The Fatherland is in grave danger! But the Liberian masses, even on the cusp of extinction, have asked the following questions: what sin have we committed to be treated to such wretched existence; how many more lives will we lose; how many more of our vanguard forces will be tortured through blacklisting; having we had enough from this rotten order bereft of progressive tendencies?
In every degree and to every end, you from the South-east suffer the same havoc, material shambles, crushing penury like your brothers and sisters in other localities of the country. We are not stupid to believe the pains Weah and his gang of economic ghouls are wreaking on our nation have been sanctioned by you the people of the South-east. If anything, you are ashamed of his conduct, sick and tire with his vapid showings, disappointed in his betrayal of your trust.
You from the south-east are proud people. You have a proud history of fighting oppression. It is the same determination and courage we want you to oppose this regime. Together, so you will let the world know the criminal escapades of George Weah is neither with your endorsement nor to your benefit. The same resistant spirit you fought the Kru uprising with, the Grebo rising, we want you to exert the same fortitude and stamina against the national scandal that parades itself as a government.
The South-east remains the intellectual repository of the country. It is a citadel of revolutionaries and progressive nationalists. That is why you have produced men and women who have contributed meaningfully to the forward progress of the nation. P. G. Wollor, Mother Mary Brownell, D. Twe, Dew Mayson, Togba Nah Tipoteh, Dougbeh Chris Nyan, Amos Sawyer are emblematic of your industrial and productive phenotype, while George Weah, Samuel Tweah, Eugene Nagbe, Bhofal Chambers, Albert Chie, George Werner are a distortion of your values, traditions and principles.
This is why as we embark on the painful and difficult struggle in our homeland, you must refuse the temptation of being weaponized to fight on their behalf. Where else have we seen more poverty, mystery, illiteracy then in West Point, New Kru Town, Logan Town? They are environments where shanties proliferate. Where else are children not in school than the places you reside? Where else can we see dirt-poor people than where you live? So don’t allow them to deceive you.
Furthermore, avoid the temptation of the political opportunists who put front and centre overheated tribalism when their corruption, impropriety and perversion are exposed to the public and the people decide to march to end the nightmare. They jump at the opportunity of dangling the tribal card. Be mindful of these people who only flaunt their tribal affiliation when it is about defending their interests, power and privilege- in the hope that you wouldn’t use nuance to penetrate complexities- but would rely on radioactive jingoism to mount their defence.
We say we are not opposing Weah, Tweah, Chamber, Chie and the other motley collection of national gate-crashers because they are from the South-east. We are blind to tribe and age; we only see class- exploited and exploiters, haves and have nots, revolutionaries and reactionaries, progressives and plunderers, progressive nationalists and crude ethnicists and progressive nationalists. To put it more bluntly, give us Wollor, Mayson, Sawyer, Nyan we will celebrate them. Conversely, when you put Weah, Twe, Nagbe, Chambers, Chie, Mitchell before us, we will flush them into the sewer pit of history.
Fellow Compatriots of the South-east, growing up, it was a commonplace practise that a whole community would coalesce in disciplining a wayward offspring. That practice was pivotal in ensuring that kids put up the best possible behaviour. Likewise, it is the same attitude we must take to national life, decisively exercising it against Weah, Tweah, Chamber, and others, you must agree with us to discipline them because they act not in your name, nor do they seek your interests.
If anything, you share the same painful existence with your brothers and sisters from other areas of the country. If anything, you faced the same injustice as your brothers and sisters in Cape Mount, Rivercess, and Bong. If anything, a farmer in Maryland is much closer to a farmer in Bong or Bassa, but much farther to the political elites of those counties. If anything, a child in Grand Kru who is not in school because of the criminal failings of the government share the same sorrow plight as a child out of school in Cape Mount or Gbarpolu county than with their respective elites. The same bad road conditions affect the people of Maryland so it does to the masses of Lofa.
But if you even want to wage battle to defend your kinsmen, to what benefit or price would that be, or how that would improve your material conditions? Wealth, privilege would be retained by them, while death from curable diseases, poverty, mystery are your eternal destiny. Is it pleasing to use your vocal cords or bodies to defend this rotten order?
No nation has been built by its masses holding on to the tail of crude tribalism, religious fanaticism, gender bigotry. Or fanning the flame of ageism. We build a nation by installing a leadership with the correct vision which would take the imagination of the people, refine it, and enrich it and build for the future. We build nations by breaking the yoke of tribal cocoon and embracing fraternity and common interests. We build nation not by keeping our tribal thieves, but by rebuking them in the public by saying excuse us, for not in our name did you commit such criminal actions. We know you not!
Join us to struggle against the regime. When the country gets better, it would for all of us. When we remain on this uncertain path, we the ordinary masses would suffer the poverty with the dastardly equal proportions. Take it as we the political vanguard of the oppressed Liberian masses should fight side by side with the masses to rescue the country or play possum and perish under our follies. It is thus clear that there are two alternatives: social transformation or barbarism!
The time is ripe. Can’t you see? Your brothers and sisters are calling for your support to wage an unceasing struggle against social injustices. The call for the redemption of the Fatherland must mesmerize and bring you forward; the pungent dart of collective suffering must push you to sever ties with the tribal stranglehold and motivate you to mount fierce resistance. The terrain of struggle is the national frontier, as the motivation is also nationally aimed at achieving common objectives. Unleash your fighting spirit everywhere, with dignity oppose the regime which is a bastion of reaction. Unite with your class brothers and sisters, build with them.
The situation of the Liberian masses- working class, peasant, and urban poor is one of desperation and precarity. Millions of the people live on the margins of poverty. Despair continues to suffocate them. Their lot remains damnation. For most of these people, eating a meal a day is a total achievement. Unemployment is rife and widespread. Even the ones that are employed are in the formal sector- that is, a total of 20 per cent of the workforce, `know no better wage, while the 80 per cent in the informal remains buried in poverty. But the lot of the working masses are the same no matter which sector they are in- the same poverty, mystery, starvation wages, horrendous working conditions, poor sanitation afflict them daily.
But with the masses mobilized, showing every degree of aggressive consciousness, the homeland is on the cusp of a new epoch. The discredited Liberian ruling clique along with its foreign backers fears the sight of the awakening of the masses. They know full well that the rising of the Liberian masses, asserting their rights for their benefit, would trigger a chain reaction of the working masses stampede into history across West Africa. Their struggle would create a massive opening for oppressed peoples in the sub-region to take matters into their own hands. Such political expression would send the ruling classes in the region parking as the masses would become forceful in ever expressing themselves and seeking their interests. This they don’t want. But this they cannot stop. From afar, we see the Liberian masses gearing up for that great cavalcade of historical justice. Soon their forceful announcement on the scene of history would not leave Liberia the same!
No to ethnic division!
Down with balkanization!
La patria o la muerte: la elección es clara (the fatherland or death- (the choice is clear)!
Hasta Victoria siempre (ever onward to victory)!
By Alfred P. B. Kiadii, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Main Photo: Inquirer Newspaper