"Kicking Over The Pail ... The liberian Scenario"

By Rev. Coker A. J. George,

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 22, 2002

A young cow had difficulties in milking for the first time. After the application of several treatments to induce milking, to the amazement of the husbandman, the cow milked a pail (bucket) of milk. In excitement the husbandman ran to the farmer (the owner of the ranch) and broke this long expected news. Leaving all of his farming activities, the farmer along with others ran to the barn to celebrate. Reaching the barn, guess what he met? The cow had kicked over the pail that was filled to the brink with fresh milk. What a disappointment! The farmer had high hopes that this cow being of the pedigree of cattle with excellent milk-producing characteristics would perform up to expectation.

Does this scenario sound familiar? It may had seemed difficult in the interest of "peace and reconciliation" at first for President Taylor to have used the "presidential power of executive clemency" to drop the charge of treason against those associated with the September 18, 1998, "Camp Johnson Road" Conflict. Notwithstanding after several intercessions through "prayers and fasting"; concerns and appeals from the religious community and political and civil organizations, intervention from the international community, President Taylor with the conviction that God is a forgiving God, to the surprise of many, invoked the "presidential power of executive clemency", dropping the charge of treason against Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and others, and releasing from confinement Hons. Bai M. Gbala, James Chelly, Charles Breeze and others.

The news of the release of our fellow sons of Liberia, regardless of their ethnicity, was warmly embraced by Liberians at home and in the Diaspora, and seen as an indication that we were, perhaps, on the road to genuine "peace and reconciliation". Nevertheless, no sooner had this aroma of the news of "peace and reconciliation" permeated the corridors of the Diaspora, did the news of "arrest, detention, and intimidation" of prominent citizens, the closure of news organs, the imposition of the state of emergency, and the banning of assembly by political parties and civic groups by the Government of Liberia, overshadowed the impact of this gesture. We have also learned of the recent murder in Ghana of Gen. Alfred Glay, former Aide Camp to President Samuel K. Doe, by two men alleged to be members of Security Service of the Taylor's Government, and former combatants of the NPFL. What a disappointment!

Isn't this analogical to "The Kicking Over Of The Pail..."? As Liberians, whether living in Liberia and/or the Diaspora, we don't only look towards the restoration of genuine "peace and reconciliation" in our beloved Liberia, but an era when the tenets of our constitution will be upheld, and the air of true democracy will be enjoyed by all Liberians and those resident within our borders. We don't call for the restoration of those so-called "good old days," because history tells us that they may had contributed to the situation we find ourselves in.

You may say, "never in my life's time!" Because when we are on "the other side of the fence", not in power, we have the right solutions and condemn those who are in authority. We do everything possible to bring them down, even at the peril of lives of thousands of our fellow Liberians. We claim to be the "god-sent" liberators and the little messiahs. But given the opportunity to lead for a while, we find it difficult to live up to our own expectations, not even to mention that of our fellow Liberians. Instead of being the servants of the people, we become their "masters". The cause of the people doesn't only become secondary, but cease to exist. We don't only begin to establish ourselves economically, but consolidate power by resurrecting those evils that we once condemned; self-enrichment and paternalism become the "order of the day" - the rich become richer, and the poor, poorer. Does this sound familiar?

We know that the picture of our beloved Liberia looks bleak and doomful. But let's not be without hope. The "pail of milk" can't be skimmed up, but by putting behind those evil vices that we permit to divide us, and putting Liberia first, we can work towards genuine "peace and reconciliation". Further, let us pray for the leadership of our country, that the godly image that is in him will resist the evils of the world, and not be over-powered by them. It may seem impossible, but let us be of one mind and purpose, working towards the same goal. It is only through love and unity of purpose that our goal for one Liberia can be achieved. Do you recall the impact of the togetherness of the disciples in that room after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as recoded in Acts 2?

When the day of pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, apeared among them, and a tongue tested on each them. All of them were filled with the holy spirit and began to speak in other languages as the spirit gave them ability.

Is this possible for Liberians and Liberia? YES! But let's be of one mind; having a forgiving and loving heart, which will create the environment for the intervention and presence of the Holy Spirit. Friends, the Holy Spirit will reinforce unity among us, and bring about transformation and empowerment. Don't give up! our Day of Pentecost is near!

In closing, let's applaud the initiative of Archbishop Michael K. Francis, the religious community, political and civil organizations and others who were instrumental in seeking the release of Cl1r. Gongloe from detention. Don't give up! "In union strong, success is sure. We will over all prevail! May god bless our beloved liberia!

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