Monday, April 27, 2009

Digital divide can shift Liberia's future in a negative way

Digital divide can shift Liberia's future in a negative way

Officially posted: Monday, December 24, 2007 By Bernard Gbayee Goah

Electronically communicated information should always be checked thoroughly before reaching any conclusion regarding an allegation against anybody. E-mails, websites, video and tape recordings, etc, must be properly examined by the Liberian government or any government before any conclusion can be made on critical issues such as charging a citizen with treason.

There are many ways to authenticate electronic information such as websites and e-mail communications, however discussing these ways is not the subject of this commentary, because I don't want the criminal to become smarter than law enforcement. Since the criminals are also reading online comments, I am afraid the wrong person might use this to improve himself and run from justice.

In my view, some individuals will criticize certain people due to their alleged past involvements in the Liberian civil war. One perfect example is the coup plot allegation against Julu, Koukou, and others. Without proper investigation, the Liberian government used an e-mail communication from Tom Woewiyu, and videotape recordings from other sources to arrest General Julu and others for their alleged involvement in subversive activities against the government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Some of my friends on the other side of the isle, without investigating further began to refer to Julu and those arrested with him as "devils," and "criminals" and other names associated with evil. Now that the government is unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of General Julu and others, everyone has stopped calling the General names. Up to now there is no credible evidence to prove the guilt of these individuals. Yet, General Julu and his alleged co-conspirators are still in prison in Liberia , all in the name of "indisputable evidence," supposedly amassed from e-mail and video evidence, which could have been manufactured.

Liberia is a land where a handful of unqualified individuals who claimed to be technologically savvy are heading unmerited top positions in government. There is a digital divide between the power greedy people and the rest of the Liberian citizenry. These quasi-technologists are doing everything possible to restrict the freedom of expression that Liberians should be able to exercise, and are using such technologies in their witch hunt for perceived enemies. These individuals are taking advantage of the Liberian people who do not have access to technology and how it works, and are unable to challenge the government’s actions in a court of law, which is an infringement of their right to fair trial.

There is a serious digital divide in Liberia between the quasi-technologists in government and the rest of the citizenry. However, there will be no defense for those who are not technologically savvy if an allegation is brought against them based on technology-based evidence. This is the kind of Liberia we should expect if policies are not reversed. Many Liberians know they have constitutional rights, but they do not know how to defend those rights. The way in which these rights apply to their day to day lives seemed almost elusive due to the limited access to policymakers, technology and due process. Do you realize that some people have never seen the Liberian constitution, and have not seen a computer?

I know that Liberia will rise again someday, but when? This will only occur when policymakers begin making decisions that will benefit Liberian citizens in its entirety, instead of a select few.
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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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