Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Open Letter to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
President of the Republic of Liberia

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 28, 2007

Dear Madam President,I bring you warmest greetings in the spirit of nationalism. Please accept my post Independence Day compliments. This is my first time communicating with you since you ascended to the stewardship of this country. I have decided to make this communication open not only for you and me to be the communicators, but that the people of Liberia can visualize the essence of free speech in a democracy. I also open this communication for the purpose of a conscious audience to take note of my encounter with you through this medium. The writing of this communication was precipitated by impression of your administration’s effort in less than two years. However, I did not decline on outlining my dismay and disappointments about your administration. That will be noted further down as we talk. Let me first commend you for the level of work done so far in restoring peace to our country. If we were on a boat on the Pacific with a rough hurricane blowing, you will be called a courageous and skillful sailor. Bravo. First, let me inform you that your administration has succeeded in restoring hopes to the people of Liberia. The peace enjoyed, with all its delicacy, the numerous economic negotiations, the freedom of press and speech, what I have chosen to fight for, the reformed judiciary, and the numerous cries against corruption signal a future of prosperity and abundant harvest from the compounded field of economic growth and democracy. My studies and observations of power and subjects have made me to know that a leader without vision and courage is followed by a people without hopes and aspirations. With this, I want to let you know that the hopes restored in the lives of the Liberian people are not the results of your eloquence or fascinating appearances, but because of your ability and willingness to convert your good words into fruitful deeds. My studies have also made me to know that when a leader disregard and neglect the cries and services of his people, the people become frustrated. And mind you, a frustrated people are a gullible people who are susceptible to accept all perfidious arrangements of your critics. It is at this time that the seeds of the critics begin to germinate, and very soon the people revolt. Such revolt may end into a long civil war and anarchy when you feel powerful enough to resist them. This is manifested in the Frustration-Aggression Theory, a modern political theory that argues that individuals and even societies that are frustrated sometimes become aggressive. Madam, History had told me that the last three pre war presidents are remembered for different activities and slogans. President Tubman is recorded for the Open-Door Policy and the Unification Policy, President Tolbert is remembered for the slogans ‘from mat to mattresses and ‘total involvement, higher heights’; while President Doe is remembered for the ‘Green revolution’. Some of these slogans and policies only exist on papers and in grapes while some are felt by the people. Some one had told me that like other, you will be remembered for your ‘Papa na come’. I have challenged this to believe that you have more to achieve as president than a ‘papa na come’. My argument have been based on the fact that papa can not come when he is not employed or when he lacks the ability to be employed- when he lacks academic, technical and vocational education. I want to let you know that if you fight and eradicate illiteracy in Liberia by educating the young people of this country, the babies of illiteracy, poverty and disease will have no place in the lives of the people. If this is achieved, papa will come with wealth and health, and your footprints will be indelible, your position in the pages of history will remain sacrosanct. The young people of this country have to find a definitive road to follow from you and members of your generation - a generation infamously known for destroying this country. In Plato’s work, the Republic, it is stated that the world is a journey and every generation will follow the footprints of the preceding generation. If your generation wants a future for this country, you must not relent in your fight against corruption. You must avoid the acts of class and ethnicity in leadership, the act of having clemency over officials who come into conflicts with the laws and policies on grounds that they are friends of the president. The standards you will set for our country are what the next generation of leaders will definitely follow. If concession agreements are not published like the controversial Nigerian Oil deal, corrupt officials are not prosecuted like the guys from the Lands, Mines and Energy Ministry; your successors may likely follow such practice. Madam, I will hold myself in contempt if this communication reaches you without informing you that some of your well known policies are not enforced. The issues of price control and exchange rate to commensurate with incomes have gone beyond the comprehension of low income earners. While there incomes have been seemingly increased, they still survive at the same level as inflation remains a major problem to understanding the consumption capacity of their increased income. The young girls of Liberia are still to understand the fate and essence of the widely publicized ‘Policy on Girls Education’ of April 2006. People living in rural communities still lack basic social services, mainly health facilities and primary schools. Children in distance villages are out of school because of no proximity to communities with schools. With these I will like to close with the conviction that we had a fine discussion, the fruit of which will be enjoyed not only by you and me, but the entire citizenry of this country.May God Bless you and save the State.

Progressively yours

Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei
Citizen of Fassie Town, Bomi County

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