Lookin’ Inside From Outside – The Possibility of Bridging the Liberian Divides
It is no secret that throughout the length and breadth of this country, Liberians continue to remain divided on various lines. And of course, the reasons are so numerous, diverse and grave that only a Jesus-minded leader or group of administrators can bridge such national disunity.
Even the Government, including the Executive Branch, that should be bridging all of the divides, is so worst that its own operations are characterized by fragmented and competing interests. The issue of fostering national unity and reconciliation is actually the sole responsibility of not only the government or administration, but all Liberians.
Again, the fact remains that there must be an institution to coordinate such national healing, and that institution is the Government and its leadership. Genuine national reconciliation spearheaded by the country’s leadership, most especially after years of fratricidal and intermittent civil conflicts in Liberia, must manifest itself in our deeds, interactions and relationships.
And this must be with the highest degree of respect, cordiality and sincerity that must be fostered by the Presidency, including those very close to the leader of the nation. But in the absence of the foregoing as we have had for the past five years, there are difficulties.
Whether it is the lack of the socio-political will or the absence of the spirit of forgiveness on the part of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Administration or something else on the part of the population, the process of putting behind us our bitter past and forging ahead with growth and development continue to elude us as a nation.
Perhaps again, the president may have the will power, but individuals within her presidency or close associates may also harbor the belief that encouraging her to make pragmatic such will power may be at their own detriment.
And so, everything is done humanly or otherwise to infuse “bad blood” into the thinking/desire of the presidency to thwart all efforts aimed at reconciling the people of Liberia.
On Friday, August 27, 2010, a practical example of this occurred at the St. Kizito Catholic Church in Paynesville during the funeral of the brother of the President of the Liberia National Red Cross, when a former senior government official and someone considered and sometimes referred to as the daughter of the President walked out of the funeral service (from her back seat at the main entrance of the church).
She had decided on this action in protest to the arrival of former Head of State Charles Gyude Bryant and former LPRC Managing Director Harry Greaves at the funeral service of the late Edwin Hamilton Leigh for reasons known to her.
Her action and perpetual exit, in view of the foregoing, of course did not go un-notice by the congregation and mourners within that particular perimeter and others who sat far and observed her presence in the St. Kizito Catholic Church.
This is just one of the many instances of what’s happening within, around and outside of the Liberian presidency, regarding this government’s failure to achieve national reconciliation.
If such critical national issue is subjected to personal differences by those who should be assisting the country’s leadership in all aspects of our national life, then the possibility of bridging the divides in Liberia is very narrow.