By: Edmond R. Gray
The arrival of information technology made it somewhat near possible to predict future circumstances such as weather condition, sex of an unborn child, extinction of endangered species, etc. Today, we are told in advance the birth-day of a child in its fetus stage. With the help of a GPS, we can arrive at the doorstep of a distant location. But the quest to predict man’s future behaviors remains a stifling progress.
For instance, fast forward to 2012; who in their rational mind would have predicted a future in which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will be redefining nepotism to exclude “appointing one’s blood relations who are educated?” It leaves me to wonder whether Frank and A.B. Tolbert were goons and illiterates when Madam Sirleaf cited them as clear examples of nepotism under the Tolbert regime.
Sometimes, the case is made as though corruption under Madam Sirleaf’s watch is plausibly, a contemporary public policy practice. Wait a minute; didn’t she earlier condemn corruption as an abominable act under Richard Tolbert and Samuel Doe? Were these not the very ills that bastardized the good works of her predecessors? One can safely say that these inconsistencies on her part amount to political arrogance.
But the annals of history have enough to say about arrogant leaders. For instance, in his epic poem “Paradise Lost”, John Milton, a 17th-century English Poet brilliantly narrated the biblical account of the fall of man from the Garden of Eden. The poem has two storylines: one on Lucifer, and the other on Adam and Eve. The plot of the poem revolves around the banishment of Angel Satan from heaven. Once exiled, Satan used his rhetorical skill to rally his followers (Mammon, Beelzebub, Belial, and Moloch).
As national leaders, especially as presidents, we should be very careful on how we interpret national laws when in power today. The reality is, by redefining nepotism to exclude one’s educated family member only softens the ground for future tyranny. At most in Lucifer’s account, Milton posited that Satan’s action poisoned God’s newly created Earth and the human race. Like Lucifer, Madam Sirleaf is fearlessly sowing the seeds for future political discord in a manner that is reminiscent of Odysseus or Aeneas. She is poisoning Liberia’s future political landscape.
Milton further accounted that Satan’s action, triggered an Angelic War over the heavens, one he classified as large-scale. Under Ellen, Liberia continues to degenerate into a land in full scale warfare mode. Poverty is on the rise in a land where the population has almost quadrupled the eighties and nineties.
The gap between the haves and have-nots continues to outstretch its elasticity. Corrupt officials of government are increasingly doing business with impunity. In the kingdom of Ellen, the most qualified Liberian is a Sirleaf, who sits on this board, that senior advisory role, or that special envoy position. There is even a joke that the Sirleafs have so much in their plates, that it takes many personal assistants to remind them by the day. Security forces are brutally overburdened, but poorly compensated.
The irony is, in a country where some of the bloodiest wars in human history occurred, security is not a priority. Others have made the case that, by the end of her second term, Madam Sirleaf will retire in her newly built mansion overlooking the Western Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.
Whatever becomes of Liberia then is of little concern to her, it is said. It can be recalled that in her quest to become president of Liberia, not only did Madam Sirleaf sponsor a bloody war that claimed the lives of some two hundred fifty thousand Liberians; she directed her NPFL forces to level the Monrovian landscape if that is what it takes. Funny how few cronies and some paid agents continue to brag how she accounts for zero political prisoners. But is nepotism not a breach of the constitution also? Poetic Justice they call it!