By Ivor S. Moore
Finally, Speaker Alex Tyler has recused himself as presiding over the House’ plenary. What was said to be a “moral fight” against him over criminal charges resulting from the Global Witness’ “The Deceivers” report has ended into jubilancy for the Ant-Tyler bloc headed by Deputy Speaker Hans Baschue, now presiding of plenary with the power of the gavel. It is only time when Tyler is no longer Speaker.
In a press statement delivered on the 1st of September, Speaker Alex Jenekai Tyler tendered his recusal on grounds that “if my recusal is the ultimate sacrifice that will move our country forward and end the current quagmire, I am herewith recusing myself from presiding over the plenary of the House of Representatives so that the business of the Liberian People can be fully addressed.”
While the members of the Anti- Tyler bloc take the resignation as belated because, prior to it, they had already gotten the support of the Executive in a controversial letter, the Senate somehow, and arguably the Judiciary by its refusal to render opinion on the matter despite its constitutional power as final arbiter of law, they also see it as the final conceding of Tyler to their “moral victory.” The means by which it was done is not important because, for them, “the end justifies the means.”
Now modalities are being fashioned to submit the public into believing that the House of Representative is now cleansed from all infirmities. Friendly, or rather sponsored, media outlets are beginning to purvey for public consumption that the impasse which affected the entire functioning of the state has come to a logical conclusion. The country is sailing save. The exorcism has proven effective.
Loss of National Moral Compass
Like the African adage which says ‘when you pull rope, the rope will pull bush,’ the so-called moral fight has only drawn the public attention to a deepening moral bankruptcy which has evaded the entire government apparatus, stripped it of every flesh, and left it as a mere skeletal posting as a scarecrow dressed in coat.
The people of Liberia, minus the minority sycophants, are not buying into the coloration of lies that things are okay, and that the recusal of Alex Tyler as presiding of the House’s plenary is the point of departure for the restoration of moral order in the House and stability of the country. There has been no order before and neither is there order now. The value system of the state from time in memorial has been shrouded in immorality.
Whatever prevents the decent governance of the state, be it corruption, selfish internal fights or other forms of backwardness characteristic of micro-nationalists, against the common good, is unacceptable and a degradation of morality. Morality, in its truest sense, is nothing short of respect of the trust of others, or in this case, the respect of the trust reposed by the people in their leaders.
All that the situation has done is to awaken the consciousness of the people to the reality behind the lies being distributed. They are now getting to see things like never before. Everything is like a movie right before their eyes and the scenes are solving the puzzles as each passes before their eyes.
The people are now seeing the underlying factors behind the report and its resultant criminal proceeding which triggered a group of lawmakers to signing a resolution, highly and shamefully plagiarized of America’s Declaration of Independence, calling for Alex Tyler to recuse himself as presiding on “moral grounds” until his case can be arbitrated. They now vividly understand why the struggle reached to the extremes of pro and anti Tyler blocs with each presenting its own presiding and claiming to be legitimate.
For her part in this whole dramatic farce, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reveals a two-faced personality like a symbolic apocalyptic beast. Pro government national and international wires are painting a picture of a president who finally is living up to her promise to fighting corruption which, according to her, has morphed from being public enemy number one to a feared vampire sucking the lifeblood of the country. Like a Hollywood movie, she is painted as wearing the cross only which can keep the vampire away.
Like Santa Clause distributing Christmas gifts to certain children he deems it necessary, the Nobel Laureate portrays a second face of a benevolent president, giving July 26 independence gifts of US 5000 dollars to representatives of the Anti-Tyler bloc or those who had not taken a definite side. Representative Wolleh revealed that as a precondition to receiving the kind gesture, he was fooled into affixing his signature onto a list which he later realized was meant for a resolution calling for the recusal of Alex Tyler as speaker, thus causing him to withdraw his signature from the list.
The ruling Unity Party of which the Speaker had been a member before his resignation and establishment of another political party, totally blind to what is happening, has averred that its former party stalwart has lost his legitimacy, the confidence of his colleagues and the public trust; therefore, it supports a change in the House of Representative.
In another scene, leading opposition institutions and personalities are casting their lot with the majority bloc.
For its part, the Supreme Court of Liberia, constitutionally established as the final arbiter of law in Liberia, elected to have no opinion on the matter leaving everything to jungle justice where only the fittest survive. The final arbiter of law as established by the Liberian constitution elected to abstain from adjudicating a crisis which radiated its paralyses across the entire operation of the government and brought the country at stand still.
Behind the lies that Tyler’s serving as presiding was wholly and solely the blockade to the stability and progressive march of the state, his recusal seems far from securing a functional government in the interest of the people. Neither has it stopped the Legislature from engaging into bad concessioning and the Executive affixing its signature.
Another scene has revealed the unholy marriage between international capitalist monopoly and the reactionary bourgeoisie in leadership. This has resulted into the flooding of foreign banks in the country and entering of bad concessions in favor of the behemoths representing the former and with little token given to the latter at the detriment of the people and posterity. This only confirms the neocolonial question raised by immortal revolutionaries such Nkrumah, Toure, Cabral, Fanon and Nyerere.
There is the flashback of another Global Witness report which praised Christopher Neyor, then CEO of NOCAL, as a reformer only to be sacked by the president and replaced with a plastic engineer. Under the new leadership whose Board chair from the beginning was the “beloved Robert Sirleaf”, the National Oil Company of Liberia has gone down the drainage.
There is also former Christiana Tah, then Justice Minister, resigning on grounds that her boss interfered with the operations of the ministry in the dispensing of justice.
But worst of all, there is the poverty of the people, their mass appearances around the country, especially the capital Monrovia, as streets sellers, store sweepers, marketers, house maids, rubber tappers, all living from hand to mouth.
The fight against Alex Tyler, as all evidences have demonstrated, is a mere show of a dissident who has fallen off with senior elements in their opportunistic union for his wanting to be master of the game. It is a clever attempt to further the tendency of backwardness which Tyler was crumbling for his own interest.
The Tyler question is just a tip of the iceberg. Better still it is just a diversion from the actuality, a scapegoating venture. The so-called victory of the majority bloc is just a thin lid placed over the fetidness in the union. The entire government is rotten to the core!
The quest for liberty and justice has been betrayed. Indeed, the moral compass of the state is lost.
Land of Liberty at Lost
Unfortunately, the so-called seed of stability was sowed on rock. There is neither soil nor nutrients to germinate it. The alleged save sailing of the country has reached a crepuscule. The sun has gone down the horizon and the bleak of darkness is setting in. Amidst the shouting of the jubilations is the subtle awakening sound of whirlwind stirring the wave, signalizing danger even to the brave.
In the Christian Bible we find these scaring words in the 18th chapter of Revolution:
“Babylon is falling-that great city is fallen! She has become a home of demons. She is a hideout of every foul spirit, a hideout for every foul vulture and every foul and dreadful animal. For all the nations have fallen because of the wine of her passionate immorality. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her. Because of her desire for extravagant luxury, the merchants of the world have grown rich.”
This is the exact characterization of the state of affairs in Liberia. The entire government has been an opportunistic union of individuals getting drunk in the immoralities of corruption and other backward practices. Politicians, business men, and clerics are all playing to the political harlotry. They are either directly engaged or contribute by their tolerance and refusal to speak out. Corruption is the chief harlot wearing scarlet dress and sitting on a scarlet beast-confused to be the harlot her self- and holding in her hand “a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality.”
The state is no longer the state of the people. It is a party of political drunkenness and orgies. This cannot represent the “land of liberty, and justice for all”. History has decreed its “mene mene tekel parsin on the entire government.” Doomsdom is right in the backyard. What is left of the government except a skeletal?
Only Port of Safety
The anti-Tyler bloc illegitimately forced Tyler to recuse himself, a mean by which can be used legitimately by the people to save the entire country from its dangerous sailing without a moral compass.
Egypt under Mubakarak and Morsi faced similar crisis. Under them, the government had lost its touch with the people. It had become the instrument of exploitation and the distributor of poverty and miseries.
But the people of Egypt made a stampede against the prevailing injustices. In the first and second Egyptian Revolutions, they demonstrated to the world that power of the state is inherent in the people and that the people cannot forever endure marginalization. They also sent a message to the world that change can be effected without heavy weaponry but the resolved of the masses unrelentingly moving to take charge of their destiny.
The crisis in Liberia has shown that there is no solution except the people, in their mass, demanding the government to step down or recuse itself of power as it has lost every quality of being a government. The social contract has been betrayed. The call to come redeem Liberia is alarming.
Like in Egypt and elsewhere, the state of the moral crisis in Liberia has rendered the government incapable of finding solution. But how can the very cause of the problem fathom a solution which would mean supporting its own demise?
In reality, the government is nothing but an opportunistic union. Every fragment is a unique part of the hold, serving for the collective interest of exploitation.
The Supreme Court’s refusal to have an opinion in the fracas at the Legislature, unknowingly, was admittance to the revolutionary truism that a moral national crisis far exceeds the jurisdiction of the highest constitutional body.
Only the people and the people alone can save the day. They have the power, which exceeds the constitution, to call for the recusal of the entire government. They can use the power of revolution to rescue themselves the lost ship of state. In the midst of the loss of moral compass, revolution is the only port of safety that the people can cling on to.
The action of the people to call for the recusal of the government, at the requirement of their happiness, cannot be termed an act of treason or sedition. First and foremost, the people reserve a constitution far above the constitution of the government whose functions are employed in times like these. View from another angle, because the “government is for the people, by the people and of the people”, if the people calling for the recusal of the government is said to be seditious and treasonous, then it is treason and sedition against themselves, to which there can be no other judge other then the people themselves. And the will of the people is the sanction of God.
There is no time to sit supinely and cling to the false hope that things will be okay. Martin Luther had long destroyed “the tranquilizing drug of gradualism”. Patrick Henry confined hope to its illusionary cave long ago. Every time wasted is an opportunity for more exploitation.
The Pepper Bird Newspaper fashioned the best reasons for the people’s action in one of its headlines which read: “No Honor Among Thieves.”
It is hard times like these that the people make their revolutionary entry on the stage of history.
Indeed, history has proven times without counting that only the people’s revolution can bring moral cleansing full redemption. Only such can replace the value system of backwardness with one based on social justice and peace.
All social changes or social revolutions in history, especially the recent the Egyptian Revolution, were informed by contradictions within society. In these conditions, people fought to better their lot or what one may call their material condition from entanglements. The development (change) psychology bearing on the people’s conscience at objective times in their lives precipitate their move for social change (progress or development).
Allan Woods puts its better in one of his masterpieces:
“However of certain periods great events force men and women to question their old beliefs and assumptions. They are jolted out of the old supine, apathetic indifference and forced to come to terms with reality. In such periods consciousness can change very rapidly. That is what revolution is. Just as the tectonic plates, having moved too slowly, compensate by a violent earthquake, so the lagging of consciousness behind events is compensated by sudden change in the psychology of the masses. We have seen this process in Tunisia, Egypt, Spain and Greece. Tomorrow we will see it in Britain, France and the United States.”
The disenchantments among the Liberian masses are symptomatic of this revolutionary spirit. They too are beginning to learn faster than ever. They are beginning to question the decadence of the system, its corruptibility and sheer abandonment of the interest of the state and its people.
Giving the state of things, analysts are claiming that it is only a matter of time when this revolutionary force gets matured and the Liberian people stand up to say enough is enough.
If these analysts truly have foresights like Jewish priests then it is possible the people will soon form themselves into a mass revolutionary movement. They would begin establishing revolutionary committees in every county, district, city, town and village and bringing them under a revolutionary command council.
Like their Egyptians counterparts, one can only wonder when the people would be marching to their Tahrir Square to bring an end to bureaucratic rule based on exploitation and begin the expropriation of banks and other corporations to be placed “under a democratic workers control.”
It is only a matter of time when the clock ticks ready and a populist government of the people, for the people and by the people would be established and the Lonestar flag, alongside the banner of the revolution with the inscription of “liberty and justice for all”, is waved unfurl, proclaiming to the world the true “birth of Africa sons and sires, the birth of liberty.”
When that time comes, who dare not heed to the revolutionary battle hymn, especially at the trumpeting of this line:
“Then forward sons of freedom march, defend the sacred heritage….”
Author's Statement: Ivor S. Moore is a young writer, a revolutionary nationalist and a Pan Africanist in the traditions of the Liberian Progressive Class and the African Liberation Immortals. He is a member of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative (MOSODA) and studies economics and political science at the University of Liberia where he serves as a militant of the Vanguard Students Unification Party. He can be reached at: 0777454112, 0880183280, firstname.lastname@example.org