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Lookin Inside from Outside


“Liberia has become a nation of interest; a people of multi-colour characters; a place where evil thrives above good. “ These are the disturbing words of a foreigner who has been keenly following issues in our nation and I never cease to ponder on his judgment of our patrimony.

But then the song of a Liberian musical artist placed a stamp of agreement to the words of this foreigner. The artist sings that “there are three kinds of people in the world today; the white man; the black man and the Liberian man.” When I first heard this from my little daughter, I thought she was in error because Liberians are black people. I corrected her immediately.

And Guess what? She said to me: “Daddy, Liberians are black people; but our way of thinking is different from all other people in the world and that makes us a different race and people.” I was shocked.

Coming to think about it, I certainly agree with my daughter that we are indeed a different people; or people of interest. We live in a separate world of our own where evil dominates the good and individualism dominates collectivity. We are a nation where everyone has become a judge and executor of judgment and indeed a people with hilarious desire that seeks to pull down leaders with velocity and extinction. For this reason, Liberia has no elected former Presidents.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf inherited a failed state and a nation that had never respected or permitted the exercise of fundamental freedoms such as, freedom of speech, press, and association. These freedoms have been guaranteed by her administration and are in full swing. Interestingly, these are used to portray her as the worst President ever in the history of Liberia and an evil genius.

She has restored the dignity and pride of Liberia internationally and has maintained peace and stability through democratic practices and not by brutal force. Interestingly, she has become to Liberians the President Liberia never craved for.

Job opportunities were none existent and the industrial wheels ceased to turn. The dignity of Liberians and their persona suffered humiliation and debilitation. Today the economy has shown signs of strength-if not visible right now, but has a solid foundation for prosperity for all Liberians in a short time to come. Despite all these, nearly 95% callers on talk shows have rained condemnations and insults on her.

The point I am driving is that we have not stop for a moment to realize that our leaders are not the principle people leading this nation towards catastrophic shadows. Our thoughts, judgment, outright unguided decisions, public utterances and what we consider progressive political trends and attitudes are key reasons that are driving us towards unprogressive paths and has made us different from the rest of the world and the most interesting people on earth. These are not kind sentiments. We seem to enjoy pulling each other down. We love to see our leaders destroyed. This is not good for our democracy. Democracy is built when there is progressive thinking, love and respect.

I do agree that that societal evil must be expunged. But I also do agree that the good must also be told. This is a character we seem to lack. We should not focus and annihilate good efforts and good leaders because of some weaknesses that demonstrate that man has not the perfection of God which makes him liable to errors. There is no perfect democracy or perfect leader. If we expect these, we shall never have a leader and we shall always annihilate them and their achievements.
The nation has gone amok in condemnation of the Speaker of the House of Representatives over his alleged violation of the PPCC Act. Everyone seems to be calling for his head. But who remembers that Speaker Tyler has, for the past seven years, presided over a stable and consensus building House of Representatives/Legislature through whose wisdom, maturity and ability we have a nation of peace, unity, and an economy that has promising growth?  Who has stopped to consider that the House of Representatives only forwarded the contract to NOCAL for execution but NOCAL had the responsibility of doing due diligence to the contract in terms of ensuring that all procedures and legal requirements were met before paying out to contractors?

If NOCAL ignored the fact that bidding was not done in accordance to the PPCC Act, shouldn’t NOCAL be held responsible or deem to be in collusion of the alleged violation? A financial comptroller who pays out money to vendors in the absence of essential documents commits a violation of the PFM Act. This implies the same with NOCAL. The House of Representatives did not pay from its accounts. NOCAL did pay the contract fees.

Does anyone care to listen to the Speaker’s side that the money loaned to the contractors was not pre-financing but credit assistance until NOCAL could pay the contractors? This was outside the official transaction as we are told and it is normal to assist those who have a need. Since when has it become a crime to grant someone personal loan? We all do unless we are the insensitive types. Everyone seems to take the version of pre-financing because this is what might destroy the leader.

Let us understand that the disintegration of the House of Representatives and our own support to that through public utterances may plunged the nation into unexpected difficulties. There is the Senate with what constitutionalists refer to as an impending violation of article 47 of the Liberian Constitution by attempting to elect a senate president twice in six years.

If this is done, there is the possibility of prohibition and litigation at the Supreme Court. This would mean another interruption of the legislature. I have no doubt that politicians, activists, and the public would come out screaming, shouting and debasing the character of senators.

What is happening in the House appears to be far above procedural errors. This is an attempt to create to make the state ungovernable which could have piecing repercussions. As a nation and people, we have to control our emotions, actions and guide our utterances.   

By: D. Wa Hne, Jr.

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