Politics Of The Belly: A Reason For Liberia’s Under–Development


By Abraham M. Keita, VI



The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
February 2, 2015

                  



 

Liberia is an African Country and located in the western region of Africa. Liberia was founded in 1822 by repatriated freed-slaves from America. The freed-slaves were taken from Africa to Europe and America, and back to Africa due to several reasons including the growing numbers of blacks in the U.S. and to build a nation in Africa and a nation for the civilization of Africa. Liberia was founded so as to accommodate freed African-American slaves who were being repatriated by the America Colonization Society (ACS) in the 1800s.

Since the establishment of Liberia in 1822, there has been so many periods starting from the Colonial Rule, Common Wealth Rule, and continues up to now. It is the oldest nation on the African continent that got its Independence on July 26, 1847. Ironically, Liberia is still considered the second poorest country in African and the world despite an independent existence of 167 years. Consider as the cornerstone of democracy, civilization and education in Africa, Liberia still cannot boost of any tangible developments as compared to African countries that she aided in becoming independent states. Liberia is the mother of all African countries, which some African states look up to for advice and direction. Liberia aided countries from colonial rule to independence including Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, DR. Congo, etc. Liberia in the 1900s was a reservoir of knowledge where African leaders came for political wisdom especially during the periods when African states were striving from colonial or imperial rule to independence. In 1947, Osagyfo Kwame Nkrumah made a stop in Liberia to seek political direction & wisdom because he was getting prepared for Ghana’s independence struggle. Patrice Lumumba of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Nmamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria were among several African leaders who visited Liberia in the 1900s to seek the knowledge, blessing and direction of the Liberian people.

What is more paradoxical is that, even the youngest countries in Africa – South Sudan & Namibia – are much better than Mama Liberia in terms of their GDP, infrastructure, electricity, food production and human capital development.

 

Money Politics
In Liberia, many Liberians enter politics or political contestations and activism because they seek wealth. The term “POLITIC” in the Liberian setting now means, “personal satisfaction” or “wealth”, “business” and “belly struggle”. Politics is different in Liberia. Since the foundation of this nation – Liberia, those who referred to themselves or claimed to be politicians have always said that their Political Goal is the general interests of the masses. But when they are given jobs or positions to serve in the very Government they criticized for corruption and bad governance, they insult the same masses. Over the last 15years in Liberia, when a so-called politician or a person wants a job or an employment in government, that politician (as such a person is generally called) begins to take on or engage in political debates and protests in the name of better living conditions, quality electricity, infrastructure and the provision of many job opportunities for the suffering Liberian men. Some of those persons with similar situation are: Lewis G. Browne – Minister of Information, Sen. Milton Teahjay, former Superintendent and Senator-elect of Sinoe County; Isaac Jackson, Deputy Minister for Public Affairs at the Ministry of Information; L. Eugene Nagbe, Minister of Youth & Sports, etc. The above individuals were very critical against the Sirleaf’s Administration. In fact, they were seen as “Political Prophets” sent by God to speak against the ills in the society, but today, they are the sleepless dogs barking all day and night to defend the current Government, especially the Executive Branch whenever it comes under criticisms.

Starting from the periods before Liberia’s establishment or independence, people have always accepted money other than a just cause. In 1822, King Peter of Bushrod Island unlawfully gave out a land to the pioneers/colonist for some money. According to his people, no one not even the King had the right to sell the land which belonged to the entire community. As a result of King Peter’s selfish- appetite for money, he erroneously sold that land which belonged to the people, a land that is not part of Liberia. (I am not against the idea of selling the land to the colonists because it marked the beginning of the land called Liberia but it should have been done in the genuine manner along with his people). For some times now, in our history, people have mounted our political pedestal and purported to be in the general interest of all. There were people that we hailed and called them “Progressives”. Those people are believed to be self – less individuals who brought meaningful and lasting changes to the Political meadow in Liberia. They spoke against nepotism, cronyism, selective justice, economic enslavement, anti-freedom of speech and many more. Those progressives strived for the introduction of multi-parties democracy in Liberia, and which of course they achieved. The likes of Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, Gabriel Baccus Mathew-(late)-the father of Multi-party democracy in Liberia and Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. are among the progressives’ class.

 

What they spoke against in few years back, those things are now masquerading in the paradigm of the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf–led government, a government which they all have been directly involved with excluding the late Gabriel Baccus Mathew. Their only point of political survivability and relevance is to rely on the quotation of Frank Omar Fannoh, (a French scholar), which states that “every generation has its own mission- out of relative obscurity, you either fulfill it or betray it”. Because of said quotation, their argument has been, their generation has elapsed and so they cannot speak against wrongful ills now, what they spoke against yesterday. The progressives have said several times that it is the responsibility of the current generation to speak against the ills. With the progressives’ point, should we also say that the generations of Charles Brumskin and Simeon Freeman have passed and that they should not criticized the current government for its lapses? Should we also say that the generations of the late Nelson Mandela & Kwame Nkrumah had ended but yet they were still speaking against societal ills till death do them away? And should we also argue that Pre. Roberts Mugabe should not be speaking for his people all because his generation has passed and that he is in his 90s? The time is always right to righteously speak against flagrant ills in the society.

Belly Politics Should Be Put To An End….Let Politics With Nationalism Prevail
I have always said that, Liberia will never develop or go forward, until the concept of Politics in Liberia changes. It is very disgusting that a country which has lived for over 150 years of zealous existence continues to be listed amongst the world’s poorest, least developed and unhealthy countries. One may actually ask, did God curse Liberia? Are we not Homo sapiens? Don’t we have brains to think progressively like people of other countries? No, the Sisyphean leaders of Liberia have led Mama Liberia to be what it is now!

All of Liberia’s oil wells have been sold because our leaders are voraciously obsequious and money monsters. At times, I wonder as to whether pursuing a degree from the best universities or colleges around the world means exploit yourself and ruin your children’s future because that’s what is now in Liberia………
If Liberia is to make progress, politics with selfish aim must be destroyed. We must forget about what we, as individuals, want in our political activism. In order for Liberia to ameliorate from the dangling discourse of poverty & hunger, Liberians must be united and ideologically with a nationalistic spirit. As Liberians, let’s identify what we can stand, live and die for to be a critique or an opponent to a government, you must except & accept hardships such as: Hunger, torture, etc.

WE MUST AUGMENT TO THE OCCASION, WEAR OUR NATIONALISTIC GARMENTS AND STOP THE POLITICS OF THE BELLY INORDER FOR MAMA LIBERIA TO AMELIORATE!!!


Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Mr.Keita, your argument is in Place; excepth that you left out one of the main reasons for Liberia´s underdevelopment - putting the wrong or illegal people in very important positions. Take for example the case of Benedict Sannoh a natural born Sierra Leonean who has been named Minister of Justice!

And why would Ellen dare violate the constitution at such level? The answer is because the immediate past Justice Minister Christina Tah - a bonifide highly competent native and natural born Liberia questioned the glarring irregularities and misrule of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her children.

So having a foreigner as Justice Minister makes things easy for Ellen to violate the constitution and grossly abuse the human rights of any Liberian dictated By her whims and carptices!

Now you can see that out one of the main reasons for Liberia´s underdevelopment - putting the wrong or illegal people in very important positions - as in the case of this foreigner - Benedict Sannoh as Justice Minister!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 04:42AM, 2015/02/03.
Abraham M. Keita
Okay
Abraham M. Keita at 11:01AM, 2015/02/03.
sylvester krah
mr. keita let me sincerely applaud you for such a heart cutting article. as you rightly said the only way this nation called liberia can experience practical economic and democratic transformation is for us to change our usual formula of politics. we need to raise above our personal selfish objectives and collectively put liberia first. can you imagine for more than 160 years of existence no Liberia can boast of a private business that employes more than 10,000 persons. our government is just specialized in making unrealistic budgetary projects to impress the international communities and not to improve the economic livelihood of its people. government need to start taking practical legal measures that will discourage people form stealing. we must learn to change our satanic concept of politics in order to progress. in Liberia advocacy is being use a process through which people have their egotistic desires accomplish.
sylvester krah at 07:19AM, 2015/02/04.
Mariama Kamara
Ellen's actual intent is to morgage Liberia's future. She has given Ghanians all of our major government contracts; and has appointed children of immigrants from neighbouring countries in key government positions. Now her last wish is to make sure Liberia's next president is a immigrant or Congo person.

Liberian refugees in Ghana, Guinea and the Ivory Coast are not allowed to work or even run a shop or restaurant. In Liberia, the country is a free for all. Anybody can come from Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone and claim Liberian citizenship or even make decisions about our country.

Benedict Sannoh is not the only non-Liberian. Abdoulaye Dukuly our socalled special envoy to the UN was born in the Ivory Coast. Some of the people Sirleaf put in charge of the economy and power have the biological allegiance and ancestry linked to Guinea.

Can a single Liberian got to Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast do what these immigrants do in our country?

Ellen is more than a dog. She is selling our nation. I hope she burn in hell.

I am a Mandingo from Lofa County, but not every Mandingo from across Guinea is a Liberian. Equally, not every Jack and Jean that enters Liberia should assume our citizenship as if Liberia is a useless nation.

The Ghanian laugh at us because of our President's uselessness and stupidity.
Mariama Kamara at 07:19AM, 2015/02/04.
Mariama Kamara
Ellen's actual intent is to morgage Liberia's future. She has given Ghanians all of our major government contracts; and has appointed children of immigrants from neighbouring countries in key government positions. Now her last wish is to make sure Liberia's next president is an immigrant or Congo person.

Liberian refugees in Ghana, Guinea and the Ivory Coast are not allowed to work or even run a shop or restaurant. In Liberia, the country is a free for all. Anybody can come from Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone and claim Liberian citizenship or even make decisions about our country.

Benedict Sannoh is not the only non-Liberian. Abdoulaye Dukuly, our socalled special envoy to the UN was born in the Ivory Coast. Some of the people Sirleaf put in charge of the economy and power have their biological allegiance and ancestry linked to Guinea and Ghana. Ask who is the minister of commerce? Ask who is the Comptroller General at the Ministry of Finance? Ask who is the deputy governor for economic affairs at the Central Bank? Even our security agencies are filled with immigrants.

The ECOWAS arrangements should benefit all ECOWAS states members. If other nations treat our citizens differently then we should treat their differently.

Can a single Liberian go to Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast do what these immigrants do in our country?

Ellen is more than a dog, worse than a cat too. She is selling our nation. I hope she burn in hell. I hope God strikes Ellen with the worse personal disaster in her lifetime for her evil against Liberia.

Today, Liberia has changed, illegal immigrants from other countries are the new Liberians.

I am a Mandingo from Lofa County, but not every Mandingo from across Guinea is a Liberian. Equally, not every Jack and Jean that enters Liberia should assume our citizenship as if Liberia is a useless nation.

The Ghanian laugh at us because of our President's uselessness and stupidity.
Mariama Kamara at 07:27AM, 2015/02/04.
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