By Sando Moore
The Liberian society I have come to know for some time now is a complex one. Some of the negative attributes that have kept our society unsophisticated are GREED and SYCOPHANCY.
History has taught me that some of those who are close to the presidency while enjoying power are so comfortable that they do not tell the leader the plain truth. Often than not, they become praise singers around the leader and turn a blind eye to negative vices that tend to discredit the presidency.
I vividly remember the regime of the late President William R. Tolbert, who was a victim of circumstances. When Willie was overthrown by the military in 1980, many of those who were key decision makers during his administration shifted all the blames on the late President Tolbert.
Another episode that is fresh on my mind and that of many other Liberians is that of the late President Samuel K. Doe. Head of State Doe and members of the People Redemption Council (PRC); a military junta that on April 12, 1980, toppled the Grand Old True Whig Party led government of President Tolbert and promised to return the Liberian Nation to a civilian rule government by 1985, but did not live up to their promise.
This situation brought untold suffering to the people. During the period under review, there were Liberians who were financially benefiting from the PRC military regime. They sweet-talked Doe in contesting for the presidency instead of returning the country to civilian rule as he earlier promise. Unfortunately, Doe metamorphosed himself into a civilian president, using a sham election in 1985. During this era of Doe’s military dictatorship, many of his officials became millionaires, and subsequently fled the country with their ill-gotten wealth. They left Doe to die a painful death while they and their families lived abroad in affluence and luxury.
The most recent one is that of President Charles G. Taylor, who presided over the armed belligerent group, National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) along with other prominent Liberians who were all responsible for making decisions for that organization. When push came to shove, only President Taylor was sent to the World Crime court and he eventually ended up in a British Prison. Others remained here and are now moving on with their so-called political lives.
Inarguably, when one becomes president in this country, he or she becomes almost a slave to the security forces and other members of the Power that be. Worst of all, you are made to hear and do those things that people within your immediate surroundings want you to do for their personal and other pecuniary gains. They will block anyone who wants to show the leader what is in the best interest of the people. Most of the suggestions from this inner circle of the presidency are either in the best interest of people within the corridor of state power or their apologists (supporters). This behavior, over time, has proven to be dangerous for the presidency of this country.
My candid caution to President George Manneh Weah:
I guess you might wonder as to why Mr. Moore is getting to me through this public medium and not in person. The answer is simple Mr. President. Since your inauguration in January 2018, when I was forced to leave my hospital bed to cover the historic event that took place after some seventy plus years of not having similar event in our country’s history, I have made frantic efforts to see you on numerous occasions, but to no avail. My quest to see you is not for personal gratification. It sometimes pains my heart when I see some people pretending to guide you in the right direction, in fact, it is the other way around.
You came to power with overwhelming support from the Liberian people; today the picture is changing gradually. As Chief Executive of the Republic of Liberia, you are responsible for every decision that is made in our country as a government.
I know you are fully aware that you are the president for all Liberians including the opposition, those who do not like you, as well as, those who reside within our borders. The task of being a leader is an uphill battle. A leader who does not listen to the cries of his people is bound to retrogress; something that I pray fervently should not happen under your leadership.
A leader is someone who should be thick-skinned, and serves as a twin mother for the benefit of all. Do not listen to people who will tell you “Chief, do not listen to what those people are saying because it is not relevant.” Mr. President, you are under obligation to listen to the grievances and /or cries of everyone; irrespective of their political parties, religion, ethnic group, fraternal and other affiliations, and to act appropriately where necessary.
Honestly, some of those who are telling you the other way around will be the first people to flee the shores of this soil in case of any negative eventuality. Liberian governance History is replete with evidences of such behaviors by most; if not all of those in the corridors of state power.
Do not allow the good record you made as a global soccer legend to be eroded by greedy individuals who will be waiting for the next regime to jump on board.
Break the circle of bondage with respect to those who are preventing well-meaning Liberians who may have positive ideals aimed at improving the livelihood of all Liberians from reaching you.
Have great regard for the rule of law and protect the constitution you sworn before man and God to uphold and protect at all times.
Mr. President, I am afraid that any failure on the part of your administration to adhere to this candid caution, our dear country may slide back into its ugly past. Never allow this to happen in the best interest of the country.
Today Liberia is not the Liberia of President Tubman era. Times have changed progressively. This is also the age of social media, and as such, nothing is easily swept under the carpet in our national governance process.
Finally, do not see the crowd that turnout on June 7 as that of the Council of Patriots alone, rather Liberians who turnout to vent their frustration and displeasure as regards to prevailing state of affairs in our country.
And so those who are onboard the ship of steering the nation to noble heights should be examined thoroughly and made to account for their individual stewardship.
If any of them cannot perform their national responsibility satisfactorily, let there be change of guards.
Since you became president, we as a nation-state have not received a formal invitation from our traditional friends, the United States of America (USA) aimed at consolidating and enhancing the subsisting bilateral ties for the mutually rewarding benefit of the governments and peoples of the two countries.
This is why, Mr. President, the need to bring on board your government professional, credible, and experienced Liberians to lobby with, and galvanize the necessary support with our traditional allies for Liberia’s development cannot be over emphasized.
It is not yet late, start a massive reform that will heal our land. Mr. President, bury your pride and listen to the cries of the Liberian people by taking the necessary proactive measures aimed at bringing them much-needed economic relief.
Soberly reflect on my candid caution and let all of us work together as Liberians and move our country in the right direction.