INFORMATION FILTERING OUT of official circles regarding plans for a national conversation on myriad vexing national issues is welcoming. It is appropriate. Though individuals involved closely with the plan are refusing to talk on the record, signals are very strong and real that such an important undertaking is sure to take place in the country. And we are grateful.
NATIONAL CONVERSATIONS THAT focus on national healing, peace, stability and even on the economy and governance are necessary and critical for a country and people who take delight in co-existence. This is something to support, particularly amid so much political bickering, lousy disagreements amongst stakeholders on national issues and the looming economic uncertainty in the country.
WHAT IS MORE heartwarming is the hint that the George Weah administration is also freak about the national conversation. For a sitting government to encourage or acquiesce the holding of national dialogue or conversation in peacetime on critical issues of concern is most heartening. Nothing is more honorable and pragmatic than this.
AND IT WOULD be imprudent for anyone to see it as a sign of weakness on incapacity on the part of the administration to allow this happen. In fact, it shows strength. It is a great sign of patriotism.
WHAT PRESIDENT WEAH and his administration demonstrates in all this is that Liberia’s problem, whether good or bad, is not the exclusive responsibility of a single group. Every Liberian has a share in it. And one way for every citizen to assume genuine responsibility and take a stake in national affairs is to be allowed to make inputs into the prevailing state of affairs—something the planned national conversation provides a platform for.
CERTAINLY, THE NATIONAL Dialogue on Peace and the Economy, or whatever it is called, will bring all important Liberian stakeholders and groups around the table to share ideas and perspectives that would help the Government handle looming political and economic crises against which background the point of the dialogue evolves. This is not only truly massescratic but also genuinely “Taking Power to the People”, as articulated by the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
WHEN LIBERIANS GATHERED at group and/or stakeholder’s levels and along with their government discuss burning national issues and find harmonious solutions, it gives the citizenry a true sense of belonging to, and ownership of, the governance system. It underpins genuine peace and rallies everyone to the national cause.
THIS IS WHY we feel so delighted about the news of the national conversation. This is why we are so strongly hopeful that the plans being toiled by the planners would get hatched out of ongoing discussions and translated into the Big National Dialogue envisaged.
AGAIN, WE ARE grateful to the Government of President George Manneh Weah, all the eminent Liberians and international partners who are involved with charting this pave of national direction.