Liberians are celebrating Thanksgiving weekend beginning yesterday, the actual Day by law – the first Thursday in November. This newspaper, Daily Observer, posits (suggests) that we have much more to thank Almighty God for than we think.
We have since 1883, when the Legislature enacted that the first Thursday of November be observed as Thanksgiving Day, gathered in our homes and places of worship to give thanks to God for his innumerable blessings and mercies which He has bestowed upon us as a nation and people.
And the blessings have been too many to mention, but they include maintaining and sustaining us as Africa’s first independent republic for these 170 years. And though we have little to show for it, the blessed two-fold fact remains that we paved the way for all the other Independent African States, with the exception of Ethiopia, and have survived in spite of the massive and prolonged imperial and colonial onslaughts that have befallen our continent, which included the confiscation of huge chunks of our own territory on the northeast, northwest and southwest Liberia. That is why we can find many Liberian tribes in Sierra Leone (northeast), Guinea (northwest) and Ivory Coast (southeast). The colonial powers, in their vicious and avaricious imperial expansion and land grabbing, ripped families apart and that is why we find our Vai, Mende and other kinsmen in Sierra Leone; our Kpelle, Lorma, Mano and other kinsmen in Guinea; and our Gio, Krahn, Grebo and other kinsmen in the Ivory Coast.
But Liberia survived and was able to inspire all the other African colonized peoples and territories toward self-determination and independence; and go on to play a leading role in the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU-now African Union-AU).
Another great blessing we can recount is that despite bad and even failed presidencies we have had over our 170-year history as a sovereign nation, we have survived them, too. One of them, in 1930, brought us very close to colonization, or being taken over by a European power. At that point, Britain and France, both of which had carved up huge chunks of our territory that were added to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast, were eagerly waiting to divide up Liberia between them.
Alas, thanks to the ingenuity and patriotism of President Edwin J. Barclay and his Secretary of State, Louis Arthur Grimes, Liberia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity were saved!
That is surely a lot to be thankful and grateful for. But there has been much more. Look at how the April 12, 1980 coup d’état was so terribly mismanaged, leading us to a deadly and devastating 14 year civil war. But thank God, we survived that, too.
Alas! It seems that we Liberians have learned NOTHING from our experiences with BAD GOVERNANCE. Here we are now, about to make history by peacefully transferring presidential power from one administration to another for the first time in 73 years, and yet witnessing and experiencing Machiavellian interferences in the electoral process. For Heaven’s sake, who needs Machiavelli in Liberia?
But that is the result of yet another administration that has chosen greed and selfishness as its cardinal principle. Were this not so, why has what should have been a simple, straightforward and eagerly awaited presidential election ended up in the Supreme Court?
What more have we to be thankful for? That by the grace of God, The Prince—or Princess—named Machiavelli—will not find his – or her – way into the Supreme Court of Liberia and prevent the Court from rendering blind justice to the Liberian people.
Only this Supreme Court can save us from another precipice that could plunge Liberia into another period of darkness, destruction and death.
We, therefore, call on Machiavelli, whomever that may be, for the sake of the peaceful survival of Liberia, to STOP!
West African leaders have, over the past few days, trooped into Liberia to warn us to DO THE RIGHT THING, otherwise, Liberians will not be welcome into their territories having messed up themselves, their government and their country once again.
A hint to the wise is quite sufficient.