In the Person of the President of the Nation resides the Personality of that nation(which may be likened to Dr. Nkrumah’s African Personality). Similarly, the Liberian Personality resides in President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; that is unity, indivisibility, leadership, teacher, peace-maker, security, and reconciler, indeed, the President is the Nation’s Mother/Father, Uncle and Aunt.
But the President’s public statement(NewDawn Liberia, March 10, 2016) displays, apparently,divisive, polarizes and represses, with ethnic/tribal, socio-cultural mind-set, a very dangerous condition for the future of a small nation of closely-knit, once happy and peaceful people.This statement is deeply troubling and anti-National Reconciliation based on “forgive not forget”.
Elsewhere, we wrote that a coup d’état is a universal, political phenomenon, an accident of history, not a Liberian monopoly. It is patently illegal, unless successful and, therefore, accepted because of the nature of the abrupt, regime-change and fear of violence and death. But successful or not, a coup d’état brings sorrow, weeping and anger to many.
Our nation, since its founding, has travelled, and continues to travel, this calamitous, dangerous road in search of democratic government/governance, peace, security, mutual respect, understanding and peaceful co-existence. However gruesome were the armed hostilities and brutal, political violence against some segments of the nation’s population that characterized the history of our country, Liberia, in much the way that thelate Rap Brown described“violence as being American as Apple pie”.
Although there were no photographs, computers, internet and mobile phones in those days to record the incidents, there are Old Timers in the towns and villageswho remember and tell the history, including the brutality of the hut-tax collections and of relatives sold into slavery, under conditions of human servitude, some of who, eventually, died in Fernando Po or Southwest Africa of today.
However, all Liberians forgave (not forget) and reconciled for the sake of country, children, grand-children, great-grand-children, unity and peace, with plans for the present and future and, also, for the sake of education and infrastructural development of our only country – transport/communications, healthcare, food security, etc., etc.
But this gruesome photograph of the beachfront execution of the officials – honorable, prominent, Liberian state craftsmen of the African-American, Liberian ethnic/tribe– does nothing but to create and amplify deeply-held animosity and seek vengeance is, in fact, acall to arms based on that tribal divide.
And finally, we have not been able, yet, to come to terms with the required process of reconciliation, after our tragedy of the civil war. We have not, yet, found the way out with TRC report. This photograph, plastered on front page of the NewDawnLiberia, March 10, 2016,does not help!!