Let The Truth Be Told- As I See It

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By Letitia A. Reeves

A few days ago, while listening to the 2 p.m. news I learned that President Weah had nominated Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah to the position of Minister of Health and Social Welfare. I was elated that this young and energetic woman had been chosen.

A lot of young men and women travel abroad for further studies in various fields of study. Many of them remain abroad and get employed because the opportunities are much better. They think first of themselves rather than their country and fellow citizens.

Dr. Jallah studied abroad, became a doctor, worked for a couple of years to gain experience and some finances and returned to help her country. She worked at the JFK Medical Center and after a while, seeing the need of many Liberian women and girls, opened her private clinic, which is now a full-fledged hospital.

As Liberians, we should all be proud of such a dedicated young woman but instead, some people are doing all they can to dishonor her and tarnish her character.

After her nomination, the husband of a lady who died at the Hope for Women International hospital was on the news saying such vile and evil things about Dr. Jallah, stating that she killed his wife. I was shocked to hear a so-called man of God who professes to be a Christian say such things. Doesn’t he know that nothing happens in this world without the will of God? When people who profess to be Christians make such wicked and vile statements how can we expect to minister to non-Christians? What will Dr. Jallah gain from this lady’s death?

Why do we as Liberians always have such a negative attitude towards each other, is it because of jealousy or because it makes us feel like nothing when other Liberians fight hard and succeed and we sit on the ‘stood-of-do-nothing’? We have to change our hearts and minds if we want to move this country forward. A foreign person and a Liberian can have a store on the same road with basically the same merchandise, but we prefer to patronize the foreign, rather than our own.

Many of us are very ungrateful and unappreciative of what people do for us. We take everything for granted. For example, a few years ago, the Liberian government in collaboration with the United States of America built a first-class hospital in West Africa, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital.

What did we do to show appreciation and gratitude, we nicknamed the hospital “Just For Killing.”

How do you think the Americans felt after taking their hard earned tax dollars to help us and we are so ungrateful? Whoever heard of a hospital where no one dies?

I know this husband is hurt and saddened because he lost his wife, but by trying to persecute and defame Dr. Jallah, his wife will never come back. Why tarnish her memory? He should ask God for the strength and courage to move forward. On July 26, 2014, when my husband died at one of the best hospitals in the USA, The John Hopkins Hospital in Washington D.C., I was devastated. Did I say that the doctors killed him? No, because the bible says every man/woman has an appointed time to die. No one dies before his or her time.

Another news item that I listened to on the radio is the subject of dual citizenship.

During the war years, so many of us sought refuge abroad in several different countries. In order to make the best of our stay, many of us received permanent residence and or citizenship. After things cleared up and peace came to our country many of us returned home to make a life. There are many others who did not really have anything to return to and decided to remain in the United States and other countries because they felt they could make life better abroad. It’s not that they do not love their country. Remember, self-preservation is the first law of nature.

I heard so many evil and mean remarks and comments on the radio about those who are abroad and seeking dual Citizenship. All I could think about is jealousy. They did not have the opportunity to go and get the “green card” and so they want to deny their friends.
Just go at any banking institution in Monrovia, every day there are hundreds of people standing on line not to do banking, but to receive money through Money gram or Western Union. Suppose those people get angry and say ‘since you say you will vote against us getting dual citizenship we will not send you any more money,’ how will you feel?

Fellow Liberians, President Weah in his speech said, “In the cause of the people, the struggle must end.” The struggle will not end unless we do the following:
(1) Love our neighbor as ourselves – although we are all from various tribal groups, we are all Liberians. We have to love one another.
(2) Get rid of jealousy and the crab mentality (pulling your friend down whenever he tries to get out of the bucket); we will never rise if we don’t stop.
(3) Roll up our sleeves and work – we are still looking for handouts. Only hard work will build our country.
(4) Stop using the blame game for our shortcomings. Take responsibilities for our failures.
(5) Finally, let’s try to end corruption on every level, from the street sweeper who sells the forty Liberian dollar broom given to him to sweep the street, to the market women who beat in the bottom of the measuring cup to make a few more dollars at the expense of the buyer, all the way up to the legislator, judiciary and executive. If we can at least start with these five points, then and only then, we will be on our way to ending the struggle.

LONG LIVE LIBERIA, THIS GLORIOUS LAND OF LIBERTY, BY GOD’S COMMAND!

About the author: She is a graduate of the College of West Africa, class of 1958, and holds a BSc degree in Secondary Education from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She returned home and worked at CWA, Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development. After the Coup in 1980, she returned to the USA and obtained an Associate Degree in Banking at Hofstra University on Long Island. She became employed at Bank of America and retired after 15 years. She traveled extensively to France, Great Britain, Sweden, China, Hong Kong, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, and lived in Ethiopia, Zambia and Angola. In 2003, returned to Liberia. She was appointed Mayor of the City of Paynesville from February 2009 to December 2012 by President Sirleaf. She is an active member and Deacon of the Providence Baptist Church, Monrovia.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Ms. Letitia Reeves, you wrote a good ;piece. I read it through. But, you are confusing
    the critical issue of dual citizenship with family members in the United States sending
    money to their families and friends in Liberia. To us who disagree with dual citizenship,
    we consider it and it is just what it is a national security issue. Why would a true Liberian
    want to divide his or her loyalty that he or she owe to his or her country? In this case,.
    Liberia? What benefits, than a selfish benefit it entails for individual applicant of it, does
    the dual citizenship bring to a nation whose citizens obtained it? Is there a budgetary
    consideration in the developed nation like the United States to benefit Liberia? Or just
    to divide your loyalty.

    In many countries including United States, before one become U.S. citizen, one has to
    renounce his previous citizenship and surrender it to the new country. Hence, when
    knowing or unknowingly cancel your birth citizenship or loyalty to your only God assigned
    country and pledged same to your new country, how in the world you want it back without
    first renounce your loyalty citizenship to your new country? Do you know what does the
    Holy Bible says about man’s loyalty? To paraphrase, it says No one can serve two masters;
    for either he will hate one and love the other. Wherefore and in view of this cardinal
    principle, it is or will be ill advised for Liberia to allow dual citizenship- allowing, of course,
    its citizens to divide their loyalty to their country Liberia.

  2. Ms. Reeves,
    You’ve made a good number of valid points. On the other hand, there are some issues that need to explained.

    Miss Reeves, most Liberians who travel abroad do so on their own. When a Liberian scrimps hard and finally leaves Liberia in order to enter college in the US or elsewhere in the world, the decision to go back home after the completion of one’s studies, is not an overnight one.

    Let’s look at some critical issues……
    1. After getting an advanced degree, college loans must be paid back.

    2. If a Liberian bought a house in the US or elsewhere in the world, the mortgage must be paid back. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy than paying $1,250.00 per month.

    3. If kids are involved, the decision to go back home immediately creates migraine headaches.

    4. If one purchases a good insurance policy, the policy cannot be dropped like Moses who dropped the Lord’s 613 commandments.

    Let’s not also forget that diasporan Liberians are very patriotic. Those in the diaspora send millions of dollars to Liberia yearly. Think remittances! The money that goes home via Western Union, Money Gram and other money transfer networks sustains the Liberian economic activity.

    Personally, I went to Liberia several times in order to serve my time. I have an education. Upon going home, I couldn’t get close to the president, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf. The “contacts” I had, or the very mountebacks I relied on played games after I bought roundtrip tickets. Very sad.

    I am proud of Jallah and others who were fortunate to have gone home. Most of us would love to go home to serve in various capacities.

    Finally, the government of Liberia must adapt a different attitude towards Liberian diasporans. First, there should be an office set up in Liberia that will be charged with processing resumes of those who want to return to Liberia. Second, the government ought to consider granting scholarships in meaningful areas to the best of the best. If the government grants meaningful scholarships, and educational investment has been made. Those who complete their studies will be obliged to return in order to serve.
    There are scores of educated Liberians who want to return to Liberia. The government can finds ways in which the gap can be bridged. Sometimes, Liberians who are well-heeled, entrenched and connected in Liberia complicate matters for those who return to serve. I am not sure if some of the well-connected individuals are threatened. Maybe it’s the ingrained crab syndrome that all blacks are cursed with.

    A brief description of crab syndrome:
    You see crabs in a big container. Among the crabs, there is a crab that tries to climb or get out of the container. Oh no, other crabs will grap the leg of the outgoing crab. That’s how blacks are. Black people hold their own people down with a sort of plantation metality.

    Take a listen to crab talk: ” where you goin?. I got to get me somethin to eat man. You aint goin no nowhere, bro. We aint goin to let you go no place you fruitty. We goin to hold your leg. You ain’t goin anywhere, yo”.

  3. Ms. Reeves,
    You’ve made a good number of valid points. On the other hand, there are some issues that need to explained.

    Miss Reeves, most Liberians who travel abroad do so on their own. When a Liberian scrimps hard and finally leaves Liberia in order to enter college in the US or elsewhere in the world, the decision to go back home after the completion of one’s studies, is not an overnight one.

    Let’s look at some critical issues……
    1. After getting an advanced degree, college loans must be paid back.

    2. If a Liberian bought a house in the US or elsewhere in the world, the mortgage must be paid back. Sometimes it’s cheaper to buy than paying $1,250.00 per month.

    3. If kids are involved, the decision to go back home immediately creates migraine headaches.

    4. If one purchases a good insurance policy, the policy cannot be dropped like Moses who dropped the Lord’s 613 commandments.

    Let’s not also forget that diasporan Liberians are very patriotic. Those in the diaspora send millions of dollars to Liberia yearly. Think remittances! The money that goes home via Western Union, Money Gram and other money transfer networks sustains the Liberian economic activity.

    Personally, I went to Liberia several times in order to serve my time. I have an education. Upon going home, I couldn’t get close to the president, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf. The “contacts” I had, or the very mountebacks I relied on played games after I bought roundtrip tickets. Very sad.

    I am proud of Jallah and others who were fortunate to have gone home. Most of us would love to go home to serve in various capacities.

    Finally, the government of Liberia must adapt a different attitude towards Liberian diasporans. First, there should be an office set up in Liberia that will be charged with processing resumes of those who want to return to Liberia. Second, the government ought to consider granting scholarships in meaningful areas to the best of the best. If the government grants meaningful scholarships, an educational investment has been made. Those who complete their studies will be obliged to return in order to serve.
    There are scores of educated Liberians who want to return to Liberia. The government can finds ways in which the gap can be bridged. Sometimes, Liberians who are well-heeled, entrenched and connected in Liberia complicate matters for those who return to serve. I am not sure if some of the well-connected individuals are threatened. Maybe it’s the ingrained crab syndrome that all blacks are cursed with.

    A brief description of crab syndrome:
    You see crabs in a big container. Among the crabs, there is a crab that tries to climb or get out of the container. Oh no, other crabs will grap the leg of the outgoing crab. That’s how blacks are. Black people hold their own people down with a sort of plantation metality.

    Take a listen to crab talk: ” where you goin?. I got to get me somethin to eat man. You aint goin no nowhere, bro. We aint goin to let you go no place you fruitty. We goin to hold your leg. You ain’t goin anywhere, yo”.

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