AS A RESULT OF Providence’s intentional design, we, as a people and nation, have survived another turbulent annual voyage, and it is only proper and necessary that we first and foremost adore and extol the Most High God who so expertly navigated our Ship of State to safety. It is true many families and the nation lost dear ones. It is true that all was not rosy. It is true that disenchantment in search for equality, justice and fairness were rift in the air. At least, finally, we have made it through the last 12 months without a bullet of war fired, without our people running into the bushes in fear of dear life, and without bloodshed and mayhem. Our peace remained intact. Our citizens moved about without harassment at highway gates, and without questions about one’s tribe and political party. In a sense, the social and political environment was amiable, unlike other peoples and nations that faced turbulent, restless times during the year.
WE FACED THE deadly Coronavirus and much social and economic temptation to go awhile. But finally, we made it. Indeed, we salute the silent majority of Liberians, who conducted themselves generally as good citizens. Ordinary Liberians take all the credit, next to God. They refrained from violence and insurrectional actions. They could have. The temptation to resort to violent dissent was very high. First, the economy, which often is used as a pretext for protests and often violence everywhere in the world, was terribly in a bad shape. The conditions of the economy—the lack of adequate social services, the liquidity crisis where throngs of people hassled themselves at banking halls without accessing their own money, bad roads conditions particularly in the hinterland, amongst other things—provided perfect reasons for a noisy and uncontrollable citizenry. But the silent majority of Liberians, during the year, controlled their emotions and suppressed all temptations that came their way.
SECOND, THERE WERE some egotistic politicians who tried to use the unfavorable conditions to incite citizens to violence. They called for sustained protests. They pointed to many gray, unstable issues of governance. They painted a bleak future of Liberia and of the people. But severally, the populace ignored calls to take to the streets or to engage in any disruptive behaviors against government and the state. They waited for time of the Ballot Box in which they placed their faith. And, peacefully and tactically, the vented their anger.
UNDOUBTEDLY, THE POPULACE, the silent majority, deserves the greatest commendation for the safe sail of the 2020 National Voyage. They are heroes of peace. They are the linchpin of our fledgling democracy. They are architect of justice and equality. We salute them and wish them well in the New Year. May the Almighty Father continue to give the ordinary people of Liberia the fortitude to continue to serve as the cornerstone of peace and democracy. May they not allow any force, whether politician or business tycoon to steal their joy, and may they not allow their thirst for justice and equality cause them to drink from the cup of violence and chaos.
WE EXTEND OUR SEASONS’ greetings all of Liberia’s political leaders—be it ruling political leaders or opposition political leaders—who despite their egos that naturally come from contestations over ideas and ideals, continue to see Liberia as the common denominator and after all the bitter fuss over what’s needed to be done and why, live on this piece of land bequeath by Providence and ancestors to all in peace and stability. On the one hand, President Weah and his administration, unlike most of their predecessors, have resisted the temptation of silencing opponents by slamming them into prison or harassing out of the country. On the other hand, the opposition, unlike some of their predecessors of yesteryears, have resisted the temptation of instigating or initiating violent rebellions and insurrections against the state. On and for this count, we salute President Weah and his Government and equally salute the leadership of the opposition and its supporters.
IT IS OUR hope and prayer that during the New Year, 2021, Liberia will continue to be peaceful, even more peaceful. It is our prayer that the governing authority will not only continue to embark on its pro-poor programs, this time with deliberate speed, but will also break from the slumber of stagnation on other aspects of governance, particularly in stabilizing the money market and increasing opportunities for Liberians to take stakes in the economic governance of the country. To the opposition community, we say, keep the fire of constructive criticism burning. Continue to point to visible and unarguable governance flaws. Our only plea is that you continue to do so with a sense of patriotism—a sense that allows you to see conflict, war, violence and belligerence as enemies of peace, development and progress.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND fervent happy New Year to all citizens, at home and abroad.