Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Year End Message to My Fellow Countrymen, Comrades, Well-Wishers and Audience

My Dear Countrymen and great comrades in the fight for social justice and democracy, I salute you all at this great time from the hilltop of progressivism where we have all over the years been posted critically thinking and utilizing the might of the pen to repel the forces of injustice, corruption, imperial leadership and the menace of poverty.

The year 2008 has gone and shall never return to meet us where it met us when we, mostly in our youths celebrated with lullabies and sent up praises to our Creator asking for longevity. At this time, our concern must not focus on request for longevity in life. What we must pray for considering the political climate and situation, which conventionally is at a disadvantage, is good governance, the product of which shall provide opportunities for longevity.

The year 2008 was a great challenge to lead campaigners for democracy and social justice in Africa. In our country, we saw the locust of corruption, due to the lack of security for public integrity, consuming the fabrics of good governance thereby depriving the masses of our people from better social services and ideal living standards. The scourges of rape and armed robbery went uncontrollably and still remain threats to the survivability of our people.

Mass killings and kidnappings, and abuse of little children through human trafficking were reported around the country. Natural disasters and unfortunate ones caused by men also left some of our people in homelessness and mournful agony. About nineteen of our countrymen died at the hands of others over a farmland dispute in Margibi County, which led to the arrest of a Senator and some others accused as partners-in-crime. Sadly, about ten of our compatriot also died during a football match between our dear Lone Star and visiting Gambia. Hundreds of our people were left as victims of flood around Monrovia, Nimba County, Grand Cape Mount County, and other parts of the country.

There were also several steps taken by our government to address some of those things threatening the existence of our people. Our government launched a road rehabilitation project which saw the paving of major streets in the country. Several construction works were undertaken in local communities to give our people roads to access markets with farm produce, schools to educate children, and health centers were opened in some communities. A strategy to reduce poverty, called LIFT LIBERIA, the common name for the Poverty Reduction Strategy, was launched as a means of reducing poverty in the lives of our people. An Emergency Response Unit of the Liberia National Police was inaugurated to fight robbery and other crimes in the country effectively.

An anti-graft unit called the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission was launched to enforce the campaign against corruption in the country. But the make-up of the commission is still a controversial issue with the civil society community describing it as a ‘bogus process, which fell short of consultations’.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission commenced its public hearings early in the year. Witnesses around the country, including individuals suspected of being perpetrators appeared and gave testimonies of their roles and experiences during the civil war. The testimonies left many of our countrymen in uncertainties and extreme frustrations due to the controversial accounts and deliberate distortions of the facts by those actors. At the same time the advocacy for the establishment of a war crime court continues with vigilance in the country.

During the year, several personalities visited our country which signaled to the world the return of genuine peace in Liberia. The President of the United States, George W. Bush, The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon, including several other world larders and investors came and left. And a landmark event worth mentioning here was the election of Barack Obama as the First Afro-American to become President of the United States of America.

On the continent of Africa, several unfortunate situations left us with great challenges as we strive to democratize the continent. Electoral violence and protests left several of our people dead in Kenya and caused the East African state to lose nearly one billion dollar. Several properties were destroyed as the state nearly loses its authority. A new government was formed against the Constitution of the Country.

As the year ends, Zimbabwe remains a threat to us all where the political crisis has been transformed into a deadly humanitarian crisis that is killing our people. Hunger and pandemics have spread among the rural people while the political leaders have been stifled in a deadlock thereby leaving our people in conditions suffused with hopelessness. The state of Zimbabwe has completely loss its authority and has proven to be unable to protect our people from violence and at the same time can not provide for the people basic social services in health, nutrition, education, and security.

Our people in the Democratic Republic of Congo are being terrified and are dying of the scourge of war for which decades ago the United Nations was founded to prevent. In neighboring Guinea, the long time military cum civilian ruler, Lansana Conteh died, and a bloodless coup took place. The army has seized power and has unfortunately suspended the constitution, trade union activities, and political activities. This action by the army indicates that the rights of our people there will be suppressed and bad governance and dictatorship will continue there. That is a serious threat to us all and the entire subregion that is still recuperating from the internecine crises and political decadence that went around from Liberia to Sierra Leone and then to Ivory Coast.

At this critical point my dear compatriots, it is no imagination that I can tell you that the struggle for democracy and social justice in Africa will one day succeed. For us in Liberia, as we have committed ourselves to the fight against injustices, tyranny and bad governance using the pen and the intellectual mind, we must endure the fight. As we enter into a new year, let us all be hopeful and set a goal for every country. Our concentration in Liberia should be the Elimination of Corruption. Eliminating corruption should not be limited to government. We must enter our schools and oppose bribery; we must obey the laws of our country. For those of us who are in the markets, we must stop skyrocketing prices and sell according to standard prices. Extortion for services out of normal systems must be spoken against in our hospitals, banks, and public services and even the larger private sector.

Continentally, we must all join hands to campaign for the liberation of the great people of Zimbabwe, who by accident of history are the unfortunate victims of a failed state rambling in what the Legendary Nelson Mandela referred to as ‘a tragic failure of leadership’.

This is why we must utilize all available energies and option to counter every act in our country that may have the propensity of creating an imperial leadership. While we must be loyal citizens to our country, and we must all be defenders of its sovereignty, let us with consciousness avoid sycophancy and challenge dictatorship from all angles. Our common focus, if we are to reduce poverty, stop corruption and injustices must be the institutionalization of a system of good governance, because men in all spheres of the globe according to the Athenian Philosopher Socrates, desire nothing more in common than the wish for ‘good governance’.

Let the campaign continue with vigor and endurance in the New Year (2009). We must remain carriers of messages of peace, democracy and social justice every where we go. Peace in a neighboring country is peace in Liberia, and a threat to peace anywhere around the world, is threat to peace in Liberia. There must be no time in our lives when violence should become an option. Leaving the pen for violence is an indication that the intellectual reservoir has run dried, and unfortunately a violence campaign never succeed till the end, all in such struggle are mere cowards and losers. For our people to live in harmony and improved living conditions, the struggle for change, democracy, and social justice must remain bloodless.

I salute you, and wish you all the Blessing of our Creator in the Coming Year.

-In the Cause of Democracy and Social Justice, the Pen Shall Never Run Dry-

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