From today’s outlook on current and unfolding political developments, it does appear as if President Weah and his officials are making conscious and acting deliberately in ways which tend to ultimately undermine whatever ideas he may be mulling for a second term shot at the Presidency.
Firstly, his officials are picking unnecessary fights with the opposition for frivolous reasons, according to political analysts. And they maintain that the outcome of most of these fights have not ended on favorable terms for this government.
They recalled the case of the past referendum held concomitantly with the December 2020 senatorial elections whose results are yet to be announced for unexplained reasons. And the longer the NEC persists in delaying announcement of the referendum results, the more deeply engrained becomes the widely held impression that the referendum failed.
And they claim it failed despite the direct involvement of Minister of State, Nathaniel McGill in promotional efforts intended to deflect strident public criticism about the manner and form in which the issue was being handled by the electoral body, NEC.
Another issue they recalled is that of current attempts to prevent seating of Lofa County senator-elect, Brownie Samukai. Both NEC and the Supreme Court appear to have kowtowed to diktat from Justice Minister Musa Dean, virtually urging them to violate the law.
And this brings to mind the recent issue involving opposition figure, Mo Ali, who had been declared a wanted man by the Liberia National Police. The Police claimed that Mr. Ali had spurned their invitation to discuss the contents of his recent March 1 Facebook post.
He wrote: “Dear National Elections Commission (NEC), we understand the ploy. But try it and you will see what is gonna be the end result”.
The Police, in what is being perceived as an attempt to link Ali to the recent petrol bombing of NEC offices and the home of Supreme Court Associate Justice Joseph Nagbe, charged that those events occurred consequent to his Facebook post.
Ali claims that he responded, informing the Police that owing to illness he would be represented by his lawyers. Apparently angered by his response, the Police promptly declared him a wanted man.
But Ali was to pull the plug from under the Police when he turned up at the Police headquarters accompanied by 10 (ten) lawyers and the entire cast of the CPP leadership with hundreds of supporters.
Eventually, following discussions, Ali emerged from the Police Headquarters, carried high on the shoulders of opposition supporters. And of course epithets flowed freely according to eyewitness accounts.
On reflection, questions are being asked whether all this drama was actually necessary, particularly at a time of worsening economic difficulties and widespread suffering and hardships to which this government has so far failed to respond meaningfully.
And questions are also being asked just what message Minister of State Nathaniel McGill hopes to convey by his message to the opposition warning that government will go after those who, according to him, threaten the peace.
Additionally, questions are being asked also whether he realizes that such pronouncements convey an impression of a leadership that feels highly insecure and very vulnerable to critical or dissenting opinion.
Recalling history, Presidents Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor fell because, according to political analysts, they attempted to muzzle free expression and keep the Liberian people under their bootheel.
In the final analysis, they paid a terrible price for their folly. President Doe lies buried in an unmarked grave somewhere, while his successor, Charles Taylor, is cooling out, serving a 50-year sentence in a British penitentiary
Both examples referred to occurred within the last thirty (30) years, very recent, so to speak. But yet it appears that the lessons imparted by those historical developments are completely lost on the current leadership.
Perhaps it is because of such amnesia, feigned or real, according to a retired security official, that irresponsible and reckless behavior appear to characterize Police law enforcement practices. And, according to him, it is contributing to the rise in tension.
Additionally, he maintains, such behavior is certain to provoke counter responses in whatever form they may appear. Most Liberians, he maintains, are carrying a lot of grief in their hearts and are filled with pent-up emotions which could be unleashed if the people feel pushed too far.
This suggests that Police Inspector-General Patrick Sudue has to tread with caution. His should not be the “any bush shake fire will blaze” approach to law enforcement. Effective law enforcement he should remember depends largely on the cooperation on the public.
But when the Police by its actions create an impression that they are to be feared, not respected, it means trouble not only for the public but for the Police and the government as well. If the Police Inspector is not aware of this or, if he is deliberately feigning ignorance, then he ought to be fired forthwith.
Liberians have had more than their fair share of conflict-induced suffering and they, on account of their unjust suffering, deserve to be respected and not lorded over. The recent instruction given by CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu to Commerce Minister Samuel Wlue to dismiss Oliver Dillon is a prime example of such overlordship.
For no apparent reasons other than his blood relationship to Senator Darius Dillon, he was fired under the orders of CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu claiming that his position should be occupied by a CDCian.
As noted in the Preamble of the 1847 Constitution, “Liberia is not the offspring of grasping ambition, nor the tool of avaricious speculation”. However, the actions of our officials suggest that Liberia has indeed become an offspring of grasping ambition and a tool of avaricious speculation.
But the call is now, it reverberates! “Then forward sons of freedom march, defend the sacred heritage”. The Lone Star forever, All Hail Liberia Hail!