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Opinion

LOOKIN’ INSIDE FROM OUTSIDE – The Council of Elders’ Recent Petition

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The passage of national population threshold continues to be the main talking point in recent times in Monrovia and elsewhere in the country. As a result of more than two years of delays by the Liberian Legislature to enact the national threshold into law due to political bickering, discussions have been either very sentimental or negative in certain quarters of the Liberian society.

The blame for the hitch has been placed at the feet of some members of the House of Representatives and Liberian Senate from counties that are under-populated, who feel threatened by reduction in the number of seats when the threshold is passed.

Others, including Representatives and senators from populated have also were pointing accusing fingers at the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for instigating all of the actions against the passage of the threshold bill, describing her justifications/reasons for vetoing the bill twice as not realistic.

Moreover, it’s even disheartening to have noticed that some of those who strongly advocated the passage of the document, as well as decried the actions of the Representatives and Senators of the so-called depopulated counties including the Executive Director of the Liberia Democratic Institute, Dan Saryee have all somersaulted to begin making statements against the passage of the threshold bill.

Just recently again, a group of individuals under the banner of Traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders led by Zanzan Kawah visited the Capitol Building and met with the Speaker of the House of representatives, who also happens to be a senior member of the “anti-threshold passage group,”

In that meeting, Zanzan Kawah read a petition requesting the House of Representatives to keep the number of seats in that august body at 64 and not beyond.

What was most puzzling about the petition of Znazan kawah and his Traditional Council was the misinterpretation of the national census. According to him and his petition, the national census was targeted at economic and social development, and not political, an apparent reference to the setting up of a national threshold.

Surely enough, Speaker Tyler may have been taken aback by the foregoing being cognizant of the true essence of a national census.

Again,  when the activities of a traditional Council of Chiefs and Elders that is not culturally and  ideally situated to attract the respect traditional leaders should, that’s  when all of these image problems befall our traditional values.

It is an open fact that Zanzan kawah and his few ‘Council of Chiefs and Elders’ who should be stationed and also performing their duties in the interior, and only come to the capital when necessary, have now ruined themselves into city or modern chiefs and elders, protégées and lobbyists on issues that would negatively impact their own traditional values and well-being.

Unfortunately, when we should be going to them in the interior for consultations and guidance, they are here with us in Monrovia engaging in  acts incompatible with their status as true traditional leaders.

Without even understanding the issue of the national population threshold, Kawah and others allowed themselves to drawn into the mischief and gimmicks of individuals who see the passage of the threshold as a threat to their selfish political desires.

No wonder why the President Pro-Tempore, Senator Cletus Wotorson had to greet him and his Council with such insults.

Zanzan Kawah and others in Monrovia must discontinue their current ‘goba chup’ operations and begin to re-think about the restoring their lost image. They must return the headquarters of the National Traditional Council to the interior of Liberia, where it belongs and no longer keep it in Monrovia.

When this is done and all of its activities are tradition/culture –driven without any political interference, its values and respect would be restored.

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