JUST LAST SUNDAY, January 1, 2023, Liberians join the rest of the world in marking the onset of a new year. We are deeply aware that though there may be so many events taking place this year, the ensuing general elections will be the major one which, expectedly, has the potential of determining not only the future of our fledgling democracy, but some would say the country’s very stability and survival as a corporate entity.
IT IS IN this vein that we have decided to dwell more on the epoch-making occurrence by urging every Liberian to brace up the challenges ahead by being hopeful, positive and work towards making the process an enviable one that will further entrench our democratic culture.
IN THE PRECEDING year, Liberians have been hopeful and have placed high premium on 2023 which will be a very defining moment in their lives as they have resolved to take far reaching decision on where next they place their destiny with respect to who emerge as leaders from the pack of the surging number of politicians who are asking for their votes.
AS THE YEAR 2023 dawns, we should not hide from the fact that there is widespread anger, distress, discontent, fear, and apprehension in the land – a potentially explosive situation which genuine leaders must take seriously. Liberia has been going through a tough time considering the hardship that most of the citizens have been experiencing. The indices are evident everywhere. There are therefore enormous challenges ahead for those who are presenting themselves for leadership positions at all levels. It will surely not be party time for those who would emerge after the 2023 elections. If the worst predictions are to be avoided, the politicians and the generality of the people have work to do. Much critical thinking and much strategic planning is called for, and therefore an overhaul of our leadership recruitment process is a subject of critical importance and an urgent imperative.
IF LIBERIA IS to survive as one corporate entity, Liberians must quickly abandon the sentiments of narrow ethnicity and political bigotry which have held this country down for so long, and face squarely the task of building a modern democratic society that is made up of people of diverse ethnic origins and multiple socio-cultural persuasions and anchored on certain non-negotiable (fundamental) values and principles. If we are to cross the 2023 threshold safely and begin to lay the foundation of a new Liberia of our dream, Liberians must rise as one and cast out the demons of ethnic antipathy and rancor, political acrimony, primitive acquisition, nepotism, and cronyism, and all the other negative forces that have held us down for so long and now threaten to consume us.
TRUE NATIONAL TRANSFORMATION will not happen in an environment of widespread division, social discontent, and strife. The exigencies of the times call for a major paradigm shift at the individual and group level. If as the year 2023 dawns, we abandon our corrupt and destructive political, economic, and social habits, and summon the determination to build a modern democratic society, based on justice and equity, integrity and transparency, concern for the common good, and self-sacrificing leadership, we would have put ourselves on the path of the desired national rejuvenation in the New Year.
SO FAR ALL the major stakeholders have given their words that the process will produce its desired result. There have been assurances and reassurances from President George Manneh Weah, who said he wants credible election in 2023 by allowing the citizens to have a level playing field so as to express their wishes through the ballot box; the National Elections Commission (NEC), which said it is ready to conduct clean elections, especially now it has got its wish to use the biometric voting technology ; the military and police authorities which have said they will secure the process; the development partners that have spent so much thus far and still intend to spend more until the last day and even the various political parties, the civil societies and other interesting parties, including the citizens themselves who have vowed to play their part and discharge their responsibilities for the grand success of the very important election.
IT IS OUR hope that the commitment shown thus far from all the stakeholders and the enthusiasm being generated across the country will be kept at the top of the game until the final day when the hope and aspiration of everybody must have been achieved.
ON THIS NOTE we wish Liberians a happy New Year and look forward to a worthy general election.