by Togba-Nah Tipoteh
Some concerns in the public space about my presence at the National Consultative Assembly of the National Executive Committee of Unity Party (UP) have given me this opportunity to explain the meaning of a public servant at the outset of this Commentary. A public servant is someone who is duty-bound to listen to everybody and do what people do to help not onesef but to help others in their struggle for sustainable improvements in their living conditions. The public servant serves not himself or herself but serves the Community, serves Liberia.
It is within the foregoing context that I accepted the invitation from the UP Chairperson, in my capacity of Statesperson, to address the National Assembly on Friday, September 3, 2021. At the Assembly, I said that the main societal problem in Liberia is to take action that moves Liberia from the state of poverty generation to the state of poverty alleviation because poverty generation is violence-oriented and leads to violence, even civil war, as experienced in the Liberian Civil War that took at least 300,000 lives and left the economy in a worse state of nonrecovery to the pre-war level. Going further, I mentioned that more than anything else, the people of Liberia want peace rather than war. Therefore, I continued, the prevention of violence is better than the cure of violence. The sharing of knowledge to motivate people to prevent violence is the way forward to prevent violence and avert civil war. Having turned 80 years of age on July 17, 2021, I have gained considerable knowledge that I am duty-bound to share it to motivate people to engage in violence prevention and in the promotion of Justice for All, the only ingredient for lasting peace.
Some persons have taken the photo of me with some UP Leaders as an indication of my partisan accord with UP. The photo is not an accord with UP but an accord with Liberia. as I am not a member of UP and I was invited as a Statesperson. Visit my website: http://www.togbanahtipoteh.com and you will see a photo of Madiba Rolihlahla Mandela and me indicating an accord because of our common struggle to get Justice for All People, no matter where they come from. You can recall that this is the struggle which Madiba Mandela said that he is prepared to die for and he spent twenty-seven years in prison in South Africa. I have survived two assassination attempts, one here and the other in Tanzania.
We must raise awareness with the people urgently, especially when the Legislators who are supposed to be representing the people have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least USD2 million a day while more than 80 percent of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than USD2 a day (Annual Reports of the Central Bank of Liberia, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, LISGIS, African Development Bank, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF)). I happened to have served as Chairperson of the African Group of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF. Additionally, some 80 per cent of the people of Liberia are of the view that Liberia is headed in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer. 2020), making it also urgent for knowledge to be shared to motivate people to take action to save lives and improve lives through the Rule of Law. Is it a bad thing to share this knowledge? It is a good thing to share this knowledge and that is why I continue to do so and encourage others to do the same for the sake of Liberia, not for the sake of self.
This is precisely why I went to the Supreme Court of Liberia (SCL) in the Tipoteh versus Korkoya Case to get the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia to operate according to the Constitution of Liberia. The SCL gave up, saying that it could not give a riling on the Case. Up to now, the SCL has not given a ruling on the Case. Not a single national leader supported the Case to constitutionalize NEC! All of this knowledge was passed on by me to the national leaders at the Assembly. NEC remains most important because if NEC is not changed from an UNFAIR entity to a FAIR one, it will be impossible to get good persons elected and if good persons are not elected, the system will not be changed from poverty generation to poverty alleviation. The awareness-raising is producing good results because nearly all of the Legislators in the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures who sought reelection were not reelected. This situation is highly likely to occur with the Legislators in the 54th Legislature.
Togba-Nah Tipoteh is the Founding Leader Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA)
Main Photo: L-R: Tipoteh, Kangar, Boakai, Cummings