As we commenced in Part One and continued in the previous part, the Issues Desk wishes to look at the statement, “Don’t mind the Liberian people; they will talk, talk and get tired,” as made by many public officials, including our national leaders, and consider some factors or realities that cause them to make such an insulting statement about us the Liberian people.
Perhaps it is only foreigners lacking knowledge about the don’t-care and insensitive behavior and attitude shown by our officials, both elected and appointed, who will ask about why these officials would want to address the people in this manner. But for us the common people of this nation, a people who very well know how our officials have treated us over the years, we know the factors giving rise to this nefarious mindset and disposition on the part of the governors of this state. The governors are important, but the governed are unimportant – that’s what our leaders think and believe.
Simply stated, the officials are something, but the people are nothing. The officials are masters, but the people are slaves. The officials are wise and smart, but the people are stupid and ignorant. The officials are the owners of the nation’s resources, while the people are trespassers that should not really benefit from these resources, and if they (the people) are to benefit, it should be as a result of sympathy on the part of the officials. The officials are entitled to the elephant part of the nation’s resources, but the people must get nothing or only an opossum part of these resources. The officials are the ones to make the decisions about how the nation’s resources should be used, and the people have to accept those decisions, no matter what. The officials must seek and protect their own interest at the expense of the people; the people have no interests to be protected, and they should refrain from talking about seeking or protecting their interests. This is how it has been for years.
Differently stated, the governors of this state are lords, while the governed are servants, and, as we all may know, a lord does what pleases him, while the servant is not supposed to challenge his lord. One of the principles of political democracy is that a government exists for the people. In Liberia, the opposite is true.
So we the people of this nation, although disappointed, are not surprised that our leaders bravely say publicly that they will do or say anything they wish because they are aware that the Liberian people will talk and talk and talk and finally get tired. In other words, there will be no consequences of their words and deeds because they are not accountable to us.
Our leaders believe and feel that if they treat us disdainfully and relate to us deceitfully, frustration and heartbrokenness will kill us the Liberian people because when we speak out against their dirty deeds and words, they will treat it as a child’s vomit – they will not listen to us and will not do anything about it. Even if we cried and released blood as tears, nothing would stop them from continuing their dirty and wicked deeds and words. Even if we shouted at the highest pitch or volume of our voice, nothing would stop them from continuing their wicked and dirty words and deeds.
Indeed, our leaders are right to say that no one should mind us because we will talk and talk and talk and nothing will result from out talking. They are right to say this because this is how it has been all along. The government exists for them, not for us – that’s their feeling and belief. Our leaders steal money meant for the education of the poor, and nothing happens. They steal money given or meant for the construction of good roads, and nothing comes out of it. They steal money meant for improving the nation’s healthcare delivery system, and nothing comes out of it. They work in government, but establish and run private institutions to which they award lucrative contracts, and nothing comes out of it. Audit reports released by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) not only constantly reveal their corrupt nature and deeds, it also publicly indict them but, still, nothing comes out of it. In fact, the more their corrupt nature and deeds are known, the more they are given new and better jobs and positions. Why shouldn’t they say that no one should mind us, for we will talk and talk and talk and get tired? They are right.
Surely, our leaders are right. They are right to say that no one should mind us, for, according to them, we will talk and talk and talk and get tired since our talking will not stop them from doing or saying what they wish. It has always been like this. To ensure accountability and transparency, to promote good governance, our leaders are required to publicly declare their assets; in other words, they are supposed to tell the citizens and others about all that they own so that we the people can monitor their operations and see whether they will get rich overnight or not, but they deliberately refuse to declare their assets publicly. In fact, they totally ignore us on this. They say nothing; they do nothing. When we get fed up with their behavior and complain publicly, they hiss disdainfully and say, “Don’t mind the Liberian people; they will talk, talk and get tired.”
Our leaders are right. They are right to say that no one should mind us because we will talk and talk and talk and get tired for, no matter what we do or say, nothing will stop them from carrying out their wishes. It has been like this for years. They increase their salaries and other benefits anytime they wish. Not only that. They increase their salaries and benefits to any amounts they desire. But they believe that civil servants’ salaries should not be increased, needless to mention their wanting those salaries to be increased regularly. When we remonstrate against their attitude and behavior, they proudly say that nothing will come out of our remonstration.
Yes, our leaders are right. They are right to tell us that our words will not cause them to stop behaving the way they have been behaving or the way they wish to behave. It has been like this for years. They pay themselves US$4,000 as monthly salary, but tell us that they are making sacrifice for the country because that amount does not commensurate with their qualifications. Other so-called leaders of the people pay themselves US$7,000 as their monthly salary, while arguing that it is a wonderful thing to pay civil servants US$100. When we complain that this kind of insensitivity on their part is tantamount to wickedness, when we indicate that this huge gap between them and the common people portrays wickedness on their part, they shamelessly say that our talking will not stop them from being insensitive to our plight.
Surely, our leaders are right. They are right to overlook us in this manner. They are right to say that, no matter what we say and how long we say it, they will not listen to us. It has been like this for years. They make sure that they are pay regularly. Their salaries are never delayed, yet they do nothing and say nothing when poor teachers’ salaries are delayed for months.
Yes, our leaders are right. They are right to insult us in this manner. They are right to talk about us in this fashion. The government exists for them, not for us. They are the wise and powerful governors, and we are the stupid and powerless governed. They are the masters, and we are the slaves. They are right to overlook us like this. Let them go on insulting, ignoring, cheating and harming us. But, let them remember, though, that everything has time under this sun.
To be continued…
Believe me, my people. We will never stop following the issues.