Opinion: “Liberia Deserves Better “

Voting queue in Liberia
Voters queuing for the October 10th Elections

Liberians went to the polls on October 10, 2017 to vote in presidential and legislative elections. To ensure the credibility of that democratic process, participating political parties accredited and dispatched their representatives to monitor the process at every polling station around the country. These party representatives worked alongside international election monitors from reputable and experienced organizations in the business such as the Carter Center.

These elections, according to observers, were generally free and fair. But out of the 20 political parties that threw their hats in the race for the highest office of the land, none received the required 51 per cent of the votes cast to be declared a winner. Consequently and as provided by law, the National Elections Commission (NEC) announced a runoff between the first and second place winners – the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of former footballer George Weah and the Unity Party (UP) of Vice President Joseph Boakai, respectively.

NEC Liberia
NEC Liberia

The runoff was scheduled to have taken place on November 7, 2017. However, that second round of voting was halted by the Supreme Court based on an appeal by one party which alleged that the first round of voting was marred by fraud and irregularities, a complaint that was and is still being looked into by the NEC. The Supreme Court is expected to lift the injunction after the NEC has satisfactorily completed its investigation and announced its findings. All of this is taking place within the confines of the law as it relates to conducting national elections in Liberia.

Regrettably, however, supporters and sympathizers of the CDC, under the illusion that they’ve already won the presidency, now see themselves heavily burdened by conspiracy theory, inarticulately inundating social media with outrageous and substandard posts such as the ones below, to the embarrassment and shame of the country they’re losing sleep to rule:

We are CDCians we are preparing WAR coming

fight again in Liberia your get ready if NEC and

Ministry Justice don’t give green light to

election runoff WAR will open again

In another post, a man claiming to be a supporter of the CDC and struggling to get his message through, calls on his comrades to attack the Chairman of the National Elections Commission, Jerome Korkoyah, and “burn him alive.” This is not a hyperbole, just in case anyone has the most infinitesimal of doubts as to the recklessness of the people behind the political party that may become the ruling party in Liberia.

If one plus one equals two, and if we know that to be true, then anyone can be his/her own soothsayer here. The sign post is clear.  The problem is that we do not know whether people are reading.

But let alone the intent and contents of these posts. What’s even more troubling is the fact that no one knows the stance of the CDC’s standard bearer on the scare tactics his followers are injecting into our political discourse. Mr. Weah has remained mute on every issue since he declared his presidential bid. We don’t know how Mr. Weah intends to govern the country if he becomes president; we don’t know how he plans to tackle local issues such as the economy and national unity and security in a country still reeling from war.  What about Liberia’s foreign policy objectives under a Weah administration? We just don’t know anything because the CDC top ticket candidate avoided every debate during the campaign and he has not given one news conference or granted a press interview since he announced his candidacy, leaving the rest of the country in limbo and sending off his supporters on a free-for-all media blitz, saying and publishing whatever they want.

Senator George-Weah
CDC Senator George Weah

We want to state here with emphasis that Liberia deserves better, Mr. Weah! Come from the shadow, not only to tell the Liberian people which direction you plan to take their country if elected president, but also dissociate yourself and your party from your chaos-driven supporters pushing the country to the limit. Don’t leave the country the impression that re-enforces the parable that “A little boy will never talk about making his farm on the mountain if he didn’t hear it from his father.”

About the author:

James K. Seitua is a former Editor of the Liberian Daily Observer newspaper

Editor’s Note: West African Journal Magazine is in possession of the actual video of the “incitement to violence” against the NEC issued by a person purported to be a supporter of the CDC but is choosing not to publish it due to its highly incendiary nature.

 

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West African Journal Magazine

The West African Journal was a major magazine publication in the United States with a focus on the Mano River region and West Africa sub-region during the civil crises in Liberia and neighboring countries during the decades of the 1990s. This was the period when many citizens and others in the sub-region were fleeing their homeland due to conflicts, and the magazine was a reliable source of information covering developments in the region and in the Diaspora.  However, the magazine suspended publication several years ago but is now back. It is, therefore, delightful that The West African Journal has been reactivated. The print edition of the magazine, to be published monthly and distributed in the United States, West Africa, and other parts of the world, will provide analysis of the major events of the period under review. Due to challenges relating to availability of reading materials in the sub-region, a few hundred copies of every edition of the magazine will be distributed free of charge to libraries and reading rooms at schools and institutions of higher learning in the sub-West Africa sub-region. The Journal covers government/politics, economics/international trade/investment and partnerships, women's issues, showcase of tourism and historic attractions in West Africa in particular, and Africa in general, as well as cover the Diaspora, entrepreneurship, among others. The Journal also taps into growing interest in the Unites States regarding resource-rich Africa as the next frontier for global economic progress amid an increasing global competition for access to the continent’s abundant natural resources. The magazine will regularly cover bilateral and multilateral partnerships between the US/multinational agencies and Africa/individual African countries. More importantly, in considering the danger of Climate Change and Global Warming, The Journal serves as a strong and unrelenting advocate to create international awareness regarding Climate Change, especially how West African countries and the African Continent as a whole are being negatively impacted. Through its environmental coverage, The Journal promotes education and awareness for people to be empowered. Our experienced team of editors, reporters and feature writers are excited to bring the stories that impact politics, finance, economy, arts, health, education, climate change, women and youth issues in Africa today. Contact The West African Journal is registered and published in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. Plans are underway to open a bureau office in Liberia, from which operations in other West African countries will be coordinated. Our journalists, who bring decades of high engagement of news and reportage, include former BBC veteran correspondent Isaac D.E. Bantu, former Daily Observer Features Editor and publisher of the West African Journal Joe S. Kappia, and Pana Press Editor Tepitapia K. Sannah, and respected Photo journalist and editor Gregory Stemn. These experienced and internationally-respected journalists ensure a high standard of professional journalism. Information and inquiries for The West African Journal should be directed to the following: Editor-in-Chief; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Isaac D.E. Bantu: Publishing Partner; Email: WestAfricanJournalMagazine@gmail.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 55053, Washington, D.C. 20040-5053 USA Thank you. Managing Editor