By Othello B. Garblah
Recent moves by the Government of Liberia (GoL) in turning to the international community to come up with some strong statements to save its (GoL’s) face speaks a lot.
Not only does it speak a lot, but it raises questions of trust, integrity, and confidence about the regime among the people, particularly in the midst of reported cases of corruption and harsh economic condition that citizens find themselves.
It’s also worth noting that this also paints an image of a government that has lost its bearings among the people and fears its pronouncements being viewed as mere political rhetoric that could be greeted with politically charged response from the opposition bloc. So, it must now turn to members of the international community for a safe landing.
Now makes much sense as to why in mid-September this year, the GoL prevailed on members of the International Community here to release a statement that would vindicate it from a “malicious video” which detailed alleged plans by the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government to rig the upcoming election or plunge the country into a circle of violence should it lost the pending 2023 general and presidential elections.
As if that was not enough, after a protracted delay of the census process due to widespread misappropriations, and a somehow haphazard kicked off on 11 November under immense public pressure with enumerators boycotting and protesting over pay, the government needed to save its skin.
The statement of census being on course from the international community came despite a no-show start to the much-trumpeted 2022 National Population and Housing Census on Friday, November 11.
President George Weah in the French Capital Paris at the time declared a national holiday on that day to enable citizens to stay home and be counted. But many waited in vain as enumerators did not show up at their homes.
So, faced with such criticisms and fearing the backlash, while finding itself in a serious dilemma of whether to postpone the entire exercise or not, GoL had to again turn to the international community to issue another statement to ensure credibility.
These two events and apparently many more to come say a lot about how low the Liberian Government has come in terms of believability, and confidence reposed in it by the Liberian people.
Does this mean things are falling apart within the CDC regime?
In his 1919 poem published in 1920, “The Second Coming” made popular by Nigerian playwright Chinua Achebe and other writers, WH Yates hinted of the eventful months of January 1919, predicting the coming of the second world war.
Key lines in this poem made popular by Chinua Achebe- “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the earth.
“The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is lost
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.”
In Yates’s interpretation of “the center cannot hold,” he describes it as a situation where everything is out of control, a place where you cannot feel safe anymore because the “center” which holds everything together can no longer hold the weight and collapses whereby everything falls apart.
With the prices of every commodity on the rise, amidst the high cost of living, unemployment, and high school fees, things appear to be out of the control of the Weah regime. The center at this point can no longer hold.
Therefore, things are falling apart as allies such as Sen. Prince Y. Johnson already smarting under US sanction for pay-for-play, make threats to halt support if his demands are not met.
The voices of dissent are now being heard louder and louder within the CDC as more weight is being exerted at the center, and the regime is no longer at ease. It might now find a new voice and that new messenger is the international community.
But these respected groups of individuals from the international community whose voices the Liberian people respect must now thread carefully before their voices lose value in the ears of the people.