By Martin K. N. Kollie
Youth Activist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Political Leaders:
With optimism for a new era of an egalitarian Republic and in pressing pursuit of a fresh beginning which offers genuine hope for millions of peasants who remain very vulnerable to peril and despair, I bring you patriotic greetings during such a difficult time as this when our nation is fast descending into an abyss of economic paralysis, creeping dictatorship and mass looting of public resources.
The future seems scaring and cloudy under footballing President George M. Weah as a result of massive leadership bankruptcy and increasing hardship. Vision is lacking – no concrete agenda – no realistic strategy – and an unquenched greed to amass illicit wealth are new normal under this ruling CDC clique. The “Change for Hope” mantra is yet to offer any real hope firmly built upon those cherished democratic values of justice, equality, civil liberty and prosperity for all.
Such failed slogan especially under a domineering presidency is a reflection of a PROMISE BETRAYED. Liberians are left alone in a state of obscurity and beggary after 16 months of participating in a historic democratic transition. The CHOICE made in 2017 has proven futile so far. Such barren decision has made them even more vulnerable, miserable and hopeless.
Amidst these harsh realities virulently crushing Liberia and Liberians, there are two (2) fundamental questions to ponder over:
- Do Liberians still have hope? If yes, where can they turn for relief/reprieve?
- Can 2019 Montserrado Senatorial and Representative By-elections offer any real hope or change for Liberians especially ahead of 2020 and 2023?
Of course, all is not lost – there is still hope far beyond prevailing odds. The Republic can be rescued from this national tragedy or nightmare only if revered patriots begin to unite in words and deeds. This rescue mission MUST begin with these 2019 senatorial and representative elections in Montserrado County – The hotbed or powerhouse of politics in Liberia. 2019 is a defining moment. In fact, it is a litmus test for 2020 and 2023.
Beyond this end, I thought to pen this open letter to you as key opposition leaders in Liberia who command huge following and influence/affluence in our body politics. This is a form of caution and a call to action. The nation needs you most to rekindle a unifying spirit of solidarity during these challenging times especially in these impending 2019 senatorial and representative elections.
It is not enough to channel such deep sense of resilience, patriotism and urge for CHANGE through audio and video recordings. Though endorsed as senatorial and representative candidates by UP, LP, ANC and ALP, but it appears like candidate Abraham Darius Dillion and candidate Telia Urey are left alone to woo voters and canvass for opposition victory in vote-rich Montserrado, which in my opinion seems unpredictable and unfair.
Like Weah as president of Liberia and political leader of CDC is frantically campaigning almost everywhere for candidate Paulita Wie and candidate Abu Kamara, how I hope Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings and Urey as prominent figures of The Opposition could go all out to campaign for Dillon and Telia. This could seal THE DEAL and send a resounding caveat to President Weah and CDC ahead of 2020 and 2023. Lest you forget that vote-rich Montserrado holds the key to the presidency, and any elected seat won in Montserrado is a plus or political boost.
These elections are about Weah as President/CDC/NPP/LPDP and MDR on one hand versus UP, LP, ANC and ALP on another. These elections are not about Dillion and Telia. Mr. Weah is taking these elections very personal evident by his outburst against the opposition during his party’s campaign rally on June 22, 2019. It was good to have endorsed Dillion and Telia but it would be far better to roll up your sleeves and begin to canvass for them in trenches and hamlets. A lot of your supporters who are eligible voters would be far more inspired to vote for Dillon and Telia just by seeing you (Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings and Urey). This is why ‘physical presence’ counts more than audio and video recordings in a process such as this.
If Weah along with collaborating parties wins (Worst-case Scenario):
- The opposition (UP, LP, ANC and ALP) would be rendered ‘impotent and weak’
- Weah would have his way and even break more laws and amass more wealth (domineering presidency)
- Weah’s claim of having exclusive ownership of Montserrado would be justified/proven
- It would appear like Weah is doing well. This could validate his performance rating
- It would place CDC in a better and stronger position for 2020 senatorial elections and 2023 presidential elections.
If Opposition Collaborating Parties (UP, LP, ANC and ALP) claim victory:
- This will send a clarion message against misrule and bad governance (especially corruption, dictatorship, and increasing hardship) under ex-Soccer Star George Weah and CDC
- It would render CDC as a ‘frail and unpopular’ ruling clique in vote-rich Montserrado after a period of just 16 months
- Weah’s popularity in his ‘political stronghold’ would be deflated/diminished. This would further disprove Weah’s wild claim of having absolute control/ownership of Montserrado
- It will strengthen opposition parties and solidarity forces to unite even more ahead of 2020 and 2023 elections in order to SAVE Liberia
- The people’s hope and aspiration for a new future would be reawakened through an alternative and opposition victory.
Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings and Urey, I admonish you as key opposition political leaders to consider “The Montserrado Factor” as an indispensable political capital you could leech and lane on for future elections. With just 5 more days to these upcoming by-elections, I encourage all of you to leave your comfort zones and move across Montserrado to canvass for your candidates (Dillon and Telia). Another opportunity has been made available for you to resist Weah’s overly ambitious plan of consolidating excessive power ahead of 2023. You must prevent this moribund semblance of fascism and authoritarianism.
You have all it takes to WIN in 2023 as opposition collaborating parties (UP, LP, ANC, and ALP). However, such victory begins now in 2019 and beyond! Yes, you can win Weah and his Coalition of Desperate Crooks (CDC, NPP, LPDP, and MDR). Let me dig out some NUMBERS quickly:
- Weah and his Coalition:
- CDC, NPP, and LPDP – 596,037 votes (38.4%)
- MDR – 127,666 votes (8.2%)
- Total – 723,703 votes (46.5%)
- Opposition Collaborating Parties:
- UP – 446,716 (28.8%)
- LP – 149,495 (9.6%)
- ANC – 112,067 (7.2%)
- ALP – 24,246 (1.6%)
- Total – 732,524 (47.2%)
So this means that the four (4) opposition collaborating parties stand a better chance to win in 2023 if they remain on this plinth of unhindered unity, honesty and loyalty. But victory in 2023 is largely dependent on 2020 and 2019 elections. This is why all four political leaders MUST consider these senatorial and representative by-elections very crucial. Getting fully involved with this process could even avert or discourage any form of electoral fraud/malfeasance (November 2018 Sinoe County Senatorial By-election is a case to reference and a lesson learned).
Out of two (2) senatorial seats in Montserrado, CDC is already occupying one. You must not allow CDC to win this other seat. Even the late Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff who later became a prominent political figure in the opposition bloc and vigorously campaigned against CDC in 2017 won’t be happy if this happens. The Late Senator didn’t campaign or canvass through audio and video recordings. She wore her boots and moved into the trenches. Amidst a declining economy coupled with high unemployment, inflation, corruption, rape and mysterious deaths, this could be an easy victory for opposition political parties. Such victory is only possible if your physical presence (full involvement both in words and deeds) is with Dillon and Telia. The people are looking up to you for guidance and direction.
Using White-collar approach (speaking to voters through audio and video recordings) in order to woo voters may yield less impact. Had these voters and stalwarts of your parties used similar approach in 2017, you wouldn’t had accumulated thousands of votes. If they do in 2023 presidential election, your support-base would dwindle. The nation is in dire need of transformation and visionary leadership. Paulita and Abu are far from possessing such quality or trait. But they could be imposed through whatever means if you keep a distance from this crucial process.
The country is in a state of trance (subconscious state) and its image is being ruined. The democratic gains made so far are fast diminishing while corruption is being institutionalized under Mr. Weah and his cabal of kleptocrats. No foreign appointment or interest is greater than Liberia’s interest right now. Acting too busy to campaign and abandoning this 2019 senatorial and representative elections could cause you a lot. So far, I have only seen ALP Political Leader Benoni Urey in mass rallies campaigning and directly interacting with voters. All of you must muster this courage to do same if an opposition victory is to be secured in 2019, 2020 and 2023. You cannot be too busy or overly tight with personal matters during these very critical times.
Remember, any form of defeat for Dillion and Telia is a defeat for you (Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings and Urey). And this could likely spill over or become a big blow in future elections. It now appears in some quarters that if it is not about you, it can’t be about anyone, which I still do not want to believe. Therefore, I caution you to disprove this public notion and move into action with urgency for an opposition victory in these elections. Stand up and act now for our nation needs you more than ever before. You cannot spectate or play a laissez-faire role during these very critical times. Doing so would certainly make Weah overly powerful and ambitious to further ruin our Republic.
Out of love for Country, this is a caution and a call to action from a young patriot.
Yours in pursuit of a New Liberia,
Martin K. N. Kollie
Youth and Student Activist
Cc: Mr. Wilmot Paye, Chairman, Unity Party (UP)
Sen. Steve Zargo, Chairman, Liberty Party (LP)
Sen. Daniel Naatehn, Chairman, Alternative National Congress (ANC)
Mr. J. S. Theodore Momo, Jr., Chairman, All Liberian Party (ALL)
Candidate Abraham Darius Dillon and Candidate Telia Urey