By: Nat Bayjay
|Charles W. Brumskine|
Grand Bassa County is once again in the news. This time, it is not about the county’s recent impressive twin National County Meet glories which the people of that unique county are still celebrating.
Rather, it’s about the obvious politics that has already begun showing its ugly head in a way determined enough to deceive outsiders that the county has more ‘bad’ than ‘good’; that the people are more divided than united all in an attempt to overshadow the unity the thousands of Bassonians displayed when they celebrated their historic almost 24-years’ trophy drought ‘passover’ only comparable to the Israelites’ triumph in Biblical times.
As a Bassa citizen who is seriously concerned about the county’s wellbeing, I was deeply taken aback that the Bassa Diaspora-based organization, the Grand Bassa County Association in the Americas (GBCAA) chose to rather add more fuel to the already blazing fire than to help calm the storm.
Yes, politics is an inevitable game that no amount of combined football and basketball success can overtake, especially so in such a huge political season when Liberia’s test of continual sustained democracy gets tested once again with the senatorial mid-term elections.
And Grand Bassa, of all counties, was the first to begin an early battle through the media that continues to witness a Charles Brumskine led-Liberty Party group versus a Senator Gbenzohngar Findley and camp. The recent? A barrage of attacks continues to leave the barrels of both camps’ political missiles aimed at each other.
But when the US-based Grand Bassa Association through its president penned and widely distributed to the Liberian media what it termed ‘Blasting Charles Brumskine For Stinging Attack On Protempre Findley’, I was caught off-guard. And for simple reasons too.
But before then, let me also make it clear here that as a journalist hailing from that county I have no side. As a matter of fact, my regular reportage on issues affecting Grand Bassa during my days at FrontPageAfrica had some of my colleagues jovially dubbing me ‘The Bassa Journalist’. Of course, I’m on record for even exposing lots of ills in the Bassa society including articles and news analyses on Brumskine’s Liberty Party’s failures, so-called prominent and eminent Bassonians’ refusal to give back to the county, among others.
On the other hand, Mr. Jerome Gayman, the President of the USA Bassa group, is a not just a personal friend and a senior brother to me, but also he runs an organization that had recognized my media work here and even awarded me its much acclaimed ‘Humanitarian Pillar Award’ in recognition of my works in bringing to the fore issues affecting the county.
With these stated, I register my deep disappointment in the GBCAA’s article which I think should have been redirected towards calming the political tension in the county.
Instead of ‘blasting’ one of the two political rivals, most people including me thought the Association’s role in such a troubled-water would be calling for an end to the unnecessary infighting taking place between the two sons of the county who are gradually building for themselves two different rival groups among the Bassa people at the complete ignoring of the strengthened unity of Grand Bassa.
Afterall, the overall objectives of the six-years old US organization is to address the critical needs of the county and its people which include health, education and other social services. But with the route being taken by the Bassa Diaspora group, I think this will greatly dampen its purpose as enshrined in its Mission Statement: “….to commit ourselves to human development in facilitating education, economic development, health, social services and advocacy for Grand Bassa County”.
Then the question now is with such political posture being exhibited by our reliable Diaspora group, how do the rest of the Bassaonians caught on the other side of the so-called political camp contribute towards such uniquely laid out objectives? No, I don’t think the Bassa people’s economic and social services can only be realized through one source; no matter how small the combined contributions from the other side can be as compared to a single large contribution. The recent County Meet success speaks to it all, when ‘small’ and ‘big’ Bassonians drawn from all sectors of the large Bassa society including ‘stepchild’ Rivercess County and ‘foster brothers’ Margibi and Montserrado Counties joined hands in realizing that dream.
By continuing that the Organization owes it to God and the Bassa people “to meaningfully contribute its quota to national development and services as a non-profit and non-political organization”, this clearly speaks to why the GBCAA needed a position statement that would have rightly shined its supposed “Twin Mother’s” role. Yes, a twin mother calls two troubled children to the peace table, tell them that while you both hold and are entitled to your respective personal political ambitions, there is no need to continue this deadly politics that would eventually lead to ‘ma’ and ‘pa cause’. Oh, you don’t know that this is what it is going to lead to when one camp has already gotten thumbs-up from what is supposed to be a ‘non-political’ and neutral group?
Trust me, the battle could now take shape from a ‘You’ve done nothing for Grand Bassa’ versus ‘You’re an Ellen bag boy’ to a more deadly one when civil, non-political and non-government groups like the GBCAA will not exercise some mature role.
Such roles could include a general ‘blasting’ on the two rival groups on why, like rightly stated in the GBCAA statement, that there have been no meaningful developments during the last eight years now. Such ‘blasting’ would be encouraging the Bassa people, the direct employers of these men, to boycott this ensuing senatorial race and subsequent ones if they don’t get the needed basic social services deserving of a group of decent people who has the country’s second largest seaport city but with nothing to brag about. Oh yes, such ‘blasting’ should be holding accountable both camps why the county’s immense economical hub potential is not being realized as some so-called investors resembling those of a 4-1-9 operations go there and rape the county.
What I’m saying here in simple terms is that both camps should be ‘blasted at’ for ensuring thus far that there exists companies in the county that have old-aged agreements not benefitting the county; blasting both groups why they didn’t take advantage of the Chinese construction group’s presence to make sure that the other major routes reaching the under-renovation stadium and Unification Pavilion (Fair-Grounds) were paved and not just the one from Monrovia straight to the port. (I heard with such disgust that the County Administration vehemently failed on this right in the glaring eyes of the both Cllr. Brumskine and the Sen. Pro Temp. Findley camps. What a missed opportunity that other counties would have just leapt on just on getting such an offer!!!)
These are the issues, GBCAA, that we need to be bringing to the fore of these two groups that are only bent on their own political interests and not giving a general achievement like the Grand Bassa Community College to one man’s success. The county’s inevitable express highway and the community college are never achieved with one person’s input. Otherwise, Mr. Tom Woweiyu should be single handedly getting that credit because he first introduced that bill during the Taylor Administration when he served as Pro Temp then. In fact, his called for a Grand Bassa University and not a community college.
In summary, a political statement coming from a group like the GBCAA that backs one of two political rivals in a dangerous politically charged Bassa environment only resembles a political campaign for said person and by extension an annex of said person’s political ambitions.
Afte rall, Grand Bassa County remains after the likes of Cllr. Brumskine and Hon. Findley would have left the scenes just as the likes of Charles Williams and even the fathers of both men who the county still remembers. Otherwise, the county is poised to remain undeveloped if those of us (the media, civil, non-political, non-government groups, etc) will continue to trend such paths in not calling to order political people whose ambitions are tearing the county and its people apart.
Finally, it’s time we play our roles (as named above in different sectors) in translating our victorious theme ‘A Mu Wa Badian, Deh Mu Wa Yun’ (‘We Will Beat Them, They Will Be Shame’) in direct reference to those hecklers and anti-developmental antics that Grand Bassa County, one of three original founding counties of this great first African Republic, will succeed in the midst of their selfish desires.
After all, it’s “Two Trophies, One Goal…Bassa First”. If ‘BASSA IS GETTING BETTER’ then we must perform our roles adequate void of direct and dangerous political postures trending our county!!!!!!!!!!!!!