From Dempster Yallah
I am responding to the latest of Mr. Theodore Hodge's series of incendiary vitriol lately, targeting people of LPP/MOJA genre and for whatever the personal motivation or agenda. The latest of this indulgence having to do with Dr. Amos Sawyer and how he is now supposed to be a “backstabber,” in Mr. Hodge’s character inquisition. Such a scathing indictment for spurious indulgence.
Let me hasten to point out that were this Perspective news outlet an investment portfolio with stock options, the past few days would have seen those stocks valued at astronomical heights, or would they? And based in the chain of vitriol and malicious articles this outlet has collaborated in denigrating others’ characters, with Mr. Theodore Hodge, that self-proclaimed venerable Liberian journalist with over decades of writing experience as editor-in-chief. I wish I had that much writing experience to jolt this man’s sense of character assessment in this piece as a lesson in social deportment.
For whatever the agenda Mr. Hodge seems relentless if not dishonest in his “seek (not search) and destroy” mission. He started with president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and how “miserably” she is handling the Ebola epidemic and thereafter, he has now redirected his venomous and incisive campaign at incriminating especially LPP/MOJA stalwarts as part of that obvious agenda-driven recrimination, as if those comrades were health officials, with Dr. Amos Sawyer as prime target.
In this self-deluded banality Mr. Hodge summoned the courtesy in alerting his reading audience with the caveat, ”I am hearing through the grapevine, innuendoes that Dr. Amos Sawyer is conniving with certain diabolical elements in the Diaspora to seek the removal of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president of Liberia, and thereby constitute another interim government as caretaker government until elections are held thereafter.” And why? Because of the “unsatisfactory” manner in which the president supposed to be handling the Ebola situation in Liberia. While that is even debatable in lieu of unavailable resources coupled with obvious endemic social impediments, but that can be deferred for later.
Meanwhile, Mr. Hodge posits various scenarios as possible take-over schemes by the would-be plotters were that the case, and nearly all of which he dismissed as implausible and essentially because they couldn’t fit his own yardstick, except that is, the one alibi he was looking for. True to the time-tested maxim that the more you focus on anything, the likelihood you will find what you’re looking for, Mr. Hodge began his well calculated search for his culprit in the prevailing matter.
The presumably keen and ardent journalist he is, Mr. Hodge ran few scenarios to test the feasibility of this take-over plot. In the order of constitutional succession already laid out in our constitution, he plucked in the vice-president as scenario #1. For whatever the consideration, that did not satisfy Mr. Hodge’s benchmark. He squashed that as “rubbish.” He then ran his second scenario with the speaker taking over. That too was squashed and for the same reason, “not plausible!” Then another scenario. ” Naaa,” to that too, it couldn’t hold water. Now left with the one name fitting his profiled target, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Bingo! Final answer and in spite of the fact that the first two scenarios were even more logical for the constitutional undergird (God forbid) than the Sawyer scenario, were such diabolism even remotely the case.
More than that, Mr. Hodge apparently forgot that he had prefaced this character-demolition derby he has embarked upon with the caveat, “news circulating through the grapevine…!” One wonders what could be the new definition of “grapevine” other than rumor mill; gossip; hearsay; tittle-tattle or something unsubstantiated? Yet Dr. Sawyer is indicted and headed for the gallows against a mere rumor in Mr. Hodge’s “book,” as he proclaimed? God help Liberia with such precept for rule of law lying in wait for us were the gods to sanction any such historical accident by marshalling, yes, you heard me right, “marshalling” such draconian tendencies near state power.
As fate would have it, and through these perverse empiricisms we are being treated to an exemplar of what may have befallen us were Mr. Hodge’s ambition to head the Information Ministry in 2006 to come true. God is good! We are often reminded.
Imagine the fate of the maligned individuals in this viciousness were such under a tyrannical regime, wouldn’t the lives of those people implicated in this coup plot parody be in clear and present danger? I guess such ramification never registered somewhere on Mr. Hodges’s anatomy in his rush to lynch Dr. Sawyer and the others about this.
In the realm of full disclosure Mr. Hodge, I too, was on that “now infamous” teleconference with Dr. Sawyer on Saturday August 30, which you now use as raisondetre to buttress these spiteful and malicious conjectures. And you really believe in your own assumed astuteness Theodore Hodge were Dr. Sawyer to harbor such ambition and for playing advocate, the Internet would be the appropriate place to strategize about it? Mr. Hodge must have a very low estimation of our collective acumen in that regard.
Just like you and think-alike Mr. Hodge, some of us heard as well, similar nonsense surrounding vice-president Boikai’s meeting with president Obama when the former was here for the “African Heads of state Summit” in Washington, DC about a month ago. We simply trashed such tittle-tattle in the knowledge that no American president will go that far in a five minute diplomatic courtesy chit-chat with any foreign leader. The State Department, CIA and US Embassy in the country of interest take care of that. Except you know otherwise, in which case we are all ears!
Additionally, it is no secret there are people around here many of whom you know personally Mr. Hodge, people who have been advocating and soliciting support for the resignation of president Sirleaf as a shortcut to whatever the little agendas/ambitions they may harbor, some even calling for Liberia to be placed under US or UN Trusteeship. Isn’t that something? While millions of people died to free themselves of foreign rule, here we some Liberians craving to be subjugated as such! Given the Internet “nationalist” you are Mr. Hodge, one wonders why haven’t you taken any of those folks to task, or even denounce them like some of us have done in that regard? Or haven’t you heard?
Ultimately Mr. Hodge, no amount of disparagement especially from nonentities can expunge the cherished and indelible contributions made by patriots like Drs. Sawyer, Tipoteh, Fahnbulleh and others of their political colleagues in the ongoing quest to make Liberia better and livable in the pursuit of our individual/collective aspirations as is obtaining today. These individuals have dedicated their lives over the years to ensuring democracy, rule of law, civil liberties and freedom in all its manifestations for Liberia. While we are still far from there, but at least, we can say with pride that we are on the way. As they say, Rome was not built in one day. When you consider the trails of others before us, you appreciate more the little progress we have made thus far.
While we are at measuring presidential achievements as your preoccupation, perhaps you may want to share with us for the record, what significant achievements did your late father, president Tubman make to account for the 27 years he hijacked power, aside from drinking whiskey every day and smoking pot for the most part?
I should also remind you Mr. Hodge, that every form of struggle is guided by tactics and strategies every step of the way. Tactics and strategies largely dictated by the prevailing circumstances. As such, people are not subject to whatever the adamancy and secondary to some delusional convictions just to please Mr. Hodge and kind, especially without the benefit of existential advisories, or the encumbrances of the new reality.
As for us, and in our book, president Sirleaf’s government can be considered “saved” for now and on the following fundamental thresholds:
1. The current government has not betrayed our confidence yet by resorting to the sort of abuse and brutalities reminiscent of our recent past, which paralyzed us for years.
2. This government is inclusive to a large extent, thus appealing to our desire for integration.
3. As abhorrent as corruption is and a cancer to national empowerment and development, we can tolerate it minimally for now over other harsh alternatives some alluded to in count 1 above but especially for the reason highlighted below.
4. We want to nurture a pattern of true democratic transition from one government to the other, as opposed to continuous grumble and confusion just because someone didn’t win election the last time around and can’t wait for the next round. This is no free pass per se, as subsequent course of action will be dictated by the obtaining condition.
I reckon none of the above may fit your style of keyboard “advocacy.” If so, you need not suffer your little conscience, just muster the testicular fortitude to launch your brand of advocacy group and leave others alone. After all, the other figures you disparage today were in their late 20s and mid-30s when they launched theirs. Fair? Think about it.
Dempster Yallah, a licensed social worker in the state of Michigan.