Opposite Opinion

By Jesse B. Ghoah

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

April 17, 2002

I do enjoy reading most of the pieces that Abdoulaye W. Dukule has written in The Perspective for the past couple of years. As a matter of fact, I have felt that almost everything he has written in the past has been very good; except for the one piece he wrote on March 27, 2002, titled “The Missing Link.”

In "The Missing Link" (http://www.theperspective.org/missinglink.html), Mr. Dukule writes the following paragraphs:

1. There is no way opposition members can conduct effective political changes in Liberia while in exile. Our ability to live and adopt in the US is a cursed blessing, because then Liberia becomes a weekend issue for many, between jobs, weddings and funerals. And that does not help the peace process at home.

2. Taylor at this point cannot afford another “Dokie”. He needs the presence of the opposition more than ever. It is just about calling his bluff.

3. The person who is brave enough to go to Monrovia now, open office and start putting together a political machine, work with grassroots organizations and civil rights movements and set a national agenda, can be assured of the vote of Ma Fatu. Peace and elections would take place in Liberia and only in Liberia.

Needless to say, I couldn’t disagree more with these three (3) paragraphs in Mr. Dukule’s piece. Let’s take a look at the first paragraph. Mr. Dukule is suggesting here that one cannot conduct effective political changes in Liberia if one lives outside of Liberia. Has Mr. Dukule forgotten that during the 1997 elections, there were 13 candidates running for president; and among the 13 candidates only two, Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson-Sir leaf, were able to get some measurable votes. Among the remaining eleven candidates, not a single one of them was able to garner as much as 1% of the votes. Has anything changed in Liberia since then? Incidentally, the 11 candidates were people in place on the ground in Liberia.

In the second paragraph, Mr. Dukule is suggesting that Charles Taylor does not have the nerve any longer to murder his political enemies. My question to Mr. Dukule is how did you arrive at that conclusion? Did Mr. Taylor tell you that he doesn’t have the nerve any longer?

The inference I draw from the 3rd paragraph, as numbered above, is that Mr. Dukule thinks one sure way for a candidate to get support from the Liberian people for the Presidency (candidates in exile) is the candidate who will completely lose his/her mind, give up his/her job, give up family obligations, pack his/her belongings, move to Monrovia where there is no running water, no electricity, no adequate sanitary systems, establish an office that Charles Taylor’s thugs can raid at any time, risk his/her own health, all of this because he/she stands to get the people’s support for the presidency of Liberia. One would really have to be insane to think that the Liberian presidency is worth all that sacrifice. If by now the Liberian people have not come to the realization that Charles Taylor has ruined Liberia for ever, then they are in the worst kind of denial. As far as I am concerned, I don’t think the Liberian presidency is worth a grain of salt; especially so when Charles Taylor is done with it.

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