The Liberia Envisaged in 1847: A Nation of “RULE THE LAW” or “RULE OF LAW”

Moses Blonkanjay Jackson.jpg

Simply Thinking Thoughts

In my regular thinking thoughts, I pondered the recent wave of lawlessness in Liberia and how it is threatening our peace, security and economic stability. Latest reports from Sinoe are that activities of Golden Veroleum Plantation were disrupted by some aggrieved citizens in demand of settlement for desecration of graves and land use; offices were ransacked, and warehouses looted. At least a year ago, Arcelor Mittal, a major mining concession in Nimba County faced similar situation.

The frequent mob actions vis-a-vis the burning of trucks full of valuable commodities, vandalizing and burning of police stations, alleged killing of bikers, and the recent stand-off between Finance Minister Amara Konneh and Maritime workers are all gross displays of defiance and lawlessness.

In my thinking thoughts I therefore asked myself, “What kind of country did the founders of this Republic, envisage? Was it a country envisaged where the “Rule of Law” would rule men or where men would “Rule the Law” because of their statuses and connections? God forbid!!

You see, in 1822, when Elizabeth the Mayflower set sail, it was simply to remove freed slaves from situations of lawlessness against God’s plan of creation, that all men are created equal; in defiance to God’s law, one race of people subjected another as “less human” It was therefore to those ends that in 1847, the colony severed itself from the American Colonization Society and declared the lawful
Republic of Liberia and not one of lawlessness where people “rule the law” instead of the law ruling them.

Mind you, it is these minor stand offs and lawlessness that usually metamorphose and lead to full bloomed disruptions of peace and security. The April 14 1979 Rice Riot, the April 12 1980 vicious takeover, and the 1990 Civil War etc., were all ushered by gross insensitivity and callousness to the plight of the common citizens, resulting to minor forms of lawlessness and defiance to constituted authorities. Having placed those events behind us and enjoyed a protracted period of sanity and civility, there appears to be a renewed trend of lawlessness which could repeat one of those ugly incidents.

Ruthless Motorcyclists

In a conversation the other day with some friends, they intimated, “Per mistake you knocked down a motorcyclist, you better escape the scene or else you get beaten up and your vehicle set ablaze” While hit- and-run is also lawlessness, they maintain, “my man, self-preservation as the first law of nature”
Illegally located Mechanic Shops and Trailer Truck Parking

Along the Somalia Drive from Freeport to Red Light, huge trailer trucks, some abandoned and others under repairs, from either Guinea or elsewhere, are illegally positioned at odd locations which are apparently mechanic shops or simply parking. I suffice GOL has made attempts to move them but has met with resistance, defiance, and refusal to comply with the City Ordinance and rule of law. The presence of those trucks along that busy highway remains hazardous and more important, serve as complete demonstration of lawlessness.

Disgruntle Students and Dishonest Teachers

Lawlessness is also rampant among students and teachers. Each time teachers put down chalk in protest for something, it is students who go on the rampage as sign of solidarity. As demonstration of lawlessness, aggrieved students set ablaze a Pentecostal Church School near Vamuma House aggrieved students, on another occasion, normal activities in Monrovia and its environs were disrupted few years ago when the Youth and Sports Ministry delayed in paying vacation school students, and lawlessness also occurs when WAEC exam proctors connive with students and principals to cheat.

Lawlessness among Government Official and High Profile Citizens

While the common man usually appears to be the agitator, I intuit that his action could be a spillover from the rotten culture of lawlessness among people in high places. These days, instead of the law ruling men, men are ruling the law and this is prevalent among Government Officials and legislators.

Do not be surprised, for there is a cliché that a fish usually gets rotten from the head and this country is culprit, considering how Government Officials, and legislators themselves disregard the law and “do their own thing” Apparently, it is the examples from the rotten culture they have created that the common people and the greater society are emulating these days. If an RL, SEN, or REP plated vehicle or one illegally using a siren takes on the opposite lane and a taxi follows, both are lawlessly behaved.

There are still license plates with HOR and REP in the street whereby one was supposed to replace the other. Isn’t this lawlessness? If GOL Officials cannot observe simple traffic rules, one can only imagine the level of lawlessness unfolding daily in their offices such as violation of staff rights and misuse of the country’s resources.

Bitterness and Passive Resistance

Each time these events occur, I sense an air of bitterness and passive resistance amongst our kinsmen over the state of affairs in Liberia. By passive resistance, it appears like everybody is resisting the Government but rather quietly in their hearts; hence, when something ugly like theses disruptions occur, they are derisive, sarcastic, and feel gratified.

These days, the moment an opportunity for disruption avails, people immediately rise to the occasion to ransack, vandalize, commit arson, and shed blood or simply stand by, feeling vindicated. Hardly anybody seems to be showing “love for country” these days; people are either bad-mouthing GOL or condemning its efforts. Hardly anybody stops to say, “wait a minute, this is my country and this action will affect my compatriots and my own wellbeing”

Fellow Liberians, without equivocation, as we anticipate the 2017 Presidential Elections, if we do not put an end to this culture of “Rule the Law” among us and transform it into “Rule of Law”, we stand to lose more than we would gain. If both the common citizen and GOL officials do not change their comportment, lifestyles, and their exhibitions of lawlessness continues to serve as bad examples, and continue to cause embarrassment and loss of lives and properties, your guess of the repercussion is just as good as mine.

The Benediction

James chapter 4 notes, “1Where do wars and fightings among you come from? Don’t they come from your pleasures that war in your hearts? 2 You lust, and don’t have. You kill, covet, and can’t obtain. You fight and make war. You don’t have, because you don’t ask. 3 You ask, and don’t receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may consume in your lustful desires”
Now to him who is able to present this nation faultless and lawfully before the throne of the Most High God; to him be dominion, glory and majesty, in Jesus name. AMEN
I am simply thinking thoughts

About the author
The Rivercess man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson (The Mwalimu-Koh) is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr. Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow, and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University.
Blonkanjay Jackson (The Mwalimu-Koh) was recently removed from the position of Assistant Minister for Teacher Education, having diligently served the Government of Liberia for two years.
The title “Mwalimu-Koh” in Swahili means “Veteran Educator and Scholar”; it was conferred on Blonkanjay in Philadelphia in 2008 by his Swahili colleagues for the demonstration of exemplary scholarship, and when they learned that he (the first African student) had been elected Senator of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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