By Togba-Nah Tipoteh
When the House called Liberia is of fire, as we are witnessing now in Maryland County, it is high time that the people who love Liberia stand up high to work together to put out the fire and prevent it from coming back. This is what prevention is better than cure means. To focus on cure is to allow the problem to come back; but to focus on prevention stop the problem from coming back. The people who love Liberia want the problem to stop and not come back.
What we have in Liberia is a system, a way of steering, ruling, managing the State, that allows the problems to come back. These problems keep coming back because the steerers, rulers and managers keep making the same mistakes. When you do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome, then you are crazy. We kill ourselves by making the same mistakes!
What are these same mistakes? The biggest of these same mistakes is the voting into public offices of persons who have records of making themselves better rather than making Liberia better for All Liberians. Since the 1950s, reliable information on Liberia shows that Liberia can have high economic growth rates but less than one per cent of the population can benefit from more than sixty per cent of Liberia’s income and wealth. Getting reliable information on Liberia for today shows that the State managers have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their foreign friends in the commercial sector alone have access to at least USD 2 million a day while over 80 per cent of the population of Liberia remains poor with access to at most less than USD2 dollars a day. The State managers do not add value to Liberia’s human and natural resources and such action results in poverty generation rather than poverty alleviation.
The people of the South East of Liberia, in which Maryland County is a part, continue to experience the worst form of poverty in Liberia, indicating the prevalence of injustice, especially for the vast poor majority of the people. This injustice has been so terrible to the point that Maryland County has come to be known as Gboyo County because of the murdering of poor people and using their body parts to get high government positions. Any serious government has to pay serious attention to this injustice or it will not be taken seriously by the people, who continue to Cry for Justice. Let us recall the massive peaceful protest of the women of Buchanan, Grand Bassa County during the Taylor regime when two murdered young persons were found under a bridge. Similarly, the women of Pleebo, Maryland County are protesting non-violently in their thousands upon finding the gruesomely murdered body of a young person. The women have walked from Pleebo to Harper, Capital of Maryland County, a distance that takes a vehicle some 35 minutes to get to Harper and more than four hours for human beings to walk to Harper. These women continue to call for Justice for All. Are the State managers taking corrective action or are they making the same mistakes, using violence to protect their self-interests rather than use the Rule of Law to protect the interest of All?
It is this non-violent action of the women of Pleebo that will motivate people in Maryland County and in other parts of Liberia to work together to change the bad electoral system that elects bad persons into the good electoral system that elects good persons. It is this type of non-violent protest that led to voters voting out of legislative offices most of the Legislators seeking re-election in the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures. Therefore, it is this type of non-violent protest that will end the poverty generating system to bring in the poverty alleviation system through the Rule of Law for Justice for All to prevail. When good persons, persons with records of helping the poor to help themselves in the drive to improve their living conditions, get elected, then there will be a FAIR electoral system where Commissioners of the National Elections Commission (NEC) will be Liberian citizens; there will be no cheating with the illegal busing of Liberian citizens and foreigners to vote; there will be no use of broken down voter registration machines and there will be no different decision-making among NEC Registrars, NEC Polling Station Representatives and NEC Commissioners.