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‘Fragmented Nation!’ …Leymah Gbowee Describes Liberia

By Grace Q. Bryant

The Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah R. Gbowee, defines Liberia as a fragmented and deeply divided country.

“I mean a fragmented nation where it is tough for our children to be educated; it is difficult for our women to be treated well; it is difficult for development to happen, and I know many people just agree along the way. We are just five million people, and we can’t get it,” she stated.

The peace laureate who spoke yesterday as a guest on the Truth Breakfast Show expressed disappointment that Liberia is a country that is faced with several issues, but these problems do not seem to be understood by the people.

According to Madam Gbowee, “One of the things that has happened to this country is that the politics of division have seriously polarized many of the different groups.”

“This has diminished lots of the work we did in this country; because, when people become partisan, it’s difficult for them to stand, and for me, as an individual, that’s one of the reasons why I prefer not to be a committed member of any political group in this country,” she expressed.

She added, “This is the reason behind the mess happening in this country, where leaders are chosen based on their ability to speak loudly rather than their true leadership qualities. Social media doesn’t always portray the real leadership qualities of individuals.”

“When we fail to prioritize integrity, moral values, and justice, murderers will end up leading discussions on these principles, while their children will be mentored by thieves,” she expressed.

She then emphasized the importance of prioritizing integrity, moral values, and justice in the nation saying, “When we fail to do so, we can’t expect our children to learn these principles from celebrities and social media influencers. As a society, we need to focus on mentoring our young people and teaching them that not everything they see online is right,”

 “To create a better future, we must start by working with and mentoring young people. It’s important to teach them that not every path is the right one,” She maintained.

Among several other things, she called on government official to regulate their social media handles and avoid posting pictures of what they eat or other trivial matters.

“It’s disappointing to see government officials making reckless posts on social media, which only serve to further divide us. If you have something to say, it’s best to do it in a private chat room with trusted individuals to avoid any unnecessary negative attention. If you need to share something official, there are plenty of public platforms available to do so. Just remember to be responsible and professional,” she urged.

On the issue of War and Economic Crimes Court establishment, the peace laureate said this is the best news she has ever heard in this part of Africa.

She said that as much as the idea is good, it should be crafted well with the economic component highlighted to the extent that that aspect is not covered because the conflicts that occurred in Liberia happened on account of a bad economy.

Gbowee said it is disgusting that those who could not afford a place to sleep are owners of duplexes while those who could barely pay for their transport are now having fleets of vehicles and it was because of disparity in the economy that begot the war in Liberia.

“So everyone is prioritizing the war portion. We want to be resounding as economic disparity brings corruption to all of the different things. Yes, we won’t have war again, but what are people suffering? Greed and disparity,’ she stated.

“So it shouldn’t be war, not if we are a serious nation; let it be war and economic at the same time,” she noted.

Meanwhile, Madam Gbowee said peace is crucial for humanity’s progress and Liberians must work towards it by assisting those in need, particularly women adding that assisting women is one way to contribute to peace in Liberia.

“We can’t claim to have peace in our world if there are still people living below the poverty line if women are not treated with dignity, or if children are unable to dream and fulfill their aspirations,” Madam Gbowee asserted.

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