As we commenced in Part One and continued in the previous two parts, the Issues Desk is interested in looking 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.
But why wouldn’t our leaders feel and say that no one should listen to us, when they know that our words and cries mean nothing to them? They are right to say that we will talk and talk and get tired because they have successfully managed to rule us by the divide-and-rule policy, doing everything to put one group of citizens against the other, confusing and debilitating all in the process. It has been like this for years. For example, when our leaders increase their own salaries and refuse to add a dime to the salary of a civil servant and the no-nonsense, we-will-take-our-destiny-into-our-own-hands leadership of the civil servant bravely challenges our leaders, they (our leaders) quickly form a rival leadership to denigrate and frustrate the efforts of the brave and people-oriented leadership. When our leaders refuse to pay struggling teachers regularly, and the leadership of the aggrieved teachers publicizes their condition, threatening a certain course of actions, our leaders infiltrate the camp and sow a seed discord, causing meaningless infighting that returns the teachers to the business-as-usual condition. Our leaders practice it at public workplaces, on school campuses, in marketing associations, among members of the press, and so forth. When we get fed up with this attitude and say it publicly, they remark shameless, “Don’t mind the Liberian people; they will talk, talk and get tired.”
For sure, our leaders are right to say that no one should mind usbecause 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.For instance, we need a code of conduct. We have demanded it for years, but our leaders never listen to us. We argue that a code of conduct is a necessity; they dismiss it as a nonentity. We seriously press the urgency of a code of conduct; they deliberately frustrate its consummation. In fact, they prepensely postpone any discussions on it, needless to mention their passing it into law. Our leaders don’t care. It doesn’t matter whether we demand it on the radio, on television or in the newspaper. They are happy and fast to sign very controversial bills and agreements without even reading them. They are hot to pass bills and agreements that guarantee them kickbacks and other benefits, but they are unwilling, unready and unable to pass a code of conduct. The reason? Well, they know it is something that will checkmate them, which they detest. It has been like this for years. When we try to flex our muscles by telling them to pass it now, they cheekily say that they will not even touch it until they come from something they call “Agriculture Break,” when most of them don’t even a cassava garden. When we express our displeasure, they insult us, saying, “Don’t mind the Liberian people; they will talk, talk and get tired.”
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.