“I want to be President. I have to be President. Why can’t I become President too? If I become President, I will bring Heaven on Earth. I am better than all others because the vision I have will transform Liberia into a country built of diamonds with glittering light and splendor. All you have to do is elect me. I have answers to all your problems.” These quotations are purely the absurd pronouncements or should I say promises of politicians who desire the nation’s highest seat.
Jonathan Mason for President? Family vs. Family; Name vs. Name – What’s Going On?
The fight over the Presidency of Liberia is like combustion; it is the fight of fish eats fish or dog eats dog in the land of famine. In the Liberian case, it gives the impression of a land that is hungered for leadership. In this battle, even Ex-generals unremorseful of their past and in the absence of democratic aptitudes and emotional control, believed they are the answer to Liberia’s problems. Such is the desperation and the craze that have greeted post war Liberia.
Why can’t they be stopped? The Constitution of Liberia grants them the prerogatives and postwar Liberia is indulgent. This has never happened in Liberia’s electoral history with a seating President desiring a second term. Truly, democracy has gained hold of Liberia and all of us can radically speak, write, condemn, accuse, and criticize without endangering our lives and personalities. Thanks to all of us who bargain for this democracy.
As the nation nears national campaign, more entries for the presidential seat are emerging. People of vigor, abilities, purpose, destiny, and of course, some forms of notoriety, ineptitude, and cash violence will be appealing to the electorates. Also family ties will experience breaking points, and friendships or what Liberians referred to as “my name sake” will be jeopardized during this political season.
One of Liberia’s astute sons and professionals may be contesting the seat of the Liberian Presidency. The name is conspicuous in Liberia’s administrative and professional circles. He is Honorable Jonathan Mayson, former Minister of Lands, Mines, and Energy and co-founder of the Democratic Alliance which has metamorphosed into the National Democratic Coalition. Smooth talking and always radiant, Honorable Mayson is said to be the Nephew of seating President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But why would a member of the first family desire the Presidency?
Analysts are suggesting that there may be a family feud and as such, it may be “a get even plan” that would not benefit the Liberian people but aimed at saying, “I too can become President.” But sources say Jonathan sees it from a different perspective. He believes the nation can undergo rapid change under his administration. Though things have not been well between him and his Aunt, his entry is not a vendetta but a vision.
According to my impeccable source, Honorable Mayson’s support comes from the youth’s population, especially the Liberian Student Union and the Federation of Liberian Youths. Investigations conducted unearthed that being unsatisfied with the Democratic Alliance where the rule was broken that everyone enters with no cash violence, he has distanced himself from the Alliance and may be going on the ticket of the Liberian Union (LINU) of the late Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba, former Vice President of Liberia.
Seeking to introduce into the public schools the boarding system where students will live on campus and agriculture will be the foremost development policy of his administration and making it binding concessionarily for mining companies to use the low lands within their concession areas for agriculture purposes, Honorable Mason is said to have a platform informed by years of public experience. More than those, his supporters claimed that poverty reduction would not be a strategy but a reality.
Political commentators say his entry would not only be a family to family challenge but also a challenge of the maysons minus the letter “Y.” in the middle. Whatever it is, the Liberian political environment may be over heated and as the culture demands, “it is the world of politicians against the incumbent.”
The upcoming challenge of Jonathan Mayson is reminiscent of Tubman vs. Tubman in 2005 and the revealing of skeletons unknown to Liberians. Would this be the case in the First Family of Liberia? Would the young nephew listen and come to terms with supporting his aunt at the end of the day? Who would show statesmanship by bowing? Would the incumbent bow to the nephew or would the nephew bow to the incumbent? Or would it be just called democracy? Jonathan’s declaration may provide the answers.
Sometimes strange as politics may be in Liberia, like other nations, there are compromises or the need for compromises that are motivating factors for opposing camps and views. Some Liberians are questioning whether Professor Mayson and the Johnson’s divide can last the test of time.
Both are very good friends with strong family ties. They stood together during rain and shine. They share the same friends and during the struggle, they shared the same vision of a Liberia where democracy flourishes. They are said to have brotherly and sisterly embraced each other in such warmth and conciliation in Sinoe that depict a bond of unbroken friendship. They never talked about problems or issues that create such a divide between them.
There is so much in this political season to be expected. There are premonitions that some entries are chaos motivated. While some entries are competent and nationalistic and democratic, others seem to thrive on popularity stunt. But what is the Liberian Presidency and the attractions that motivated even the late Forum, a demented Liberian to declare his intent. It is a position that transformed the late President Dr. Samuel Doe, formerly a man of no pedigree, into a powerful and wealthy man. It is a position of enviable influence and power which caused Honorable Charles Taylor to enter guerilla actions which claimed several lives. It is a position where one controls the economy of the nation, political lives of the people and interactions with the world’s most powerful men. It is a position of respect and power that either elevates you or brings you down. As we watch and participate, it would be wisdom that will sail us through and the love of Liberia above all that will prevent post elections crisis.