By Togba-Nah Tipoteh
Recently, I wrote a commentary on NonViolence As The Way Forward for The Better. Some persons might wonder about why I am writing another commentary on the Way Forward. My answer for these persons is that there are different types of people in Liberia and to get the right things done it is most important to use different ways of trying to raise the awareness of people in ways that motivate them to take nonviolent actions in their interests. In the parlors of the Powers That Be, TruthTelling is outside and sycophancy is inside. When the sycophants are chanting that the Emperor is wearing fine clothes, a child is yelling that the Emperor is naked. Sycophancy becomes the Order of the Day and the TruthTellers are considered by State actors to be Enemies of the State. TruthTellers are often subjected to State violence, which at times turns into Civil War, as was the case in Liberia from 1989 to 2003. The Civil War could have been averted had there been TruthTelling. Instead, sycophancy prevailed when the State was told that no rebels had entered Nimba County. Actually Truth-Tellers are friends of the State and whenever the government follows the advice of the Truth-Tellers, the government does not end up getting overthrown violently in a coup d’état or a civil war, as in the case of the Civil War in Liberia or end up getting removed through elections, prior to an additional term of office, as in the case of the Trump Regime in the United States of America.
During the immediate past State Regime, the President made many efforts to end corruption, as seen in the frequent changes in Cabinet to get a NonCorrupt Team. However, as it became impossible for the President to end corruption, corruption was left for the Current Regime to attend to this challenge. In the efforts of the Current State Regime to make progress in ending corruption, many changes are being made in State senior officials. However, given the level of experience that the Current Regime has with respect to State Governance, it has become even more difficult to get the relevant State Team, explaining the deterioration in corruption and the attendant propensity for violence.
Under the current dismal societal situation, Truth-Telling calls for the following actions:
1. Raise awareness of the people in ways that motivate them to take non-violent actions to change the electoral system for the National Elections Commission (NEC) to be constitutionally operational by having only Liberian citizens to serve as NEC Commissioners, stopping non-residents and foreigners from registering to vote, cleaning up the voter registration roll and removing magistrates and other senior NEC personnel appointed by former NEC Chairman Korkoya on a personalized and illegal basis and getting properly functioning voter registration machines. Let us recall that some of these NEC illegalities were pointed out publicly by former NEC Commissioner Jonathan Weedor and the Daily Observer but left untended by State governance;
2. Any unconstitutionally operational Electoral Body can not supervise any election and must be changed to prevent post-electoral violence, especially in the face of pre-electoral violence. and
3. The Election and Referendum scheduled for December 8, 2020 can not be held under The Rule of Law for reasons cited above and the Referendum items run counter to what was authorized by the people of Liberia through the work of the Constitutional Reform Commission.
Most unfortunately, the wrong approach to the concept of an opposition party is in motion. More often than not, an opposition party proceeds to condemn the government when the government does the right thing. Real opposition condemns the government when the government does the wrong thing but corrects the government to provide evidence of having the commitment and the capacity to do the right thing when the opposition party takes over State power through elections. The real opposition commends the government whenever the government does the right thing. The respect shown me by the immediate past State Regime was based on my engaging in Truth-Telling, condemning the wrong thing about the government and submitting corrective actions, while commending the right thing about the government.
On the basis of Truth-Telling, the Liberian Economic Group (LEG), headed by me with seasoned Liberian patriotic professionals as members, submitted its Report on enhancing the growth and development of the Liberian economy to all government and non-government leaders as well as foreign entities, nearly a year ago. On the basis of Truth-Telling, especially by the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), the 49-year-old poverty alleviation NGO, Susukuu, helped to end the Civil War in Liberia by working with ECOMOG to disarm 82 percent (19,785)of the officially disarmed combatants and works to prevent the re-occurrence of civil war by setting a world record for DDRR (Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration and Rehabilitation) as indicated from information from the United Nations Peace-Keeping Office. My commitment and attendant credibility for this commentary are based on my record as Founding Leader of MOJA and Founder and Board Chairperson of Susukuu. Let us demonstrate patriotism and love for Liberia by engaging in Truth-Telling and working together to prevent violence and promote the realization of Justice for All in order to have lasting peace, thereby creating the path for sustained improvements in the living standards of the people of Liberia, especially the poor, remembering that peace is not the absence of war but the presence of Justice for All.