Looking Critically at Liberia: WHAT’S GOING ON?

Former Grand Kru Senator_web.jpg


Just a few days ago, upon the President Ellen Johnson Sirlaf’s recent arrival from the United States, where she went to plead our country’s case for help, we listened to her lamentations and regrets for [some] self-serving and often times unsubstantiated and misunderstood [criticisms] of governance, undermining her genuine and painful efforts to secure sustenance for a country that self-destroyed herself.

These criticisms reflect  several impressions created by Liberians and of Liberians in the cherished name of expressing our freedoms.  They contend that Liberia cannot manage her own affairs.

Perhaps if the projectors of these unstructured sentiments  maturely thought about the unintended consequences of these discussions that often seem to vent our people’s anger over situations that the government might have no control over, explaining how a number of these things work, it might help to do some good for the country.    

Frustratingly, implanted in the minds of a number of people is the conviction that once you have a government job—that I cannot get for some reason—you must be automatically corrupt.  This ‘you and not me’ mentality is symptomatic of nothing more than the deep envy and jealousy. Haven’t we seen time and again that many of the very critics of government, as soon as they get the opportunity of a good position, behave no better than the people they criticized?

Little do we know that these unguarded criticisms generate serious repercussions within International thought for aid decision making. These continuous criticisms provided some of the basis for conclusions that the representatives of the International benefactors must provide to their Government whose tax payers’ monies must be used by their Governments to bail your decaying African nation that cannot help itself by your standards. As a normal human being, the President felt the pains of non-appreciation for the level of work that she has struggled to do to turn our country around.

Do we really believe that the Ghana that we often use as a barometer wallows in the sea of utopianism? Of course by your understanding there is no corruption in that country. You really must not have read about Group Captain Rawlings’ crusade and what had to be done. You know we got carried away with similar populous rhetoric during the pre-coup days. We never tried to imagine the consequences of the sudden change we went amok about. We almost lost our country. For the second time, we are at it again. When do we encourage the law enforcement to be stern and not at the cost of an innocent life? That is when we conduct investigations to institute remedial mechanisms while holding violators accountable, be they the law or the law-breakers. But we cannot continue to support the Kangaroo justice nor can we afford disregard to the law.

When the President sources funds to construct infrastructure which will create some relief for jobs much needed, we should commit not to undermine her efforts by wanton acts that can discourage the best humanitarian. I strongly believe in the continuation of the interesting Talk Shows but my advice to the moderators is to report the happenings as they occur, without editorializing. In  discussions ensuing therefrom, our moderators should provide adequate background information so that all parties can contribute more from an informed position.

The task of rebuilding a country after 15 years of civil war is not an event, but an arduous process of lows and highs of managing the aspirations of a destitute people who had lost hope; and all nationalistic and serious minded Liberians must come to grips with this task and recognize the gravity of this awesome process and volunteer their quota in reversing the decay.

Howbeit, let Liberians reflect soberly on the responsibility which every Liberian should undertake; and that task should be undertaken devoid of partisan posturing. When we have National problems we must come together as a nation, irrespective of which political party one belongs to,  and find solutions.  It is so common in the United States,  which we try to copy in our  governance responsibility.

Political gamesmanship and bickering, especially exploiting the educational level of our people, emboldens the complexities of the issues of governance in Liberia. This is the only country we have and we may not be deported from. Good or bad, this is our country. Those who paint the country ugly ignore the reality that Liberia’s income generating sources of revenues are so intertwined with the international markets that when a market fluctuation occurs, we suffer and must look for International help for relief. Until such time that our productive capacities can stand on their own, we must continue to show appreciation to those who make it happen.

Liberia began to rupture some 35 years ago from an unsuspecting injury inflicted by her own children, who perhaps misunderstood the aroma of democracy then sweeping over mother Africa. We heard a call for change in Africa and particularly Liberia, without a clearly triangulated definition of where Liberia should go after the change in a political hegemony was accomplished. This urge for a make-over of Liberia was regrettably led by people who were appeared  quite intelligent. Many had terminal degrees; but they did not appreciate the essence of planning as they truly could not appreciate the dividends of not planning for the results that such an uninformed,  sudden change would bring.  They were young and were hungry for political power. The change imagined was championed by her children who were clothed in translucent rhetoric of ethnic marginalization, perceptions of unsustainable use of Liberia’s resources, denial of political access and utter  marginalization of the “masses.”

Interestingly a classical definition of this sociological categorization was never sought. That is another argument. However, in the search for a remedial process to identify avenues and messiahs who would restore the grass that the locust had eaten, a self-inflicted bondage of stagnation and regression was bestowed on our dear country, by our latter day messiahs who by all evaluations were visionless, inept and self-serving.  They exacerbated the gradual deterioration of another African country (Liberia) in decay. Somehow, this bane of sustainability-leadership, escaped our messiahs who in their rush for sudden economic gains, miserably failed their beneficiaries, a sad story in most parts of Africa, so it was and is with Liberia. But that is a painful historical black eye that needs no further glorification.

But sadly and very disappointingly, I heard one of our learned candidates call for an uprising to promote democracy and leave the democratic process? This gentleman sadly did not experience the torture, the denigration, the abuse of our women folks, the hunger and the total destruction that engulfed our country. So I might sympathize with his apathy. For a leader in the political theater in Liberia, my God, who experienced the life of the homeless and the destitute in his own country, to promote violence at this time, towards side-tracking the democratic channel is sufficient evidence that that person is running out of political peaceful options and desperation is setting in. For Liberia still yearns for peaceful solutions within the context of the typical African jurisprudence. So let it be with Caesar. But this, too, is Liberia and Liberia must move on.



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