A Sad Political spectacle or a Comedy of errors!

By Abdoulaye W Dukulé

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
January 26, 2018


Former President Sirleaf and her V.P. Joe Boakai
(They are not on speaking terms)

What was supposed to be a joyful turnover is about to become a nightmarish spectacle.
The fate of the nation and the welfare of future generations are in the hands of two persons, two persons with followings and power at the tip of their fingers. Hundreds of people depend on each one for their daily bread. One is leaving the presidency with the greatest popularity in the international community as well as a great number of loyalists and power brokers at home. The other could be on the verge to seize the reins of the nation. They have known each other for decades. They ran the government and lead Liberia into peace, democracy, and stability. They provided leadership when there was a crisis. They resolved national issues without resorting to state violence. The country under their leadership became an international star. They formed a perfect team. They brought together people who could never see eye to eye.

But all the above now sounds hollow and even improbable with the confusion currently engulfing the leadership of the nation, because of the widening gap between the two leaders.

As powerful people, they have followers, some with extra zeal. Not all followers are selfless public servants. They may have personal and sometimes greedy motives and strive to enter the emotional comfort zone of the powerful ones to cause disruption which gives them relevance and purposefulness. The strategy has worked to perfection because some of these servants managed to create such a confusion that the party is almost on the brink of rupture.

An important trait of leadership is the ability to hear gossips and lies and discern bad advises. A leader who cannot rise above bad advises fails to lead fairly. Because many innocent people will be victimized by the lies s/he takes for the truth.

One can imagine a day in January 2018, under a bright sun and blue sky, outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice President Joe N. Boakai are sited side by side on the same stage, avoiding each other, on the greatest historical day for our generation and watch the OATH being administrated to another group of people. These newcomers’ priority will be to blame the Sirleaf- Boakai Administration for the economic problems the nation will certainly face if Unity Party fails to keep power. Because investors and donors will stay away and there will be no new money for a long “wait and see” period.

I have come to know these two persons for a good while. I worked around them and with them directly or indirectly. I know their leadership capacity, their commitment to each other and their commitment to this fragile nation. I couldn’t believe it when I learned that two days after the first round of the elections they have not spoken to exchange notes on what may happen.

This puts the future of the nation at risk. Are they about to take the risk of rolling back the great progress this administration made over the past 12 years? The great sacrifices each of them made because of personal issues? How two persons who have known each other for so long can’t find the words to say: “Enough mistakes, how do we move forward? How do we nurture this political institution that gave hope to millions?  Can’t this be resolved with a frank conversation?

This is like someone spending a lifetime building something and when it’s near perfect completion, set it on fire.

Do they imagine that they will be separately judged by history? That they can ignore each other for the next 3 months transition period? Is this because a few people want more power and more money or hate one of them so much?

Only two people are responsible for the direction of the nation at this point and the two are holed up behind a wall “personal hurt.”

Are we ready to risk putting the country in the hands of new people who might dismantle everything that has been accomplished? The current situation is the best recipe to do so.
Eight Simple words?

I know they both care too much about Liberia to let things go the way they are. I don’t think they will jeopardize the future of the nation for the ambitions, anger, and greed of a few. They have a national responsibility to reach out to each other and make the best decision. If that means giving power to the Opposition, well, then, 12 years of what???

I don’t think so, But then again, human nature…

With national power comes the responsibility to the nation. All personal issue can be resolved, we all know the cost of instability.

This comedy of errors endangers the continuity of the UP legacy. The two must go back to where they started off 12 years ago and finish in beauty. How that must be worked out must be carefully thought of. It’s not too late. The VP is part of the President’s legacy and the two cannot be separated.

Many clamor “change.” But what kind of change do we want? Or maybe we were all wrong all along?



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