The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Commentary: Who Is A Progressive?

By Togba-Nah Tipoteh
When ever anybody tries to share knowledge for the good of others and many people still do not get the correct understanding of the knowledge being shared, it is always good to find better ways to help people to understand correctly the knowledge being shared. In this Commentary, I am trying yet again to find a better way of sharing knowledge about the Progressives..

Who is a Progressive? Like any other character, there are persons who call themselves with one name but engage in actions completely opposite what they call themselves. Some of us call ourselves Christians or Muslims but end up not caring about other people and such action is against the teachings of either religion, which call for loving Allah/God first and loving your neighbor as yourself. A Progressive is any person who takes action to improve the living conditions of the Oppressed, the Poor sustainably. There are two types of people who call themselves Progressives: one type is money-driven and cares only for themselves and not for others. the other type cares about other people. When persons who care only about themselves get into State position, they take care of only themselves, as has been well observed by the Youth of Grand Cape Mount County in an Awareness Assembly held in Madina, Grand Cape Mount County, when they concluded correctly that some people who call themselves Progressives get elected to public offices but upon their election they forget about the interest of the voters who elected them. Clearly, these persons who are money-driven must not be called Progressives but most of them are still being called Progressives and the other Progressives are being blamed for all of the bad things that continue to happen to Liberia.

Bad State management in Liberia continues to promote the dominance of the production of raw materials for export, which leads to poverty generation rather than poverty alleviation There is no focus on value addition, which leads to poverty alleviation. The poverty generation has resulted in the violence-oriented system of poverty generation where the rich are getting richer while the poor become poorer. Reliable evidence about poverty generation goes back as far as the 1950s when less than one per cent of Liberia’s population accounted for more than sixty per cent of Liberia’s income and wealth (Robert Clower et al. 1966). This poverty generating phenomenon has come to be known as economic growth without economic development or growth without development for short.

Elected officials such as Legislators have access to at least USD 1,000 a day and their foreign friends/partners in the commercial sector have access to at least USD2 million a day while over 80 per cent of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than USD2 a day. Yet some Legislators say that they are not getting enough money and they continue to give themselves more money. Most public figures who call themselves Progressives are in this bad State management system but want to be respected by the oppressed people and so they keep rubbing shoulders with the Progressives, who Walk the Progressive Talk, in order to Hold Canoe and Shore (what foreigners call having your cake and eating it too).

I do my best, as Founding Leader of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) to Walk the Progressive Talk and this is why the Oppressed People are cheering me in the various parts of Liberia with the yell: MOJA! MOJA!, considering me to be the symbol of the Mandate of MOJA, which is: There Must Be Justice for All Or There Will Be Justice For None. I am careful to not personalize these cheers because I am a symbol and these cheers are expressions of interest in institutionalizing sustainable democracy in Liberia, where there will be Justice for All. The State failed to carry out this Justice Mandate, found in Chapter 1 of the Constitution of Liberia, and this failure led to the Liberian Civil War of 1989 to 2003. More money-driven persons used the prevailing mass poverty in Liberia as the pretext for the Civil War, claiming that the government of the day was bad. But the warlords took over the government and did worse than the previous government because of their “come, grab and go” attitude.

The coup-led government called out my name through the media, without my knowledge and named me Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs. I could have fled the Country at the time but I selected to stay to see what I could do to save lives through the Rule of Law. I was in contact with Radio Vatican, passing on information about the constitutional violations in Liberia and this information came out on Radio Vatican, based in Rome, Italy. When i went to Ethiopia to preside over the preparation of the Africa Position for the 1981 Annual Meeting of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund (IMF), as I was Chairperson of the Africa Group of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF), i was accused of being part of the plot to overthrow the Liberian government. As I am not suicidal, I did not return to Liberia but went into exile, while the government executed many so-called coup plotters in Liberia.

In trying to prevent Progressives, persons with good records of helping the Oppressed and Poor to help themselves, the money-driven State managers and their friends/partners continue to call me and other Progressives Enemies of the State/Enemies of Progress, blaming us for the failure of State management when we have NEVER managed the State of Liberia!!! Well, this is not surprising because, in the case of the State managers, when elephant kills your baby, you look for rabbit to blame . With all of the money and power of the bad State managers, they do not realize that their condemnation and fear of criticism are going to lead to their downfall because the voters are becoming more aware of the TRUTH, as witnessed in the voting out of their offices of almost all of the Legislators in the 52nd and 53rd Legislatures and the December 8,2020 election of persons because they dislike the worsening of their lives by the bad State management rather than their favoring the records of the persons they voted for, even with the prevailing bad electoral system.

Hopefully, this Commentary helps you the readers and those who listen to you and the radio to know correctly who is a Progressive and who is not a Progressive.

                            HAPPY JULY 26

Gweh Feh Kpei (the Kpelle language for The Struggle Continues)!

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