The political dialogue which ensued between the ruling Unity Party or UP and Congress for Democratic Change or CDC has reportedly ended in deadlock. The dialogue, one of the recommendations advanced by the ECOWAS and AU observer missions following the November 8 presidential run-off election in Liberia, collapsed last week due to disagreements between the two parties. This paper credibly learnt from sources closed to the UP-CDC talks that Officials of the CDC had pulled out because their demands were not taken seriously by the government.
The CDC is reported to have requested a very huge amount of U.S. Dollars, as well as lucrative positions in the new government, including the Ministries of Finance, Commerce, Foreign Affairs, Justice and the dismissal of the Minister of Justice, among others, something the government representatives to the talks vehemently resisted as unrealistic and selfish.
Even though CDC’s former Deputy Campaign spokesman George Solo, in a news conference by telephone last Friday evening, denied any default on the part of his party’s representatives to the talks, the threats which characterized his immediate reaction to the abrupt end of the dialogue suggested some sort of disagreement.
He accused the government of ‘dragging its feet’ in the negotiation process, alleging that the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-led government was harboring the belief that the CDC was a children’s party and that it did not have any political means or channel to compare her and her government to heed to their requests. “It is unfortunate and disgusting for the government to take such unfriendly posture in the middle of serious discussions; I think it is not in the interest of the security and stability of our dear country,” he said.
Solo then quoted the CDC as threatening a mass demonstration to disrupt the January 16, 2012 inauguration of the new administration in Liberia. It is no secret that this blackmail is a result of the setback experienced during the talks by the CDC due to the resistance by the UP-led government to its unrealistically ‘insatiable’ demands.
Executives of the CDC must be made to understand that this is not an ‘interim government or LNTG I and II or NTGL’ wherein belligerent forces competed for ‘equal and lucrative share’ of the entire cabinet, but one duly elected by the people of Liberia on November 8, 2011. The leadership of the CDC is making demands that are not only unreasonable, but undeserving, owing to the fact that they refused to participate in the November 8 presidential run-off election. How then can the leaders of the CDC make such hard demands when in the first place?
While leaders of the CDC may have had a few acceptable concerns, they may not just also be the only politicians needed to be incorporated in the new administration of President-elect Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Such inclusive efforts must entail the employment of not only experienced and qualified politicians, but also other capable Liberian citizens who may be up to the task of nation-building and progress, and not necessarily because they may be ‘CDCians’.
Ordinary CDCians must now understand that the issue of “demonstration or mass demonstration”-whatever their leaders may call it, is no longer about all of the inflicted hopes and misinformation they may have provided them at the Congo Town headquarters of the CDC, but personal interests. Ordinary CDCians must no longer allow themselves to be misled to the streets under the guise of ‘demonstrating for their rights’, while their leaders sit at the back in safety zones.
CDCians must also demand that their leaders and their wives, children, brothers, sisters and other relatives be at the front of the January 16, 2012 ‘mass demonstration’ to disrupt the inauguration as announced by George Solo, as it is done in Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as Nigeria, among others.
Ordinary CDCians are equally Liberians who must not be allowed to suffer any physical setback in the process of their growth and development as human beings. After all, “when things fall apart” they feel the weight, while their leaders go making noise for political attraction as they wine, dine and whisk in their homes. The government too, must be on the alert to enforce the laws of Liberia. The belief that Liberia is a ‘country of men’ must be diminished.