By Julius T. Jaesen, II
The ordinary Liberian praying for change, to you, I extend my revolutionary greetings and at the same time urge you to rise and implement the answers to our prayers for a better Liberia.
These difficult hours, unbearable changing moments and perilous circumstances entrapping the lives of our struggling population have imposed upon us the need for change; one that redefines the true essence of our sovereign existence and enforces a decisive warrant for new daybreak against ruthless public governors who, though few in their counts have mastered the act of horrible treatment of the poor and vulnerable, though we’re the true custodians of constitutional and political power.
The Liberian people, for whom, to whom and from whom POWER is derived, have been kneeling under synchronised systematic dictatorships and tyrannies for a long time; not out of ignorance, but agonising tolerance in hope for a better Liberia, a fleeting illusion now rudely awakened by the wanton irreverence and vestiges of democracy. Our once seared consciences being liberated from failed promises orchestrated to enrich the oligarchs, the day of reckoning, the fullness of time to deliver justice, is here. This is the finesse of a moment meant to punctuate our historical tragedies, fully calibrating the moral courage and intestinal fortitude of the people, and drawing widespread momentum for the beginning of a radical revolution buildup for a change that cannot wait and must not wait.
The period 2018 continuing through 2020 have been the most critical in the history of this nation. During this grave time interval, decisions that were fashioned and coerced to be inducted against the aspirations of the oppressed masses have not only shaped and made bleak the destiny of post-war Liberia but has nonetheless undercut the inalienable inheritance of generations yet unborn. This period has truly been a defining moment that elevated opportunity for quality leadership under this President. Sadly, he fumbled the opportunity and failed miserably.
With close to 3 years in power, enjoying the support of a stable and tolerant citizenry in Africa’s oldest sovereign republic, Liberia ridiculously and pathetically remains the poorest, least developed, and most unattractive nation in the world. Liberian children today are expected to be less educated and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. The nation’s turbulent democracy has become a plethora of national calamity, denigrating the oppressed masses to a life of wandering and roving despair and lack. Illiteracy is on the rise, while the vast majority of Liberians struggle to survive on less than a dollar a day. Under footballing President, George Weah, corruption is institutionalised and has gained prestige as the official tongue of doing business in private and public sectors, morality is a curse word, and rule of law is non-existent as mediocrity and kakistocracy dominate critical public offices. Adding to the problems is the current leadership vacuum, which is so disorganised that, instead of coordinating, they have relegated governance by antagonism amongst them, a tragic fact presupposing the regime’s inability to lead or govern. We must change course before it is too late.
Having been relatively denied the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, under the government of President George Manneh-Weah, I see the people of Liberia being resolved to eliminate all obstacles standing in the way of progress and reconstitute the Republic as it was intended. The transformation shall begin by revisiting the unjust system of governance which has been in place since the 1800s and repackaged by this President. It is inarguable that this system requires a thorough resuscitation under the coming truly democratically-elected government. After the inevitable success of a mass-based revolutionary movement to soon be established, which shall give way to the creation of an interim government that allocates space for general elections after a six months period; individuals in positions of authority shall be accountable to the people. And change at all levels must be implemented to ensure Liberia becomes fully functional and economically viable within the next 25 years! We must ensure the full and uninterrupted implementation of this redemptive agenda as of the success of this patriotic movement. I can see the people, the custodians of true constitutional power, are about to take over for a better and industrious Liberia.
By the good graces of our ancestors and through the generosity of many, the people of Liberia have yet again been given the opportunity to create a dynamic new nation. This time we will not be denied! If the constitutionally blessed saying that ‘Power is inherent in the people…’ is truth, and indeed it is, then we’re taking over through a peaceful and democratic colossal assemblage of grassroots expression of power; the time is here and we cannot fail. This approach is unquestionably within constitutional limits. For the first time, the people are on the verge of history-making, by seeking the non-violent and revolutionary removal of a failed and despondent leadership, which creates a vacuum to be filled through free, fair and transparent democratic elections under the auspices of a neutral interim government and the international community. Liberia deserves this chance to complete its circle of democratic growth, a once achievable prospect jeopardised by greed, corruption and misrule.
We are dexterous and adroit to know that the window of opportunity to rescue our beloved country from climaxed plunder exists but for a season. As millions of dollars get borrowed for personal initiatives rather than a stimulus package to feed our people in these difficult times and trying moments of a pandemic wreaking havoc; top brass condescending to the most disgraceful spiral of public service to fritter away over 30 million dollars of intended public money under the pretence of food aid, coupled with the disappearance of 25 million USD intended for mob up is a reason enough to oust the Weah government. No government since the foundation of Liberia’s democratic republic had exhibited deep-seated fiscal robbery and financial indiscipline than the Weah government – as public spending, and our forests being used for illicit mining by Weah and his Jamaican brother-in-law, without benefits to our people and country, we’re without question that reorganisation must begin now; or else Liberia in the coming decades is unlikely to experience any significant progress. Rather, it will remain a debt slave to foreign entrepreneurs and foreign-based governments, and a dismal performer and distraction within the West African sub-region soon to be hit by food crisis unmatched in the modern world.
If ever there were a right moment to set into motion a definite process that would transform this nation into a thriving democracy, anchored upon solid economic footings with respect for rule of law, individual liberties, and justice; that moment is now and we lay hold to it in a fearless manner. Nevertheless, we are not oblivious to the risk associated with this struggle for change as is with all struggles against dictatorships. But within our blood lies the unyielding willpower to deliver the motherland, a cause greater than the life of a few of us, making it worthy of a glorious death should the moment requires it.
We are ready because Law and Order must be restored and political chicaneries and fiscal robberies overthrown, as the elections commission and legal systems completely overhauled before the next general elections. This is vital because results of the 2017 elections imposed on us, Ellen’s Trojan Horse, George Weah, offer a good indication of what is likely to happen if these objectives are not achieved. Progress has stalled considerably, primarily because conditions were inadequate to support a credible electoral process.
Put simply, Ellen’s Trojan Horse in Weah did not produce results favourable for real nation-building. The current elected officials generally are a throwback to the past rather than a move towards the future. And the list of top governmental inept appointees laid Liberia bare at the peripheral of global governance and lowered ridiculously the standard in public service. Yet, it’s not that there aren’t a few among the tons of incompetent nitwits and morons who possess the requisite credentials to hold those positions; rather, it’s their cruelty in destroying the entire nation and ruining the lives of so many people. Their ascendancy to national leadership has cast a dark shadow on reconstruction and has polluted the moral consciousness of the younger generation of Liberians who are being exploited to legitimise these cannibals feeding on the corpse of our nation. The time to act presents itself, and we cannot fail to seize the urgency of the moment to stage a radical revolution to oust corruption and misrule.
Inarguably, lack of willpower has contributed to the delay in genuinely restructuring institutions that are essential to fostering lasting peace, stability and prosperity. But without a definite shift in direction, it will be extremely difficult – if not impossible – to obtain the political stamina required to transforming this nation in a meaningful way. There is no doubt the current leaders are aware of this obvious fact, but they are unwilling to make hard decisions. Doing the right thing seems to pose a moral challenge.
Despite the failures of these corrupt and weaker institutions and their attending repercussions on the country, public officials without distinction continue to hit the skylines with new housing projects and drive fast in luxurious cars while the poor crawls under the burdens of acute economic hardship and is brutalised by police banditry as he tries to petty-trade for survival. We saw it with the anti-rape protesters who were ruthlessly and unmercifully beaten by Weah Sabu Unity called LNP.
The civil servant, for which the government exists, continue to grapple with meaningless pay rise while big shots live flamboyantly, as soldiers and police patriots are delivered salaries that make them appear unemployed. Nurses and Doctors that save lives are themselves doomed to a life of hunger and lack as a result of extremely inadequate salary arrears. The time to change this nightmare has been summoned, and we march forward to change the ills of a lifetime.
Therefore, People have seized the initiative. We are fed-up with incompetence, rampant corruption and immoral leaders, which in large part are responsible for the high illiteracy rate, a bankrupt economy, lawlessness, and mass poverty. Liberia’s transformation must begin now and only by the exploited masses! Nelson Madiba Mandela said, “Since my release from prison, I have been more convinced than ever before that the real makers of history are the ordinary men and women; their participation into every decision about the future of our country is the only guarantee of true democracy and freedom.” Today, we say, it is only by the summon of moral courage on the part of the masses of our people can alter the course of history and transform so radically, our country.
Considering the changes that must be implemented before the next general elections, there can be no doubt as to the standing of individuals overseeing the process. They must, without exception, enjoy the trust, confidence and respect of the Liberian people, and have not in any way contributed to the past or present carnage. And these shall be men and women of moral virtues, unrelenting valour and the abdominal fortitude merit the character and integrity to lead the people revolution that will birth true redemption.
As the second post-war president serving his first term, who is well situated and positioned to lead the scrupulous implementation of the TRC report – given that his hands are not tainted with bloodletting during our war days, as well as bind the wounds and spearhead reconciliation, is sadly dinning with warlords and appointing them into his government. If Liberia will once again return to her unhappy and bitter past, Weah will be the one setting the stage of another round of war and bloodbath. And very truly, Weah position to be dinning and winning with warmongers and perpetrators of genocide and carnage against our country and people put him in no position to implement the changes this country desperately needs; neither can he be an effective post-war leader. We hope the President, for the good of this nation, will make the right decision before soon. The People of Liberia have suffered disproportionately and are tired of lies and manipulation. And we are not prepared to settle for letting by-gone be by-gone, relegating our posterity to unending cruelty and injustice.
Unless the hideous crimes committed during the war are adjudicated in a hybrid court and victims receive proper redress, it is impossible to move on. The country needs healing. And the healing process must begin by holding accountable those responsible for atrocities perpetrated against the people. This will not only signify a major step towards genuine reconciliation, but it also will serve as a deterrent.
Current statistics on Liberia no doubt paint a sombre picture of depravity, hopelessness and despair. There is no arguing the country is broken and disintegrating daily. And yes, the people are trapped in poverty, ignorance and disease. However, missing from the data is the cruelty of immoral leaders who for decades have systematically raped, robbed, pillaged, abused, misused, and deceived; ultimately breaking the spirits of an otherwise kind, compassionate and industrious people. This consistent pattern of violence masked as politics by Weah and his CDC against people who remain opposed to their misrule of the country must end now!
With the democratic ousted of the Unity Party in 2017, Liberians were of the belief a new day had dawned; and this unprecedented act was a clean break with the past. Yet, three years later, progress is bogged down on account of greed and selfishness. This proves that it is unwise to put old wine into new skins. Should we lose this opportunity to effect changes that are long overdue, no telling what the future will bring?
Rising to this critical occasion is The National Campaign for the Survival of Liberia or ‘Liberia Revolution Drive’. It must be a NON-PARTISAN potpourri of institutions and a consortium of all Liberian efforts for a new Liberia. For weeks now, the momentum has been building for the grand finale for the people’s revolution, and all the children of our ancestors are the sole reliance of this struggle; be it Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, students, marketers, soldiers, policemen, government officials, Yana Boys, this revolution cannot be successful without your sacrifice and gallantry. With more than 10,000-foot soldiers already enlisted for this inevitable national duty, it’s your time to get mobilized for a better Liberia. Let’s rise, brothers and sisters, and defeat the line, hook and sinker of endemic corruption as we pride ourselves as the emerging macrocosm of the liberation struggle of the suffering masses. It’s time our country’s prayers for change get a just and unrelenting ‘Yes’ answer. Together, we are lions, the roaring custodians of true political and democratic power! There shall be no dialogue with the wicked; no negotiation until the nation’s ‘Weah Project is no more! This is the people’s mandate and he must obey because ‘Power is inherent in the people’.
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