By Kadiatu Musa-Frantz
John S. Morlu, II
Liberians are generally considered to be undecided people, especially when it comes to choosing who to be their elected national leaders. This is why the choice of the next Liberian president after Ellen Johnson–Sirleaf’s presidency is of more interest to most people, particularly foreign personalities, who have and continue to watch the unfolding situation in the country.
As a young Liberian woman with intense interest in the future of my country, I tried by all means to get engaged with happenings back home from as far as Luxembourg City, Luxembourg in the heart of Europe where me, my Western medical doctor spouse and son Mus reside. After much critical observations, I have reached my conclusion: A possible Jones Nhinson Williams and John S. Morlu II’s ticket in 2017 is the heartbeat to salvage Liberia from everything that has and continues to go wrong.
Most of us have probably heard the phrase that "anybody can grow up to be President." However, not everybody is groomed to be a national leader. It takes a special kind of person, someone visionary, patriotic, transparent, sturdy, smart, and driven, just to run for the Office of President. It takes still extra talent, intelligence and character to hold up under the stress of life and the demands in the position. Mr. Williams and Mr. Morlu II are among the finest and most brilliant Liberians any one can ever meet. Although both come from different worlds with regard to education and experiences, the blending of their combined knowledge and experiences can and will make Liberia a better, if not, the best country in Africa after 2017.
Apart from being perhaps the most visionary Liberian ever, Williams will bring a unique form of educational background and an unquestionable worldview and experience to governance and development in Liberia. His life’s history and experience combined with his love for country and patriotism are unequal to anyone in modern Liberian history. For his part, Mr. Morlu II is a pragmatist who will bring a unique professional background and education that are critical to instituting transparency and accountability in Liberia as well as in managing Liberia’s economy to meet the test of the 21st century. Both men ideally and practically seem to have zero appetite for corruption and their actions and track records bear witness to this. One may ask why a Williams/Morlu II’s ticket could be the answer to Liberia now. There are several reasons, but the most we can outline here make perfect sense.
Liberians, understandably, have great expectations and as such we expect a lot from our presidents. We want our presidents to take quick actions on problems facing our nation, problems such as high unemployment, crime, tribal and religious tensions, poverty, poor and weak educational system, the lack of infrastructural development and maintenance, inept institutional service delivery, prostitution, human rights abuses, and of course corruption.
Although we have a constitutional and democratic republic, the President of Liberia has a powerful platform that allows him or her to set the agenda, draw attention to key issues and implement vital programs. Both Williams, a visionary, and Morlu II a pragmatist, have what it takes to do these things with excellence. For example, Williams generally appeals to both religious divide and the tribal makeups of Liberia. He is, therefore, extremely capable, if not the only person capable thus far in Liberia, to reconcile and unite the entire country from its ugly past and haunted history while simultaneously envisioning a comprehensive platform for social and economic progress. Moreover, since future governance processes in Liberia would require ensuring the implementation and management of sustainable social and economic programs, Morlu, the pragmatist, is well suited and capable in making sure that a proper management and accountable scheme is in place. This is why these two gentlemen would be my preference and the only choice for a better Liberia in 2017.
The best way for Liberian voters to know that their next president will hold up to being the serious and thought leader that our country desperately needs is by critically reviewing the candidates. A candidate’s character often gives clues as to how the person will react under stress as well as function as a leader. Although over the years, many people disagree about what character traits are most important in a President, there are some commonly accepted things that people look for in a leader. Traits such as vision or a clear direction, integrity, strength, caring, and perhaps what theologians called a fear of God. No question, Williams and Morlu meet this yardstick.
My husband, an avid watcher and follower of Liberian politics, and many of his international friends in Europe strongly believe that if Liberians were to make a sound decision in 2017 and if we as Liberians are very serious about turning the page from a pitiful state to a vibrant nation it is important not to follow the stolen money, but to follow the candidates with the character––something that many believe Williams and Morlu bring to the table more than any other Liberian when it comes to the issues that matter to ordinary Liberian citizens and residents. As a Liberian woman and follower of Liberian politics and issues, I don’t need to think harder to know what a Williams and Morlu’s leadership will stand for, or what Williams is capable of doing about job creation, poverty, infrastructural development and road maintenance, small business development, private sector capacity building, education, support for the elderly and children, and of course the eradication of corruption. Both Williams and Morlu II are tested and passed the test. This is why I strongly believe that a possible Williams/Morlu II’s ticket could be the only way to salvage Liberia. I will hope both men will give this a thought and that we the Liberian people will encourage them.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Perspective