MEMO TO THE PRESIDENT : Subject: Mr. President, Be Decisive! Take a Definitive Stand on WEEC!

Your Excellency!

We use the medium today, not meeting around the bush, to call you to muster the courage to be more decisive and definitive in what exactly you and your administration intend to do in putting a final closure to the Liberia’s war and conflict chapter. We—and certainly many other Liberians—are very concerned about what appears to be mixed signals from you regarding the establishment of the much-talk-about War and Economic Crimes Court. Surely, Mr. President, Liberians are confused by these mixed signals.

Since the end of the civil conflict nearly 21 years ago, the nation has been divided; Liberians people have stood on two different sides, on how to bring about final closure of the civil conflict. There are Liberians, for instance, who think the closure would come about if perpetrators of crimes were given their day in court and the victims’ heartfelt pains and agonies redressed. Still others posit, as our native ancestors did after wars of old, that Liberians should assemble under the cotton tree or palaver hut, talk things over, reconcile, bury their covenantal hatchets underground, kill cows and swear never to fight each other again.

Your Excellency, we don’t intend to lecture you about national reconciliation, peace, stability and justice. You are quite conversant, given the fact you have been in the national limelight for over forty years and your knowledge about these things is deep, bordering on both sides of the coin—whether it is the retributive and punitive conflict resolution mode prominently practiced in the West or the restorative style of conflict resolution native to Africa including Liberia. What we rather intend doing through this Memo is to point to the fact that, as the President, Head of State and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces, you don’t appear to be sticking to one particular side. We simply want you to put on the leadership cap, put your feet on the ground, stop vacillating between the two positions, so that the rest of Liberians will follow.

We are saying this, Mr. President, because your overtures in the last few months don’t suggest you have one method of resolution in mind, and many Liberians, including your supporters, are getting confused. On the one hand, during the 2023 campaign and even after, you were consistent with the proposition on the need for a War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia. And you crown it all with the submission of a Resolution to the National Legislature to commence the process of establishing the Court. On the other hand, particularly in recent days, you hardly speak about the Court as forcefully as you were doing. And when you spoke to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), your previous utterances and stance on this crucial matter sounded watered down. We heard you talk about victims and perpetrators coming together to iron out things; for the perpetrators to admit their wrongs, apologize to the victims towards reconciliation.

That new position of yours cannot be the punitive justice model being articulated and craved for by some Liberians and the international community, mainly the United States. Perpetrators and victims gathering together and talking reconciliation is a far cry from punitive, court-decided justice formalities. You seem to be gravitating towards the African model, the native Liberian style of postwar settlement, while on paper you have a resolution with the Legislature in   professed pursuit the western style.

When we heard you tell BBC that “to be frank with you, my initial thinking was to go the African way that goes with reconciliation, but…” we knew and we could understand your dilemma, Mr. President. You are an African, and more so a Liberian. Our wars don’t end on the battlefield nor do they end in prison. They end with kola nuts and rituals that promote brotherhood. And you know this very well, except that we are in a global community where one must be politically correct. And if one fails, there are reprisals, since we are not an island untold ourselves.

But your dilemma aside, you must wake up to show leadership. Of all persons, your predecessor President Sirleaf, known for being a maestro of the international politics, stayed clear of this. With the lavish outpour of resources in monies and human security brought into this country during her administration, she refused to be politically correct on this matter. Your immediate past predecessor George Manneh Weah shrugged political correctness on the matter. Perhaps at the vintage point of the presidency, one sees a fragile peace or someone un-Liberian about the WEEC. Who knows? But both presidents didn’t dillydally with it as you are doing.

Our point is, you don’t necessarily have to be like your predecessors since, in fact, your presidential advent is a rescue mission. All we are saying to you is this: “Choose ye whom you want to serve” or what you want to be or do”. If you want to be a bush, be a bush, or if you want to be a tree, be a tree. You can’t be both. If you want punitive justice in War and Economic Crimes Court, be decisive. Establish it. If you want the African/palaver hut mode, go ahead. But don’t vacillate. Be a man. Be a Leader.

Thank you

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.