ELLEN JOHNSON SIRLEAF STEPS down as President of the Republic of Liberia in October.
HOWEVER, HER DEPARTURE IS BEING preceded by a whirlwind of activities already set in motion deliberately by her.
IN AN INTERVIEW AIRED ON CNN, Sirleaf intimated that it is her wish, howbeit not plausible, that the country goes into the hands of the young generation.
“I’M SENDING A STRONG SIGNAL; not only should we respect the Constitution and the law, but l also say it’s time for generational change,” Sirleaf said in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
“WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE that are vying for leadership, that have the capacity, that have the passion and the capability and it’s time for them to take over and we’ve got to make way for them. If we are going to practice democracy which we all want to do and we all strive to do, that we’ve got to do it by example,” President Sirleaf said.
SIRLEAF’S CALL FOR GENERATIONAL change was one she had earlier resounded during the deliverance of her speech at the United Nations General Assembly.
GIVING HER PARTING ADDRESS at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left many spinning their heads and looking to the proverbial gods for an answer, one only she knows.
HOWEVER, SIRLEAF’S CALLS for a generational change is completely disingenuous.
WE ARE TEMPTED TO ASK whether President Sirleaf really does mean what she has said.
FOR, TO TURN OVER THE LEADERSHIP to another generation, one which is way younger and perhaps thirsty for leadership and clamoring for change, means there has to be a high level of preparation, both theirs and the government.
AS SIRLEAF LEAVES POWER IN JANUARY, what has been her government’s policy towards the youth? If leadership is about preparation, did the government, at least help in the preparation of its precious jewels?
WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT the handful of young loyalists who were unmeritorious of government’s financial aid to study at some of the world’s best universities.
WE ARE TALKING ABOUT the youth lumpenproletariat, the hoi polloi – they shouted at the highest decibel in 1997 “you killed my ma, you killed my pa, I will vote for you;” in 2005, “Degree holder, you know book your country dirty.” And now they are shouting another lullaby which we are still trying to fathom.
THEY ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE to whatever situation and would be in the first line. First of all, they are unemployed. Promises of 20,000 job per annum by former Finance Minister Amara Konneh were but all a mirage.
COMING BACK TO SIRLEAF’S generational change call, it seems like a missed opportunity gone far too away. During her Unity Party convention of 2011, her message of generational change could have been taken much more seriously, and perhaps not with a pinch of salt, if she had opted for a vice presidential candidate way younger than Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai.