The Nation Is Dying!
By H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr.
The women of Lofa, mainly the Belle, have struck a blow on the anvil of our sedated consciences by courageously demonstrating against the barbarism which the political tramp has imposed on the people of Liberia. Defiant as ever - as all responsible Liberian women are when trampled upon - they have marched to the Ministry of Defense in Monrovia to protest against the massacre and mutilation of their menfolk by thugs and bandits masquerading as soldiers. Fearless in their conviction, they have pointed fingers at the culprits who are orchestrating the butchery and mayhem.
Undoubtedly, the chief culprit is Charles Taylor. This small time hustler from the underworld of the neglected slums of America's inner cities has now taken possession of a country without having the knowledge or temperament for ruling a traumatized people just emerging from the horrors of war. With his demented psyche, corroded by cocaine and the brutal experiences of the violence in the slums and in a maximum US prison, this psychopath indulges in murder and bloodletting with reckless abandon. Like a Mafia Don, he sees himself fighting for the control of territory in order to distribute drugs to junkies and misfits, and the murder of innocent people is considered incidental in this scheme of greed and plunder. Thus, his thugs are sent around the country to terrorize the people into submitting to his tyranny and banditry.
In Lofa, they chased out a handful of bedraggled stragglers - remnants from the civil war - and then wade into the people and their properties. In Maryland, they torture and terrorize undernourished peasants who are scratching the earth with their bare hands to eke out a living. In Sinoe, they have turned the people into slaves and beasts of burden for the benefit of loggers. In Nimba, the ruling clique has abandoned the survivors of the war to the harshness of poverty and starvation after the sons and daughters of these survivors gave their lives, blood and sweat in a struggle to end the tyranny of Doe and his handful of cronies. Interestingly, we see some of these cronies hovering without shame around Taylor. In Bong County, the prisons are overflowing with the malnourished frames of peasants who have awakened to the lies and betrayal of the deranged Zombie who sits in the Mansion. In Grand Gedeh, the people are starved, brutalized and mutilated simply because they come from Doe's tribe as if these poor masses benefited from the misrule of Doe and his cronies. In Monrovia and its environs, the poverty, paralysis and helplessness have pushed little girls into prostitution with their parents subjected to all the indignities which come with the stigma of such social scandal.
With each day that passes, the lawlessness in the country wreaks increasing havoc on the people. Life is cheap under the rule of this sleek bandit. Many have died for insignificant reasons like overtaking a car or removing a video player from a house. The security forces (mainly hoodlums from the NPFL) kill because their actions are sanctioned by Taylor. The soldiers plunder, rape and maim because they regard such actions as compensation for keeping in power a cabal of kleptomaniacs, psychopaths and junkies. The nation is being ravaged by debauchery, infamy and terror. The State, mighty by its name and its history - even with the buffoonery of Sergeant Samuel Doe - today resembles an aged harlot at the mercy of drunks, vagabonds and penniless politicians. And the upcoming generation inhales the rancid vomit of these inebriated degenerates and may wallow in this filth assuming it to be the norm. This is the tragedy!
The attempts at salvaging the wreckage created by Taylor with the hosting of seminars and symposia miss the point by a wide margin. Tyrants are impervious to logic. In the case of Taylor, it is even worse. He is part of the wreckage and any attempt to save him is a futile effort in deception and prevarication. Tyranny is evil because it suffocates the human will to excel. It dehumanizes the human personality by its brutality and terror. It thrives on a stupendous folly: that the human will to freedom and liberty can be thwarted by a process of indiscriminate terror and savagery. This then is our challenge: to expose this folly for what it is - a mere chimera
The nation under Taylor and his cronies is in its death throes. Thus, there must be consistency in our attitude if we are opposed to tyranny. Like Doe, like Taylor! If we did not hold seminars and symposia to rectify the social, economic and political horrors of the Doe tyranny, we cannot do so now and expect to exonerate ourselves from the charges of sectarianism, cowardice and opportunism. There is a simple lesson from all tyrannies: the tyrants have no friends. They kill unconscionably because for them all human beings are expendable cannon fodder. Thus Dokie died, like Elmer Johnson, Moses Duopu, Jackson Doe and hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And Weh Syen, Henry Zuo, Robert Sumo, Harry Johnson and Nelson Toe are slaughtered based on lies and deception. And then followed Podier, Quiwonkpa, Charles Gbenyon and thousands of innocent citizens. And then the cronies of the two tyrants converge - Shaw, Philip Kamah, Kpoto, Jenkins Scott, During, Bull, Edward Sackor, Bestman, Winston Tubman, etc. etc.- and sharpen the instruments of terror and refine the lies of tyranny.
The nation staggers from its multiple wounds, heading towards a precipice that leads to darkness and death. Then the women of Lofa screamed in anguish and we with our emasculated manhood stirred from our cowardly indifference and for once in our lives think of the children of tomorrow and pick up the emblem of the martyrs of our history: Blyden, Juah Nimley, Edwin Barclay, David Coleman, D. Twe, T. R. Bracewell, Kollie Tamba, S. Raymond Horace, Sr., Nete Sie Brownell, Du Fahnbulleh, Henry Zuo, Robert Sumo, Thomas Quiwonkpa, Robert Phillips, Wiwi Debbah, Wuo Garbe Tappia, etc. And behind the emblem we march, untainted by tribalism or bigotry; for the blood that flows for freedom is colored red no matter who we are or where we come from.
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