Subject: Your Role in 2023 Elections Well Noted; Keep It Up to the End

Your Excellency:

Heartfelt season greetings.

We can no longer afford to keep our “Memo to the President” column on sabbatical, having survived peacefully and honorably in 2023 and docked at the portal of a crucial year, 2024. Last year, 2023, was not just another year left on the pages of history; it was a phenomenal year to behold. And certainly, 2024 is destined to find an amiable place in the nation’s history also. In it all, you stand out phenomenally for an incredible role played. We thank you and ask that you keep it this way until inauguration day.

That this nation which was beleaguered in 2023 by fiery flames of political acrimonies fanned by high-stakes presidential elections in which grimly determined protagonists contested sailed unscathed, thus giving way to the dawn of 2024 at which time another major political transition is to be consummated in six years, is something to profusely acknowledge. And no well-meaning Liberian, or a friend of Liberia, can celebrate this feat without mentioning you as a prime catalyst and midwife.

Naysayers did predict doom in 2023. People of God even dreamed dreams and forewarned that this nation was seen drowned in the seas of blood. Political soothsayers theorized that signs on the horizon foretold catastrophe that would be birthed on tricks and artifices being cooked by you and your advisors to outmaneuver the opposition and steal the elections. It would not be far from the truth to say that because of all these auguries, Liberia’s masters of the gun and blade were prone to fetch and amass deadly hardware to launch their “liberation struggles” and keep the country balkanized had there be any eventuality Men of war and chaos were calculatedly in search of the least pretext to unleash their stings on the country. But all of that, thankfully, was defused by one thing: your control of ego, pride and ambition. Nothing liberated the year 2023 from the orgy of slaughter and mayhem, and made 2024 transition a possibility than your gracefulness in defeat, and the power of your spirit to suppress the bitterness, frustration and ambitions of your followers.

The nation has been following how such a meek gesture of yours has attracted adoration and affection for you across the world, all enriching your legacy and your amiable place on the pages of history.

As this transition takes place between your government and the incoming administration, we and other grateful Liberians can admit to the fact that you have done quite well in sustaining a space for peaceful coexistence, for pluralistic democratic interplay and stability and harmony. Your administration has been quite tolerant to dissent and your enactment and signing into the law of the Kamara A. Kamara Bill decriminalizing free speech is quite a significant move to ensure greater democracy and freedom. We also take note of your demonstrable obsession for providing and/or improving critical social services to ordinary Liberians. In the last six years, the nation has borne witness to the construction of several paved roads in urban and rural communities, expansion of Liberia public electricity grid, building market buildings and hospitals and free tuition in public universities and colleges, amongst other things.

With guns and conflicts being silent for the period of your administration, despite isolated minor elections feuds, Liberia again set a good record in its 176 years of existence—sustainable democracy and national peace. Liberia is setting an exemplary democratic credential on the continent of Africa where sustained democracy is a luxury in many countries. While your immediate-past predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, takes some credit in ushering this culture of democracy and tolerance after long years of brutal armed conflict, the onus has been on you because, for your case, our nation was scrapped naked all the direct international responsibilities enjoyed for three decades at the advent of your incumbency. Already, your administration is on record, without foreign troops and largess as it was in the past, for conducting several by-elections that were hailed generally and widely as free, fair and transparent, in addition to the 2023 general and presidential elections.

In the case of the 2023 elections, once again without the enormous logistical, monitoring and financial support of the international community, the country had crucial elections in which you, yourself, were on the ballot. This was a major test—a serious prism that was poised to bring out the genuineness and honesty of your character as a true leader, an avid democrat and obsessive Liberian patriot. And you passed that test.

However, here is the final test: Ensuring that you and officials of your administration ensure a seamless and fruitful transition. News that your administration is truncating badly needed support towards the transition does not sound good. We understand that the UP side of the transition is now compelled to raise alternative funding to hold its inaugural ceremonies. Indeed, though details are sketchy on the matter, it contrasts with the democratic credentials you have already exhibited in 2023 during the general and presidential elections. This does not support the political sportsmanship you have so far shown during the most difficult time. Our hope is that you improve camaraderie with the JNB team, lest cynics suspect that you are acting out of anger for loss.

We don’t want you to lose a dint of the new popularity you have acquired for being extremely tolerant and meek under pressure—something that could subtract from your noble legacy set as a soon-to-be former president of Liberia. This is not just a win for you, but a win for Liberia which is put on the world’s democracy map all because of how you conducted yourself during such a crucial election period.

Thus, please ensure that the rest of the days left to inauguration are without hiccups and mishaps, and no member of your administration will stand in the way of this historic transition.

Once again, thank you for your patriotic deeds.

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