“Everybody for Self, GOD for ALL”: The Liberian Run-Off Election

By Griot Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr. | Hampton, Georgia

November 12, 2023

INTRODUCTION

The Liberia Run-Off Election is Everybody for Self, GOD for ALL’. The country’s past is catching with us in an ugly way. Why! Because all that Liberian politicians are concern about is self-interest… (Me, Myself and I); no matter the consequences!

This is known as Machiavellianism! It is a political philosophy found in the Machiavelli’s PRINCE. This political philosophy is used by political leaders who want to hold on to power “by any means necessary.” This philosophy was developed by the Italian Renaissance diplomat named Niccolo Machiavelli who believed that most leaders’ unrelenting pursuit of maintaining power will do whatever it takes to hold on to power.

In other words, immoral acts are justified if they can help achieve political glory. There the “End justifies the means” is applied. For examples: wrong or unfair methods are put in place …if the overall goal is good or greed is excused by claiming that the “end justifies the means.”

Morally, a positive outcome isn’t healthy nor a good thing if the methods used were dishonest and harmful to the citizens. This is the verdict awaiting Liberian politicians and their loyal supporters are positioning themselves for the bounty (ultimate reward) in the November 16, 2023 Run-off Elections.

I am reminded of Seltue Karweaye, Jr.’s description of politics that reads, “…Liberia has the funniest electorate of any nation in the world. Come election season, the credibility of a candidate standing for elections to any office in the land is gauged based on the size of his/her campaign war chest, tribal, religion, and regional affiliations… The discussion of Liberian politics has long focused on the role of the executive (President), or on the party, and less commonly on the role of the legislature. Big men (and now a few women) dominated national politics, either as democrats. They and their close associates were salient and largely determinative of political machinations and outcomes. Thus the President was for many decades omnipotent in the majority of Liberian politics”.  

This is evidence with opposition political parties playing a wait and see as to which candidate to support in the November 16, 2023 Run-off Elections. Only Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe of LPP wasted no time to give his support the opposition candidate – former vice president, Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s Unity Party. Appleton backs Boakai; also, Amara Konneh and Toga McIntosh endorsed him; Moniba remains neutral; Wokie Dolo endorsed Weah, while Alexander Cummings of the CPP/ANC remains neutral in the Run-off – even though several members of the CPP he once headed is expected to endorse President Weah.

Most Liberian politicians cannot be trusted. We are our own worst enemies! A classic example is Presidential candidate Alexander Cummings.

The statements below are attributed to him, which journalist David S. Menjor published in the April 21, 2023 edition of the Daily Observer. It reads:

If I don’t, in the unlikely case, make it to the run-off, I will openly support the opposition candidate who will make it to the run-off, even if it is former Vice President Joseph Boakai,” says Cummings, as he addresses potential voters in  New Kru Town.

Presidential candidate Alexander Cummings has announced plans to endorse former Vice President Joseph Boakai if he does not make it to the run-off after the October 10 poll.

“All my life I have one plan and that is to win or succeed. If I don’t, in the unlikely case, make it to run-off following the October 10 election, I will openly support the opposition candidate who will make it to the run-off, even if it is former Vice President Joseph Boakai,” says Cummings, as he addresses potential voters in New Kru Town.

In conclusion, Menjor wrote: “The rare disclosures from Cummings, the Standard Bearer of the Collaborating Political Parties, come amidst strained relations with Boakai, his arch-rival for the presidency.”

 Not long again, Cummings flipped and came up with a list of 12 pre-endorsement requirements that both President Weah and former Vice President Boakai must adhere to for his endorsement in the November 14, 2023 Run-off.

“A wonder shall never cease” move!

This suggests that not too many people are willing to do what is right. Instead, they are only looking up for themselves. This reminds of Tony Lawrence’s profound observation: “It’s selfish ignorance, and it’s exactly why totalitarian governments are able to get away with trampling on people. Freedom does not mean freedom just for the things I think I should be able to do. Freedom is for all of us. If people will not speak up for other people’s rights, there will come a day when they will lose their own”.

History Makes Strange Bedfellows

What has changed? Isn’t President Weah and his CDC’s 6 Years Rule, failed policies and out of control corruptions the opposition campaigned against? What has NOW changed… if it is not to obtain positions in Weah’s government when he wins in the Run-off Elections; what is it?

Those who are now supporting the CDC and President Weah have shown their true colors. Shame on them! They should look out for Karma’s visit. They should not blame the Devil; it their greediness and self-interests. Simply put, self-interests individuals are only interested in seeking opportunities for themselves and their associates. For example, they want these jobs because of the incomes and benefits.

Perhaps, it is because of the incomes and benefits these following persons pledged their support to CDC and President Weah:

Honorable Gbezohngar Finley,

Henry Pedro Costa,

Madam Edith Gongloe-Weh, and

CPP/ANC’s Alexander Cummings.

In Liberian parlance, they are ‘playing it safe’ or ‘positioning themselves’. However, it was only Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe of LPP who wasted no time to pledge his support to the Unity Party (UP). This is called “consistency”! 

“History makes strange bedfellows” when one enters into a peculiar alliance with people he/she does not share the same beliefs – but the people they are joining the alliance with are at the center of power more accessible to them… they can produce the results they want. This is what is happening with these Liberian politicians and their political parties, today!

I love a Democracy that promotes contending ideals that will help society becomes better; instead of promoting “one size fit all” mindset that supporters of President Weah and the CDC Party of the present government.

What I have problem with is to wait for everybody to agree before I take a stand on issues concerning my country. I did not choose to be a Liberia; God did! Because of my stance on these vexed and pregnant issues, I don’t mind being called “Trouble Maker” or “Rocking the Boat”. The approach to not take a stance makes one an unintended accomplice to heinous crimes, emotional and physical abuse, and corrupt practices perpetrated against the poor and venerable citizens. To sit by supinely and watching without coming to the defense of these victims, makes a person callous. I refuse to be that person!

As a believer in the principles of the Holy Bible, what another person tells me or says about me, means nothing to me; when I know in my heart, my decision(s) is Holy Bible driven. Because the God that I worship made me so different, that I am one of a kind. There is no one like me! God has blessed me with 76 years on this earth, which I do not deserve; and He still has mercy on me, because of it I thank Him every minute of the day. Moreover, He equipped me with what it takes to be an instrument to fulfill the adage: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” I take it a step further to say, in this digital age, the computer and the Internet are mightier than the sword. Therefore, I do not listen to the noise in the market which would prevent me from doing what is right. Therefore, I consider it my moral obligation and duty to speak and write about any issue that I consider WRONG in the Liberian society and the world.

This reminds me of historian John Henrik Clarke’s profound statement about history. According to him:

History is the clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is also a compass that people use to find themselves on the map of human geography…history tells a people where they have been and what they have been, where they are and what they are. Most important, an understanding of history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must be.

Conclusion 

“Integrity, Transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be thought as fundamental values,” says Angel Gurria, former OECD Secretary General. Without Integrity and Transparency in all that we do, our struggle will amount to nothing.

Therefore, my brethren, let’s have patience with one another, so all that matters will be the end results we crave for. We need each other to achieve our goals. We, the older folks, are on our way out; you young people are our benefactors. Respect is all we need from you! Is this too much to ask? I think not! Our native people say, “The one you love is the one you advise; your enemy you care less about.” Let’s be civil to each other and put Liberia FIRST!

Since most elected government officials in Liberia served in the government for their personal interests…this is the reason why the so-called opposition is not united to serve the interests of the country and the citizens.

The last time I consulted the dictionary the list provided below is considered corruption, and that citizens will continue to ‘catch hell’ if we remain complacent.

  • Nepotism is considered a crime;
  • Favoritism is considered a corrupt practice;
  • Paying BIG SALARIES to a select few who are NOT doing anything EXTRAORDINARY, is still a corrupt practice, and
  • Calling oneself a representative of the people and NOT advocating on their behalf, is a deceitful practice.

On Tuesday, November 14, 2023, let’s go out to vote to retire President Weah and his CDC government. “Enough is Enough!”

Mr. Siahyonkron Nyanseor – The Author

Mr. Siahyonkron Nyanseor is a retired Mental Health/Developmental Disability (MH/DD) Clinical Team Leader and QMRP (Qualified Mental Retardation Professional) employed by the Georgia Department of Human Resources – Georgia Regional Hospital at Atlanta. He has over 30 years’ experience working as Clinical Instructor, Behavior Specialist and Administrator. Mr. Nyanseor is former Secretary, Vice &Chair of ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc. He is the historian of ULAA; a founding member and the organization’s 11th President (1986-1988). Also, Mr. Nyanseor is an ordained Minister of the Gospel. He is also a poet, Griot, journalist, and a cultural and political activist. He can be reached at: eldersicf@gmail.com

 

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