “Moses” of our time, capable of delivering the Liberians from three kinds of sabotage.
The Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition provides an array of definitions for the word sabotage. But my attention captures the definition which says “to sabotage is to undermine from within.”
Yes, by the way we conduct ourselves, whether as bureaucrats, educators, politicians, the kind of negative stories flooding our papers and the social networks indeed bear testimonies that we are undermining this nation from within either by what we are intentionally doing wrong or what we willfully refused to do right.
This brings me to the first kind of sabotage which I call intellectual sabotage. With reference to the intellectual sabotage, I mean using our academic credentials to skillfully rob and crook others and the society.
When an educator solicits money or gifts from students or their parents in exchange for a favor ( say grades or for promotion), the students grow up believing that it is the right thing to do and will have it replicated. When we claim to have credentials that we lack the intelligence to defend, it has systemic ripple effect on effective service delivery and it reverses productivity.
The second kind of sabotage that has enveloped our nation is what I call the moral sabotage. Today, what we see in our society is that moral consciences are lost and doctrinal values seem to have evaporated.
Rape cases are on exponential rise when you monitor reports from rural parts of the country. Sexual exploitation and abuse, either in schools or places of work have become valuable assets for academic promotion or for job employment.
Conscienceless public servants have transformed public funds into pleasurable family funds. Public spaces have become environments for breeding political corruption (bribery, embezzlement, extortion, nepotism and cronyism).
And the third kind of sabotage is what I call Physical sabotage. By physical sabotage, I mean the resources of the nation have been on an accelerated rate of depletion yet with few strong individuals reaping the benefits thereby leaving the vast majority impoverished and in a state of misery and discontent.
When our radios or TVs are tuned and the pages of our newspapers are flipped, we read more of corruption cases as compared to other stories. In a paradox of wisdom, all those who are adversely booked or being charged by integrity institutions claimed to be brought up in a humble family home where they were taught Christian values.
If this should be my conclusion, the biblical Moses had two things as he led the Israelites: a rod and faith in God.
Harriet Tubman, according to authoritative accounts, was sustained by two things, a pistol by her side and her faith in God.
And you too, Mr. President, given the generation of people you now lead must be guided by two things social scientists call “carrot and stick”- reward people who project the quality of the Liberian people’s lives and by similar measure punish those who deviate and seek to diminish the quality of Liberians’ lives.
It is only by being flexible but firm, that the ‘pro-poor agenda’ will have validity in the budding chapters of our current history. Mr. President, Liberians have celebrated your popularity by their overwhelming votes.
The opportunity is now yours to translate this popularity into a people’s movement capable of transforming the country from backwardness to a people centered development. I have no doubt, Mr. President that this falls within the remit of your authority, because you are the perceived “Moses” of our time.