Dr. Dougbeh Nyan, National Orator for Liberia’s 169th Independence Anniversary, yesterday called on all Liberians to reject anyone who is calling for instability and war.
“We want peace,” he declared.
“We want NO MORE WAR!” he demanded. The renowned medical doctor and research scientist borrowed from his medical background to implore Liberians who want war to fight diseases instead. “Let the syringes be our guns and solutions be our bullets,” he told the national Independence Day audience gathered at the Centennial Pavilion yesterday.
As an intellectual, he urged those who want to fight to “fight poverty and ignorance. Let the pencils be our guns and the papers be our bullets.
Imploring further those who want to fight, the Independence Orator urged them to fight corruption. Said he, “Let sincerity be our guns and honesty our bullets.”
The war Liberians must fight, Dr. Nyan insisted, must also include the war against hatred. “Let love be our guns and peace, our bullets. Let us encourage each other with our progressive ideas so as to rebuild this country and once again make Liberia the pride of Africa and the envy of the world. This is the
Liberia we must continue to build,” he added.
Yesterday’s Centennial Pavilion audience was so thrilled with Orator Nyan’s accent on peace instead of war that they accorded him thunderous ovations for each of his remarks with which he defined the guns and the bullets we should employ in these wars we must fight—the wars against ignorance, poverty, disease; the wars against hatred and corruption.
It is simply amazing that we have scarcely less than a year to go before we chose a new leadership for Liberia. Yet many who have expressed disappointment with the current government, which has hardly two more years left in office, have been calling for “regime change,” “interim government,” and some a removal by whatever means.
These are yet the same people who were victims of the civil war and spent years in exile, or who remained in country happily eating dogs or starving nearly to death. They have forgotten the pain and suffering of exile; or the displacement, hunger and even death of many who remained. We remember a grandmother who ran to a friend one day in 1991 weeping with the announcement that her two-year-old granddaughter had died from hunger!
Dubgeh Nayan was already abroad working in medical and scientific research during the war, but as a passionate nationalist, he kept abreast of the news coming out of Liberia, the pain, suffering of the people, the tens of thousands of children lost during the war, either to hunger or to war itself as child soldiers; the thousands who suffered and are still victimized by trauma that resulted from their own involvement in the war or being victims of it.
All of this causes this highly educated Liberian, this accomplished young scientist to come to the conclusion that most of his compatriots have reached—that WAR IS NOT GOOD.
Yes, look at how it exterminated hundreds of thousands of our people, destroyed our infrastructure, setting Liberia 50 years behind. Look how it either killed or drove away most or all of our professionals and left the country destitute in all aspects. Have those who are preaching strife and war not yet realized
that the primary reason why our educational system and most other things in the country are backward is because of this deadly and devastating war we fought against ourselves?
Do these warmongers also not realize that the people who chiefly benefitted from our war were the foreign businesspeople, who were mostly unaffected and remained behind to take complete control of all the business opportunities in the country? By the time some business-minded Liberians returned, business was more firmly entrenched in the hands of foreigners than it had ever been. It was because of the war that so many precious pieces of property were sold, or leased into perpetuity.
Yes, all another war will do is to drive from the country Liberians who are now striving to pick up the pieces, and leave the country again in the hands of foreigners.
Orator Nyan took pains to plead with his fellow Liberians to wage war, yes, not against one another, but against—the three horses of apocalypse—ignorance, poverty and disease; against corruption; against hatred.
This hatred about which Dr. Nyan spoke is not only hatred against one another, but hatred against our country, Liberia. Perhaps it is a bit too harsh to say Liberians hate one another and their country.
The big problem is that Liberians just do not love one another, nor do they love their country. If the absence of love is hate, then yes, Dr. Nyan is right. We should fight self-hatred with all our might. Let love be our guns and peace our bullets.
There is no weapon more powerful than love. When we Liberians come to love one another and our country, no foreigner or foreign force, however powerful, will be able to stand before us. Love will make us impregnable, and no power on earth will be able to defeat us.