Politicians, Please Listen to Me!

By James Torh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 3, 2002

It was on Monday the 25th of March at about 6:00am, I was lying down flat on my back feeling uncomfortable and playing lazy, when my door was flung open and my eyes wide opened and looking towards the ceiling, when my daughter walked in my room, stood at the door for few minutes and yelled my name - "papa, what are you thinking about"? I hurriedly adjusted myself, roused up and rested on my elbow struggling to keep my composure and quizzed her; are you ready for school now? She responded but insisted on the answer of her question. I then said, Ma, I am thinking about the political journey of our country, Liberia.

In recent days since the Abuja meeting, I have spent sleepless nights thinking the unthinkable about the future of my country. When will Liberia come back into the corridor and sit at the helm of decision making of Africa and the international model that it has helped built over the years? When will Liberia resurrect from the tremendous damaged the war has inflicted on the nation and done to its image and the disgrace that it continues to carry over a decade now? When will Liberia begin to heal the wounds of the bitter strive and the horror that is consuming our land and reconcile the people? When will we return home freely, putting down structures, engaging and investing in businesses and putting to use the expertise that we have acquired from abroad as our colleagues from Ghana, Senegal and other West African countries are doing? These are some of the questions that were turning over in my mind and haunting me when my daughter ran into me. Yes, the church believes about the existent of heavens and hell is very real when you leave Monrovia and enter Abidjan or Accra.

But a short stroll down memory land will remind us that our trouble is far from over with Charles Taylor on board as President of Liberia, a man who carry more sinister agenda and whose conscience and influence are designed to blight the souls of nations and subjugate the Liberian people to terror. He is somehow assisted with those politicians whose preoccupation for the presidency is to replace Taylor. Indeed, political candidates are again gearing up and rehearsing for the presidential election scheduled for 2003. They are mounting preparations to register with a number of political parties with everyone claiming their popularity with the people. This is not only laughable it is horrible! In this case, what makes one to wonder - is whether these guys are either being blind to history or endowed with poor memories?

Although we have gone through the worst trauma, but our thinking faculties are still where the good Lord placed them.

Now, let's reflect soberly by turning the pages of history to review the games and crimes committed against the Liberian people and their neighbors by Mr. Taylor during the past several years for the sole purpose of holding to power. Yet, he could not provide safe drinking water and electricity for our people.

Having launched his brutal war without the constraints, he butchered prominent politicians/citizens, which include Jackson Doe, Gabriel Kpolleh, Stephen Yekeson, Steven Daniels, Patrick Beddle, David Dwayen, Moses Duopu, Cooper Teah, etc. As a result, Mr. Taylor turned Liberia into a barbaric slaughterhouse, which left over 250,000 people dead and destroyed properties worth millions of US dollars. His sinister campaigns of massacres and terror made IGNU (Interim Government of National Unity of Amos Sawyer vulnerable. This scheme was among his strategies to achieve his ultimate goal - the presidency.

For the sake of the presidency, Mr. Taylor dumped 13 Peace Accords, and denied that the signature on one of the Accords was not his. He manipulated all the Fields Commanders of ECOMOG with the exception of two, bribing his way through with looted money and diamonds - to have his aims accomplished.

For the sake of RAW POWER, papay rained terror on the people of Liberia, creating a worse condition for our children, women and the elderly. Moreover, he used other people's children as soldiers by given the drugs, which turned them into killing machine. Having exploited these child soldiers, they are left to fan themselves – with no hope for the future.

My question to those politicians who are preoccupied with becoming president is - why can't they make decisions that are in the best interest of the Liberian people? To unseat Mr. Taylor, there needs to be a united front, without which he will remain in control of Liberia like his personal property. If you don't believe me, ask the people living in Monrovia about Taylor's employees and former combatants at the Elections Commission, those who are prepared to beat his drum of praises, and would ready to die for him. There are also others Capitol Building, the Temple of INJUSTICE - with his handpicked girl in charged as Chief "injustice". As for his ATU (Another Terrorist Unit) thugs, they are roaming the streets with new AKs-47 to keep causing TROUBLE.

So politicians, this is the reality on the ground. For now your only weapon of choice is to present a united with a single purpose redeeming the Liberian people from Mr. Taylor's disregard for peace and stability. The task is yours - to save Liberia and its people.

About the author: James Torh is a human rights activist who was arrested for criticizing President Charles Taylor's Government, and was charged with treason. He subsequently escaped from the country and now lives in exile.

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