We Speak Through The Constitution
By D. Garkpe Gedepoh
The Liberian constitution speaks loud and clear in the real cause of the people. And this loud voice must not be taken lightly when it speaks in unison; least we find ourselves suspending the entire organic law of our country. You see: We cannot afford to down play the constitution continuously and think its ok, because this is what led to chaos and tensions in Liberia ’s not too distant past.
I pity those narrow-minded beneficiaries of President Sirleaf’s corrupt administration and those blind loyalists who lack the knowledge to understand the simple words that are written in the Liberian constitution, but instead rain accusations and ambiguously misinterpret patriotism as “irresponsible”. They say they won’t support the resignation of the president even though she has failed to properly govern the Liberian people and grossly violated the constitution, the supreme law of the land.
I would like to advise Ambassador George Weah and Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa: It is our duty to make sure that our organic law is upheld but not violated. In cases where the law is grossly violated, we the people, the custodians, trustees of the constitution, and the state, are clothed with the wholesome authority to make sure that its violators are held accountable.
Furthermore, this government is making the same mistakes and expecting different results. My people, that’s the definition of insanity, and should be applied to this Ellen led government and not the custodians of the republic. Also, you should know that the constitution gives us the rights to call upon any leader who fails to abide by this sacred law to step down. Read it! And you will understand this:
When the constitution speaks, those who echo it are not irresponsible, but rather responsible. If we Liberians can be responsible and obey our own constitution, then peace will prevail; and we won’t have needs for foreign peace keepers. Only then, we can regain our sovereignty and become an independent nation.
Our ability to harness our will-power to serve justice on those who embezzle the country’s coffers and rob the nation of its resources will serve us well. That is, corrupt officials will be prosecuted and the gravity of corruption in high places will be alleviated.
President Sirleaf’s son, Robert Sirleaf, recently resigned from his mother’s administration. But, can his aunty, Frances Johnson-Morris, who is the Head of Liberia Anti Corruption Commission (LACC), vouch that her nephew did not embezzle public funds? Will she be willing to publish his holdings? Can she probe her sister, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf? Can she publish her findings? Corruption cannot continue unabated in Liberia , while we expect a functional social-economic system.
Another key task that President Sirleaf has failed to tackle is the nagging national reconciliation. Sirleaf seems incapable of reconciling the nation because she blatantly lacks the high moral ground. She was the planner, organizer, chief financier and executor of the Liberian civil war that resulted to the internecine killings of innocent Liberians. Her actions desecrated the nation and the Liberian people. That is why she’s only paying lip-services to reconciliation, and not genuinely seeking one. Thus, the nation is taking too long to heal.
Some perpetrators of the killings have been dying lately without reconciling with the victims-the Liberian masses. They killed too many innocent people, especially women and children. And after seven years of Ellen’s rule we have not begun a healing process that will ensure a peaceful nation.
Another reason why the spirit of reconciliation has been invisible since the end of the civil war is that the perpetrators are the rulers of today. Hence, they find it difficult to initiate a dialogue under the palaver hut. They feel they will be brought under the spotlight-failing to realize the bigger picture. They do not understand that peace and stability are healthy for the nation and our posterity.
The unsavory irony is that these warlords who desecrated Liberia are being compensated for having militarized Liberia political arena-essentially, a reward for bad behaviors. This is a recipe for individuals putting self interest over the interest of the nation. And President Sirleaf is the author. Think of it.
However, sycophants, and carpet beggars of this corrupt regime are afraid to lose their booties which President Sirleaf guarantees for them. Their argument is, if President Sirleaf leaves office or step down the country could return to chaos. For them chaos means the lost of their benefits. Nonsense!
They are wrong because they view the situation from a narrow perspective-that the nation can not prosper or grow in the absence of President Sirleaf. Now, I understand that some of the blind loyalists lack the vision to see the bigger picture. You see: If corruption continues without impunity, then sooner or later we might not have a country. Because, it appears that about 85% of Liberia has already been mortgaged to foreigners without proper due diligence and benefits to us (the Liberian people).
Additionally, corruption has polluted the entire country. For the most part nepotism has taken the center stage thereby mocking the organic law. So, correcting these vices will not lead to chaos, but instead, foster peace and stability. This government’s refusal to correct these vices can potentially lead to chaos.
Instead of ridding our country of the vices that led us into protracted conflicts, we still see the old tactics of paid agents, and paid demonstrators getting $10 US dollars to welcome the President Sirleaf back home. At whose expense are these agents paid? It’s sad that after three decades of demagoguery perpetrated by the so-called progressives amidst a stunted nation, a 21st century Liberian President has not learned from our chaotic history. She’s not making any difference!
No wonder why Liberians are persistent in their calls for her resignation. It is only her refusal to bow out that may lead to chaos, and her disgrace. She will then be held accountable for having masterminded the desecration of Liberia .
The window of opportunity is now; now is the time for Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to begin her transition to private life; now is the time for her to really give peace a chance; it’s time for her children and the rest of her family members in the Liberian government to follow Robert Sirleaf’s lead and resign. And it’s time for us to begin our dialogues without bullets; to begin the palaver hut dialogue to heal the nation.
Liberia Freedom of Speech Revolution
Freedom of speech is revolutionizing Liberians the world over. And today, we have a new peaceful revolution – a revolution without bullets. Free speech has awakened, and it is speaking through the constitution. So, I will dub our time as the beginning of “Liberia Free Speech Revolution”. We will utilize this forum to contribute meaningful solutions to our country’s problems, like: Corruption-the economic cancerous disease that is ripping the country apart; and, nepotism-the patronage system that hinders productivity and accountability, which also pave ways for impunity to breathe amidst social injustices.
This new revolution is about “Jaw-Jaw not War-War”. And moving forward, we will speak our minds always. We will not infringe on the rights of the aggressors (those who continue to rob the nation blind), but serve justice to demonstrate our willingness to uphold the constitution.
Some people say that Liberians should go to work and leave politics alone. Now, while it is true that our people need to work, we must also understand this: that there can be no politics without economics; we must understand that it’s this government’s responsibility to create the economic avenues by establishing programs to work with financial institutions, banks, etc, providing guarantees for Liberians, farmers, entrepreneurs, etc, to receive assistance to grow, expand productivity, and contribute to society. It is the government’s responsibility to standardize the educational system, written materials and structural. It’s the government’s responsibility to bring to justice those who embezzle state coffers. It is government's responsibility to ensure that the citizens are gainfully employed.
And, though economic is the key to politics, but our political system must be functional. In other words, it must work in our interest for us to achieve economic benefits. The president must also respect and obey the constitution so that we can achieve the benefits that are enshrined in the constitution as well.
And, when the constitution speaks for the resignation of the President for gross misconduct such as, ‘corruption and nepotism’, then, we must take the matter serious. We understand fully well that some blind loyalists might want to exercise theirs rights to retain this corrupt regime, but the vast majority are speaking through the same constitution that governs everyone, including these loyalists.
However, there’re others who still can not see the prints in the constitution, so, they refused to listen, and display lack of interest in the logic that governs the country (the constitution). You see: The law is clear as it relates to the resignation of the President stemming from gross misconduct. It’s clear as it relates to corruption, nepotism, and the misuse of the country’s resources.
Nevertheless, as custodians, and trustees of the constitution, we will not allow this gross misconduct to continue unabated. And moving forward, we will not allow any Liberian leader to violate the constitution. The leader must lead by the constitution or get out! No one is above the constitution, instead, we’re all equal under the umbrella of the constitution, and are governed by this organic law…
Article 5 (c) of the Liberian Constitution states: The Republic shall take steps, by appropriate legislation and executive orders, to eliminate sectionalism and tribalism, and such abuses of power as the misuse of government resources, nepotism and all other corrupt practices.
Article 62 of the Liberian constitution states: The President and the Vice-President may be removed from office by impeachment for treason, bribery and other felonies, violation of the Constitution or gross misconduct.
It is shameful that this dreadful economic disease called corruption has been killing the country’s growth, but some blind loyalists are pretending that they see otherwise. These loyal beneficiaries are talking about the return of April 14, 1979 or April 12, 1980 as a way of creating fear in the populace and discouraging them from supporting the resignation of President Sirleaf. Well, let me say this: We will support the resignation of President Sirleaf, and any Liberian leader who grossly violate our constitution.
Recently, our local chiefs and others were certificated in leadership, and the program was dubbed, “Empowerment” in Gbanga, Bong County . This would have been good for the nation had the Liberian Government launched an “Economic Empowerment” followed by this leadership empowerment. Now, let me help you understand something that is extremely important about empowerment: Political empowerment is important because it teaches leadership. But without Economic Empowerment, there can be no political empowerment, because politics is the social and economic life of the state, the people. In the absence of economics, the people suffer and perish in poverty. And, in the absence of social justice, violence takes over, and then the people fight against one another. Nevertheless, we must embrace stability, economic empowerment, and guarantee social justice for all to avoid violence.
Crisis in Liberia : Educational, Social, and Economic Crimes.
We understand that our country is struggling to recover, and seems to be in a crisis mode: Educational Crisis – 25,000 students failed the university entrance examination; a failed justice system – unable to prosecute corrupt government officials who are audited and exposed for corruption. Our justice system is not able to serve justice on corrupt government officials and the ruling elites, but able to incarcerate those who speak against the corruption in government. This type of social injustice is cruel and has no place on God’s green earth. Our judiciary is not dispensing justice, but travesty!
The entire justice system is a tremendous disgrace to us, the real custodians, and trustees of the republic. This is the same system that was headed by Johnny Lewis along with the same associate justices by his side while he melted injustices on us Liberians. No positive changes have been made since, besides appointing a new Chief Justice who was an associate to Johnny Lewis.
I remembered when Justice Lewis practiced “Jungle Justice” on our citizens and foreigners. I also remembered when he summoned the Press and gave each journalist a pen and paper, and threatened them with jail time if they misspell his name. This former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia had no scruples.
So, how many of the Justices at the Temple of Justice worked with Johnny Lewis? How many of them protested his actions or stood-up against the injustices dealt by Lewis? And, what can we expect from a justice or judiciary system like the one we have now? INJUSTICES… We do not have a justice or judiciary system in Liberia , but a group of twisted legal counsels representing the interests of the ruling elites and corrupt government officials. This is an insult and mockery to the definition of justice.
Now, let’s take a look at the Legislature: The House does not have the will power to act on the Liberian Constitution and be the law makers that the people expect them to be. You see: Over the years, the overwhelming majority of House members have been receiving the ‘Blind Brown Envelops’ from the Executive (Ellen Sirleaf). It was a demonic ritual that made the receivers to remain spiritually blindfolded, while the country got mortgaged to the highest bidder in the interest of the ruling elites.
But our God Almighty will cleanse the House of Representatives of this curse. Father, today, this moment, I submit members of the House to You. WATCH AWAY THEIR BLINDNESS… Watch it Lord. And for those who choose to remain blind, get them out of our House. Purge them out! They cannot correct past mistakes, but instead, repeat the vices that led to the horrible event of April 12, 1980; receiving bribes, and representing their own selfish, greedy, disgusting agendas… Lord, have mercy on this corrupt House. Repair the broken pillars.
Some of them made impositions on us making a mockery of our constitution, custodianship, and now, the conscience of the nation. They’ve made deals with the so-called civilized world in their own interests and not ours. They gravely abused the duties and responsibilities of the offices they claimed to hold.
The House can not even muscle the courage to do the right thing. It is infested with the same cancerous economic disease, corruption, which blinded, clogged, and paralyzed their better judgments to reason with logical orders, principles, and ethics that govern the operation of that body.
So, tell me: Are the imposed members of the House honorable or under-able people? I think what’s missing from Under-able is the letter ‘T’; like, Under-Table. Just like the Blind Brown Envelops under the table , that clogged the senses; ears, eyes, and speech; and the ability to think, and smell. SMELL…
Smell the coffee that is burning before it’s too late. Awake from your political coma and come into the light! SEE IT; SEE THE LIGHT… SEE WHAT’S WRITTEN IN OUR CONSTITUTION… And then use your brain to think… THINK…
Now, know this: It’s time for the old lady, Ma Ellen or President Sirleaf, and whatever you select to call her, to start packing her personal belongings in our Executive Office. Ellen, send no more of your blindfolded brown envelops to the House of Representatives. Stop blinding, corrupting, and polluting the souls of the men and women in the House with your ritualistic brown envelops. May the Almighty God seize all these vices, destructive rituals, brown envelops, blind envelops, and bring the violators to divine justice , because they refused to listen…
Liberia has a failed economic system – unable to empower us and Liberian entrepreneurs or even help accelerate a vibrant middle class. Yet the ruler is giving away our natural resources, our birth rights, to strangers for chump change. This corrupt ruler and her government officials have taken leave of their senses. Let me be blunt: You all have lost your minds! You all are crazy for thinking that you folks represented us, the majority, in your hustle-style negotiations… You did not represent us! And those international folks who were quick to negotiate deals were foolish. We will re-negotiate everything to work in our interests – the people’s interests.
Courtesy to George Weah
Over the years we have seen opposition politicians cross carpets, retain their positions in their opposition parties, while others agree to work for this corrupt Liberian government. So, I will like to say respectfully to my brother, Ambassador Weah, that I’m sure you’re aware that this Ellen led government is not serious about reconciliation. You knew why your predecessor left, because of the same thing, “Ellen is not serious” about healing the nation.
This administration is going to crash, because of President Sirleaf incapability to provide the leadership that will bring about justice, social and economic development concurrently. It will also be impossible for the judiciary to begin the reformation process to become a credible, respectable institution while President Sirleaf is still heading the executive branch and corrupting the judiciary.
So, please consider this as a courtesy call for you to get off that runaway train, because it’s going to crash! And, you will certainly be blamed for failing the peace process… You were offered that position as a set up, and it’s time for you to get up, and get out. This is your golden opportunity to resign from this failed government that is about to hit the brick walls... Listen to the advice of your party members who can see the big picture of a real Liberia . This Ellen led government is also not serious about social and economic justice or yet peace and stability.
After seven years of Ellen’s rule, Liberia still sees foreign peace keepers as the only credible security; and for more than seven years, this corrupt government has not even harness the guts to put reconciliation on the table, ask for forgiveness, repent or even try to do the right thing for us, the country; seven years of no healing is very dangerous! And she has no desire to heal the nation.
She made a choice to consistently disobey our constitution for seven plus years. And then, she provoked the conscience of the Liberian people; and when the conscience of the people is provoked, the citizens respond, react or even rebel. This is not rocket science. Do the math…
Anyway, it’s a little too late for drastic changes to come from her government, and she cannot be defiant, less even think about staying on board as Chief Executive of the republic.
And, manipulating the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance didn’t help to clean up the Liberian government’s image at all. Everyone knows the genuine truth about the corrupt family-business-government that Ellen is running in our country. Those so-called international organizations that are granting awards to Ellen’s handy works are losing their credibility in our eyes, the vast majority of Liberians. Ellen knows how to con foreigners.
Nevertheless, it’s time for the beneficiaries, sycophants, and blind loyalists to say good bye to their godmother Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, because it’s time for her to split or leave. We will also continue to protest Ellen’s stay in our Executive Office until she realizes that it’s time to step down; get out. She has no option. Good Bye Ellen…