Against the backdrop of the shocking ballot results coming from the just-ended midterm senatorial and referendum elections which point to the opposition bloc heavily leading the ruling CDC, Nobel laureate and rights activist Leymah Gbowee has warned Liberian politicians to execute the mandate of those that brought them to power, or else the people will take away the mandate that they entrusted unto the politicians.
Madam Gbowee said recently, many politicians have employed this phrase – the people’s mandate, as a means of flaunting their political prowess, especially in cases where they win an overwhelming majority of the votes. She said, in most instances, after such massive victories, most politicians turn the people’s mandate into their personal mandate.
“During their campaigns, they conspicuously ride in trucks and open vehicles, pleading for support. Once they triumph, they sit in tainted SUVs, outside the reach of their people. Prior to votes being cast, the people are the MASSES. After winning, the people are viewed as nuisances and treated as though the M in MASSES is silent,” Madam Gbowee stated.
She said as soon as they receive the mandate from the people to lead them, many politicians resort to increasing their personal finances, acquiring luxurious homes, expensive clothing and jewelries, feeling entitled to flying first-class, and riding fancy cars.
“When they fall ill, they and their families fly to Dubai, the USA, France, India, South Africa, and the list goes on. As politicians splurge, the people watch helplessly while they and their needs are relegated and replaced by selfish ambitions. So, what exactly is the people’s mandate?” Madam Gbowee asked rhetorically.
She said the people’s mandate is a simple collection of peace-fostering necessities that include provision of Quality and Affordable Education for All Children; Adequate Healthcare for All; Food on the Table for All Families; Justice for All – Not Just the Highest Bidder; Protection of Their Freedom of Speech; Tolerance for Opposing Views; Dedication to Unity – “No Da Our Time” Mentality; Accountability – You Must Answer to the People; Responsibility – Show Concern for People’s Plight; and Empowerment for All – Not Just Partisans.
“The people’s mandate can be summed up in one sentence: respect for and provision of their human security needs,” Gbowee said.
She furthered that now more than ever before, the people have awakened to the reality of their existence and the power they possess, and they are no longer afraid to exercise that power.
“And to all those who have been entrusted with the ‘People’s Mandate’, please understand that it was delegated to your care in hopes that you would work tirelessly to achieve all the above and more – for the greater good of the people you serve. The people are saying and have said, it is Our Mandate we have given you and are unafraid of ridding you of that responsibility if you fail to uphold your duty” Nobel laureate Gbowee stated.