My dear friends, permit me to apologize to you for my inability to bring you Part III of “This Stupid Thing Called Marriage,” as promised. Please forgive me. Conditions forced me to pick a different topic for today.
In this writing business, my dear readers, it is hard to stay on one topic for a long time. The reason is that too many interesting things happen all the time, and those of us who like this business are greedy people. We don’t want any new topic or incident to escape us.
This is why I am leaving the marriage topic and going to something that happened yesterday. Ehn y’all know my mou’h na scared? Ehn y’all also know that my fingers na scared of the computer keyboard? I will write about what happened. You like it, jacko; you na like it, jacko lantern.
it was during the inauguration of President Sirleaf. All the other activities were held, and time came for the oath-taking. The madam was to raise her right hand and keep it raised as she took the oath, but she was not willing to do it.
“Ehn you supposed to raise your right hand?” asked the Chief Justice.
“Yeah, but I have a big rising under my armpit. If I raise my hand, it will burst. You want to spoil my beautifully made inaugural clothes?” she defended her refusal to raise her hand as demanded by tradition.
“But you’re supposed to raise your hand,” emphasized the Chief Justice.
“Do you want to announce it to the audience that I’m supposed to raise my hand? The two of us will look funny here. You want it so?” she tried to confused him.
“No. Anyway, let it just stay so. Ehn you raised your hand the last time, that is, when you first became President?” he asked, giving in to the Madam’s cleverness.
“Yes, I did,” she responded coolly.
“Ah, so there’s no problem,” he confirmed
“Thank you for your understanding. When the issue comes up later, should I tell everyone that it is you who blundered, not me?” the Madam cleverly asked.
“No! You want to spoil the whole thing. Let me be the one to tell them that you are the one who blundered. After all, this is your second time going through this exercise, while it is my first time doing it. You should know more about this than I know,” the Chief Justice fought back.
“Is it about who should know more about this and about that, or about who should know better? Your doing it for the first time is no excuse for your failure to perform your duties. It is your duty to tell me to raise my hand, to repeat after you and to kiss the Bible as a sign of swearing on the oath taking. I am to follow instructions,” the Madam extricated herself from the Chief Justice’s trap.
“Oh, is this how you want to take it? You want to radicalize it, presenting me as the one at fault? Since that’s what you want to …” the Chief Justice re-positioned himself.
“No, no, I am just trying to make a point. You think the people will ask us to re-do this whole thing?” she softened her stance.
“No, since this is Liberia. It would be different in America because we would be forced by legal experts and public opinion to re-do it, but, in Liberia, anything goes. If you will recall, Obama’s oath-taking was administered for the second time because the Chief Justice missed or wrongly ordered some words of the oath. But this is Liberia. Not many people pay attention to such things. Besides, oath-taking is just a formality – our people already know that you won the election and that you are the President,” the Chief Justice tried to combined rhetoric and reality.
At the end of the Chief Justice’s statement, the Madam took the oath and left the stage without kissing the Bible as tradition also demands. But the Chief Justice was not going to allow this other blunder to happen.
“You forgot to kiss the Bible, Madam President. Please come back,” he called.
“I na coming nowhere. I tired. Besides, I have already left the stage,” she responded.
“You will come back and kiss it,” he stressed.
“I will not,” she defied.
“If you don’t, I will run behind you with the Bible,” he promised uncompromisingly.
“Oh, so you want to act like an athletic student? Try it?” she teased him.
But the Chief Justice was determined to see the kissing done. He left the podium and ran behind the President, passing between security men and women to get to her. But the same agility she displayed during the campaign season had not gone to spend time anywhere. She dribbled the Chief Justice among the crowd, as she walked to her seat. But the Chief Justice, too, was not prepared to let up. He tenaciously pursued her. Finally, and inadvertently, he stepped on the tip of her lappa, and that’s how the two of them fell. Quickly, the determined Chief Justice forced the Bible to her lips.
“Ehn I told you that you would kiss this Bible, no matter what? You na kissed it,” he punctuated.
“You lied. I didn’t kiss it,” she fought back.
“Da your business. All I know you na kissed it,” he registered.
The program ended and everyone went his way, including the foreign guests. But almost all continue to discuss the blunder and to argue whether the oath-taking, including the kissing of the Bible, should be re-administered or not. Besides, many are asking whether the President should be blamed, or it is the Chief Justice that should be. Well, folks, be careful, for contempt charges could be brought against some people.
Seriously, my people, aren’t these points to ponder?