Land For All, Not Land For Few

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By Togba-Nah Tipoteh

The worst mistake that can be made now in the process of Making Liberia Better For All is the mistake of selfish persons working to take over State power in their own interest rather than in the interest of the People of Liberia. The Civil War in Liberia came because selfish persons used the suffering of the people as the pretext, blaming the ruling government for the poverty. Instead of using the Rule of Law to remove the government through elections, they resorted to the use of violence. They were supported by their foreign friends/partners who provided arms and ammunitions because of their interest in Liberia’s raw materials. When the selfish persons take over State power, the suffering of the people gets worse because the new rulers come to State power with a bad record and, therefore, nothing better to offer.

Today, we see violence in many parts of Liberia in many forms, but violence just the same. We see the violence in Monrovia with deaths over the land problem in Vai (correct word is Vehee) Town; we see the violence with deaths in Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties; and now, we are seeing the violence in Nimba County. Let us recall the land problem at the Battle of Fort Hill in 1822. Then there was the rebellion over land in the Southeast of Liberia during the early 1930s. Although a Land Authority has been established and a Nimba Land Settlement Committee has been set up, the land problem continues. In the reliance on foreign assistance posture, the government continues to rely on the use of foreigners when there are knowledgeable Liberian land experts available. It is impossible for the land problem to be solved when knowledgeable Liberian expertise is not utilized.

Whether or not the land problem is in or out of Monrovia, the same point can be made to explain the problem. The point is that a few selfish persons continue to use State management for taking unto themselves the blessings of God/Allah/Nnangala which are for all Liberians. Let us recall that a few years ago, one lawyer announced in the Courtyard of the Judiciary Complex that only Americo-Liberians have the constitutional right to own land in the Mamba Pont area. This claim by the lawyer is similar to the claims that led to the Civil War in Liberia. God forbid, the land problem, left unstopped, could lead us to the next Civil War in Liberia. If these claims were not stopped, violence would continue and hundreds of thousands more people would die. Some Americo-Liberians are bad and some Native Liberians are bad. But many Americo-Liberians are good and many Native Liberians are good.

The Way Forward for the Better is for good people to come together and work together for Justice, the only source of Lasting Peace. The people who love Liberia, the good people, must not get tired, no matter their ages, young or old, in working together to build a better Liberia for All through the Rule of Law. The good people must never give up working together to raise the awareness of the people in ways that motivate the people to take collective actions for Justice to prevail.  Such actions taken through the Rule of Law in the Courts will be made public by the Media and the resulting non-violent mass pressures will bring about change in the electoral system from bad to good so that good persons can be elected to serve the people rather than serve themselves.

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