Friday, March 26, 2010

Message to Political Party Leaders in Liberia on the TRC Final Report

Written by Bernard Gbayee Goah

Dear Fellow Liberians,

The TRC report is a good chance for you all to save Liberia from this unwanted night mare that continues to threaten our survival as a people as well as our very existence as a civilized nation.

The TRC report stands as a resurrecting pillar of our failed state (Liberia). If followed through, this pillar will uphold justice and truth for all Liberians. You all will agree with me that the TRC final report contains more than just accounts against perpetrators; the TRC’s final report has given a complete picture of the gross human rights violations that occurred as a result of the horrible conflict that ripped our country apart.

The TRC final report is a synthesized document, a shared history if you will, that can allow us to have a deep understanding of our past; it gives insight into the perspectives of those who supported the destruction of our country and took the lives of so many as well as those who were victims in one way or another who have been left to tell our story.

The TRC final recommendations about reconciliation, rehabilitation, justice, and reparation purposely minimized the magnitude of crimes committed during the war by some of our current leaders, in an effort to open the door of acceptance to the implementation of the TRC. Yet, some of our current leaders have refused to move forward with the TRC’s recommendations, choosing greed and pride over national interests. Of course, this attitude got Liberia in this mess in the first place.

Implementing the TRC’s recommendation is the only step our President can take to prove to the Liberian people that she puts the country first above everything else. Unfortunately, she is instead inciting the Liberian populace to come against the TRC report as well as refuse to honor it in its entirety. This is in stark contrast to what she alluded to at the inception of the TRC, which was that she whole heartedly supported its establishment, its continuity, and even suggested that she would respect the recommendations and implementation. Since the TRC’s recommendations would exclude her from Liberian politics, it is now considered by her and her administration unacceptable, and against the peace and stability of Liberia.

The TRC report would not destabilize Liberia, the act of not implementing it will. The TRC offers very specific guidance on how to stabilize our nation through truth, justice, and reconciliation instead of retaliation. The TRC report outlines ways in which we can cultivate a culture of human rights and build structures to ensure that the atrocities of the past do not reoccur. It also stresses the importance of healing as a nation through continued dialogue in an attempt to create one history and deter people from expressing their pain through violence.

Great men of Liberia, now that the TRC has done its part, we must ensure it is implemented. It is up to all of us, but mostly you, the elders and politicians who are in the spot light of national politics. Your role is critical to the future of Liberia. It would be on your shoulders, should Liberia slip into the abyss of total destruction because of your refusal to work together for the common good. One thing you are able to do as a group is to move people to action, but unless you first unite and move them with emotion, they won’t move at all. Once you have captured their hearts, you will have captured their minds. But you as leaders must have a stronger relationship and connection with one another. Which of you will be the first to step forward and take responsibility for the future of Liberia? I challenge each and every one of you to start a dialogue with your fellow politicians as well your fellow countrymen. Liberia’s capacity to achieve its greatness will be determined by your abilities to unite, connect, and empower your people to act for their own good.

Robert Goisueta writes, “One thing you must all know is that leadership is one of the things you cannot delegate. You either exercise it, or you abdicate it.” All of you are great leaders; therefore, I challenge you all to exercise your leadership by working together. Just as in sports, a coach needs a team of good players to win, a country needs a team of good leaders to succeed.

There are some who are very upset by the TRC report. Some sought to discredit it even before it was released to the public. They should not be allowed to succeed. They are aware that their points are meaningless, but until we stand up and remain steadfast in making sure that the TRC report is honored and implemented, they will continue to fight for the contrary. They will continue to test our courage to fight in favor of the TRC final report.

Fellow Liberians, let us accept the final report of the TRC as the way, an indispensable way, to healing our land, our people, and to bring unity and reconciliation, thereby casting off the shackles of history.

However, there are obstacles that must be overcome in order for progress to be made. Politicians must not seek to aggrandize themselves by claiming that only they know the solution to Liberia’s immense problems. The problem in Liberia is compound complex and needs more than one head to come up with durable solutions. You all continue to say the same thing over and over without any action thought or mention of collective action.

It holds no weight if you individually support the TRC report. Your power comes from your collective support of the TRC report. Why have you all not come together to draft a document in support of the TRC report? Who do we look to if not you? The war scattered us as a people and we look to you to reunite us as a nation and as a political force, for the people are the government, are they not?

The world will respect such a document because it represents the voice of the people. But if hundreds of you run to congress everyday saying the same thing over and over, it becomes very difficult for even the US to work with any of you because you have not streamlined into one entity. The US Congress is not a branch of the Liberian government, and we must make it as easy as possible to understand the true plight of Liberia and to assist us.

Do not allow your individual political ideologies or affiliations overshadow the pressing issues at hand. Power cupidity will not solve the problems in Liberia. You all cry corruption, hardship, embezzlement, and the lack of rule of law in Liberia. But all of you continue to refuse to work together to solve these problems that are affecting the Liberian people. Will you not step up to rescue this drowning nation?

I hope this letter will serve as a conduit through which you all will be moved and decide to work together for the sake of the restoration of peace, reconciliation, justice and stability in Liberia. If there was ever a time in history that begged for you all to work together, it is now for Liberia is in grave danger!

I hope to hear from you all as soon as possible.

Bernard Gbayee Goah

503 646 1896


I have a responsibility to help Liberia become a better country. I have come to realize that there is no workable system in Liberia as such; the foundation upon which a lawful government must function does not exist. The situation in Liberia 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.

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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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