In The End, The People Win


By Gbe Sneh

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 8, 2004


Like my friend is fond of quoting his mentor, “You have made the town become too small for yourself.” The properties acquired from corruption money are conspicuous. The stolen money stashed away in banks, even under pillows, can and will be tracked. In due time, they will all be reclaimed. Is that a win for the people? Of course!

How a government official figures he/she can get away with corruption is grounded on the notion that the victims (the people) will not rise up against it. Only the duration of the crime spree varies, nonetheless, the notion is a fallacy, for sooner or later the people get fed up. History has proven this.

Times have changed, and there is an urgency to curb the greed. The media houses are actively trailing corruption practices, and the findings are being made public. Civil organizations are monitoring the affairs of government. Keynote speakers at various galas are, now and then, sounding the trumpet. The people are listening. In this fight, we are on the right track. Let’s continue the efforts.

To All Keynote Speakers
Regarding keynote speakers, let it be said that they are hitting the key notes alright.

But why wait until called upon before voicing out? Why stop when the clapping ends? The clapping should and must be followed by an unyielding patriotic effort to help save the nation. If one (keynote speaker) is a member of the NTLA, let not only civil society be the audience. Challenging his/her colleagues to do the right thing makes him/her earn the rightful stripes of “Honorable”. If the efforts are thwarted, arming with documentation and a trip to a media house will also vindicate the title of “Honorable”. Shun the loneliness that it might cause; cherish the noble satisfaction of being patriotic; the people are on your side; they (the people) are the ones that count the most.

Preaching the Right Thing
Gone are the days when the pulpits of our churches only served as platforms for preaching the gospels. “Separation of Church and State” does not imply turning blind eyes and deaf ears to the ills of society and government.

To the Council of Churches: Hear the cries of the people in the streets. Move from the comfort of your pulpits, endeavor beyond the confines of the church buildings, and hear the weeping in the streets. Summon the people to a revival at the SKD Sports Complex under the theme, “Preaching Peace and Awareness to Corruption in Our Society. If that does not serve notice to the NTGL/NTLA, then lead your flock out of the stadium, and into the streets in a PEACEFUL MASS ACTION. It is time to do something about the mismanagement and corruption in our society!

Calling On LU
The people implore you, all students at the University of Liberia., our Institution of Higher Learning that over the years has stood as the symbol of our struggles against the ills in our society. As you are aware on your campus, through the media houses, more importantly, from your personal observations on the ground, the people are left destitute, while rampant corruption has become the order of the day in the National Transition Government of Liberia (NTGL). State officials are greedily and blatantly enriching themselves while our people suffer. Please let’s not leave Peaceful Demonstrations to the Women’s Group alone. They need your ingenuity to make it a Mass Action encompassing the social strata. Coordinate with renowned civil organizations that share our dreams and values. In unity, we can turn the tide on corruption and move ahead on genuine PEACE, REBUILDING and RECONCILIATION.

The NGO’s on the ground are holding their own in the fight against corruption. They are responding to findings and taking the government to task. Their recent advocacy to avert a Mass Action by the People of Bassa County, while the NGO’s sought redress from the authorities in the questionable sale of iron ore, is commendable. However, there is a limit to such advocacy, as serious breaches such as reneging on the Comprehensive Peace Accord and outright disregard of the Rule of Law (Overruled Court Prohibition) require serious actions, with Mass Citizens’ Action a viable option. In these troubled times of government inaction against corruption, Mass Civil Action is an option that has to be open to the people. Don’t block it; guide and steer it along peaceful lines.

Calling On the People
To the people of Liberia, when we hit the streets with our banners and songs, in demonstrations against corruption in our government, PLEASE, let’s do it in a more matured fashion. Learn from the Market Women. This is where the organized institutions come in. Let it be a PEACEFUL MASS ACTION. That’s the only way we can be effective in getting answers to our questions, and have our concerns addressed. That’s the only way we can stamp out bigotry and impunity. That’s the only way we can move on the narrow path to PEACE. And finally, that’s the only way we can pave the way for generations to come

For too long the NTGL/NTL has been playing us for fools and cowards. It’s time to let them know that it is the other way around, and that we are tired and we want an end to the greed, that we want our country back

As the corruption continues, so too must the struggle, in doubled effort, to stamp it out.

It is a struggle that is not over until the country becomes so small to the “crooks” that are making our lives miserable that there will not be room for them to hide. It is a struggle that is not over until the people win.