The period, post-Elections/pre-Run-off and Inauguration in January 2018, offers an opportunity for reflections on the many, possible Plans and Programs for today, tomorrow and the critical, unknown future. We hope that the incoming Political Rulers will be reachable and open to all suggestions – requested, un-requested, supportive or in opposition. For, our country needs all suggestions/advices with objective, analytical approach, devoid of personal glorification, ethnic/tribal bigotry and personal criticisms.
Liberia’s natural rapid population growth/expansion, uncontrolled movement with rural-to-urban migration are the major source of Monrovia’s over-population and over-crowdedness which translate into the prevailing 24/7 traffic jams, inadequate housing, education, healthcare, ancient city streets/roads designed and built some 50-60 years ago, but now cannot facilitate increased pedestrian/vehicular traffic safely and smoothly, deplorable safe drinking water & sewer, inadequate electricity and unsanitary living conditions, all reflections of an inefficient, ineffective City governance/government, which led to the emergence/growth of political Ghetto-Slum Democracy.
Plans & Planning
Plans and Planning for today, tomorrow and the future requires, first and foremost, the relevant education, training and experience; second, information/knowledge of history of the past (successes and failures or most importantly, the “mistakes of history”). This knowledge is necessary because it informs about the “whys” of the mistakes and the “hows” to avoid repeat of the mistake of the past. This, also, is the “whys” of education, or book knowledge. It will not, has not, been easy before, but the task is doable, achievable. But, for now, let’s go on.
Republic of “Quagmire”
It is important to note that for more than a century and half, the Republic of Liberia had been, and is, a joke, in terms of building a sovereign state and nation. Because, in socio-cultural, economic and political terms, our nation has been the Republic of “Quagmire”. “What”, you may want to know and ask, “is a quagmire?”
A “quagmire”, according to English Language Dictionary, is an awkward, hazardous and complex situation. It is a muddled up, mixed-up, messed-up predicament; a difficulty, quandary, entanglement, imbroglio and a social, economic and political fiasco in many of our African, socio-economic and political affairs. So is the state of social, cultural, economic and political affairs in our country, the Republic of Liberia, since 1847, throughout the succeeding political administrations up to the present-prevailing political administration and continuing!!
The Republic of Liberia became a Quagmire:
1. Although the Nation had, and continues to have, the required educated, trained/experienced professionals who have acquired undergraduate/graduate education from Ivy League colleges and universities in, almost, all areas of academic and vocational disciplines – Politics, Economics, Financial Planning, Control & Reporting, Educational Management, National Planning & Development, IT training/experience, etc., etc. – but they have been “living it up” in the cesspool of graft & greed, clothes, women, men, prostitutes, gay sex, late-model, top-of-the-line automobiles, foreign travels.
Indeed, Liberia had, even, a “Harvard-trained economist-President” for 12 years who admitted inability/failure to come up with any solution for that which she described as “Liberia’s Public Enemy No. 1” – corruption!!
2. A Quagmire, also, because of:
a) Division or disunity – Americo-, Congo- and Country-Liberian Divides – the absence of the required unity of purpose or national policy;
b) Graft & Greed or public/private dishonesty – roaring corruption, described recently by the former President as “Liberia’s public enemy no. 1”. A universal vice or phenomena found on all continents, every country and society, perhaps, intrinsic in human nature, while corruption has now become, apparently, a Liberian monopoly. In that, Liberian corruption has been developed into Corruption, Inc., a Liberian Mafia, now a thriving, successful big business by BSCs, MBAs, MSCs, LLMs, PhDs, etc., all financed by GOL Policy of Salary/Wage Allowances.
c) Social-cultural, economic and educational arrogance, ethnic/tribal discrimination/segregation.
Because of these negative attitudes, qualities and applications, Liberia, now, has a great deal of planning work to be done for change. But national planning and development specialists/experts advise to begin with one action – that which they describe as the “Premier Multiplier Effect” in National Economic development. Firstly, they advise to plan, develop, and implement National Transport/Communications – modern, all weather, safe, comfortable, efficient/effective roads and highways, and all others will follow.
This effort and approach, for example, demands major, primary national north-south and East-west roads/highways linking all county capitals with the nation’s Capital, and secondary roads/highways linking all production and sales communities of the counties to each other.
This effort calls, also, for the Atlantic Highway, beginning with and from the City of Robertsport, Cape Mount County, linking the cities and counties of Monrovia, Montserrado County; Buchanan, Grand Bassa County; Greenville, Sinoe County; Barclayville, Grand Kru County; and the City of Pleebo to City of Harper, both of Maryland County.
But to locate and build schools, colleges, universities, clinics, hospitals, entities for construction of goods & services for local consumption and the export trade; water/sewer, electricity and the utilities in distant, remote towns & villages in the counties, one must, first, get there expeditiously – by safe, comfortable, reliable, efficient/effective all-weather roads and highways.
According to religious teachings of the Good Book, the Bible, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all others shall be added unto you”. Analogously, development/planning specialist/experts, also, teach to “seek first the ‘Premier Multiplier Effect’ of the national Transport/Communications and all other national economic development projects shall be ‘multiplied’ into your planning/achievement process”.
Research Information & Experience
Thus, worldwide research information and experience show that modern all-weather, safe, efficient/effective and comfortable highways & roads built between points A & B attract citizens, businesses and investment promoters, who relocate along the new highways and roads. They buy land and build homes, motels, hotels, restaurants, shops, automobile service stations and rest stops for motorists/travelers.
Transport/communications system of highways & roads facilitates not only convenient, mass movement of people, but also, the production, distribution and exchange of goods and services in national/international trade & commerce and provide enormous opportunities for investment in people/freight transport equipment and employment of citizens. It is in this respect that transport/communication system constitutes “multiplier effect” in national economic development. Add to this the rapidly-developing Information Technology (IT), then one has the recipe for success that will drive Liberia into the 21st Century economy.
Reverse Rural-to-Urban to Urban-to Rural Return
Indeed, the most efficient, effective, reasonable and attractive solution to Monrovia’s over-population, over-crowdedness and urban decay lies in reversing the century of Rural-to-Urban migration to Urban-to-Rural return, by planning, development and implementation of national transport/communications, all-weather, safe, efficient/effective, national highways/roads.
This approach offers not only an excellent opportunity to rid the Capital City of street merchants, their eye-sore sidewalk displays and their street-walking sales minor children, but also, reasonable attraction and opportunity for the migrants and their born-here children (now grown men & women who speak no tribal dialects nor visit the original homes of their parents) trapped in the ghettoes and slums and the middle-class doctors, nurses, engineers, economists, business managers, bankers, investment advisors/promoters, politicians, educators, socio-political critics/activists, now living in Monrovia, to return home to the Counties in Rural Liberia, including tourists and visitors.
This effort and approach of modern, twenty-first century system of transport/communications should and must include implementation of street/residence addresses, regional post offices for mail delivery and reliable, efficient internet service, which drive business, which in turn, drives the economy which, also in turn, drives the nation.
Revenge &Taylor’s Telephone Conversation
But the reported Revenge Game Plan of several active “Political Players” and the reported “excerpts” of imprisoned Charles Taylor’s telephone conversation with on-ground supporters, all read like a page from reformed MI5, CIA or KGB international spy operative’s expose’ – of sycophancy, lies, deceit, miss-representations, manipulations, double-cross, sell-outs (sabotage, espionage), murder, etc. (New Democrat, October 20, 2017).
This report/revelations confirm Tom Woewiyu’s Open Letter to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (www.liberiandialogue.org, September 15, 2005). The revelations, also, confirm that the Republic of Liberia had been, and is, a Political Quagmire that demands peaceful, fundamental, comprehensive transformation/change, exclusive of the dreaded TWP war-mongers’ destruction and roaring corruption.
For, the Republic of Liberia, now needs, must have quiet, unassuming, trained/experienced Leaders of integrity – free of war crimes against humanity (summary executions/mass murders, human and civil rights violations) and roaring corruption, Inc. – with declared commitment to the “Premier Multiplier Effect” (National Transport/Communications) for national economic development.
To this approach, The Republic of Liberia of today should and must be dedicated and committed, and implement, absolutely, diligently.
Pride & Patriotism (Liberian Nationalism) demand commitment/dedication, above all else!!