In my opinion, in this October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections, the Liberian people should vote out all incumbents. The reason is simple. To teach a lesson and to send a message that the power of authority belong and lie in the hands of the Liberian people. The Constitution allows you, the Liberian people to do exactly what I am suggesting.
My opinion is not out of hatred or preference for anyone, or any particularly group for the reason that the circumstances under review in Liberia are not unique to this current administration. It is rather a revival of the common saying that, “99 days for a thief and one day for the master.” Yes, you the people are the master of the country. The incumbents have failed consistently to learn and refused to listen. They refused to even recognize or acknowledge your sufferings. For these reasons in my opinion, they do not deserve to be rehired.
Article one of Liberian Constitution says all those serving in government including the president are “public servants.” It further says the purpose of anyone serving in government is to work for the “satisfaction and safety” of the Liberian people. I do not know about you, but I do know all those in position of power are working in personal interest. They do not put country first and do not have you at heart. Article one made it clear that if anyone serving in any position of power fails to work for the “satisfaction and safety” of you the Liberian people then you should remove them from power in a peaceful and organized manner, particularly through the electoral process. The fact is, all the positions or jobs in government belong to you, the Liberian people. This means if you vote for anyone, you are hiring him or her to work for you. This also means the people you hire through the power of your vote are supposed to do what you want them to do. They are not supposed to do what they want because they are working for you.
The question is— for example, if you have a shop and hired me as a salesperson. Am I the boss or you are the boss? There is no question. The one who hires is the boss. The other question is, am I supposed to do what I want to do in the shop as an employee or do what the shop owner wants me to do? There is no question. In this case, you the Liberian people are the owner of the shop (Liberia). I feel compelled to give you my advice because these ensuing elections are consequential for the future of you and your children as well as the next generation. The fact is, God will not come from the Heavens to take on the mountain of problems we have created on our own because He has also given free will to choose what is good for us. This 2017 election is one of the choices.
It is your responsibility to make that judgment call. This one is critical to mark the beginning of fundamental change you have been longing. Do this because it is your inalienable and constitutional obligations.
My advice is in line with the provisions of articles one, six, seven, ten, and seventeen of the Liberian Constriction. Article one says the Liberian people have the right to remove any government through electoral process that fails to work for the satisfaction and safety of you, the Liberian people. I believe you have been robbed of better future for nearly 170 years. I am not voting with you, but my thoughts and prayers are with you. This is your time and moment of history making for this, will serve as a reminder and deterrent to all candidates now asking you to hire them through your voting power.
There is no doubt, in nearly 170 years of our governance history, the people we elect or appoint to serve as our “servants” in line with the Constitution, crookedly turn themselves into “semi-gods.” They bestow upon themselves “worshipping titles” of “honorable and Excellency.” The bequeathing of these “semi-godly titles” is not intended as a symbol of respect as we have been misled to believe. These titles are rather intentional to usurp the power of authority that belong to you. They are envisioned to take advantage of you and treat you with indignity. The best way to show respect for those in position of power is calling one by his or her rightful title. If one is a president, senator, representative, minister, director, superintendent, commissioner… let us refer to him or her as such because these are the rightful titles on the books for these positions. There is no disrespect calling someone by his or her rightful title.
The Constitution does not ascribe such titles to them as well.
This piece is planned to awaken the “asleep conscience” of Liberia… because our Heavenly Father will not send down Angels to fix for us what we have created out of greed and selfishness.
Another reason why you should punish the incumbents by not voting any of them into power is, “to prove a point about the power of authority.” This is because nearly all the incumbents at one point had opposed and criticized this “leeching economy and political structure of governance.” This means their criticism was a falsehood. It was not about distasting the system. It was not about feeling your pains and sufferings. It was not about empathizing with your daily plight of livelihoods at the mercy of nature. They had no desire and inspiration for a change in favor of you, the sidelined majority. You are still suffering from the economic and political strangulation after 12 years of promise and governance. It is obvious, their sole objectives were for an opportunity for themselves and that is why you should fire them all. You will agree with me that the post war 12 years era, under review received more support nationally and internationally in terms of moral, resources, and financially than any other government in our nation history. In return, the incumbents kept the same “vampirism economic and political” structure in place at the detriment of ordinary Liberians who had suffered the most, during the brutal Civil Wars.
This proves they missed out on golden opportunity that presented itself on the account of devastating circumstances. I don’t know what you think, but I do know, they needed to seize the opportunity to summon a new dawn of patriotic spirit. It was supposed to be the defining moment of assimilation for better Liberia. You will also agree that after the experiences of brutal Civil Wars, you the Liberian people trusted and had the hope that things were going to be done differently far apart from the “semi-godly governance”, which brought about these wars. Everyone had hope for a new beginning of equal opportunities for better livelihoods nationwide. In its place, the chose the status quo. It was an opportunity to set a stage of a new Liberia on competing ideas rather than around individuals. The chance of using the experiences of the brutal Civil Wars as a “teachable moment” was squandered.
This would have put huge smiles on the faces of thousands of Liberians and hundreds of foreign residents who died during the civil wars in their graves. I bet you, they are also disappointedly sickened as you do. This is awful because the post-civil conflict leaders did not and have not shown any sense of remorse for the innocent lives lost during these wars. All they think about is self and how to preserve their leeching power at the expense of the sidelined majority.
If you agree with my points then this is your time in this October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections to set an example by voting out all the incumbents to show that the power of authority belong and lie in your hands. This will also be a warning to the incoming ones if you deliver based on my advice. encourage you to look out on my next view point on how to evaluate and determine candidates who put country first and have you at heart.
About the author: Jarwinken Wiah is a Caseworker at Benson Social Services in North Dakota, USA. Former Chief Reporter of the Inquirer and 1999 Reporter of the Year of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL)