A prelude to the re-election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her second term was the issue of generational change in Liberia. And on the basis of the fact that more than fifty-percent of the Liberian population focused on the young people and that their votes were very important to her second-tern bid, Mrs. Sirleaf chose to politically invest in them.
Capitalizing on the president’s promises for the young people to administer the affairs of the nation after hers, the issue of “generational change” became the new political phrase and order among a few young, especially those closed to the Unity party or President Sirleaf, her immediate relatives and her confidants.
They took advantage of the fact that the President was in dire need of their votes to win her support for positions in the new administration as it is now. On the surface, such support was in the form of back-biting/gossips, lies, deceit, as well as inflicted impressions, among others about issues and personalities to win the heart of the president for favors.
Considering the fact that most Liberian Presidents, including the incumbent believe in the foregoing as a way of solidifying political powers, people usually play on these negative vices for attention from the country’s leader. This is the political format proponents of “generational change” adopted and continue to pursue to the detriment of reconciliation, unity, transparency and accountability.
On the basis of these negative vices instigated by the so-called proponents of “generational change”, the leadership of the country perceives those about whom all of the negative things are said as ‘opponents, detractors, and what-have-you, while at the same time, those on the other side continue to harbor hatred and develop underling tendencies for the entire regime, thus creating hurdles for the process of national reconciliation and unity.
Transparency and accountability also become a serious problem for the leadership in certain areas of the government where favored young people are placed. As a result of her commitment to the young people following that which had been politically achieved, the president becomes very embarrassed to take punitive administrative measures when there are corruption and other administrative mal-practices.
In such situation, the president would choose to transfer that particular individual rather than falling short of her political own interest and commitment. Quite frankly, the way the a few young people understand this “generational change” is far from the reality.
As a young man, I sincerely believe in growth and development (maturity) as a genuine way of fostering generational change in Liberia. This means that the younger generation must allow themselves to be guided or led by the present generation or ‘out-going’ as a way of understanding and building upon the past and present to properly plan and make practical a good future.
The ascendency of Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan, Information Minister Lewis Brown and a few others to Liberian Government and politics was not done overnight or through lies, gossips, etc., etc,. These guys underwent rigorous political and professional orientations on a gradual basis to excel, and not they way their current junior brothers and sisters think and go about.
Currently in the public, banking and NGO sectors, the most corrupt and dangerous top and middle-level personnel are the young people. They are always fired, arrested, investigated or in court for dubiousness. The reason is that they are overly and un-necessarily ambitious despite their lack of experience and patience.
What the present or ‘out-going’ generation would try to achieve or acquire in six months to a year or two, must be acquired by the ‘up-coming generation’ in a month or two-see the realities all over the place today.
Generational change in Liberia must be a very gradual process because it requires adequate preparation which entails proper orientation and guidance from the present generation so that at the end of it all when the new generation shall have succeeded, it is the Liberian nation that benefits.