Liberian students studying in Ghana under banner Liberian Students Association in Ghana in a special statement signed by the head of the group, Mr. D. Christopher Flomo and email to this outlet on the pending October 10, 2017 general and presidential elections, urgeg their fellow compatriots to “Vote Right And Vote Peace”.
Below is the full text of the statement sent to the GNN-Liberia via email:
Fellow Liberians, according to a former President of the United States of America Abraham Lincoln (1809-1965), ‘the ballot is stronger than the bullet’ so let’s uphold our commitment to multiparty democracy in high esteem’. The Liberian nation and its people corroborated with this assertion when they endorsed the “January 6, 1986” Constitution to be used as the supreme law to govern the good people of the Republic of Liberia (Article 2). Article 77 Clause ‘A’ vividly expatiates this; “Since the essence of democracy is free, competition of ideas expressed by political parties and political groups as well as by individuals, parties may freely be established to advocate the political opinions of the people. Laws, regulations, decrees or measures which might have the effect of creating a one-party state shall be declared unconstitutional.
In our righteous mind, we have chosen this form of government as the way to secure a better life for ourselves and posterity. In the not too distant past, the Nuances and abuse of “multiparty democracy” has done us more harm than good. For many Liberians, our wounds are yet to be healed and nation yet to recover from the ravages of extreme bitterness and a complete societal breakdown that saw some of the worst atrocities ever perpetrated by man against his fellow. From afar, the observed behavioral display by some Liberians echoes a somewhat more cynical version written earlier by the German Philosopher Friedrick Hegel: “the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history”. May this election never be used as the opportunity to repeat the darkest days in Liberian history but rather enlighten us to Vote right! Vote Peace! Vote as Patriots!
Our message to the Electoral Commission is this; adhere to the provision of the constitution Article 77 Clause “B” and all other electoral laws without fear and favor. We kindly ask that you emulate the spirit and professionalism displayed by Mrs. Charlotte Osei, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission in our host nation of Ghana. In spite of the mounting pressure on the Electoral Commission to announce the election results, she vehemently told the Ghanaian Electorates through a press conference that “the duty we owe Ghanaians is not to declare results quickly, but to declare results accurately” Don’t just declare result but declare accurate results which will be the true reflection of the votes casted at the polling stations. May your effort not reserve victory for a specific political party but the nation as whole.
To the Political Parties; “officeholders are the agents of the people, not their masters” said (Grover Cleveland). Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge’. You should not use the ignorance of the masses to win their affections by giving them fat promises of things you would do in the future which others have given and which have largely been unfulfilled. Be tolerant in your speech and deeds. Avoid using insult and profane languages to score political points. Elections are won through the ballots not bullets. Please, don’t resort to the latter!
The churches, mosques and other religious bodies should make peace messages a cardinal part of their sermons as any disruption in the pending electoral process will affect everybody regardless of one’s political inclination and or religious affiliation. The churches should use their platforms to educate their members on the need to have peace before, during and after the electoral processes. Election is not about war, it is about the freedom and the right of all men to make a choice. God in his infinite wisdom endowed mankind with the ability to choose, never take that sacred right from him.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it (Thomas Paine). The electorates are expected to be responsible and cautious before, during and after the elections. ‘Vote right’ as used in this article means; every electorate must make sure his/her vote is counted. Youth! Do not allow yourselves to be used by politicians to cause chaos because in the end you will end up being the victims. We must never forget our past because those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
To all Liberians, forgive we must. The weak never forgives! Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong (Mahatma Gandhi). Forgiveness at this time in our history is the only catalyst for national solidarity and pluralism which would put us on a sustained path for national development.
We must not miss this opportunity because history has shown that we have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
The Liberian Students Association in Ghana is convinced that these Elections will mark a turning point in our nation’s history, a nation of proud sons and daughters ready to get to work rebuilding Liberia in Peace and Unity.
God Bless Our Mother Land.
By: D. Christopher Flomo
Liberian Students Association Ghana