Accept my personal congratulations for being the winner of the Reporters Without Borders Award on Press Freedom and Freedom of Information. Congratulations! Please permit me to use this medium to carry on my “watch dog” duty and responsibility with regards to issues of national concern which, I believed, may shift the destiny of Africa’s oldest independent state-Liberia, especially in these critical times of our existence as people and a nation.
I do hear from people that “IN TIME OF PEACE, PREPARE FOR WAR; AND IN TIME OF WAR, PREPARE FOR PEACE”. If the latter is to prevail, then we are headed for serious trouble. Reverse this statement and you will find it more troubling. Doesn’t it sound ridiculous? Indeed, it is. Preparing for war during peace time, like the case of Liberia, is the worst thing any citizen will condone. Because the ten years of sustained peace, we are enjoying today is the result of the many sacrifices and pains we went through during the 14 years of civil conflict.
As we gear towards the Special Senatorial Election in December of this year, and the anticipated, politically charged season in 2017, we will find our political actors discussing issues so as to convince the electorate to join their political kingdom. This, in my mind, doesn’t require inflammatory statements. We do not want to succumb to threats in order to pledge our allegiance to any political party or individual. If one believes in his strength to give victory to his team, his attributes as a political player must be convincing. It should be proven by his deeds, not mere words.
National elections in Liberia, like any other country, are faced with numeral challenges. As such, if one feels dissatisfied with the electoral process, the proper channel is to follow the organic laws which are the constitution and the election laws. Liberia is bigger than any individual, no matter his/her status in society. Anything other than seeking due process, like in this case, may be a recipe for chaos. Tremendous progress has been made in the areas of infrastructural development, economic revitalization, road rehabilitation, and general construction and so on. This brings to mind how far we have gone as a people and nation.
Fellow Liberians, we have come a long way already. There is no doubt that we have reached this far in our national renewal because of the resilience, patience, and understanding of the ordinary Liberian citizen. Without you and me, it would have been impossible to make such great strides in so short a time. But the job is not finished. The future now requires our attention, our continued focus and our unity.
We call on all stakeholders to let sleeping dogs lie; for to awaken them may not only pose danger to the one awakening them, but may as well be threatening to innocent bystanders. Why should we be divided in a season that will sooner or later leave us and go? And then sooner or later we will remain here for a long period. We may agree to disagree on issues, but we must not condone lawlessness again.
We have seen so many cadavers during our civil unrest. Lessons have been learnt. Progress is what we are yearning for and not backwardness. So, let’s join hands to protect “Mama Liberia”; let bygones be bygones and move our only dear country onto an irreversible path. This must be our goal. As it is said: “In union strong success is sure. We cannot fail, with God above our right to prove, we will over all prevail”.
Ousman Musa Fofana, III,
Radio Al Falaah 95.1 FM