Wotorson Urges Liberians to Organize and Hold a Meeting of National Leaders

(Open Invitation)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted April 29, 2002

SUBJECT: An Open Invitation To Organize And Hold A Meeting Of National Leaders Of Political Parties, Elder Statesmen, Representatives Of Civil Society, Religious And Private Business Organizations, Concerned, Committed And Patriotic Liberians, Peace And Human Rights Advocates, Women And Professional Organizations For The Sole Purpose Of Deliberating On Matters Of Our Country, That Is Experiencing An Unprecedented National Tragedy Of Decay, Towards Evolving A Broad Strategic Non-Governmental Common Agenda And Approach On The Future Of Postwar Liberia- With Emphasis On The Speedy Reconciliation, Rehabilitation And Reconstruction Of A Peaceful, Democratic, United, Productive, Just And Prosperous Liberia For All Of Liberians.

Since the advent of our recent National Crisis nearly twenty-two (22) years ago… with the violent overthrow of the Tolbert Administration on April 12, 1980, and the subsequent advent of the NPFL initiated 7 year conflict from late December 1989 to 1997… resulting in the overthrow of the Doe administration, Liberians have generally intensified their dependence upon the sympathy, goodwill, initiatives and leadership of mostly non-Liberian personalities and institutions to think of, organize and manage the several meetings and conferences for the search for "lasting Peace in Liberia".

Towards this end, We (Liberians) have normally tended to voluntarily serve and continue to serve as "sideline spectators" to our deteriorating National Tragedy, while we who should be the “natural and logical leaders” for this search for national peace and reconciliation, have been contented to just sit back, on the sideline, wasting our energies on petty ethnic, social, economic and political differences to gain trivial personal, political and maybe economic benefits and advantages at the self-evident expense of our conflict-ravaged country… and await periodic invitations from International Organizations and peoples of goodwill to bring various segments and/or groups of us to deliberate - now and then - in relatively short time spans - on the search for genuine and lasting peace for war-torn Liberia - Black Africa’s oldest Independent Republic and torchbearer for freedom and self-rule for our brothers and sisters throughout Africa.

Because most of us (Liberians) at these meetings have often tended to bring to the various “Peace Talks” our individual and/or collective "excess baggage" containing our subjective feelings of bias, distrust, arrogance, confrontation and revenge, the search for genuine and lasting peace has always remained and continues to be illusive. In the process, we have either continuously strained the patience and expectations of our foreign peace facilitators, or undermine the hopes and expectations of the suffering Liberian masses. Our perennial lack or inability to “evolve a broad national consensus” on the future of our country, has contributed and continues to significantly contribute to our continuing loss of the respect, the corresponding solidarity and support of the International Community. Ironically, this collective negative behavior has continued to inform the further deepening of our individual and collective dependence on external mediators and facilitators, whose personal and/or national interests and agendas either may not always be similar to, nor consistent with the deeper and long-time interest of Liberians.

Regrettably, as a result of this phenomena and exacerbated by the dismal performance of good governance in our country, our country’s national strategy continues to intensify disproportionately to the point, that the International Community…led by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom of Great Britain…considers and treats our country as “ a pariah and failed state”, and concluding that…they do not know what to do with us. Eventually, the progressive state of Liberia’s isolation by the international community was officially confirmed by the United Nations through its imposition of a one-year of renewable sanctions on our country. by the United Nations. On March 7, 2002; a situation once more claiming the attention of United Nations.

In light of this "deteriorating national and shameful tragedy", I continue to sincerely and strongly believe that a meeting amongst the groups listed, should be organized and held…at a place and time to be determined by mutual consultations via e-mail, faxes or telephone communications with the utmost urgency and priority for the purpose of deliberating and evolving a BROAD NON-GOVERNMENTAL NATIONAL CONSENSUS FOR A POSITIVE POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FUTURE FOR OUR COUNTRY”. The primary focus of the "Broad National Consensus” will be to build for the speedy attainment of a lasting and effective National Peace for our country. Based on your responses, we will consult on establishing a secretariat for planning the meeting. So if you have any body in mind to be part of this secretariat, please include this in your response. My dear fellow Liberians, things are not easy back home. Our people deserve a better quality of life.

Let me conclude by saying that this is not the first attempt of a call for the search for genuine peace, but we seek a meeting conceived, planned and managed by Liberians that will encourage an inclusive and broader participation of not only political leaders, but also all stakeholders in the future prosperity of our country. Let us remember that we are always better together. We should not allow adversity to stop us, but make sure we redefine it.

Please Note, "A Stitch In Time Saves Nine"…"United, We Will Successfully Stand!! Divided We Will Continue Our Tragic National Fall”!! The Choice For The National Renewal Of Our Country Is Within Our Embrace!! God Bless Us All.

E-mail:monrovia20@msn.com; Fax: 609-448-3893;Tel.(day-time) 973-623-4431; (nite) 609-448-7905

About the author: Cletus Segbe Wotorson was presidential candidate of the Liberian Action Party (LAP) and the Alliance of Political Parties in the 1997 elections.

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