Liberia has but One Problem

By Quiwonkpa Zuo

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 8, 2014



The concoction of failure and incivility that is Liberia continues to fester because we consciously deny the root cause of our problems! Anybody with a mouth could list a litany of reasons as to why we have been under developed for some two centuries. In those reasons they will include every ill of the third world – in fact they will justify these ills as commonplace, without stopping to consider that in Liberia only one single problem exists. This problem, if honestly addressed, could literately be the genesis to attainment of true independence.

This single burden exists not because we are incapable of addressing it, but because throughout our history, it has never been in the interest of those in charge to see this matter tackled. Most of these kleptomaniacs sincerely believe they will lose their ill-gotten loot and inherited positions if they were to do what’s expected of them. What they don’t realize is that if they were to do what’s mandated, their positions will be heightened.

It may be shocking to hear the police director attribute the total breakdown of civil order to people’s refusal to follow the law not his dereliction of duty. Sounds surreal, right? Sometimes I wonder whether s/he understands why the police force was instituted. The issue of rampant ineptitude or sheer stupidity in high places, in government cannot be attributed to our entrenched patronage system that weighs kinship/friendship over capabilities; nor can we blame the culture of “who knows you” or our internal divisions. The cause of our curse is due to the refusal to adhere to a single constitutional authority.

Unchallenged teenage hopojoism (prostitution) heavily patronized by government officials is not our problem. Having to pay “cold water” (bribes) to access government services is the least of our concern. Looking at our shameful infant mortality rate, life expectancy, indescribable poverty that drives men to the edge of their sanity, and the fact that the country’s premier hospital, JFK, is dirtier than a Buzzy Quarter outside bathroom are just by-products of our denial.

An alarming grade school dropout rate, sex and money for grades that have become an open secret in our high schools and quasi colleges; the daily occurrence of hooligans masquerading as police officers to demand bribes from unsuspecting motorists, criminal/licensed surveyors re-deeding lands several times over with help from in-house officials, embezzling government officials who get paid on average a hundred times (100x) more than the typical civil servant and yet show up to work when they feel like it, a conniving private sector forced to partake in this pillage are but nuisance left unchallenged.

The masonic cult that has ruled Liberia since inception with their human sacrifices, esoteric behaviors, greedy escapades and their unconstitutional “bending” of court decisions, vain men (now women) who perched high above “lesser men” on imagined thrones believing themselves gods and answerable to no one, the culture of impunity, leadership absent required virtues, a society that now regards mediocrity as the new guideline for excellence, the eroding of every form of morality, hustling “pastors” who promise salvation for cash, sanctioned  illiteracy and ignorance, are but trivial matters far from the truth.

Our public enemy number one who loots our treasury, kills the dreams and aspirations of an entire people while dinning and walking with us on a daily basis is only perceived as an issue because we allow her to fester and establish root, not because she’s a force to be reckoned with, but because she’s a cherished lover who shares our beds and provides the bosom on which our heads rest. This will not even factor were we to see the bigger picture. Despite what you may believe, the stabilizing ingredients of our democracy are not tied up in foreign parliaments.

The issue of self-hate, the inferiority complex that has tightened its grip around the throats of our people, the self-righteous attitudes of the fortunate few among us, the absence of common national purpose/identity or a unifying language that binds us, the unpatriotic leaning of the Liberian, our America focus-ness couple with the dissolution of the family unit, cannot stand alone as missing link to the creation of a glorious republic. Our problems are not that numerous, irrespective of what the truth benders may lead you to believe.


Our problems are easily fixed if we implement just one mandate: Some may argue that our solution lies in the eradication of illiteracy, or the massive infusion of religion couple with speeches of equality and justice; changing of minds and attitudes - reeducation, modernization of our laws to fit the Liberian experience, addressing unemployment and infrastructure, proper management of our resources, etc. Although I will agree that all the above listed are crucial for the elevation of our beloved homeland, I still maintain that all of these will not be an issue were we to do what we all are fully aware of.

This brings me to my Point. What is our problem? Your answer: it is none other than THE REFUSAL TO ENFORCE THE LAW. This is the singular neglect of our republic since formulation. Until Liberians are always willing to pay the ultimate price (We fall everyday like flies, why not fall for a cause that’ll have a lasting impact for generations?) to see this matter fully addressed for all irrespective of their social economic standing, Liberia and its people remain as is! Our solution is also equally simple: An aggressive and uncompromisingly just application/enforcement of the law without fear or favor. See this done consistently and Liberia becomes a developed country in 50 years! Yes, it’s that simple.

About the Author: Quiwonkpa Zuo is the author of several articles including “The Liberian Psyche”. He believes Liberia’s modernization lies in the total dissolution of the old order and an introduction of a more egalitarian society. He resides in Buutuo, Nimba County with his two hunting dogs: Government Official and Chief Embezzler.

Konah Zayzay
This man either lives in the minds of every Liberia or he spoke with Miss Cleo! This is arguably one of the best position I have ever read on righting the failure that is Liberia. I m not surprised; Quiwonkpa has a way with words. Well done, brother.
Konah Zayzay at 05:12AM, 2014/08/09.
B. K. Washington
The author brilliantly summarizes some of the most serious problems and debilitating ills Liberians have faced for years. Unfortunately, his one prescription seems to miss the mark. I cannot agree that all that needs doing now to fix the country, if not resurrect it from the dead, is to ENFORCE THE LAW. I just cannot imagine leaving law enforcement to the same criminals now in charge.

It would be more constructive if enlightened folks like the author and dozens or scores of others terribly frustrated with the regime and the status quo could muster the courage to meet and decide upon the future of our country. Putting aside all selfishness, we could identify our best thinkers and most illustrious citizens (wherever they may be found) to lead us out of this hideous wilderness.

One thing is for sure: neither this corrupt and inept government now in power nor any of the "opposition" political parties jockeying to replace it can do what is necessary to save our country from certain apocalypse.
B. K. Washington at 09:29AM, 2014/08/09.
Grebo Girl
Amazing and right on point. Thank you, Mr. Zuo. Now let the government officials read this piece. those that have eyes to read and ears to hear …...
Grebo Girl at 08:29AM, 2014/08/11.
Hannah Wonsia
Thank u so much for sharing your mind...i am actually citing you in my Capstone project.Thanks again and everything you stared her is so theory lies heavily in the poor and unfair leadership in the country.
My theory about the problem Liberia is lack of true and good leadership. The leaders only seek after their own interest, but not the interest of the people who live in the country. As long as the leader, his/her family members and everyone else working in the government are well taken care of, then the rest of the country might as well die of hunger, or figure out a way survive. Nepotism is the issue, only the relatives or friends of the leaders receive benefits from the government, everyone else has to struggle on his/her own accord.
My name is Hannah Wonsia and i am an undergrad student at Eastern University...this piece really came in handy for my final thesis.
Hannah Wonsia at 08:12AM, 2014/08/13.
you're so welcome Hannah. hope you share the article with as many people as you can. have fun with your studies, hope it pays off beyond your wildest dreams.
Q ZUO at 02:40PM, 2014/08/13.

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