The current noise about the pronouncement made by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the National Legislature to the effect that she will stand as a candidate in the 2011 Presidential election is a wolf cry. Those crying foul have failed so far to provide any legal backing for their assertion other than saying that the venue was not ideal for such pronouncement. The worst scenario in this entire foul cry is the uncontrollable use of vulgar language by some individuals in putting forward their points. From all indications, the opposition has demonstrated political immaturity in a quest to tackle a national issue of immense significance to the people whose interests they claim to be protecting. The comments emanating from a cross section of opposition have only succeeded in exposing the chronic fear being entertained by them and their inability to contribute constructively towards resolving the national questions. At the moment every well meaning Liberian is wishing for a conducive environment under which he or she would be able to realize a given potentials and to live within the minimum standard of living.
Therefore, what was expected to have come from the opposition immediately after the President’s State of the Nation Address was the careful analysis of issues raised in the speech and come out with counter reactions useful to the growth and development of our nascent democracy. Instead, what we have seen so far in the past few days is the concentration of opposition on a single item bothering on the President’s declaration of intent to run in the 2011 Presidential election. Perhaps to the advantage of President Sirleaf, the whole attention has been shifted to the reelection bid of a woman who has distinguished her self from her predecessors who were given similar if not better opportunities to serve this nation but failed to deliver.
Without mentioning names here, it is worth nothing that while some past leaders of this country presided over functioning economy, and others emptied the nation’s coffer and used same for their own personal gains, this President, I mean Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took over a dysfunctional economy at the highest level. Yet, has demonstrated great commitment towards ensuring the judicious use of the nation’s wealth to improve the living conditions of the people. It is important to admit like the President has always said that the challenges are numerous but the process that would lead to the improvement of living conditions has already began.
Today, we talk of Poverty Reduction Strategy which main focus is to create a generalized condition under which every Liberian irrespective of socio-political and economic background would have a sense of belonging. We see this as a sign of departure from the past where leaders and the so called influential people in the society had access to everything but the common man denied the benefits. It is under the Administration of President Sirleaf that we got to know the importance of resource sharing among the various counties. Now, we talk of County Development Fund. The aim is to help accelerate development in rural Liberia. There may be problem associated with its implementation but a fact can not be denied that it is bore out of a strong desire by President Sirleaf to change the living conditions of the rural communities for the better.
It will appear that some opposition politicians in this country have only one thing in mind, thus to criticize and nothing else. However, the role of the opposition in a democratic setting cannot be limited to unrelenting criticisms as it is being witnessed here, on the contrary, the opposition follows meticulously the various activities of the ruling party with the view to ensuring that the popular mandate of the people which brought it to power is not abused. In this case, the opposition become the voice for the masses when ever there exists diversions in the implementation of the popular agenda such as the provision of the basic necessities of life such as water and other infrastructures what this mean is that an effective opposition that professes to be genuinely concerned about the welfare of its people would certainly abandon all parochial interests to support development oriented programs that are of direct benefits to the people irrespective of their origin. The sooner our opposition politicians understand this, the better it would be for the growth and the development of our nascent democracy.
Every well meaning Liberian will agree that by the time president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf assumed leadership of this country, hopes and fates were shattered as the nation became balkanized and termed a failed state among comity of nations. Her immediate task then involved not only to shoulder a huge domestic problems characterized by the non existence of basic necessities of life, but also she had to grapple with the shame inflicted on this nation as a result of misruled by past leaders. In less than a year, the country image was transformed from that of a pariah state to that of a dignified nation among other states. This was done at the peril of her own life when she had to travel to friendly countries not only to reassure them of Liberia’s readiness to do business with the out side world, but to also solicit assistance towards the rebuilding process.