|TQ Harris Jr.|
With little more than a year to go before the next election; the question now is, where do YOU stand? Should the current government be returned to power? Or, must we elect new leaders? The final vote no doubt will answer these questions. But will it be YOUR answer?
Regardless of our differences concerning the various personalities in government; the vast majority of Liberians do agree it is time to start afresh setting new goals and priorities. Why have you been silent? Perhaps for fear of being branded an enemy of President Johnson Sirleaf. But, by not speaking out, you are doing a disservice to your country, fellow citizens and your God. You are unintentionally saying, despite the suffering of our brothers and sisters at home, all is well!
To its credit, the current government has helped the transition. However, it is time we leave the past behind. President Johnson Sirleaf had the correct foresight when in 2005 she promised not to seek a second term. It was the right thing then and it is the right thing now. Her connection to the war as revealed in the TRC report and the lack of a clear agenda have slowed progress. Now the situation is becoming tense. The UN Secretary General consistently has warned that peace in Liberia is fragile. At the same time the Security Council - concerned about the $500 Million annual budget for the unending Mission in Liberia - is considering significant troop reduction. This no doubt could spell disaster for the country. Yet the UNMIL cannot remain in Liberia indefinitely. These are issues President Johnson Sirleaf should have focused on in the beginning, because in a post-war environment priority must be given to security. That said; the imperative for leadership change in 2011 has never been more compelling.
Everyone agrees conversations of warlords, war crimes, rape, torture and the senseless murders of unarmed civilians must end. But how do we do this when the past continues to carry over into the future? Those responsible for the atrocities will not go away and have shown no remorse. As a result, there is yet to be closure. Our loved ones do not have graves or anything marking the spot where they fell and died. Even now we hear their cries in those final moments. The wounds are fresh and will remain so unless this issue is properly resolved.
Prior to 1990 I was a successful business man who had absolutely no interest in Liberian politics. As a matter of fact politics in general was the farthest from my mind. I believed then that my purpose in life was to create jobs for Liberians. Convinced of this I traveled to Liberia in 1987 to set up a company, but was disappointed that conditions at the time were not conducive for long-term investment. So I returned to the U.S. hoping the situation would improve.
Even I am amazed it has been almost 20 years since I became involved in politics. Credit this to the gross injustice I saw at the very beginning. What began as a simple humanitarian gesture to assist Liberians affected by the war has become by far the greatest challenge I have ever faced. Everyone acknowledges the suffering but it is difficult to arrive at a consensus. Everyone wants a better Liberia but no one is willing to change. Everyone wants multiparty Democracy but no one wants to pay. Everyone wants peace but no one is willing to compromise.
My friend, Liberia is at a crossroads desperately in need of sound moral leadership not only at the national level but across the entire society. This is at the root of the problem which must be resolved before there can be any significant progress. If you are a true Leader, step forward; your country needs you now!
Twenty years ago I stepped forward and offered my help. Today, people from across the nation are urging me to run for President. These generally are the downtrodden that do not have money. They are not famous, and their names are never heard. But they want a nation that is peaceful and safe for all to live. And they realize it will take a person who has no connection with the old politics and the war. Are you ready to step up and lead? Your country needs you now!
I need your help to get Liberia back on track. This election transcends personalities. It is about 3.5 million people whose lives have been turned upside down. You know deep down in your heart living conditions for our people will not improve by doing the same thing over and over again. It is imperative we act now, not out of hatred, malice or vengeance, but rather with a sense of purpose, duty and compassion.
Take a moment and look at my Vision for Liberia, then contact me via email or my blog (Liberian Eye: (http://liberianeye.blogspot.com/)I look forward to communicating with you. Log into TQ Vision: http://www.tqharrisforpresident.com/TQ_Vision.html
Thank you for your support!!
The Author: T. Q. Harris, Jr. is a member of the Free Democratic Party (of Liberia) who is expected to be a Presidential candidate in the 2011 Election. Mr. Harris in 1997 was the Vice Presidential nominee of his Party. He is currently the Chairman of Liberian Contempt UPS. To get more information: http://www.tqharrisforpresident.com/; http://www.friendsoftq.org/; firstname.lastname@example.org; and Phone: (562) 256-4271 Liberia: (+231) 6 538827