The clock is ticking towards the fateful day as the minds of Liberians in every nook and cranny are feeling the pinch competition of ideas as to who take the mantle of authority come October 10,2017. Far too long fortified arguments have been preferred to design a new Liberia of hope, economic and political emancipation. Inarguably, every contesting candidate in this political race strongly seems to be the best option to deliver what is best that the Liberians are in desperate need of.
But now Liberia is at a watershed and defining moment as we gear towards this momentous day where political candidates specifically the leading ones are so opinionated with the prevalent phrases that go out "This is our time", "We must win","It is time for the Natives", "It is time for the Congau", "The time for the Masonic". Interestingly, each of these expressions can be interpreted in multiple folds as each has a trickle down effect on certain class of Liberians. Even though, contentions at sky length have been so condescending on most of these thought provoking expressions on grounds that it is a recipe for chaos, chaos in the simplest sense of national division .
We as a people in a relatively gullible society seriously need to rebel against these divisive mantras that could easily plunge our fragile democracy into facsimile one that we testify back then. National elections like this at which Liberia is openly, keenly and religiously follow by international partners is of a mixture of a political litmus test that speaks out the nature of our democracy, level of maturity and foresight of the nation's future. So often the campaigns have been marred by the competition of ideas, analysis, projection and propagandas which are all fundamental ingredients of any political moments .
To what extent it goes without saying that there are three segments of staunch participants in these elections as campaigns are gradually shifting to higher heights. But let me outline chronologically these three segments of participants their importance prior to centering my analysis on their order of importance and why should Liberians be keen on this centrally as we go to the polls to decide Liberia's next president.
As the late Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso would aptly says "He who feeds you control your thoughts and persuasions." This is the direct case with the premier class of people acting in these elections. To be specific, this is the class of Liberians that constitute the working force of the national government at a broader base though not all of them may fall in this category but of dominance which is the plain truth. Here goes the analysis of this category of Liberians why they strongly aver that there should be a continuity of a third term Unity party led government .
First, this badge of political actors believe that his job despite its nature can be certainly secured if he supports the ruling establishment which he is a full fledge of. Two, this category is of the certainty that a defeat of the ruling Unity Party could be the end of him or her having access to a decent government job. Besides, this category believes that the wealth should just be centered around his or clique, to be sarcastic in the hands of few. Interestingly this is a class whose fight for the continuity of a Unity party could be attributed to the thought that opposition are not qualified for national leadership come October 10,2017. No matter the realities on the grounds that may depict the sufferings of the average Liberian man he careless to decline his fight for the continuity of the ruling Unity Party.
Now, let us drive towards the second breed of campaigners in these elections which can be perhaps described as the bitter and frustrated ones of the system. The fourteen years of civil unrest in our country can be cited to dozen of factors. But significantly tracing from the early seventies to the early eighties rampant corruption in all folds: Nepotism, cronyism and conflict of interests, power concentration in the hands of the elites as argued by the progressives and also the natives. This is the second category of Liberians who argues that the Unity Party led government has dismissal failed despite the track record of where the country came from as torn war state.
Moreso, mounting emphasis that corruption which was said by Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as Public enemy number one now has turned out to Public best friend number one . The creation of the twenty thousand jobs annually have twisted to the twenty thousand new Winners and Premiers players and many amongst others as failure to reconcile the people of Liberia. Another point heralded by this class is that over the last eleven plus years jobs have been given on "The familiarity Basis", Who Knows you, though which is expected of on the "Basis of Merit".
Here in this group as key champions of this debate were once in the employ of national government for so many years. Now, he still contends that government fails. One cardinal point of acceptance from this badge could be the mere fact that government officials who massively depleted the coffers of government go scot- free thus a sheer provocation to the man who sees himself as a Commoner. Under this umbrella are proponents of the con debate of continuity that the surest way for them getting government jobs is through the opposition communities on grounds of influence or close attachment to whomever is the political guru? Are these assertions of both the first and second category in truism? I leave it with you to honestly respond to this as this masterpiece makes a drive way to the last category of people in these elections!!
In this category the ideals of patriotism and nationalism is at the top. A selfless fight for a decent Liberia is the common denominator. A Liberia beyond the parochial interest of the statesman is of major account. A Liberia of where competence and qualification must reign is very paramount towards the economic growth and development of Liberia. In this badge though very handful argues above self interest that Liberia must be given to the prepared ones whose national agendas and past record are an encapsulation of the embodiment of a Liberia where national unity must begin from the people ,where education must be be cut across every Liberian irrespective of tribe, religion and political affiliation. Adherents in this political spectrum debate that Liberia should be given to a political candidate who has stood with us in times of heydays, economic recovery, a candidate who is beyond his kinsmen and as such the rule of law must be the order of the day. These are Liberians of with no of political attachment, conversations on the media, intellectual centers, streets, public gatherings. In essence these are the silent ones in these elections.
The so long and controversial thematic arguments of all these categories present another major turn in this piece as to who is best suited and qualified to lead Liberia in the next years? In as much as there are twenty candidates in the race for the highest seat, the presidency, most likely there are three of these contestants that could possibly be Liberia's next president as previous statistical results of National Elections Commission show and happenings on the grounds present.
The Vice President, His Excellency Joseph Nyumai Boakai now standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, Senator George Oppong Weah, standard bearer of the main opposition Coalition for Democratic Change and the learned Counsellor Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party. As the political discourses keep ensuing in every spectrum it focus more on these three candidates as the favorite ones.
Perhaps, a similar shock could come as what happened in America when all eyes were on former secretary of State Hilary Clinton winning the presidency . The package of surprise could be the still much unheard and unpredictable Prince Johnson, Mr. Alexander Cummings whom many see as "Johnny- Just- Come", Benoni Wilfred Urey of ALP, Dr.Joseph Mills Jones of MOVEE, or Macdonald Wentoe of the United People Party.
Importantly let begin an independent detailed analysis of the big three whose chances are at the Mountaintop:
His Excellency Joseph Nyumai Boakai, Vice President and Standard Bearer of the ruling Unity party .
The political calculus that surrounds His Excellency Joseph Nyumai Boakai comes out with so many pillars. Taking a spotlight on Joseph Nyuma Boakai is the propounded argument that he is the most experienced candidate in this political marathon with forty years of selfless public service to the nation. His loyalists see him as the one with impeccable character, humility and an epitome of a unification. But there is still a cloud of circumspection that hangs over him by the others on the device. A unifier as widely described is found in a party where there is a bold face of tussle and scramble in the party.
The clique of Madam Sirleaf and Sen. Sherman and Chairman Wilmot Paye on one hand. A feud which outsiders view as something troubling for the Unity Party that if given state power there would be a state of shambles .
A state where Sherman and his few hardheaded boys might go after Madam Sirleaf, the Sirleafs, and close confidantes. With this ongoing intra-conflict in the Unity Party that continues to soar by the day there a thought that quickly runs on mind as to figure out how true that Boakai is a Unifier that before his eyes there is a serious ongoing fight in his own home. At present, Boakai and the Unity Party is proud to take credit of whatever good that is mentioned of the government but distance herself from whatever failures the Unity Party led government is dragged to.
What a blind hypocrisy . For almost twelve years the Unity party has failed to reconcile the people of Liberia under the watchful eyes of one Africa's prides whom Liberians see as "The Political Ronaldinho" can this be made possible by Joseph Boakai as division mounts in this party. I strongly doubt that until otherwise. A Unity Party under His Excellency Joseph Nyumai Boakai and speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay who is still a die-hard loyalist of the People's Unification Party cannot reconcile the people of Liberia.
An inactive political by stander may envision a future rivalry between the two institutions .Speaker Nuquay huge chance of ascending to the presidency during a first term of the Boakai- Nuquay Ticket is high and slim. Now, will he still bears the badge of the People's Unification Party or merge with the Unity party? Let's call a spade a spade the Unity could possibly win the presidency as a result of these factors: Their financial strength, political influence on backward political parties in this race, complete monopoly of key media that are pushing their debates daily and the legacy of Madam Sirleaf on the good side.
The Coalition for Democratic Change has been seen as the bastion of hope for thousands of ordinary Liberians as she presents a population of young folks to the people. The lead Political figure of the CDC senator George Weah is just widely and naturally love by the people of Liberia for reasons best known . It can be said that of all those contesting candidates Senator George Weah is seen as the true one that can settle the odds and differences amongst the Liberian people. During the dark days of Liberia Sen. Weah was out there reaching to Liberians in the diaspora, when the nation was fighting as a result of some of these candidates in the race Sen. George Weah was making every means possible to bring peace to Liberia. But he too, the critics restlessly counts that he is not fit to lead the country.
Cardinal among those accounts range from his inexperienced of governance, lack of solid education and gross incompetence. Here is the myth that must be demystified about his education. Education is bedrock for national leadership but does it surpass all other tenets, certainly No. Liberia has had enough educated ones from Ivy Schools around the world that served before and still serve which in entirety has not made much difference on the lives of the people.
At the House of National Legislature, there are scores of educated ones yet bunch of useless concession agreements were passed. Then what more difference if they were not educated? The solution to this one aged -old problem is that we have not yet had a leader with the passion and political well to deliver us. Leaders like Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Louis Inancio Lula of Brazil, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, John Magufuli of Tanzania, Hugo Chavez of Venezula. So education in our case has just become a mere substance.
The Coalition For Democratic Change too comes out with pitfalls despite the unflinching adorations that the masses have for the party as a grass root one. Is George Weah the problem? The party in its entirety? The critics believe the two. On one hand, Senator Weah is the source of the problem as they espouse that he is not the true one to articulate their plights thus his critics harbor the greatest fear that making him president could take Liberia back to a state of tyranny as insiders constantly assert that he often falls prey to gossip. Something which is still to be ascertained.
On the other hand, cynics see the Coalition for the Democratic Change as a party of influx of unprepared youths who are susceptible to violence which too on the other hand is far-fetched . We know this for a fact that had it not been the maturity and resilience of the Congress for Democratic Change in 2011 during that bloody November 7 incidence at their headquarters and the reckless pronouncement by then Chairman Jerome Korkoya's results Liberia would had been a state of anarchy.
And so, is this assertion of the critics real? The critics to a point assertion could be true especially when he narrates what distinguishes CDC from Unity Party when some of Liberia's most recent certified economic vampires, pillagers and lumpen elements enjoy the milk and honey of their party ? It all turns out to be what I personally called "The debate of the lesser evil".
But in all honesty the Coalition For Democratic Change might poised to assume the echelon of the presidency on grounds of being fully prepared than ever before , on grounds of putting their all on the chopping board come what may a CDC victory is certain as they poised to move on in these elections with an excellent political calculus.
Finally the debate also centers on Councillor. Charles Walker Brumskine of the Liberty Party whom many see as a tribalist. Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine who beginnings were not as tough and pathetic like Senator Weah and Veep Joseph Boakai whose upbringings were marred by sufferings, barely having access to three square meals a day is said to have no lineage to the tastes of the masses .Critics in all cycles see him as a chip of the old of Madam Sirleaf widely brand him as a "Regime Collaborator ". Counsellor-at -law Charles Walker Brumskine who was in a clover during the regime of former Liberian President Charles Ghankay Taylor is accused of instigating the Congau and Native debate .
Whether this unfolds as a substance to a larger extent is true . The erudite lawyer is on record of saying it is time for Bassa man to beat dumb boy at the Executive Mansion, he is also on record of having a bitter experience of the late Bedell Fahn, senator of Margibi in 1998 when he said to him why gust a native man like you have to deny a Townsend for traveling.
The critics also go on to stress that Charles Walker Brumskine has no history of defending the poor men in a court of Competence Jurisdiction in fact he is the tongue in the flesh of his own kinsmen. But what is good of all is that Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine comes to the presidency with a wealth of experience and competence . He comes to the presidency with a solid background in governance, rule of law and education which remain indisputable to the public.
Besides, he is a three time contesting candidate in our political elections 2005,2011 and now 2017. At present the debate tends to shift on him as the favorite opposition over his rival senator George Weah simplify because of the education . But now the judgment of who becomes Liberia's next president is of more driven in terms of whom the Liberians see as a unifier and a democrat . And George Weah weighs over him.
Though in one point, a class of Liberians fear the presidency of George Weah on grounds of him becoming a dictator but repeatedly they still preferred George Weah over Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine of being more tolerant to them than a Charles Walker Brumskine who might just be the same Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as an old wine in new bottle that they want to see prosecuted by all cost . It will all end up to be "The Debate of The Lesser Evil " A Weah lesser than a Brumskine or than a Boakai". So goes the argument.
Header Image: Liberianlistener