Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dilemma: “A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand”

Written by Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

Source: Liberian Forum

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

In his account of Jewish history, Rabbi Goldson alluded in his article, the Jewish people’s internal divisiveness left them vulnerable to the power of Rome. According to Rabbi Goldson, in the year 3826 (66 CE) , the excesses of Roman governance over the Land of Israel finally drove the inhabitants of Jerusalem to the breaking point.

Kamtza and Bar Kamtza reported that the destruction of Jerusalem occupies a prominent place in Jewish tradition as a painful illustration of the consequences of senseless hatred, as well as a reminder of how the Jewish people have failed repeatedly to learn its fundamental lesson of history.

There seems to be a parallel comparison of the experiences of the Jewish people’s suffering to that of the Krahn people of Liberia. The prevailing situations for the Krahn people, both in Liberia, and in the Diaspora, especially in the United States is a sad state of affairs that left most Liberians to wonder, “What is happening to Krahn people?” Unlike the Krahn people, the Jewish people have a binding religious belief system that continues to forge them forward, irrespective of their internal differences.

Finger pointing and allegations of corruption have become the order of day amongst Grand Gedeans, internal unending conflicts within the legislative Caucus , unresolved conflict within the Grand Gedeh Association, and conflicts between the superintendent and some citizens in Grand Gedh County, all these have paralyzed the possibility of fostering sustainable economic developments. For example:

It was reported by FrontPage Africa, Citizens from Gbarzon Statutory District in Grand Gedeh County petitioned the Auditor General of Liberia, Mr. John Morlu, II in December 2008 calling for an audit of their county development fund.

According to the report, the Citizens said since the county development fund was allotted to the county in the last fiscal budget, their district is yet to benefit anything substantial in terms of development.

The numerous complaints of mismanagement of county development fund from Grand Gedeh and some counties have reportedly prompted President Sirleaf to declare that the Executive take charge of the county development fund.

The Analyst reported on September 9, 2009, that a delegation from the Gborho Clan in Grand Gedeh County, visited Monrovia to meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on issues affecting their areas. The delegation informed the Liberian leader of the collapse of two major bridges in their area, which is impeding the movement of goods and services.

Litigations and counter-litigations have become a routine within the Grand Gedeh Association.

FrontPage Africa, (June18, 2010), reported that, Mr. Chris Bailey, Superintendent of Grand Gedeh County has been booked in audit conducted by the General Auditing Commission of Liberia for misdirecting thousands of dollars for various projects in the county. The Superintendent has made numerous withdrawals from the coffers of the county without the approval of others paying money to his private company which is offered most of the contracts for the implementation of projects in the county.

$33,000.00 US, has been allegedly withdrawn from a Citizens Bank in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the current Chairman of the Board of Directors and the self-styled president of the Grand Gdeh Association. This money was allocated for the construction of a Library in Zwedru City, Grand Gedeh County. Until now, no one knows the whereabouts of said amount.

The time has now come for both Mathar Kannah and Henry Glay to step aside and let us set up an interim leadership that will eventually supervise new general elections and eventually a new leadership. The time has now come for us to forgive each other and respect our differences and forge on to enhance our common destiny. Let us heed the words of great personalities like Abraham Lincoln and others who advised their respective nationals about the destructive power of disunity.

In June of 1858, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech which contained the quotation “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. In his speech, Lincoln was referring to the division of the country between slaves and the states. In 1812, Abigail Adams wrote a letter to Mercy Otis Warren in reference to the war of 1812,: “ A house divided upon itself- and upon that foundation do our enemies build their hopes of subduing us.”

Some friends advised me to stop writing about the disunity among Grand Gedeans. Their reason, simply, Grand Gedeans will not pay heed to the issues that I continue to write about. They will instead, throw insults at me and call me names. But I am convinced, there are reasons why some of us as Krahns are still living and why other brothers and sisters died in Liberia during the civil war. But, if we failed to learn the lesson of disunity from the dead, we too will perish. We need to come together, we need to use our experiences from residing in the Diaspora, especially in the United States, to help to improve the conditions of our people…We can review the content of the Grand Gedeh Association’s constitution all we want, we can form council of elders, all we want, we can insult and disrespect our elders or each others all we want, we can go ahead and continue to steal the little funds deposited in the name of Grand Gedeh Association in American banks all we want, at the end of the day in Liberia, our county, the land of our fore fathers, will be first from the real, in the area of human resource and economic developments.

Indeed, “ A house divided upon itself- and upon that foundation do our enemies build their hopes of destroying us.”

____________________________________________________________________________
Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator within the Providence School Department, Providence, Rhode Island. He is a graduate of Cuttington University College, Liberia, Howard University, Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Mr. Bargblor is former Chairman, Board of Directors .Grand Gedeh Association, and grandson of Chief Bargblor of the Gborho Chiefdom, Grand Gedeh County. Presently, he is President of the African Catholic Community of Rhode Island. He can be contacted at: Zbargblor@aol.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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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.

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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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