Editorial: Liberians should applaud themselves
All eligible voters who went out to participate in Phase I of the biometric voter’s registration conducted by the National Elections Commission in six counties that ended on April 9, 2023, without any violent disruption should pat themselves on the back for not just responding to a civic duty but demonstrating love for country.
Phase I of the exercise that ended on Sunday, 9 April started on March 20, 2023. It was conducted in Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties. The 2nd Phase coming up from 21 April to 11 May 2023 will cover River Cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, River Gee, Grand Gedeh, Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties, respectively.
The successful completion of the first phase has set the tone for what should be expected of the last phase of the BVR process in preparation for presidential and general elections in October.
The NEC had promised a fair, transparent, and faster BVR process and explained that the real objective is to register all Liberians 18 years and above ahead of the poll. Voters are playing their part in the democratic process and should be commended for the manner in which they generally conducted themselves in the past 20 days, though there were few technical problems, including attempts by handful of dishonest individuals to act smart, the NEC, with support of the security was on top of its game.
It is important that Liberians keep on the path of peaceful BVR, void of violence as the second phase starts on 21 April in the remaining nine counties. A successful process will not just bring us pride but demonstrate to the world that we as a people, are ready to move on.
Democratic elections provide unique opportunity for citizens to choose their national leaders, under a social contract with the understanding that those so elected, would seek their welfare, including joy and security. Anything short of such expectations is a gross betrayal of the people’s trust.
While we hail citizens for coming up to register in order to vote on October 10th, politicians seeking power should not take the electorate for granted after they shall have ascended to office.
Recent experiences and even those from the past, indicate that Liberians are not happy with the way those they elect govern the country. People are lamenting over corruption in the public sector that continues to deprive the citizenry of improved education, health and other social services, including security.
Getting elected to public offices is not, and should not be for personal benefits, but for public service. It should be about improving the standard of life of the electorate other than lording over them.
Therefore, it goes without saying that as Liberians register to go to the poll, they should reflect deeply and think soberly before casting their ballots, for the power lies in the hands thru their votes in deciding who should lead them for the next six years. This power should not be exercised recklessly.