Our new-born democracy in Liberia must be cleaned of all
ills - ills that have cost the country and people untold
sufferings over the years. Ills that have eaten and destroyed
the moral, ethical and social values of Liberia for decades.
We can all bear witness to the ills of the society that
caused Liberia to lose its spot on the international scene.
No matter how petit or gigantic these ills may be, we
must sense them, diagnose them and treat them vigorously
before they consume the rising democracy we now proclaim
Many have watched the dramatic episodes emanating from
Liberia involving some high-placed figures over the past
few weeks. From unwholesome sexual indulgence by a government
minister, the unwarranted unilateral decision by another
minister to shut down a news organ and to revoke its rights
to operate in Liberia. While the indecent sexual by the
erstwhile Acting Minister of State for president Affairs
is considered in some quarters as a private venture, one
cannot rule out the crippling effect it could have on
the new democracy in Liberia, especially the Ellen-led
government. How and why? I leave it to the sound minds
to ponder. Secondly, the unilateral decision by Acting
Information Minister Lawrence K. Bropleh, whose private
life has also surfaced in the spotlight since his dubious
role in the Willis Knuckles sex scandal, to close down
the Independent Newspaper for publishing story about the
sex scandal are all indicators of some ugly signals for
the new democracy in Liberia.
A democracy without a check and balance system is a dictatorship
in disguise. The press is the sole watchdog of the society
in any given situation. When the power that be is at war
with the press, there are big questions of trust, justice,
accountability, credibility, and many more on both sides.
Again, this is not time for me to define why? We all can
Under the past regimes, especially the war years, press
freedom and the credibility of the leaders were disgusting.
I lived in Liberia during the period of the war and I
am a witness to the suppression of the press. I also watched
how the de facto leaderships in Liberia during the war
days divided and controlled the media to suit their own
purposes. There was the Monrovia Press and the Great Liberia
Press, each serving a particular regime and purpose. A
grave manipulation of the press! While it is true that
the press is independent of the power that be, it is also
an entity that cannot be separated from the society. Against
this backdrop, the leaderships tend to create conditions
to influence activities of press in most cases.
The press in Liberia has experienced an uphill trend since
the election of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the
new democracy. The president at some point in 2006, got
a bit rough with the press in Liberia, blending journalists
as "check book journalists". Now it is the Information
Minister in-waiting who has unleashed his wrath on the
press in a new democracy for publishing a story that no
secret to the public.
The action by Acting Information Minister Bropleh, many
believe, is to silence the press on the unveiling allegations
that he is the master mind behind a broken marriage, something
which is not yet confirmed. Many commentators describe
his unilateral decision to use heavy hands on the Independent
Newspaper as a warning to the press of what to expect
should he pass his pending confirmation hearings on Capitol
Hill. Some keen observers describe Acting Information
Minister Bropleh as an unborn baby with fully grown teeth
ready to bite to the bones.
It would not take an alien from utter space with perhaps
the highest intelligence quota or a rocket scientist on
earth to sense the danger developing and growing up with
our new democracy in Liberia. We need to weed out the
grass before they stunt our young and growing democracy.
I sense the danger of the ills growing and creeping into
our new Liberia.