Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dr. Gbaba Calls For Interim Government in Liberia Before 2011 Elections

By: Gardea V. Woodson

Source: The Liberian Journal
Dr. Joe Gbaba

A Liberian playwright and exiled scholar is calling for the installation of an interim government in Liberia--after president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s tenure expires in 2011-- in order to resolve the political impasse in implementing recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

President Sirleaf is among about 50 individuals recommended to be barred from politics in Liberia for 30 years--for being a financier of the war-- and is largely blamed in some quarters for her failure to implement the TRC recommendations.

On the duties and responsibilities of the interim government, Dr. Gbaba said, will address the issues of establishing war crimes court to try Liberian warlords, form a “National Palava Hut Commission” to address lesser crimes such as rape, arson, torture and economic crimes.

Dr. Gbaba, speaking on Saturday, Oct. 30, at a symposium on the TRC process held at the New School University, in New York, also proposed that the “interim government” be mandated to repatriate stranded and neglected Liberians seeking safety around the world from the onslaught of Liberian warlords and their fighters.

He also said a comprehensive voter education be organized before the presidential and general elections are held, arguing that most Liberian refugees, including himself, have refused to voluntarily repatriate because they fear reprisals, and called on the international community to lend its support in ensuring that there is a safe political and secured environment in Liberia before the general elections.

Dr. Gbaba advised the international community against rushing Liberians to elections, because ”carnage number one” that resulted in the death of 300,000 Liberian citizens, including the five American nuns, has not been adequately addressed and resolved.

He is of the view that it is highly likely that ”carnage number two” may occur if those who committed “carnage number one” are not brought to justice, especially if Liberians are forced by the international community to hold elections in 2011 when national security matters are not first attended to.

Dr. Gbaba informed his audience that there is a hostile state of affairs in Liberia, which contradicts the cultural and historical heritage of all Liberians, due mainly to the fact that Liberians have been held hostage for more than 21 years by warlords, who have deliberately failed to express remorse for atrocities they have committed.

He said Liberian warlords have been awarded state power by complacent United Nations, African Union, Economic Community of West African States, European Union, and among others.

Because of this compliancy, Dr. Gbaba pointed out that Liberian warlords are “arrogant and are roaming the corridors of power with impunity and with complete disregard for the sanctity of human life and the rule of law.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Gbaba is rejecting what he calls “quasi researches” by some foreign consultants at the symposium that say Liberians were in favor of amnesty.

Dr. Joe Gbaba said there were double standards in their research findings which are solely based on their desire to seek more funding from western institutions.

He said it is important that international consultants work along with local African experts to benefit the local population.

“I came to the United States of America to enjoy the fruits of democracy and the rule of law. It is this same seed of transparent justice and rule of law that the people of Liberia desire at this time because of the true meaning of Liberia is ‘land of the free’ and that its citizens are called Liberians--which means ‘free people’”, Dr. Gbaba noted

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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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