No one ever thought that in this 21st Century a country of 171 years old such as Liberia would be seriously grappling with rights and governance issues.
But here is the reality: Liberia is at the verge of coming to a standstill, because it just cannot properly govern itself as a sovereign State. The country is seriously plagued by weak institutions at all levels so much so that it cannot manage its own resources and deliver basic services to its 4 million citizens.
The health sector is challenged to an extent that hospitals across the country are on the verge of shutting down due to lack of drugs and other facilities, including fuel for generators and medical instruments, among others.
How come that a nation of 43,000 square miles that gained independence in 1847 still lack paved roads and trained technocrats to efficiently man its institutions, even 15 years after it came from civil war. Rwanda was plunged into genocide in 1994 and managed to rescue itself from such an ugly situation and has transcended to a modern state in Africa with a new capital city that is enviable in the Continent.
What is the magic? The latter (Liberia) went to sleep on December 24, 1989 and woke up in 2003, while the Rwandan genocide ended somewhere in the late 90s or early 2000s but the pace with which that country has rehabilitated is highly unprecedented. What happens to Liberia, the Mother of Africa?
Latest report by the European Union on governance and human rights in Liberia notes that the country is still fragile, stressing that it is crucial that Liberia consolidates inclusive and accountable governance, social cohesion, women empowerment, national dialogue and reconciliation, rule of law, decentralization and land reform, among others.
Besides, corruption, nepotism, lack of will, and other negative vices, we seem to lack self-confidence or self-esteem that we can do it by ourselves. We seem just not to believe in ourselves as a people. It is not just about government, but we the people – a people mentality or mindset mentality.
How can a 4 million people have a fragile country 15 years after they returned from civil war? Have we been sleeping, and are we still sleeping? It is the same mindset we bring in government, and then we blame it all on the President.
Liberia should be guiding other countries in Africa by now because we gave birth to them, figuratively speaking. But here we are as a people, still not able to understand ourselves or understand one another.
We are becoming a problematic child, specifically in the subregion and the entire Africa generally due to the haphazard way we conduct ourselves as a people. The world has again turned an eagle’s eye and a standing ear on Liberia in the wake of prevailing situations in the country leading up to the 07 June protest in demand of reforms in the governing system.