As legible voters, our lack of sense of analyzing government's functions, performances and deliverables both within and outside, leads us to vote on the basis of personalities and street's slogans as was in 1997. "You kill my ma, you kill my pa, I'll vote for you." Literary interpreted as, "You killed my mother and my father - my parents, I will still vote for you." There after, in 2005, another unthinkable street's slogan evolved. "You know book, you no know book, I will vote for you." Literary interpreted as "whether you are educated or not, I will still vote for you." Of course, the later didn't materialize except the former. The underlying reason for the former slogan to have achieved its purpose was a direct result of political cracks within the alliance of political parties. The only hope for the majority of the ordinary citizens went into disarray and so the National Patriotic Party - NPP a political product of National Patriotic Front of Liberia - NPFL, a warring faction emerged as a winner with a landslide victory of 76+% of total valid votes cast.
While we're barely left with 17 months to 2023 Presidential and General Elections, the seriousness of opposition political parties is far from making meaningful and resounding decisions and contributions to engage the voting populace. The split in the former Collaborative Political Parties - CPP seemed have degenerated and incapacitated its force to be in the vanguard position to delegitimize the Congress for Democratic Change - CDC in 2023 holding everything constant. If the CPP remains divided and going solo individually or in segments, the CDC will have a significant impact on the first round. And the possibility of getting the second round will even be more amazing as political and economic con-men will be in the corridors of the CDC in the dark and in the light negotiating jobs to corrupt the system.
The writer argues that the only nation-state in Africa never was subjected to colonial order or occupancy is Liberia and Africa's first republic in the cause of - Freedom, Human Rights, Equality, Justice and Plural Political Participation. In the Scramble for Africa's partition," Ethiopia and Liberia are widely believed to be the only two African countries to have never been colonized. Their location, economic viability, and unity helped Ethiopia and Liberia avoid colonization. However, unlike Liberia, "Ethiopia was occupied by Italians in 1936 through 1941." This puts Liberia in a very distinctive shape and form from occupancy. (Source: britannica.com)
Founding of Liberia and Independence of 1847. The "founding of Liberia in the early 1800s was motivated by the domestic politics of slavery and race in the United States as well as by U.S. foreign policy interests. In 1816, a group of white Americans founded the American Colonization Society (ACS) to deal with the 'problem' of the growing number of free blacks in the United States by resettling them in Africa." The resulting state of Liberia would become the second (after Haiti) black republic in the world at that time. Historically, contemporary Liberia was negotiated with local tribal leaders in 1821 by and through the American Colonization Society - ACS to resettle African-Americans, freed U.S. slaves. (Source: history.state.gov).
Great Britain - London was the first to extend recognition to the new republic, signing a treaty of commerce and friendship with Liberia in 1848. In 1852 France recognized Liberia's independence followed Germany in 1855. Fifteen (15) years later, the United States of America finally recognized Liberia's independence in 1862. Of course, for obvious reasons, Washington delayed in recognizing Liberia as a sovereignty nation.
The writer contends that Liberia is a significant country in global affairs and a founding member of relevant - Regional, Continental and International Organizations:
▪︎Mano River Union - MRU
▪︎Economic Community of West African States - ECOWAS
▪︎Organization of African Unity - OAU now African Union - AU
▪︎The League of Nations now the United Nations - UN
Liberia's involvement in global affairs is measurable by being a founding member of many of these and other organizations of paramount importance. Therefore, the writer maintains that the Government of Liberia should conform to the norms of good governance and the rule of law. More important to note, the write calls on all citizens to be goodwill self-ambassdors to represent Liberia beyond national borders and across oceans.
Additionally, the writer declares that during the era of the apartheid regime, the people of Liberia by and through their Government stood firmly and strongly in solidarity with the ordinary citizens of South Africa. In that respect, in the 1960s, the Liberian Government financially supported the - African National Congress - ANC to enhance its financial capacity in the struggle against apartheid regime. Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 1994, once again confirmed, recognized and appreciated the Liberian People and their Government's support rendered the ANC during their struggle against apartheid regime. Archbishop Desmond Tutu had this to say, "While South Africa enjoys a united government under Nelson Mandela, Liberia, one of its former benefactors, is fragmented into several armed camps." (Source: The Christian Science Monitor).
Liberia's moral as well as financial contribution made to the African National Congress - ANC through Nelson Mandela, was a manifestation of not only to protect the Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of South Africa against the apartheid regime, but the rights to Political Participation and Plural Democracy. Liberia has played and continues to play significant roles in Regional, Continental and Global Affairs. This is established by the fact that Liberia is a founding member of Regional, Continental and International Organizations of relevance. Therefore, the writer maintains that the Government of Liberia should conform to the norms of good governance and the rule of law. More important to note, the write calls on all citizens to be goodwill self-ambassdors to represent Liberia across the world. Liberia has contributed immensely to the peace keeping efforts of the United Nations - UN in recent times. Liberia is a peacekeeping contributor by deploying uniformed personnel to booster the peacekeeping efforts of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and in Mali (MINUSMA) respectively.
The writer states that there is a need for focused and well informed guys to be goodwill and self-ambassdors of Liberia around the world and seconded to these organizations devoid of partisanship and patronage to continue to introduce Liberia's lead role. To help us enhance this role, the writer suggests we should and must uphold the most fundamental principle defining credible elections. That is, they must reflect the free expression of the will of the people. To achieve this and to maintain peace, elections should be free, fair, transparent, inclusive, and accountable in 2023. At this juncture, the writer advices the ruling party - Congress for Democratic Change - CDC to make level playing field more level for all the players to be fully involved in the campaign and voting. The CDC led-Government has a responsibility to conduct a free, fair, transparent, accountable and credible elections that will be acceptable to all the contesting political parties and independent candidates.
The writer concludes that Liberia has continously lived in an organized mass public corruption with impunity thereby denying the masses socioeconomic advancement, growth and development.
Pero M.K. Kerkula.
Dallas, Texas, USA.
The writer is a former:
▪︎Instructor of Public Administration, CBPA, University of Liberia.
▪︎Lecturer, Service Learning and Community Department, United Methodist University - UMU.
▪︎Student Leader at the I. B. B. Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Liberia.
▪︎Delegate to the International Peace Conference on Liberia - Comprehensive Peace Agreement - CPA held in Kosombo-Accra, Ghana.
▪︎Director of Technical Unit, Department of Administration, Ministry of Finance.
▪︎Chairman - Vahun District Development Administration.