In America they call it "road rage", and it can be sometimes even deadly. Just last week an angry motorist alighted his vehicle in Virginia and beat up an older man because he was honking (blowing his horn), which Mr. Anger found unbearably irritating. When he had finished venting his anger, the aged fellow was rushed to the hospital, where he was announced dead on arrival from a heart attack! Other motorists took Mr. Anger's license plate and reported the matter to the police. Poor Mr. Anger was slammed a charge of manslaughter that could land him in jail for years. But why put one self in for nothing trouble because of impatience and patent discourtesy?
For the same reason these BIG SHOTS in Monrovia, riding vehicles marked "RL," "SEN" and "REP," transporting people who make and enforce the law; and even the Police, who are supposed to be keepers of the peace and courtesy, abuse poor road workers whose job it is to direct the traffic so that the construction proceeds speedily and on time.
According to our Diplomatic Correspondent Joaquin Sendolo, road workers serving CICO, the Chinese company paving the road from Red Light to Fendall, complain of traffic violations and insults hurled out to them by these BIG SHOT drivers.
It is simple stupidities like these, which are also a form of corruption because they clearly demonstrate the abuse of power, that make us often wonder whether Liberians really want development. Road construction and maintenance take place everywhere in the world. And our top officials often travel to developed countries and enjoy their clean and comfortable streets and super highways. But do our officials ever wonder how these streets and highways came to be so easy and pleasant to drive on? These modern streets and highways definitely did not drop from Heaven! Every inch was painstakingly designed, dug, filled with dirt, paved and maintained in day and night, and motorists HAVE BEEN COMPELLED to cooperate to make it happen for their own benefit and that of the general public. That is a small but very important part of what is called DEVELOPMENT. For people to get to work on time; for the trailers to move the automobiles from the factories to the dealerships; for the lorries to transport the food and other goods to the supermarkets and shopping centers; for heavy and light equipment to move to various points to carry on further development and make the country better and more livable; and for people to travel quickly and comfortably to their places of worship and on hundreds of miles on business, to weddings, funerals or on vacation, they need roads, roads, roads–not the pot-holed, deep-ditched roads in Liberia that the government has determinedly endeavored to improve since 2006.
And here is GOL now, striving to pave the road, for the first time, to Ganta, and on to Zwedru, Fishtown and Harper; and even from Gbarnga to Voinjama, Kolahun and Vahun; and BIG SHOTS' AND POLICE CARS are "cussing" the poor and humble road workers only because they are there laboring under the sun, rain, cold and dust, trying to help these same BIG SHOTS travel safely and avoid unnecessary traffic congestion.
Do we really want development in Liberia?
We hope that Speaker Alex Tyler, Senate Pro-Temp Gbessongar Findley, Police Inspector General Masaquoi and ALL Ministers and Heads of government Agencies will warn their vehicle operators to STOP the rudeness, unruly behavior and discourteous attitude to the poor road workers, whose only "crime"–well, what else deserves such nasty behavior?–is to detour the traffic to protect those parts of the road already prepared, and minimize traffic congestion.
Madam President, please talk to your officials–in ALL branches of government, and to your beloved Police, too, whose JOB it is to befriend and protect the weak and everyone else and keep the peace. Tell them it is despicable (shameful, wicked) to "cuss" people for doing their job.
And, Madam President, tell all the people all over the country to be like the Vahun people, to show courtesy, kindness and gratitude to the road workers who are trying to make life better for ALL our people.