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Consolidate, Strategize and Win”-Morlu: A Commentary

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Mr. John S. Morlu, CPA, Former Auditor-General of Liberia, tolda gathering of CDC Political Party Notables in the twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, to “consolidate”, and “strategize”to“win”in the forthcoming general and presidential elections in Liberia(The Analyst, October 5, 2015).

“Mr. Chairman (CDC, USA Branch)”, said the US citizen, Liberian politician, “let CDC be definite on national issues and do not surrender yourself with uncertainty. CDC is the only (political) party where Liberians are playing the guessing games of who going to be Standard Bearer or Vice Standard Bearer. In politics, time is of essence and no room for unwarranted speculation . . . Again, we can learn from the mistakes of the current president . . . no great plan is possible . . . no reform is possible in the midst of rampant . . . escalating corruption . . . Many Liberians are fed up with the corruption in Monrovia . . . even Barack Obama is fed up to the point that . . . he offered . . . America’s . . . help fight corruption. . .”
“Demonstrate complete Moral Clarity on the big issues facing us”, Mr. Morlu declares . . . “and take a stand . . . against corruption. . . It is the perception that you have not differentiated yourselves from the current administration . . . Until then”, said he, “it is hard to see how you will navigate your way amongst the noise of political parties, numbering 18 and which will be likely 30 parties by 2017”.

Great counsel/warning, indeed;although short on specifics, arguably, fixated on single-issue (corruption)with emotional, populist oratory. How does one “fight” corruption while one ignores many, other crucial local and national/international issues, such as:

Rural-Urban migration; Transport/communication (the Premier, multiplier Effect in national, economic development) not only mass-people-movement, but also facilitates production and exchange of good & services in national/international trade and commerce ;Planning & Development of our economy (with fiscal/monetary policies) to reduce or control our dangerous, excessive dependence on imported goods and services; Higher, College Education in rural Liberia; Planning/development sand establishment of production entities in rural Liberia to produce goods & services for export and local consumption;Meaningful, socio-economic and political development of rural Liberia – Decentralization – designed to attract rural migrants in urban communities back to their homes in the counties;this includes nurses, doctors, economists, engineers, lawyers, educators, politicians, business managers, investment promoters, information technologists, police officers, etc., etc.; Police protection, especially in Monrovia, including population congestion, 24/7 traffic jams, unsafe roads/streets; water/sewer, electricity; landline telephone (with directory) to contact police, doctors, government offices in case of need and/or emergency; unsanitary living conditions in all Monrovia-area enclaves over-populated with no medical services. This is what politics, specifically Liberian, is all about!!

Back in 2007, we told a friendly, aspiring politician that“In these days of television, radio and newspaper reportingwith instant analysis;political sophistication of the electorate with clear understanding of relevant issues and sharp demand/rating of candidates, it requires diligent, efficient/effective effort and enormous outlay of resources by candidates for success”.

“Moreover, during this post-conflict setting, it requires much more effort and enormous resources for success, because the nation and electorate are primarily engaged inrebuilding their lives; therefore, a candidate standing for the office of president must wage an aggressivehumble, informed, educating, persuasive and convincing campaign, presenting himself/herself as relevantly educated, trained, experienced and informed on the issues, national and international, with a platform document, a Manifesto, sufficiently detailed, relevant and geared to the socio-economic and political welfare of the nation and people. Furthermore, the candidate must build/rebuild his/her political party machinery – offices, equipment, funding,etc.; recruit trained, experienced, trusted party workers/activists; and surround himself/herself with relevantly educated, trained and experienced aides. These are minimum requirements”.

Now, factor intoday – humankind’s inevitable historical change/dynamics – technological, economic, socio-cultural and political development, whichtranslate to rapid population growth, instant people movement, urbanization, information technology, etc., etc., then you have an idea of the demand upon political party organization, management, cooperation with others, issues treatment and political campaigns. The ethnic/tribal thing is a joke!!! Conventional Political Though & Practice

Conventional political thought teaches that formation, organization and efficient/effective management of political parties are based upon “shared beliefs” or the basic party philosophy/principles held in common by the party organizers, usually and notably, those who, eventually, become principal, party leaders – standard bearers, deputy or vice standard bearers, party chairpersons, secretaries-generals, policy theoreticians/advisors, administrators and so on down to party workers/activists and party members, in general.

For party “rank-and-file”, choice of political party membership is, generally, a function of economic reality – the issue of jobs or “soup & rice”. To this class of party members, commitment to and/or “engagement” with opposition parties and/or “checkmating” ruling parties with respect to “national issues” based upon party philosophical finesseis an abstract endeavor that is beyond their (rank-and-file members’) comprehension, but the critical responsibility of party leaders, mainly standard bearers, vice standard bearers, secretaries-generals and others in accordance with party bye-laws & constitutions.

On Public Dishonesty – Corruption

In an article elsewhere, we observed that corruption or public/private dishonesty is, basically, the abuse of entrusted, lawful power/authority for personal gain – demanding and accepting cash or anything of value.A universal phenomenon, corruption is a vice found in every country, society and culture, irrespective of socio-cultural, economic and political development or level of affluence. Corruption is, apparently, intrinsic in human nature; as such, Liberia and Liberians do not have monopoly of corruption. However, it is shown that corruption can be controlled, minimized or drastically reduced and, eventually, eradicated.

There have been and are spirited, passionate debates, arguments “to fight corruption” (control, minimize and, eventually, eradicate it)because of its incidence, a dangerous impact upon the nation’s economy and, by extension, to the socio-economic and political well-being of the citizens.Therefore, the rational approach to achieve this objective is to define and destroy the cause(s) of corruption, an effect.But we have done, continue to do, the opposite – encouraged corruption by rewarding thieves.

Meanwhile, today,public dishonesty– Corruption, an effect – has been developed into that which we described as Corruption, Inc., a thriving, successful, big business by a corps of highly-educated, trained/experienced and “connected”LLBs, LLMs, MBAs, PhDs, etc.took control of the corridors of state power and, thus, become the mostpowerful political force in the nation.Corruption, Inc. is now financed by the lawful salary/wage allowance scheme. For example, there has been an on-going tug-of-war for prosecutorial turf between the Ministry of Justice and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the executive-branch agency with cabinet rank, created by law to combat corruption for control.

However, given its dangerous threat to the nation’s socio-economic and political progress, corruption must and can be controlled, minimized and, eventually, eradicated, through rational, public policy development and the“guts” and thepolitical will for diligent application and efficient/effective enforcement. In order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to know the “whys” or causes of Liberia’s corruption, since we know the effects -corruption.We argue, therefore, that the causes of corruption, in fact, are Liberia’s foremost, dangerous public enemies.

With Bai M. Gbala, Sr.

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