“Democratization, Good Governance Not Achievable Now”

– Cllr. J. Emmanuel Wureh

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted May 6, 2004

Liberia National Bar Association’s former president, Cllr. J. Emmanuel Wureh says from his observation, democratization and the practice of good governance in the country are not achievable in the near future.

Delivering a paper recently at a USAID sponsored program on Democracy, Good Governance etc, the seasoned Liberian lawyer said his observation is based on the fact that Liberia lacks some of the basic pre-conditions that pave the way to having a functional democratic system.

Expounding on what he thinks some of these preconditions are, Cllr. Wureh pointed out the issues of vast literacy, a sizeable middle class, self reliance, vast communication among others.

He said Liberia is a country with about 85 percent illiteracy, stressing that with such a very high percentage, how then will Liberians appreciate what is democracy?

On the issue of a sizeable middle class, Cllr. Wureh added that with Liberians having the attitude of “crab mentality” and the culture of violence coupled with the high rate of corruption, greed for political power in the name of liberation, he is not certain as to whether the nation will ever adopt policies that would empower the people towards the creation of a sizeable middle class.

He added that from experience, members of the middle class in any country are always independent economically, something which he said makes them (middle class) to frown on patronage.

According to him, self reliance is a significant pre-condition for democratization, a virtue which he noted enables a person to cultivate self-esteem, self-appreciation and self-confidence.

Commenting on the issue of vast communication, Cllr. Wureh said this is a pivotal pre-condition for democratization in Liberia. He said it is no secret that the local newspapers are not circulating beyond Montserrado County, adding “with such state of very poor communication, how will our people outside of Montserrado County come to know what is happening in their country.”

Cllr. Wureh pointed out the issue of lack of dependable infrastructure such as highway, roadway and farm-to-market roads which facilitate the free movement of people, goods and services.

Concluding, Cllr. Wureh said successive governments beginning from the days of the settler governments to the present, have not really engaged themselves in achieving democratization of good governance in the country, but expressed the hope that the nation will start from somewhere as of now.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.