By Alfred P. B. Kiadii
The belief that George Weah, a chronically ineffectual person and a man of zero intellect would preside over a state and transform it into a habitable paradise delivering material prosperity to the Liberian masses has always been closed to sangoma fantasy as it was to an illusion and a farce—but Weah’s fanatics always dug their heels in amid convincing pieces of evidence that their “messiah’’ would be an abject failure. They argued ad nauseam that their man would have easily transplanted his sublime performance on the soccer pitch to the presidency. Little did they know that leadership is not about playing soccer and playing soccer is not also leadership. But his epitaph reads—Weah is the worst leader Liberia was luckily unfortunate to have! As for the woman who orchestrated this Ponzi scheme under the veneer of democratic transition and to sanitize her sordid record—including winning the coveted Mo Ibrahim Prize—only goodness knows when she will feel the revolutionary wrath of the Liberian masses!
Weah’s vulgarly poor showing would always happen.
Like the MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN, but Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her cabal preoccupied themselves with winning a pyrrhic victory in the factional battle in her party, cared about protecting their hastily amassed fortunes through the mass looting of the national treasury, so doing a sweetheart deal with a docile pawn who would guarantee impunity for she and her cabal was too juicy an offer to turn down. To foist these scoundrels on the Liberian people robs Ellen of any claim of patriotism, but it also reveals the utter contempt she has for the Liberian masses. As for the motley fanatics who got dazzled by Weah’s soccer genius, theirs was an illusion rooted in the claim that because he emerged from the slum; he was one of them; thus, they gave him their ready-made 30 percent of the vote. The unity of the people against Weah always denied him victory in the run-off. This time EJS completed the task. The 2017 election was the biggest fraud perpetrated on the Liberian people — we must drag Jerome Kokoyah, Amara Konneh, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, among others, before the judgment seat of history to answer questions. They must pay for this deception.
Almost two years into his leadership, we cannot talk but lament about the dread and pain the people have to suffer. The republic has not disintegrated into civil strife, but the people are confronting a psychological civil war. If we have peace, it is negative peace, as pointed out by the father of peace studies in Johan Galtung. The regime has increased poverty and driven the country to the knife-edge of sclerosis. But that is not the entire story — just a highlight of the tragedy the regime doles out to the people.
Below, I summarize what the people have been facing under the regime of underclass vagabonds and cavorting buffoons. George Weah — who is a part buffoon and part comedian—and his goons are also unleashing violence and exploitation and thus pushing the country to the point of collapse. Having unleashed these poisons on the republic, undermined living standards by presiding over the crudest inflation in the country’s existence, removed the lid on every democratic pretense, pushed the already deplorable lives of the masses to the point of precocity, and has made life miserable for the vast majority of the people to the point of drudgery. These egregious actions by the government led by an absent leader with a corrosive touch has pushed the bar so high where every struggle in the homeland is a choice between survival and death.
Yet the Liberian people are fighting back on no small scale: we saw the mobilization of the masses against the looting of the 16 billion, the radicalization of the students of the University of Liberia which is inspiring a huge swathe of the population to resist the racket which dresses itself up as a government, the June 7 protest led by the COP, the battle for social service and electricity in the urban centers and other localities on the suburb of Monrovia, university professor laying their chalk down in demand of their salaries, health workers taking to the streets in protest for cuts in their salaries, students of the Monrovia Consolidated School system in utter defiance of the regime, among others are indications of the new phase of the class struggle, and the sharp polarization of the country to both the left and right. But they are also a sign of how high the people are fighting to correct the historical nightmare.
Lately, Civil Servants of Liberia have thrown themselves into resistance, and we stand with them! The body has called on its members to go slow until the rogue government pays their salary arrears—salaries that are poverty wages. But the refusal of the government to settle the salaries exposes a grim reality—that the government can find money to fund Weah profligate social life, maintain his private jet, give Clara Weah a 500,000 USD bonanza for during nothing but putting up horrible costume pretending to be the first lady when we know who the real first lady is—some people say she is in Accra other say at Liberia’s foreign ministry, but that is not the purpose of this prose.
The Association calls on all its members to abandon work and protest against the 10, 6, 5 months (the months vary depending on the ministries or agencies) of delayed poverty wages, which the regime owes and doesn’t want to pay. For an Association locked in lethargy, this bold step by it is welcoming and perfectly timed. In the current epoch, those who preside over the rotten state have got no human feeling and are hell-bent on amassing wealth for themselves while neglecting the vast majority of the population where they would be happy for the people to rot in extinction. This assault on the civil servants shows that Weah and his gangsters are not concerned about human lives, building social communities, but destroying lives, breaking homes, upending communities, and opting for a state of complete desperation in ways that spell doom. It can only be the motive of a government that refuses to pay the people who keep the state bureaucracy functional and oiled.
Where ripple is gradually turning into a tidal wave of resistance against the farce, we recognize, through their bold decision, this absolute demonstration of courage and resilience by the civil servants. In a country where the institutions which were once the moral consciences of society are in connivance with the status quo and on the retrograde pro-poor bandwagon headed for ultimate shipwreck. There can be no better example of courage than their determination to come out against the unjust treatment meted out against them.
Thus, with a steadfast determination, we affirm our unadulterated solidarity with the civil servants of Liberia fighting for their wages, for better working conditions, and, through their collective action on the front of struggle, their desire for a better society which must emerge out of the rubble of the decadent one. We say they have now registered their displeasure against the rotten actions of the government.
We will continue to be in solidarity with every social force on the home front fighting for a just and equal society although always barracked by vested interests and counterrevolutionary reactionaries who are dead determined to frustrate the process of social transformation because if that was to happen not only that the logic of time will make them a spent forces but also political dinosaurs would self-destruct because the new political ecosystem would not premise on intrigue, scheming, rascality, exploitation, and humiliation, but on egalitarianism, social justice and popular democracy.
However, For Liberia to move on a buoyant trajectory, we should do these immediate things: crush the comprador class in alliance with international finance capital and transnational corporations, substantially de-link the republic from the orbit of neoliberalism, nationalize or partially nationalize certain economic levers, and the elimination of the current mode of representation to usher in popular democracy.
Fighting neoliberalism and the rogue government of Iván Duque in Colombia, popular artists and scores of protestors sang a rendition, which captures the benefit of fighting for a just world: this song also highlights the benefit Liberia would get when we fight for an equal society. Therefore, we must all sing: Una patria dormida que ya despertó… nuestra historia puede ser distinta, puede ser ajor (A sleeping homeland that has already awakened… our story could be different, it could be better.)
And from Cape Mount to Cape Palmas to Cape Mesurado to the ranges of Mounts Nimba and Wologisi, from the beautiful shore of Lake Piso with all the scenery that depicts the beauty of Mother Nature to that excellence of nature named Lake Shepherd, with all that imageries of the wonder of nature, to the Kpatawee Waterfall, that apotheosis of elegance, to the Cavalla River and St. John River, and from Blyden to Porte to Barclay to S. Raymond Horace to Du Fahnbulleh to Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman and the Progressives, from SUP and all progressive social forces in the homeland we shout out our lungs: Social revolution, yes! Weah, neoliberalism, looting, plunder, EJS, plunder, no!
About the Author:
Kiadii writes from Accra, Ghana, and you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.