The sad story of Liberian politics

By James D. Torh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

March 25, 2003

The current political situation in Liberia is history making. As the clock ticks downward to Charles Taylor's October elections, the political stage in Liberia is again making history with our deep-throat political gurus back home on their knees for the sake of bread and prostituting their political parties and selling themselves for money. As poverty, disease and hunger rage on like a prairie fire in the Liberian society and the daily combat and battle for survival in a hostile economic environment, there is no truth to see and say. There are no ladies and gentlemen to meet in Liberia politics, but the shameless and the greedy; the liars and the tricksters, the bully and the cheat, the noisy and the talkative. This is a sad political journey for our country.

So the announcement made by the Monrovia branch of the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP) to merge with the National Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Consolidated Registered Political Parties which include the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL), The True Whig Party (TWP), All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), People Progressive Party (PPP), People Democratic Party of Liberia (PDPL), Liberia National Union (LINU) Free Democratic Party (FDP) and Reformation Alliance Party (RAP) engagements to rally behind a notorious government for additional six years for the sake of bread is unfortunate and disappointing. The political giants who dawned the scene some few years back promising us commitment to a national cause seem to lack something today considered essentially necessary in ourselves and our country –a conscience. This handicap has never been considered a foible, but a menace.

Mary Brownell (L) and James Chelley
What is more disturbing is the announcement from one Mary Brownell, one of the newly appointed Commissioner of the Election Commission, who called on political parties to challenge the NPP in the forth coming election. I saw Mary Brownell and James Chelley on the as they were being inducted into office by Charles Taylor with her eyebrows arced upward as smile caressed her face which revealed her preparedness to count the ballots. Mary was smart to indicate that she will please her God and conscience in Charles Taylor Liberia. Maybe, we need to plead with God to bring back G. Henry Andrews just to tell us what led to his tragedy death after awarding the presidency to Charles Taylor. I think Mary has not shown motherly leadership in the situation of our country, preferring to stand before Taylor, beaming with smile and calling on political parties to challenge the NPP while the blood of our daughters, sisters and mother cry out. In my sense, we have been cruelly betrayed by the announcement. But we should not brush aside the reality that Taylor has given Mary a political stick to beat and crush his political opponents and/or adversaries.

It is difficult to understand the thinking and reasoning of some Liberians especially the so-called politicians. Of course, all of us cannot come to the same conclusion given the facts due to our experiences and knowledge. Over the years, Taylor has taken a sadistic enjoyment in jailing, torturing and murdering his opponents and human rights crusaders. This is the man who launched an armed struggle against his own people - slaughtering over 250,000 men, women and children. This is the man who launched armed attacked against two neighbouring states. He has been and will always be a menace as long as he is the boss of Liberia. Our prayers have continued to be for him to just disappear, he won't. We wish he could change his ways, he can't. We have patiently waited for some madding in him but to no avail. Now our moral antibodies are reacting, maybe over-reacting.

But the crux of the matter is lack of maturity in our political system. The Taylor regime has had to stay for far too long. It has no political direction but to kill and terrorise people in order to stay in power. We look on in dismay ...helpless political agenda of Liberia to defend and rescue and save. It has been the old “stomach” politics, politics of survival through the licking of the sandals of the power of the day. The wise, the noisy, the aged, the youth all jostled for position to partake in the loot of Liberia, courtesy of Charles Taylor revolution.

But when Charles Taylor is gone, pretty soon, it will be told from the sacred Books that there was a man called Charles Taylor who destroyed our country beyond recognition and repair and fingers will be pointed to his collaborators who toady parading as politicians. Our country will have a rich history. The so-called Taylor revolution will have a few apologists amongst who will be the rich who before were very poor. The Bloody hands will disappear and will be consigned to the limbo of history. LONG LIBERIA, ONCE SWEET LAND OF LIBERTY.