On Thursday, December 7, 2017, for the first time in history, the nation was all ears, peacefully waiting for the final verdict from the Supreme Court of the land. For little over a month, our nation’s democracy and legal system was tested and proven to the world we’re peaceful, serious and humbled people. Contrary to our revolting past, we demonstrate our commitment and dedication to the transformation of our country and continent bearing in mind that the growth and development of the state is a national credit to all and sundry. Right hand salute to the folks on the ground especially the young comrades who opted to use patience over violence, media over riot, pen over gun, and ballot over bullet.
Even as we celebrate this democratic victory, let us keep in mind that there’s a big task ahead of us. A task of progression or retrogression. Peaceful election means the aftermath, that is, the acceptance of results by contenders and supporters. Liberia, in no doubt, is on the right trajectory to national prosperities and transformation but a hole of trust now lies in the outcome of the runoff election. Whoever wins becomes our president and shoulders the responsibilities of the state with enormous challenges ranging from education, health care, security, infrastructures and protracted balance of payments (BOP) deficits.
In last October, we peacefully scrutinized various candidates and sorted out two candidates as majority candidates. Insofar we took to the polls and elected two (Amb. Boakai and Amb. Weah) out of 20 candidates, I’m confident and optimistic we can democratically choose one out of just two. Make no mistake, folks, to allow the politics of the day to ruin the minds against your country and brothers on the other side; we’re all Liberians seeking one objective but with different drivers. The President will be a single person — the face of the nation — but we’re the real engine of growth (productive labor force) in the economy. The President can’t be everywhere at the same time as he will depend on us to demonstrate excellence and quality in service delivery to country. Let’s understand that the productive labor force lies in every Liberian ranging from the janitor to the manager, the shoe shiners to the marketers, the retailers to the wholesalers and the consumers to the suppliers. We (every citizens) remain the true drivers of growth and development so now is the time to unite in our honest disagreements and stand firm to move this country forward.
Of recent, I took keen interest in closely following all candidates, especially the two Ambassadors and their activities in the public. Interestingly, the two political leaders share similar backgrounds of humility, hard work, trust and confidence in service delivery. Tell you the truth, both candidates are prepared and ready to take on the mantle from Mrs. Sirleaf and team hence; we remain more optimistic in the future of our beloved country buttressing the words of our late brother Mamadee that the Motherland will never fall.
Early last Friday, I became overwhelmingly elated when I saw on the Facebook vibrant and energetic young people from the Unity Party (UP) and Coalition of Democratic Change (CDC) peacefully exchanging ideas for the forward match of our state. In my little corner around the globe, I wept in joy that we’re getting there with time, focus, hard work and civility. From the cross section of ideas, I took confidence in the future of my beloved country and trust the abilities of the young comrades to keep the peace amidst political battles and hurdles as sooner or later, we’ll take over the mantle of authority to drive the agenda of our dear country.
Organizational theory teaches us that the strength of the leader is the composition of team. This means, the success of the next Commander-in-chief depends on us, the productive citizens in service and goods deliveries. Let’s remember the president is just a single person probably with a single career managing people in varieties of sectors so the best help you can do for your country, is to either be true to the position of trust or quit the nomination of trust to allow honest nationals to serve. A few patriotic and honest workforce is better than a bunch of hardworking-professional rascals and national looters.
And to you, the front liners of our today’s politics, especially the media, we equally charge you with the responsibility to protect the stability and peace of the environment. Note there’s power/influence in words so we advise you to tailor your arguments for the collective good of the Motherland. We understand the objectives of electioneering politics, but hey, we got a stake to protect ‘Young democracy’ amidst our quest for political leadership. This space existed long before our existence and must peacefully exist after our existence so if you can’t construct the bridge, don’t crack the pillar. Constructive criticisms or variations in ideas remain a strong pillar of democracy henceforth, we look forward to healthy-political engagements and campaigns of unity not hate.
Judging from the current state of our democracy, I submit to add that the true definition of patriotism is tied to, or will be determined by, the outcome of the Runoff election, mainly through our acceptance, willingness and commitment to serve country against our political interests.
In union, strong success is sure we can’t fail. God bless the Motherland and its resilient people.
To be continued!
Samuel Saah Karimu is an African writer and poet. He can be reached via email at [email protected]