They Call Us The Last Plantation – Written By Sam Mohammed Kromah

There is nothing more dangerous to the security of a nation than the silence of the righteous” It comes to confirm that the status of Liberia as a plantation for a certain group of people has not changed. We have to learn from these experiences and chart another course. We saw it in the 70s. A group of idealists and demagogues, sharply eloquent in enumerating the issues, incited us to condemn establishment for their own personal feelings.

They took advantage of our innocence and our eager desire for social justice and the American style of democracy. We were daring enough to stand before live bullets. Some of our comrades were killed and some crippled because we believed them and we also believed in the cause. We were told that the rights of the people to select their leader in a fair transparent and none threatening and intimidating atmosphere is the root of our liberty. Apart from that, it also represents the highest expression of our common beliefs in a core of shared values that form the cornerstones or building blocks of a democratic society.

We were told not to compromise our principle for freedom of expression and movement in its purest sense, our democratic values and rule of law, human rights and civil liberties, religious tolerance and ethnic harmony, national unification and integration, and political pluralism and social economic justice. They told us that without freedom of the press and political freedom, genuine economic development is impossible. Without fundamental freedom, a free citizenry, and free market of ideas and enterprises, a government of inclusion, Liberia will never ever reach the real and imagined potential of nationhood and humanity. The system we all condemned at the time is better than whatever they have been able to produce under their watch. Some of them are deeply entrenched in the current system and are as quiet as a graveyard at night. Is this what the HALA –HALA was all about?

After 168 years of bad governments Liberia is called the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored, and impoverished. In this demesne, as it is called, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, innovations. And we cannot even feed ourselves. Liberia was perceived as the beacon of Africa.

Some now call it “THE ONLY PLANTATION IN AFRICA” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, thousands die and many more remain decapitated by the day. The proliferation of political parties is strictly based on countless reasons: (1) to take state power and protect the looted goods, (2) some, to get in charge of the wealth of the country and loot, and the list goes on.

It’s amazing how we all sit here and watch ourselves die from treatable and preventable conditions awaiting some extraterrestrial creature to bring redemption. It is self evident that one cannot outsource himself out of a disaster. Our land so fertile that anything with life grows in it and yet we cannot work to feed ourselves. Our health and educational facilities are all in total mess. Please don’t blame it on colonialism as we were never colonized.

“It is us, the Bscs, the Master degree holders, the PHDs, Lawyers, the politicians and the medical doctors that are lazy. When we rest our heads on pillows, we don’t dream big. Most of us only dream about how to loot the resources of our country, how to protect our family, tribe and religion. It is never about country. It is us and our so-called intellects that are damn lazy. It is us and not those poor starving people, who are the reason Liberia is in such a deplorable state.”

We are the lazy ones. Our poor and uneducated brothers and sisters  are the most hardworking people on earth. We see them in the markets and on the streets selling merchandise. We see them in villages toiling away. We see women all around Monrovia crushing stones for sell and I tear. I say to myself where are our intellects? Are our engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher, or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers?

Are we telling ourselves that after one hundred and sixty eight years of independence our university and engineers have not been able produce a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? What is the school there for?”. Our visionless self centered progressives of the seventies and eighties were only able to duplicate themselves.  They were able to paralyze their audience (mostly innocent minds) with rhetoric. They did not and have not been able to produce anything of substance that has in any form or shape change the quality of life of the people.

However, they managed to create a state of EUPHORIA  in the eyes and hearts of the BENIGHTED, and that’s all. As William Shakesheare would put it, “tedious as a twice told tale told by an idiot full of sounds and fury signifying nothing”.  If they stood before and spoke, you definitely would pack up and follow them. They hang onto nothing but what they can get, you can see how quiet they are right now because they are comfortable.

“Do you know where we find our intellects? They are in bars quaffing. They are at all in expensive hotels owned by foreigners. Our intellects work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. If you find us brainstorming is about finding ways to loot and put some money in our pockets, using ethnicity and religion to secure our relevance.

We don’t care about our country and even our very own parents, brothers and sisters that are dying in villages and towns from treatable and preventable conditions. Many have died or are dying of neglect by us. They are dying of malaria and typhoid because we cannot come up with our own cure. We are calling ourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating our credentials once asked, I have a PhD in this and that—PhD my foot! Wakeup Liberians and smell the darn coffee. The World is moving 100 miles per hour forward and we’ve got our country in reverse.

“We should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes, and diagrams from American and European manufacturing factories and sending them to our own factories. All those research findings and dissertation papers we have compiled should be our country’s treasure. Why do we think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Take a look at Japan, if my research is accurate, our GDP in 1950 was the same as theirs. We are a signatory to every important document that has to do with the WORLD PEACE or COLLABORATION: League of Nations, United Nations, OAU, AU,  ECOWAS and the Manor River Union, the list goes on. Last but not the least, Liberia cast the deciding vote for the creation of the Great of State of Israel.

I know so many of my country men and women (some have gone far beyond) that got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery.  We even have one who is currently in charged of the wealth of this great potential who also is acclaimed to be one of the brightest, most globally connected and loved yet has not been able to meaningfully change the quality of life of the people.

It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. We, as a nation, lack a workhorse mentality and behave like the whole nation depends on a government pay check. We believe that development is generated behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall and having other people to run errands for us. Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for growth, fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

But the intelligentsia is not solely, or even mainly, to blame. The larger failure is due to political circumstances over which they have had little control. The past governments failed to create an environment of possibility that fosters innovation, rewards ideas and to encourage resilience. And, the current government does not even know what day it is nor which side is down town. A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior plan which requires a bold vision, and risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude is needed.

Let us take a moment and think about our country. Our history from 1847 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, disease and the civil war. The number of graves exceeds the population. It’s time to change our political culture. It’s time for the Liberian intellects to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement that will change our lives forever. Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining few of your beloved ones. Join us the, NEW LIBERIA PARTY and let us change Liberia forever.

By: Sam Mohammed Kroman, National Chairman New Liberia Party

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