Wednesday, April 6, 2011

BLOODY TUESDAY, MARCH 22: ELLEN’S MISTAKE

Source: Front Page Africa

By: John B. Kollie

Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe.

Following the April 14th, 1979 rice rebellion during which the security forces shot and killed over 140 Liberians and jailed hundreds more, Liberians in Monrovia adapted a popular song which they sang everywhere in protest against the atrocities committed by the goons of the Tolbert administration. It went something like this: “April 14, aye yah, Tolbert mistake, yeah…..”. It was not long after this tragedy, 11 months to be exact, that the Tolbert Government fell in a coup d’état led by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe.


The Ellen Sirleaf administration seems to have made its own mistake on 22 March when its police and other security personnel brutalized students of the Tubman High School and GW Gibson High School in Monrovia. The students, in a peaceful demonstration, had taken to the streets to protest the absence from classes of their teachers who were boycotting their teaching assignments over demand for an increase in their salaries.

As in 1979 when Tolbert’s security forces murdered innocent citizens, the students were non-violent and well-meaning. But this was not enough to stop the blood-thirsty security forces from inflicting serious injuries on the students. The blood spilled on the floors of the teachers’ lounge, bathroom and class rooms, and the tears flowing down the faces of many of those who witnessed the police brutality--all speak of the atrocities visited upon the students by the very police who are paid to protect them. Indeed, the police forcibly entered the classrooms and unleashed their batons and knives on the unarmed students. Among the injured was a handicapped student, Cecelia Parker, who was severely assaulted.

Not satisfied with brutalizing the students, the police went on to engage in petty theft. According to the principal of G. W. Gibson High School, Mr. Terence Moore, the police forced their way onto the school’s campus, brutalized the students and made away with some money, a lap top, and several cell phones. Mr. Moore is now consulting with his lawyers to charge the police to court in order to recover the properties stolen by them.

This is not the first time that the police have unleashed their cruelty on unarmed students. In January, 2010, the leadership of the Liberian National Students Union was arrested, beaten and jailed for as yet unexplained reasons. The students were only released days later as a result of the hue and cry raised by the Liberian people.

To add insult to injury, the police, led by that agriculturist masquerading as law enforcement chief, have refused to apologize for their illegal and unethical behavior and are insisting on making all kinds of asinine justification. For her part, the Minister of Justice, a scion of the defunct Tolbert regime, has called on the police to investigate itself, forgetting, if she ever cared to know it, that age-old legal dictum: You cannot be a judge in your own case.

And what reaction do we get from President Sirleaf? Instead of calling the police to book, all we get from the President is an undignified silence. But this is Ellen’s mistake. For as the saying goes, silence gives consent.

President Sirleaf
Auditor General Mr. John Morlu
The President’s mistake also extends to her refusal to re-appoint as Auditor General Mr. John Morlu who has been in the forefront of the battle against corruption in Liberia. Ellen’s mistake, again! For if she had charged to court all those Morlu had nailed for corruption; and if she had implemented Morlu’s many recommendations to curb corruption, Liberia would not today be occupying that disgraceful position of being “one of the most corrupt countries in the world”. That is why much applause must be given to Ambassador (Prof) Dew Tuan-Wleh Mayson who has assured the Liberian people that when elected President, he will re-appoint Mr. Morlu as Auditor General in order to have a most trusted general in the war against corruption.

This is not all. Ellen’s mistakes also include:

• The current destruction of the houses and businesses of people at the ELWA road junction at a time like this when times are hard and no alternative is being offered to these people.

• The refusal to grant protection to Liberian refugees in Ghana when they were under attack by the police in that country;

• The refusal to repatriate the many Liberians who have been caught in the on-going civil strife in La Cote d’Ivoire and in Libya.

In the forthcoming presidential elections, after counting so many mistakes made by Ellen, Liberians will have the opportunity to give her her due marks. And those marks will inevitably give Ellen not a passing grade but a passing out grade.

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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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