Therefore, permit me to seize this awesome opportunity to extend my profound thanks and appreciation to all Liberians whose magnanimity will forever change the outlook of our beloved country. Forward forever, backward never. Its peace time and this requires us to march to the order of the patriotic drum beat as we chart the national course of renew hope and aspirations into the 21st century for the rebirth of our nascent democracy. Now, in my own name, The Unity Party and all Peace Loving Liberians, we are calling on our dear friend and brother, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador George Manneh Weah, Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), to humbly concede the mandate and sovereign will of the Liberian people with grace, honor and dignity. Ambassador Weah, It is peacetime and Liberians know you to be a peaceful gentleman of good character. Maintain that respect and virtue at all cost.
Ambassador Weah, we applaud your courage, tenacity and selfless strives to exercise your (franchise) constitutional rights to vie for the highest office in the land. This is the essence of Democracy. Of equal importance, democracy without decency is mediocrity. But please remember, where your rights stop, others rights begin. it is against this backdrop that I join Mrs. Sirleaf, Liberians, the International Community, Ecowas, supporters and members of the Unity Party in offering you an olive branch and urging you and your supporters to give peace a chance. You have done enormously well and this is well noted in the annals of our political history to have introduced the majority of the youth of Liberia, who would otherwise may not have been motivated to participate in the political process to the dynamics of Liberia's new political order.
Ambassador Weah, there are compelling and adequate reasons to state here that in these elections, there are no winners or losers. All Liberians are winners. Because they are the biggest stakeholders in this process and we can unequivocally say, no one Liberian is ever safe, until all of us are safe. Hence, we are calling on your good self to heed the calls of the Liberian people and the international community in helping to obliviate our reckless pass by allowing reasons to prevail upon you and your many supporters to work with the incoming government to raise our people's hope and standard of life from the ashes of dungeon to self sufficiency. We cannot hijack the process or hold hostage our people's dream. Contrary to this, its wrong and unacceptable. Its peacetime Ambassador Weah. Its peace time as you intimated on November 10, 2005 during the presidential run-off. Stating, "win or lose, what was important was peace and stability for our country torn apart." In deed you were right and still is right. Its peacetime. You furthered, "whether I win or not, we are talking about transparency, peace and nation-building." While urging your supporters to be calm. You further stated, "Its not about me winning or somebody winning, its the whole process." Very right brother Weah. Now that the electoral process is over and our people have spoken volume and about 60% of the populace have given Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf the mandate of leadership and representation, please assent. Because, its peacetime and we all must peacefully respect the democratic process we have long been yarning for.
Ambassador George Manneh Weah, you have come a long way through the grace of God and his image of faithfulness. You are a man with great and decent heart. Please do not allow yourself to be misled by people who are motivated by sheer political opportunism. You deserve better than to allow these opportunists to take you down their path. This is a unique and one time opportunity for Liberians to work together to establish genuine democracy in Liberia, and rebuild the social and economic infrastructure of Liberia that has been devastated for about 25 years of civil unrest. We believe that you have acquired core competencies as the world’s best professional soccer player, United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, and Humanitarian that could prove useful to the reconstruction efforts and initiatives of Liberia.
In connection thereto, the Unity Party joins all peace loving Liberians and our International Partners in appealing to Ambassador George Mannah Weah, in committing today to strengthening the process of peace and reconciliation, by participating in the Sirleaf lead government of inclusion for the sake of our youth, whose future the Ambassador so dearly and honestly seeks to protect. We must come together to execute and honor the clear mandate of the very youth we seek to protect and who are also the pillars of our future. We must realize that the interest of our motherland supersedes our personal agenda, interest and consideration. We must realized that the years of the civil strife have deprived these youth and young adults of the unlimited potentials and opportunities that was needed to sharpen their credentials, thus creating a void. This is a tragedy. Hence, let give peace a chance.
Ambassador Weah, I know you will agree with me that in the new Liberia, we must establish a compulsory primary education system, which was one of yours and Mrs. Sirleaf's fundamental priority during the campaign. This is a challenge especially for you and Mrs. Sirleaf. You all must work together to erect secondary schools in every county, along with vocational and technical institutions for those who may elect to attend the latter, if not prepare to attend secondary schools, universities or colleges. In keeping with Mrs. Sirleaf’s plans, we all must now seek to develop appropriate counseling programs to be geared towards the resuscitation of youth in order to be reformed into useful citizenry for integration into the main stream of the reconstruction efforts of our nation. We can all use this enviable opportunity of democratic governance to turn our current adversity into national renewal.
After 25 years of civil unrest, we can no longer allow the bifurcation of our small acre of land, or permit ethnic, religious and political differences to divide us. We believe we can have differences of opinion without resorting to violence and certainly believe we do not have to be the same to co-exit and believe that there is enormous strength and unity in diversity. We also believe that Liberians can achieve their full potential in an environment that protects their fundamental rights and guarantee equal opportunity for all. We believe in a small yet, competent government that promotes democracy, private enterprise and the empowerment of people through the exercise of choice and participation. Our challenge is to move towards a logical middle ground by evolving strong programs for national healing and reconciliation, which promotes opportunities that reflect the diversity of our Glorious Land of Liberty.
The Unity Party is committed to zero tolerance of corruption and that we will develop a code of conduct for public officials. Corrupt officials will be given (day light) due process in a court of competent jurisdiction and if found culpable, will face the wrath of the law. We will be equitable in dispensing justice and bringing to book corrupt and unscrupulous officials. Everyone will be equal before the law and there will be no bigotry of injustice.
The task of reconstruction is enormous but with commitment and dedication we can succeed. Efficiency, honesty and the rule of law will be the bedrock of our administration. Nothing is more destructive to good governance than having unqualified people making important decisions for qualified people. In view of this, we will invite qualified Liberians of all political persuasions to participate in the Unity Party government. Ours will be a government of inclusion where every qualified Liberian with scruples and moral authority would be given the opportunity to utilize the full potential of his or her capability. At the same time, we will provide training opportunities for our brothers and sisters who do not have the requisite skills set to be incorporated in renaissance of our dear and beloved country –Liberia.
Finally, the Unity Party pledges to efficiently manage government institutions and resources. Build a strong private sector economy. Maintain without compromise accountability, transparency, and equity in the public and private sectors. Ensure justice and create an enabling environment for all Liberians to develop and reach their full potentials, implant and sustain democratic values and culture. Uphold the tenets of democracy and the Liberian constitution to the point that its provisions are protective of the rights and interests of all Liberians and all those that reside within its territorial borders. The Liberian people’s government under the direction of Mrs. Sirleaf will promote and sustain women's rights and enhance their status. The Government will provide opportunities to every Liberian. The administration will restore or rebuild Liberia’s critical infrastructures that have been dislocated by a quarter century of civil war. The government will commit to a program of national unity, true unification, decentralization, freedom of speech, the press, association, assembly and the development of the rural and urban areas. Enforce the Liberalization Policy which exclusively set aside certain businesses, trade and manufacturing sectors as defined by an act of Legislation; and to support said policy through loan guarantee schemes and bank regulations. The fundamental purpose of this policy is to create self-sufficiency, a viable middle class, strong Liberian owned business sector and provide employment opportunities to our people.
Finally, as Liberia takes its rightful place in the comity of nations, it shall once again rise as the shinning example to all of West Africa, showing the path to democracy and development as our forefathers showed the way to independence and dignity. This is our hope and dream for one people with one destiny. In conclusion, Liberians must remember that “no Liberian has more claims on Liberia than another Liberia”, therefore everyone will have equal opportunity to participate in the rebuilding of Liberia under the leadership of Africa’s first democratically elected female president, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
About the Author: Gayah Fahnbulleh is the Chairman of the Unity Party in the United States, and former National Chairman of the Unity Party, Liberia. Served as Senior Political Advisor to Madame Ruth Sando Perry, former Interim Head of State, Republic of Liberia. He also once served as a Congressman for the great people of Grand Cape Mount County.