GLOBE AFRIQUE EDITORIAL –The Liberian Senate has no ethical basis now nor legal grounds to reject President George M. Weah’s nominee, Counselor A. Ndubusi Nwabudike, for the position of Chairman of the National Election Commission, especially after confirming or allowing him to head and assume full responsibilities for two key government institutions, namely; the Government Commission and the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission. Is there any difference between chairing the NEC and the other two important commissions the questionable nominee already led? Did members of the Senate not know what they know now about the nominee?
As President of Liberia, every Liberian, if not some, expect President Weah to use fundamental and critical judgment in leading the nation, especially in matters of consequence to the identity and future of the country. But we should also be mindful that as President of Liberia, H.E. Weah is dealing with millions of Liberians and residents as well as millions of problems daily. Besides, he is not a saint; he has imperfections like any human being. This human fallibility is what inspired the framers of the democratic construct to encourage the advisory capacities around leaders in democratic countries as well as institute the notion of the three equal branches of government to facilitate a system of “check and balance.”
The implication is presidents, as in the case of President Weah, count on honest, patriotic, and visionary people both at the advisory level and in the National Legislature in order to succeed and make decisions and choices that are better for their country, its people and future. In the absence of these calibers of people, the chances of being where we are today as a nation becomes a common denominator. It is clear and straightforward: most Liberian lawmakers are terrible and foolish individuals.
The Nwabudike case is a clear picture of the corruption and damage that the Liberian National Legislature, especially the Liberian Senate has created for Liberians and Liberian children unborn. The Liberian Legislature is very corrupt, inept, and evil. What the Lawmakers have done and continue to do has and will have devastating consequences on the identity, integrity, and existence of Liberia now and in the future. When a group of individuals elected by their people based on a sacred trust and confidence betrayed such confidence because of self-aggrandizement, naked greed, selfishness, and blatant stupidity, which surfaces in unending and petit corruption, a nation would fall in a scenario such as Liberia as in the Nwabudike murky naturalization case. The Nwabudike case is a wakeup call to all Liberians now. Liberia is almost sold, and the remnant of it is still on the market by the distorted National Legislature their people elected based on vein trust.
People are mocking Liberia, and these people who mock the nation feel Liberia is a lawless country where everything goes once a person has money to bribe those in power, especially legislators. Furthermore, there is a need for Liberians to weep and lick their tears because very shortly, Liberian children unborn would inherit serious problems that these evil and unethical lawmakers have and continue to create. The time is near for Liberians to be second class people in their land where they will be peasants led by immigrants.
We can agree that President Weah may have erred in nominating Nwabudike to this very sensitive national position. On the other hand, it is not the president’s role to question and investigate individuals who claimed to be Liberian citizens or waste precious time on national issues relating to concessions and economic opportunities. The Senate and the House of Representatives must vet presidential appointees to critical positions as well as study and approve bills regarding the human development of Liberians and the future of Liberia.
Since 2006 when Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf assumed office as President of Liberia, the Liberian National Legislature, both past, and present, became the embodiment and definition of deadly corruption – a long-standing social evil that empowered them to collaborate in partially mortgaging and looting the country from 2006 to 2017.
If all of the Lawmakers in Liberia were doing their jobs right and were putting Liberia’s interest above their small minds, selfishness, greed, and shortsightedness, they would have spotted what most Liberians see today. That would have justified the trust of their people. But, it is also sad to note that the Lawmakers in Liberia earn US$12,000 dollars in addition to other immunities only to do the wrong things. They have and continue to betray the country, the people, and the poverty-stricken communities they represent. It also particularly unfortunate that these lawmakers are damaging the global image of their impoverished motherland that relies on taxpayers’ dime from the United States and the European Union because of corruption.
The things many of the Lawmakers in Liberia do today just to amass ill-gotten wealth, that when they die, stays behind, were some of the same terrible things that previous political leaders in Liberia did. Consider the Firestone Plantation and other deals undertaken in the Tubman era and those undertaken in the Tolbert, Doe, Taylor, Gyude Bryant, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s time. If Liberia had the right Lawmakers with integrity and decency, those bad deals would not have passed, or they would have done things differently. If we had Liberian Lawmakers that are decent and patriotic enough, foreign businesses and non-Liberians would not be awarded government contracts at the expense of Liberian businesses and Liberians.
The disagreements and bad imaging surrounding this particular nominee mark the beginning of Liberia’s electoral problems in 2023. Even if President Weah were to win re-election in 2023, the integrity and falsehood observed from this nominee would bring the result into disrepute. So the wise thing for President Weah to do is a reconsideration of the nomination if he really loves Liberia. Assuming that the President does not want to do so, no one should blame him because of the Liberian Senate’s uselessness in past activities which justify the confirmation of the controversial and shadowy nominee of the National Election Commission.
In closing, we urge the Liberian Senate to see their previous errors of judgment and corruption not as a problem of President Weah, but their stupidity, and evil. Since they confirmed Counselor A. Ndubusi Nwabudike (who a majority of Liberians believe is untruthful and dishonest based on his many stories) for the first and second time, what grounds do they have now not to confirm him for the third time? The Senate must shamefully and disgracefully confirm Nwabudike and use this experience as a “lesson learned” and a reason not to be corrupt and useless. They must also be ready and understand that their action now would set the basis for a contentious 2023 presidential and general elections. The preference is theirs: they either side with Liberia’s collective interest and dignity or the Nigerian born Nwabudike’s confirmation and personal gratification?
Today, the country has a scenario like the Ndubusi Nwabudike case and a shadowy businessman like Praise Tony Lawal, whom the previous Liberian administration under President Sirleaf made a millionaire through faulty and unfinished road construction contracts because the country has a useless and shortsighted legislature. To prevent these kinds of terrible things from happening, Liberians must not elect useless people as lawmakers simply because they give them a bag of rice or $10 United States dollars. Or else, Liberians would continue to suffer.
The question and issue are not whether Liberians do not like the nominee. After all, Liberia is one of the countries in Africa that welcomes and has immigrants from all walks of life as citizens and officials of government. As for nominee, from the get-go, he is a question mark – controversial. His story is not compelling, and it is pregnant with misstatements and doubts.
Finally, Senator Milton Teahjay and Senator Albert Chie must understand that protecting the image and future of one’s country should trump personal and immediate gratification. Therefore, Teahjay and Chie must use common sense rather than selling out Liberia at every moment had!