In our last editorial, we quoted President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s New Year Message as charging Liberians with the responsibility of letting the New Year to be one of TRUE PATRIOTISM and RECONCILIATION that would highlight the positive developments that unite them. In consonance with the foregoing, the Liberian Leader emphasized the great potentials with which the country was endowed, noting that as resilient people, Liberians had the potential to rise above the challenges, truly unite and make their country the great nation that it is meant to be.
The President’s challenged and admonition to the people of Liberia may have been against the backdrop of the visible divisions at all levels of the Liberian society- either as the direct result of poor human relations and envy or corruption, bad governance, etc., during the year 2013. Our suggestion, then, was that if the New Year must be “one of true patriotism and reconciliation” as emphasized by President Sirleaf (in Her New Year Message), that would highlight the positive developments to unite Liberians across the country’s 38,000 square miles, leaders in the Legislature, Executive and Judicial Branches of Government must begin to positively relate to the people in the true sense of representation and governance as opposed to the “bad blood” which existed between them in 2013.
The reality is that the process of national reconciliation and unity was now beyond Liberia’s ‘war years’- it is about the positive impact of Liberia’s governance process in terms of the proper management of the country’s abundant natural resources and the tangible impact on the socio-economic growth and development of Liberians. While we are of the conviction that our leaders should be at the forefront of the process, it is also incumbent on us all as a people to exhibit all of the necessary qualities of good citizenship. Such good citizenship must be imbedded in how we, as a people, conduct ourselves at all levels of public or private life.
It also entails how we better relate to each other in our neighborhoods, communities, townships, municipalities, counties, regions and nation as a whole; and how we respond to public service in terms of socioeconomic, infrastructure and political developments in our respective localities. How we appreciate and participate in public or national service, in view of the foregoing, would greatly depend on how we constructively engage each other on one hand, and those who govern us in consonance with good citizenship.
While the issue of patriotism and national reconciliation in 2014 must be the hallmark of our national existence and endeavors and foster through the political will of our national leaders, the execution of our role and responsibilities as citizens cannot be over-emphasized. 2014 could be ‘a year of true patriotism and reconciliation’ Only If we as a people are totally involved.