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GeneralLiberia newsON 2ND THOUGHT

On 2nd Thoughts: Just give it a thought-Is Ms. Gbowee alone?

(A repeat from our files. First published October 18, 2012)

By Othello B. Garblah

Forget the politics and sycophancies which have characterized the reactions to Leymah Gbowee’s recent resignation and comments. Forget the reports that she has parked her personal belongings from her base in Accra, Ghana and has moved her entire family to the United States.

You know what, just don’t think of the fact that her remarks against President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Paris, France during the launch of the French Edition of her book, was to raise her profile and add value to her book. Just forget that for now.

Okay, if you don’t want to be a little decent, consider her comments at one of these important events in her life, especially at the launch of her book as a marketing strategy that would fuel the rush for a big sale and heightens curiosity about her persona.

Hey, think about it this way too, she was also marketing herself and you will not like to miss such an opportunity to turn the world’s cameras on you. No, I don’t think so.

Now, after you have given this saga all the negative and positive interpretations, do a self-examination of some of the condemnations or tongue-lashing she continues to receive…” she is unpatriotic….”

Go ahead; ask yourself; do Liberians understand what it means to be patriotic? If they do, can anyone point to just one patriotic Liberian out there? Somebody who will not seize the moment out there even if it means condemning the entire nation to public ridicule just to win the hearts and minds of people most of whom do not understand the socio-political dynamics of the Liberian society to get international ovations?

Plain and simple, Ms. Gbowee thought she had the opportunity and she made the best use of it, period. She felt at that point it was the best time to tell the entire world what she felt about her nation and president.

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President Sirleaf, Ms. Gbowee claims has not done enough to tackle corruption. She voiced out her disgust about President Sirleaf appointing her sons to lucrative jobs, and the president’s failed action on national reconciliation among several reasons for her resignation from the government’s reconciliation commission.

Even though, the government will argue that the situation is not as Ms. Gbowee has said. But don’t worry about that, the government will always put a little polish on things to make them look as though they were sparkling.

Come to think of the criticism of Ms. Gbowee being “unpatriotic.” I think it is very unfair because there is not one patriotic Liberian out there. Everyone here puts self-interest first.

Think about it this way, do you know how many Liberians went on resettlement abroad, basing their stories on falsehoods and narrating events which did not occur here and implicating individuals they never saw?

Do you know that some of these accounts equally contributed to this nation being branded as a failed state, even though for a second there, the power that be at the time bore 99.9% of the reasons for such classification because they did do some of those devilish things to most people.

Come on, go ahead, think of it, patriotism is not just in words it is shown in love for country. People here pretending to be patriotic are only doing so because of what they can get from the country, not what they can give to the country.

Look, the evidence is all around us here today. Those who had trumpeted the patriotic song are the ones today “putting self interest above country.” But don’t forget, they were just yesterday commanding jobless boys and girls on the streets.

You know what, you can criticize Ms. Gbowee inside out, but leave the aspect of patriotism out, because there is not one in this nation of ours. We see ourselves as total strangers here who believe our loyalties are to a foreign nation, which is while most of the leaders here will first buy or mortgage property abroad and choose to stay at rented premises.

You don’t believe this, do you? checklist your leaders; see the properties they have here and compare that to what they own abroad and see whether any of them would not do just what Ms. Gbowee did in terms of turning her back on her country. Where do you think those extra millions are being siphoned to?

They are government officials, but bulk of their resources is expanded abroad where they get their wives and kids. No wonder most of their policies are rhetoric and would not stop at any opportunity to stir up trouble.

“Oh, why you can’t send your child right here Ghana to go to school,” they would argue, while complaining of poor education standard here.  But who should improve it? When your kids are not here you don’t mind.

Walk down the streets of Monrovia and interact with the street vendors; those who are not even in school all they wish is to seek greener pasture abroad. There are many who have told me in the face, if I were you, I would never have come back to this country.

Do yourself the good, leave the aspect of patriotism out of this debate, because she is not the only guilty person on this count; we see this country as a farm and are willing and ready to say anything that will get us off this plantation.

Don’t give me that look, it’s the fact. When most of your officials are here to hustle and pay mortgages and rental fees elsewhere, what loyalty do you enjoy from them? They will steal and continue to do so, because the minute they are out of job, they are out of here!  – Nothing to keep them here.

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