Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Emphasizing the Reality of Bropleh’s Alternative to Rapists

Ibrahim Al-bakri Nyei

One would wonder why this controversial issue has claimed the attention of the pen, and has become a subject of discussion under this series. As it was stated in the maiden edition of this series, that our discovery of the fact that what we are writing are influencing national policy decisions, so everything that has to do with a contentious national issue will have to be a matter of dialoguing here for possible solutions. That has, and will always be our intent. That is also why the slogan of the series goes like this: In the Cause of Democracy and Social Justice the Pen Shall Never Run Dry.

There are three major reasons why we will have to attempt to emphasize the reality of Dr. Bropleh’s clear and audacious alternative to the spineless and vicious men in our society who are inhumanely assaulting teenagers as low as six years and nine years to ease their sexual emotions. We have to divorce this issue from all hypocrisies and sycophancies. As a social thinker I believe strongly that what threatened society and the survivability of a particular generation must be countered and eliminated with all available options. Whether Bropleh thinks the same way, so be it. The three reasons we will discussed to emphasize the reality of the alternative are: The issue of rape, the issue of prostitution, and the controversies surrounding the personality of Bropleh.

The first reason here is the prevalence of rape in our country today. It is indeed appalling that rape and armed robbery are the two crimes that usually top police charge sheet. Sadly, little girls in their teens and under ten years are the unfortunate victims of this scourge. There are several cases that when we reminisced of for the sake of humanity we weep in empathy. That an innocent kid will loss her life or her future just in few minutes to the pleasure of a man who has no esteem for himself is a question that we all must ponder over. Two years ago nine-year old Janjay died of rape. Earlier this year, a little girl identified as Tenezee was raped to death in New Kru Town. Several of these cases are occurring uncontrollably. Children are either dying or being damaged completely. Imagine that a six-year old had her womb removed after being raped.

With all attempts made, including the Act that makes rape unbaillabe, with all the harsh punishments against convicts, the crime continues unabatedly. These are occurring in a country where there are prostitutes available for anything one can afford. Therefore, it is prudent and realistic enough for anyone to call the attention of rapists to the services of prostitutes as a means of saving little children from their (rapists) wrath. For anyone to think the other way and condemn this as an option is to be hypocritical and to give a blind-folded eye to the reality of prostitution, and at the same time not doing anything about it.

Prostitution is now an open business in Liberia, and this is not an issue to brag on any longer. In 2005 Save The Children-UK released a report indicating that 90 percent of a sample of school going girls in Monrovia were surviving on prostitution. Regrettably the Gender Ministry and the NTGL did not do any counter investigation to help reduce this immorality in Liberia, but later condemned the report. This is a wrong way of addressing our social problems in this country. We need to face the facts about those problems and find solutions or alternatives to them.

Finally, I must bring out an important issue here to conclude this conversation. Bropleh’s personality and assertions have most often sprouted controversies in this country. This is not strange to me. Every revolutionary who attempts to bring momentary changes to the prevailing order will have to face the condemnations of those benefiting from the wastage of that order. It is evident that many things we accept and do in this country do not reflect the reality of the day and also can not be accommodated in the new realm of globalization. But it will only take a virtuous and courageous man to denounce those things. And as such, he must be prepared to suffer attacks from conformists. In recognition of the fact that Liberia is a pluralistic society, Bropleh, a Methodist prelate, called for the recognition of Islamic Holidays or the elimination of Christian holidays from our national activities. He was misunderstood not because he was not clear, but because people wanted to use the situation against him to score relevance, and for many other reasons. And unfortunately, he received all the condemnations available to the wisdom of his critics. He had come across similar situations in his attempt to attitudinally revolutionize this society that is morally decrepit. Today, he has seen a situation that is very troubling - involving the future of little and innocent Liberian girls against the quenching of the sexual thirst of individuals who have no esteem for their manhood - destroying little and innocent kids. For him he believes that since all attempts are not yielding the required result of curbing rape - he had proposed to rapist to make use of prostitutes that are available. But as usual this is the society that he is struggling with, he is the subject of all humiliations and personality mortification by people including women groups that can not curb rape and prostitution by themselves. Anyway, this where he has launched his revolution, so help us God.

I give him my support and I care not who misunderstand the reality of these revolutions that are coming event by event. Where the fact is practical and visible, we shall not deter to throw in our energy.

It was the American civil rights writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson that said, ‘….To be great is to be misunderstood’. … ‘Jesus was misunderstood, Socrates was misunderstood, Pythagoras was misunderstood, and so many who came to change were misunderstood.’
And I am not surprised if Bropleh is misunderstood.

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