Following the April 14th, 1979 rice rebellion during which the security forces shot and killed over 140 Liberians and jailed hundreds more, Liberians in Monrovia adapted a popular song which they sang everywhere in protest against the atrocities committed by the goons of the Tolbert administration. It went something like this: “April 14, aye yah, Tolbert mistake, yeah…”
Not many people care about what goes on in Liberia but those that do were probably shocked this week by the images of UN Peacekeepers trying to wrestle guns away from the Liberian National Police who were intent on shooting into a crowd that was rallying in opposition to Tuesday's Presidential election.
The Case for Ellen’s Re-election - Why Liberia needs her for a 2nd Presidential Term & why she needs Liberians to vote “YES” for her by a simple majority or more on November 8th, 2011
“O, we go again; same old thing we’ been doing”. This is the opening line of a military matching song we learned in elementary school during the days when AFL or militia soldiers would come to help us prepare for Flag Day parade. The line contained a fair measure of the marchers’ fatigue or boredom with repeating the same motions day in and day out. It also conveyed to us the fact that we did have to expect anything new or different from what we did the day before and the day before and the day before.
In and out of Kampala, Uganda’s capital, the City, supposed to radiate enlightenment to some of Uganda’s dark ancient cultural practices, has failed to do so. The City is entrapped in obscurity. “The villages and farming communities that surround Uganda’s capital, Kampala, are gripped by fear.” Human sacrifices, the BBC World TV reports, are on the prowl. For some time, Kampala is darkened by the denial of child sacrifices. Modern technology, as the BBC investigation aptly used, is helping to track Uganda’s and Africa’s malignity and putting the refutation to shame. Some part of Kampala’s mind has gone into denial and avoidance.
I need not remind you that Tuesday, October 11, 2011, is Election Day; it is the day that each Liberian, 18 years old and above, who registered with the National Elections Commission, will exercise his or her franchise to vote for the President and Vice President and the members of the National Legislature who will govern and manage the affairs of our country for the next six years. I ask you to take this exercise very seriously because it is the most important decision any Liberian has the opportunity to make for the future of our country. You, every individual Liberian, will decide on that day what happens to Liberia, what happens to his or her community, and what happens to his or her personal life.
Thank you for the space provided in your reputable newspaper for me to write this Open Letter to Counselor Winston A. Tubman.
Since January 2010 when Nimba County Senior Senator Prince Y. Johnson imitated President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf by declaring himself as a “formidable” candidate in the 2011 elections, much has been debated throughout the length and breadth of Liberia as to the direction our county – Nimba – would vote. This debate is premised on the fact that The Senator is one of the well-known citizens of Nimba and, given the tribalized nature of Liberian politics, the assumption is that he would win the county by a landslide.
This is not the work of a clairvoyant, fortune teller or soothsayer. It is the work of someone who has keenly watched happenings in Liberia over the past 25 years; someone who has taken the country’s political pulse and has always, albeit privately being right about his predictions about the course of things.
As Africa’s democracy gradually evolves, the arguments are whether Africa should concentrate on creating prosperity first and then grow its democracy later or build up its democracy first and then use it to develop its prosperity. This thinking has come about because of the on-going democratic revolutions occurring in Africa, in places such as Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and multi-party democratic elections after elections have become recurring rituals.