By: Kpakae L. Roberts
In quiet curiosity of spirit, I think it is now time that I break silence over the thought of President Weah who must do what he can in a land of conflict where the people’s fear is evident amiss all the socio-economic crisis and in spite of protest.
For President Weah, he pledged his allegiance to his homeland just as away other citizen. But for the people, his pledge was more implicit than named. His love for his Nation has been wholly saddened by the way His government officials rummaged into the CBL for the lost treasure and the missing money container.
With raw and painful events the people contemplate as they walk the old creviced and pot holed asphalt and concrete streets of central Monrovia and other local capitals. They scarcely heard the harsh and soft sounds of vehicle movements and horns and engines humming, oozing out carbon monoxide fumes around them. As the beauty of their surroundings made no impact, some argued at the top of their voices at street corners and side walk ways in bitter tunes and bulging eyes. As each day dawns and passed by rapidly, one can see the agony and depression on the faces of people and overwhelmed with stress and anxiety, in their eyes, a guilt of sorts for having being left in abject poverty by successive despotic governments of the past and present.
To my amazement and quiet delight the thought came to me, bringing even awful feelings of displeasure, that this leadership could indeed be a good one as it seems in future? For his own purpose, President Weah had given the people “hope” and not “change”. Doubtless, change would come and doubtless, it would continue to take place, but all at the wish and whim of President Weah himself?
The “change for hope” or “hope for change” brought President Weah a great sense of power, though not the kind possessed by him while he’s ignoring the cry of the people. It was the scene of quiet beauty, and I believe it was the power of love, faith and hope, that with such great attributes exhibited by his people from the depths of their spirits, yet not able to waking the sleeping and hungry masses from poverty. And as the atmosphere was pure at S.K.D Sports Complex, one could hear from afar the roar of the thunderous voices of the tremendous crowd of people reared heavenwards.
It is just barely two years’ journey into his pilgrimage and the people have been very grateful for the leadership of the Second Native Head of State of the Republic of Liberia from the Hinterland limits Liberia, 210x210miles and 140x40miles limits Liberia for the Free American Blacks from the USA. But the free American Blacks are not grateful for the leadership of a slave and stranger. At times he would look down at the masses of assorted aged groups of youth, people of sixties seventies, eighties, nineties and hundreds with tears-filled eyes and say to them in silent words: “Your restoration will come. The Native man now has power which will bring only good things.” Even as he said this, President Weah thinks he would have freedom such as one had never enjoyed if he were to lead his people into abject poverty? Yes, indeed, he would have days of joy and happiness in doing as he wished and in being free from restrain? I’ve known that such joyful and happy days as doing what he wished, are unobtainable dreams.
Is President Weah mending the broken hearts of the Natives of the Hinterland who were slaves to the Americo-Liberians and in fact, who are still slaves since 1847 to date? And, is he also mending the broken hearts of the Americo-Liberians who have lost “a Paradise” and are still struggling to “regain” it?
The Natives’ hearts have been enlightened with glow and beauty when President Weah was inaugurated January 2018, and their hope was now even more lively, being animated by their nearness to reconciliation of the Hinterland of the Natives and so-called “Republic of Liberia,” purchased as they said, from the “Uncivilized” Citizens of the then Grain Coast of West Africa? Has he the sense of joy and sorrow as he thought on the outcome of his future and current leadership?
Now I think, it is time to tell President Weah that there are lots of loopholes or leakages in the atmospheric firmament of the Republic of Liberia he needs to patch before 2022-2023. I wonder why the Press is his enemy. And he has never since his tenure exchanged ideas or talked about the “great depression” that has created the graft, the disloyalty, the corruption, and the treason in high government positions. President Weah and the people of this Nation-state need to know the reason for the graft, the disloyalty, corruption and treason that continues. There are so terrible stories of professional men that are grafting the systems within high government offices and positions, and businesses are going to the wall and many are made bankrupt. That is a thing of great shame in these days. People are not being helped to seek a little work or job to keep their self-respect. This is a ‘social horror’ I have discovered since the past regime of former President Sirleaf to date. This social horror, I fear or dread that people socially conscious are discovering this dreadful secret about no ‘job’ signs and symptoms.
I think it is about time that President Weah should subject himself to what I may call ‘Brainstorm’. President Weah, you need retire to the ‘drawing room’ of your HEART—the organ in which our emotions and innermost thoughts takes place –a room you otherwise scarcely visit and use since you ascended to the highest position of the Nation-state. On the day of your “Swear-in-Ceremony”, I was careful never to show any joy or happiness for such would have me even surlier. Many who have shown their joy or happiness upon your victory over “four political giants are now gone into the darkness of spirit and often weep for some sorrow they can never understand. Many citizens, President Weah, including myself the Proponent of the Longevity Research Program for Centenarians in Liberia, have kept this dark secret to ourselves and showed a normal exterior to fellow Liberians and the world at large. Even we would snap out of our mood if we inadvertently met the Finance Minister or CBL Manager, or the Minister of Agriculture running down the drive.
President Weah, in case you are not ready yet, or think you will not listen and take my opinion into consideration, I am pleased, Your Excellency, to give brief information from a brief period of observation of our society, as a researcher, and its successive governments since 1847 to date that reveals the important changes that could overcome most negative thoughts and attitudes, the grafts, the corruption, the disloyalty, and the treason that in the light of history, I can explain to You and the public.
In 1860, when Abraham Lincoln was elected as 16th president of the U.S., in 1861, their civil war begins, and in 1865, their civil war ends. Then in 1862, during their civil war, Abraham Lincoln proclaims abolition of slavery. But then when in 1847, Liberia was declared as an Independent State on the then Grain Coast of West Africa, this Independent State continued the “slave trade” and used the Natives of the Hinterland limits Liberia (210x210miles) as slaves. Republic of Liberia (140x40miles) limits Liberia was purchased from the then Grain Coast Citizens of West Africa by the American Colonization Society for their free American Blacks in 1822. This free American Black State in West Africa continued to carry out the slave trade and took the Natives as slaves because of the lack of moral uprising on the part of the same free American Black Slaves who were now settled on the land of the citizens of the Grain Coast of West Africa. Your Excellency, this was all the result of an emotional hangover and continued moral lapse which follows every slave trade and war.
It is the apathy to evil which the Native people who have been subjected to the tremendous evils of the slave trade which continued during the successive despotic governments of the free American Blacks and the civil war, which began and lasted for 20years, feel. Mr. President, as the Native people of the Hinterland limits Liberia have seen mass murder the destruction of defenseless and innocent people and all the crime and lack of morals which go with slavery and war, they become numb and apathic. Your Excellency, it has always been this way after a slave trade and war.
THE FULL FREEDOM OF RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS
(A Way Out Though Your Government’s Intervention, Mr. President)
Is it possible to have a true reconciliation and forgiveness in Liberia? Absolutely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, yes, yes, yes! This is the whole point beyond what I call ‘Conflict Resolution,’ and this is what I will try to explain.
As of the day I was told that this land, the Grain Coast, is divided into two different portions: ‘the 40miles limits Liberia and that of’ the Hinterland limits Liberia—the one in which I found myself– I often pondered the thought of reconciliation. Reconcile what? Reconcile with whom? Reconcile how? For me it is a present problem – a close, intimate, and national problem.
When I was a young lad, I had thought life to be complicated, now as a grown up, it seemed – more than ever that life is hopelessly complicated. I have now understood our relational obligations to put our society first—both the close society of our culture, and the wider one of all mankind—specifically of our Nation-state.
How simply a matter reconciliation has once been, as we have gone through war, shed tears and blood, as we have passed through the hard times of life, we have sought to reconcile and forgive others when they offended us or were so cruel. But there has been neither instant reconciliation nor forgiveness. Now, it seemed, our reconciliation is spaced out. We thought too much about Reconciliation and Forgiveness, and it seemed they have lost their spontaneity. Sometimes things seemed too wrong or too hurtful to reconcile or to forgive and we would go on contemplating the situation.
I think it was not the war that disturbed and unsettled the Natives (the offended) but the intent, the thoughtless indignities such as negative thoughts and attitudes irritated the Natives disturbing their peace because the negative thoughts and attitudes were needless, so unthoughful so as to be considered retaliatory. The Natives were not deceived by their negative thoughts and attitudes, for the Natives knew them to be attacks on their essential being—as they were not taken captive as slaves by White Slave Masters of the West and secondly, their undisclosed but authentic identity. To the Natives of the Hinterland limits Liberia, owned by the citizens of the Grain Coast of West Africa, no eroding of such a group’s dignity could be ignored.
The Natives of the Hinterland have given much time and thought to living truly alongside their black brothers who have been enslaved by cruel White men, despite their Native brothers’ many failures most of them have been sincere. How then, could the Natives of the Grain Coast ‘Reconcile and Forgive’ such things as isolation of a black brother, who had whole heartily welcome you back home, which seemed upon him as a holy obligation. As offenders the Black American Free Men did not seem to comprehend the magnitude of their offense, and the dimensions of their violation of human rights and dignity.
Mr. President, when true Liberians are talking about Reconciliation and Forgiveness, that is reconcile the 40miles limits Liberia “established by the American Government in 1824, as its policy, given to their Free Black Americans and with that of the Hinterland limits Liberia, owned by the citizens of the Grain Coast of West Africa, we need to have a true Reconciliation and Forgiveness in Liberia. We must have a “United Liberia, for both the Americo-Liberians “for the 40miles limits Liberia and the Native Liberians, for the Hinterland limits Liberia. We should request the American Government to please change its 1822 policy from that of Liberia is for the Free American Blacks, to that of“ United Liberia for the “Americo-Liberians and the Natives,” and with this Motto: “ The love of Liberty Unites us here.” And not the Love of Liberty brought us here.”
Ask me not of the second sublime thought, “cause exceedingly encouraging it may not be ; for the whole ethos of our society has change: The order of our deep roots culture and traditions, things we cherish that are our heritage, from the past to the present, into the valley of time gradually sinking.
Mr. President, Liberia must unite or else, we might continue to have a claim for leadership of “The Republic of Liberian being claimed as a legacy for only the citizens of the Americo-Liberians of the 40miles limits Liberia, since 1847 to now.
Mr. President, I assert this because I know the full Freedom of Reconciliation and Forgiveness is inevitable “ because this is what has always happened to every Nation-state and every human being who have lived on Planet Earth.
On the whole life has done us all good, even the civil war years, and the conflict in battle and the conflict created between the Bible and Culture, the shock of seeing Liberians in the times of brutalizing and dehumanizing one another.
Now, this is the post war years when “we must” share out our “new maturity” the same message of “grace and love”—and the operations of LOVE and GRACE, in the Full Freedom of Reconciliation and Forgiveness of our sin—which is at the doors of all of us—Liberians.
I think it is now time we should be considerate of each other and reconcile, for all of us belong to the same family, having been made of the same clay. But there is a relationship in addition to blood. Human need and pity relate us all to each other. Our needs vary, but all have them. Equality gives each the right to develop his endowment.
Our hope for True Reconciliation is in God’s Grace by Faith; not in Colonial Missionary Theology, not in Whiteman Theology, and not in Pseudo Democracy. These Alien Agents for Christianity used the term “Theology” to divest the Cultural Heritage of the Native Liberians—and even our Free Black Americans, the so-called “Civilized citizens.”
Most of the government officials have now acquired enough wealth or riches, and are now thinking even retiring from their positions at this early time of your tenure because they have accumulated a substantial amount of money: money that was to worry them after six years tenure for accountability by the GAC. Moreover, the years are still yet some way far off, and so fully landscaped their large compounds or estates or properties, planted vineyards or beautiful lawns, in which they will live for the rest of their lives after your tenure.
But Mr. President, I think the people of this Nation-state for which you are serving as a Native Head of State, are dreading what would happen at the end of your first term as all is not well with the people and the oppositions. The people never have dreamed such things as “missing money containers” could happen.
Finally, your Excellency, the hot ashes from the huge fire burned, set ablaze by the previous government were scarcely cold before your government officials were rummaging in them for the lost treasure, thus disappointed the people’s high expectation of “change for hope” or “hope for change”