Making the Choice: The Interim Leadership

By Amin Modad

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 4, 2003

It is now important more than ever, that we critically evaluate the credentials of our Presidential aspirants. It is also important that we are cautious about who we select to lead the transitional government. The transition period is very critical in the peace process because it the period during which political trends are sat. In the past we have seen other interim or transitional administrations degenerate into political parties or warring factions. As a result, neutrality and objectivity are compromised.

The setting up of an interim or transitional government should be seen as being not only an opportunity to change leadership or remove President Taylor, but also as an opportunity to establish the platform for a democratically genuine and efficient political system. Most of the time we find ourselves concern about the immediate problems and fail to cultivate processes that would ensure a durable future. I have stated before that though President Taylor’s exit is very important to peace and development, the solution to the Liberian crisis transcends a mere change in leadership. The crisis becomes more complicated because we find our political stage crowded and polluted by dishonest political misfits, broke social parasites and uneducated opportunists. The question of the day is ‘ After Taylor Who is Next?’ We see that whenever there is a forum to discuss the future of Liberia (like the ongoing one in Ghana) , these opportunists overcrowd the stage, giving no opportunity to the resourceful but unknown few. There are a lot of capable, well educated and experienced Liberians who do not make it to these forums and meeting because of the lack of information given and the manipulative antics of these ’Old Time Politicians’. It is imperative that for the sake of fairness and consistency, those selected to head the interim government denounce their allegiance to any political party, warring faction, and any pro-religious or tribal faction. My intent is not to dissociate these individuals from their tribal, religious or political affiliation; we wish to cultivate true democracy, as such, every individual is entitled to his or her right to think, speak and practice his or her beliefs and religion freely within the boundaries of the Law. However, the complexities of the Liberian conflict are founded on these differences. Thus, the interim leadership must be conceived from a nonaligned status.

I have discussed in previous articles the importance of Liberians alienating our political mentality, which directly affect our choices, from the fear-syndrome. In the past, we were inclined to choose our political leaders on the factors of fear that the war may continue, the crisis would not end, or merely on the fact that these so-called faction leaders ingratiate themselves as important obstacles to peace. Well, I don’t know about you my dear reader, but for me, at this critical period in our history, no amount of intimidation will compromise my hope for a better Liberia. We cannot afford to subject our survival, the renaissance of our shattered economy, the perseverance of our culture and beliefs and the establishment of a reliable political system to the whims of any warring faction leader (both past and present). They may be fooled but their limitations and bloody credentials, but we live through their terror campaigns, we have seen our people and generation face too many ‘deaths’- social, political, economical, psychological, and physical. We have lived through periods when our tribal and religious orientations were basis on which we were judged. We lived through times when our lives were evaluated on our tribes, religions, characters and even on our physical appearances. In my books, no one who is guilty of orchestrating or sponsoring the war in Liberia is eligible to lead the nation. This goes to include all warring faction leaders (past and present) and the ‘Old Time Politicians’ some of whom have and continue to support these warring factions. They are ineligible to lead Liberia by deeds and participation.

My dear Liberians, It is high time that we understood that the only way Liberia can begin to emanate from her present indigent state and move into a progressive non-degenerative future is for us to exclude these obligate socio-political and economic parasites, warring faction leaders and misguided politicians from our political arena. We owe it to ourselves, our love ones, family members and friends who have lost their lives and continue to do so. Most importantly, we owe it to our children and the generations yet unborn.