There is a potential threat against the recently secured peace and stability of Liberia. This threat is not external; but internal. It is not a cold war between super powers in which Liberians will be caught. It is Liberians preparing for another conflagration that will again up-root them and tear apart the whole country thus warranting UN Trusteeship if wisdom and patriotism are not applied.
Under the cover of Liberia’s flourishing democracy and fundamental freedoms, there are envies, intense hate and ambitions as well as indoctrination of citizens for a change in administration to the extent that politics and democratic freedom have over ridden wisdom and sense of judgment. But why is this urgent need for a change? Why has it become a matter of emergency? Is the economy collapsing? Or, are there human rights violations and serious humanitarian crisis that have claimed national and international concerns?
There seem, if I may say, the same kinds of trepidations that led Liberia into more than 13 years of civil war. While all may justify the conditions which led to the wars, those conditions are far from application in this nascent democracy. Within five years, so much has been achieved that has brought pride to Liberians internationally. Within five years, all foundations have been completed for economic boom that will transform all Liberians. Within five years, investors’ confidence in the economy and stability of Liberia reminds us of yester years. Within five years, freedom of movement, speech, press, and human rights have flourished with none to contest them. Within five years, all debts have been waived. These are unprecedented.
It must be noted that democracy has a responsibility to think and act responsibly to safeguard institutions and ensure general peace and the environment for progress. The thoughts of citizens make democracy work and their wisdom protects the state. We are not suggesting that there should not be democratic elections. Indeed there must be otherwise democracy will be thrown into the dustbin. But there are current issues and pronouncements which, no doubt, drive the mind from the safe anchor of democracy to crisis.
Example, the constant threat against the Elections Commission by political parties and demand for a change to avoid post elections crisis is a signal. The fact that political parties failed to recognize the efficiencies and impartial conduct of by-elections in which they won seats against the incumbent is a recipe for future crisis. The fact that CDC is convinced that they have won the elections and will announce their own results when elections have not been held is a potential threat if they lose the elections.
On the other hand, Prince Johnson believes he has already won the elections in the spiritual. With enormous faith in his spiritual dealings, he has also threatened the Elections Commission of consequences if they should rig the elections. These threats are not to be thrown aside by the wave of the hand. His rise to social status and international recognition is not by politics, leadership potentials, intellectual or democratic achievements but by the gun.
There is Cllr. Winston Tubman who is described by some citizens of desperately wanting to ascend the presidency of Liberia. What is this desperation that moves him from one political party to another to the extent of humiliations? Does he want to continue the legacy of William V. S. Tubman or does he have an agenda of success that was never attained in Somalia? Will he guarantee democracy that was denied by his uncle?” These questions were posed in a community intellectual forum by a suspecting Liberian. In his view, Tubman needs to reconcile all differences which parted him and Madam Sirleaf in the eighties as a true statesman and join her in building a successful Liberia. In the absence of that, what would be his agenda when he takes over? Will reprisal and reversing all her achievements as well as prosecuting her based purely on family and political differences be a stately exercise?
The above thoughts of that Liberian at the forum are a crucial political matter which must be emphasized. As a Marylander, it is my duty to protect my own but then the question arises: should I be ethnic driven or should I protect the greater good? Democracy cuts across ethnic and county boundaries. National interests must at all time take the lead in decisions we make for Liberia. My apologies for any offense; but I am sure this also is democracy.
Tubman does not share this desperation alone to the annoyance of some Liberians. Cllr. Brumskine also does to a greater degree than Tubman. Desperation often leads to crisis and if care is not taken, the outcome of the elections would certainly be that. In my opinion, what Liberia needs now is no change in administration but unity in building upon the sound domestic foundation that has been erected over the last five years from the gains of a successful foreign policy and partnerships. The constitution provides for two terms and considering the achievements of five years from where we were, honest politics and not naked ambition demands that the opposition commend President Johnson and rally support for her second term instead of threats and scheming that would devastate and conflagrate the nation while they run into exile and leaving unprivileged Liberians to suffer.
OPPOSITION TO REFERENDUM
One does not have to do much thinking to understand the nuances of a defeated referendum. The call for the defeat of the referendum on the basis that it is intended to assist the second term bid of President Sirleaf is a grotesque and incongruous position. This campaign is not against the President alone but against the very campaigners- most of whom would be disqualified from the race if the residency clause is not amended. It is a spoilers’ game meaning: “I rather destroy my ambition than let her re-emerge as President.” This is intense bitterness and desperation. It is crisis prune.
The hidden agenda for the campaign against the referendum and the Elections Commission is to ensure that elections are not held and as such, it would be a violation of the constitution for President Sirleaf to continue. Thus, there would be a struggle to put in place an interim structure which she would not head. Politicians or political parties would all be privileged to be a part and hold conspicuous positions based on apportionment. This would set Liberia off its current course and there would be business as usual.
Political commentators and international observers have seen far into the intentions of anti-referendum elements; but unsuspecting Liberians are proclaiming the anti-referendum campaigners as being in the right direction. They claimed that the passage of the referendum would bring crisis to Liberia. What an opposite. The Nation has just celebrated its 163 years of existence as Africa’s oldest nation with Africa’s first woman President. Like Patrick Honneh of Real TV would say, “this is Liberia’s pride and record set that no one can take from us.”
Age comes with maturity and experience. Liberians have had good and bad experiences from the day of independence. We have gone through those tunnels that brought light and darkness to us. Unfortunately, we are yet children who do not know what we want as the Late President Doe told Liberians during his life time. We believe in politics and not vision. A nation of politicians without visionaries is doom. Sensing the potentials of disruption of the current democratic achievements and the level of reconciliation, peace, and unity we enjoy, the President has urged Liberians not to allow this election process to destroy same.
Recent political marriages have deepened the dark clouds which hang over Liberia. It is believed that most of the youths who are supporters of the CDC are ex-fighters of NPFL, MODEL, LURD, LPC and the ULIMOS. The breakaway of the NPP from the NDC and its declaration of support to the CDC as alleged punishment to President Sirleaf for turning Taylor over to The Hague speak volumes of the trouble that lies ahead. The breakaway of the NDPL and its declaration of support to President Sirleaf would presumably take LURD, MODEL, LPC, and ULIMO-J away from the CDC and grouped them under President Sirleaf. To complete the factorization, Prince Johnson of the INPFL, now transformed into the standard bearer of the NUDP and encircled by NPFL commanders are promising collaboration with the CDC. This trend which Liberia’s politics is taking gathers portentous clouds which darkly hang over Liberia.
This writer is concerned and urges Liberians to exercise wisdom. When wisdom and love for Liberia supersede our political alliances and prejudices, Liberians will defeat the devices of the enemies of peace masquerading as messiahs. A American Apostle with prophetic gifts who recently left Liberia has, in a telephone conversation with a Liberian clergyman said that a revelation has come from God revealing a nation in post war blood bath. Considering the shapes and tunes of our political stratosphere, we need God’s intervention.