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

Is Dr. Moniba Becoming Liberia’s Barack Obama?

The similarities cannot be overlooked.  Barrack Obama’s rise to superstardom happened in his mid-40s.  Dr. Clarence Moniba is 43.  They went to the same school in Harvard University, and both grew up for several years away from their native land – Obama lived in Indonesia, and Moniba lived in the United States.  It doesn’t stop there – both speak with similar styles of hope and represent the face of the new generation of leaders in their country.  Both Obama and Moniba have written books that were published in the United States. Finally, both of their fathers were tragically killed in car accidents while they were in their 20’s.  The question remains, is Liberia ready for a radical change in the direction for which America experienced during Obama’s 2008 campaign and ultimate presidency?     

In 2008, the United States was at a crossroads.  Inflation of the US dollar was out of control, food and gas prices were high, and the younger generation, tired of the same old faces in politics, wanted to see someone who represented their concerns and future.  Liberia, which is one of the youngest countries in the world, is facing a similar fate.  Massive rice shortages on the market, high rates of unemployment, corruption and crime are at an all-time high, and most people in the country are unhappy about the direction in which Liberia is heading.  This was the perfect storm that swept the young, energetic and educated Barrack Obama into office – will it also come into play in Liberia that is undergoing similar hardships as a nation? 

Our reporter went to the streets to find out the opinion of the Liberian people.

“We are tired of the old people, nothing good they have done for us.  Look at our country, we are seriously suffering.  We are tired of them, the disadvantage is just too much for us to bare. We need a young person who will have the energy to raise our country to a higher level.”  — Milton T. (32 years of age)

“We need new president, new lawmakers, new everything.  These people just want to stay in power forever.  We will not allow it.  My day hasn’t even started yet…I’m standing here hungry. We need new leaders in this country who have not disappointed us.” — Kessely S. (27)

“This is a young country – The young should also have the opportunity to lead.” — Patience B (41)

Of the thirty-five people interviewed over a two-day period, 17 of them said that they would only vote for leadership that was under the age of 55 if given the option.  10 of the respondents said that they would prefer to vote for leadership over the age of sixty, and 8 of the respondents said that age was irrelevant to their voting decision.

After Dr. Moniba’s announcement for the presidency last week, he has held two massive rallies – one in Kakata, Margibi, and the other in Central Monrovia which blocked traffic for hours, if this trend continues, then Liberia could experience the same type of leadership revolution that brought Barrack Obama to America’s presidency.  Only time will tell.  

Preferred Age of Liberia’s Next Leader – 35 Respondents

Under 55: 17

Over 60: 10 Age Doesn’t Matter: 8

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