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Preliminary Results Of The Special Senatorial Elections: Will President Weah Consider The “DECONTEH”?

By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

In every vernacular, certain words carry certain meaning that can be used by others for certain reasons. Sometimes some tribal groups use the words that carry the same meaning or message. For example, the word, “Decontee” means “everything has time” and can be used by certain tribal groups with the same meaning. Another example is “TOWEH,” which in Kru, Grebo and Gio means, “the war is over” or “the war is finished.

Also, there are certain words in tribal groups that are peculiar to that tribe. One of such is “DECONTEH,” In Kru which means, ;’for what reason” or “why are the causes for the happenings or results of certain situations,” like in the outcome of an electoral process. Whenever the word “Deconteh” is used in Kru in evaluating the results or consequences of certain situation, it means that one should soberly reflect what led to such. Deconteh reminds one to internalize to certain what led to the happening of certain situations.

Today, I decided to invoke this word because of what I am hearing from, various polling centers about the just ended Special Senatorial Elections conducted last Tuesday. Preliminary results indicate that the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Manneh Weah is not performing well, as key areas like Montserrado (Darius Dillon), Grand Bassa (Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence), Bong (Prince Moye) ,and Lofa (Brownie J. Samukai) are falling into the hands of the opposition.

Although the National Elections Commission (NEC) which has such statutory responsibility to announce the official results, it is expected to begin announcing the results in few hours, it is logical to deduce from these preliminary results, that the opposition, mainly the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) is doing fine according to the unofficial results.

Commonsensically, it is necessary to note after performing beyond expectation in a competition to begin to ruminate the reasons why it went against you.
This is the same in an election, which is also a competition to decide on leadership through the secret ballots. And at the end of the day, if one loses, it is necessary for one to consider the reasons for not prevailing, as we say in law. This is why I decided to use the Kru word, “DECONTEH ” for what reason” or “what are the causes for the happenings or results of certain situations.”
This is where I want President Weah to begin to put on his thinking cap to ascertain why the CDC, which is in the driver’s seat, has performed dismally in these elections.

Again the official results are yet to come, but “From Where I sit,’ just to borrow from the late veteran journalist G. Henry Andrews, there are strong indications that all is not well in the CDC government, an alliance of three political parties- the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Weah; , National Patriotic Party (NPP) of former President Charles Taylor and the Liberian People Democratic Party (LPDP) of former Speaker Alex Tyler.

In all fairness, let me say that it is not about the individuals that are prevailing, it is about the system. This is a protest vote, meaning that the people are not happy with the way and manner in which certain things are happening.

Therefore, those who are losing, like Thomas Fallah and my late Godfather’s son Milton Findley, should in no way be seen as not being qualified or competent, but that this is a “wake-up call” for the ruling party to receive the message that all is not well and that something needs to be done to reverse this negative trend.

This is why President George Manneh Weah, the captain of the ship, must put his feet down by enduring that this is not business as usual because the people are venting their anger and frustration for a batter Liberia. I should not be misconstrued as suggesting that the government is not undertaking development projects; this would be an unfair assessment. But the result is a wake-up call to act quickly in some areas to remedy the situation or improve things, whether or not it is about “BREAD AND BUTTER” or that which would move the country from backwaters to prosperity.

As a communicator, I am aware that in such situation like an election, there is always a message to the winners and losers. On the issue at bar, the message to the winner, is why he or she was elected among others, while on the other hand, the loser would want to know why he or she did not win.

Whenever one speaks of “THE MESSASGE” in whatever situation, it is all about the intent or reason for such action, like in the case of an election, the action of the voters always send a message for the winner or the loser. Message refers to an ‘underlying theme or idea.”

“In rhetorical and communication studies, a message is defined as information conveyed by words (in speech or writing), and/or other signs and symbols. A message (verbal or nonverbal, or both) is the content of the communication process. The sender conveys the message to a receiver.”

It is said that “most media messages serve at least one of three purposes—to educate, to entertain, or to persuade—and some fulfill all three at once. A blog post, for example, may entertain its readers but also share some news or promote a cause or product.”

Furthermore, it is said that “we communicate for a variety of reasons! We use communication to share information, comment, ask questions, express wants and needs, develop social relationships, social etiquette, etc. Communication is much more than wants and needs. Our main reasons for communication change over time just slightly.”

In the case of an election, let the just ended Special senatorial elections, the voters did send a message to the candidates, but specifically, the message goes to the ruling party of President Weah, by looking at the ”DECONTEH’ for his party’s performance. This requires looking into the fiscal or monetary issues of the country, the inflation, security concerns, as well as the present money crisis that depositors cannot access their money in the local banks.

Sometimes it is nauseating to note that after waiting for hours to withdraw, depositors are told that they cannot withdraw what they actually want because of the “lack of sufficient funds” in the banks and are reluctantly made to receive something infinitesimal, that is, something inadequate to meet their request for the money from whatever bank. Government needs to tackle this.

Another important thing that the President needs to consider is his Kitchen Cabinet or pool of advisors, as well as his Cabinet. Undisputedly, there are things that are not right, something for which the voters carried out the uncompromising protest votes; some of those who are not winning, should be considered “VICTIMS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.”

To the voters, I say well done for the level of maturity and civility. I am aware of some isolated cases, but “on the aggregate,” as the economists would say, it was peaceful and smooth.

Also, people should refrain from derogatory comments or invectives against those who are seemingly not winning. We should remember that we are all Liberians, no matter the party one belongs or which candidate one supported.

Let’s remember; it is all about “MOTHER LIBERIA.”

I Rest My Case.

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