Saturday, December 24, 2011


The head of the United Methodist Church in Liberia Reverend Dr. John G. Innis wants the church and the state to rise up to the challenge of working to mold the minds and attitudes of youths to enable them acquire and maintain a positive out look on life.
In his Pastoral Season’s Greetings to the nation, Bishop Innis pointed out that this is a moral obligation from the Bible for parents, guardians and all those responsible for the up-bringing, supervision and the exercise of authority over young people to do so in ways that will help them become humble, respectful, trustworthy, law-abiding and to exhibit all the positive characters that are required for service to nation and church.
The United Methodist Bishop challenged the church in particular, to work more assiduously with the young people in the local churches and communities, as well as partner with government and other groups to guide the young people of Liberia in becoming respectable citizens and leaders of tomorrow.
He however, urged the young people to be humbled and summit themselves to the process of becoming the kind of children God wants them to be in Liberia and the world at large.
Meanwhile, Bishop Innis is appealing to Liberians to use this Christmas to love, protect and lead the nation in the spirit of peace, forgiveness, reconciliation and unity. Alluding to the words of the Liberia’s national Anthem, Bishop Innis called on Liberians to first admit the wrongs they have committed to one another in order for true reconciliation to take effect.
Bishop Innis in conclusion congratulated Liberians as well as foreigners and the international community for guiding the peace process and helping us in going through a peaceful and successful election in Liberia. He also prayed that the New Year will be filled with renewed vigor and opportunities for the realization of the many dreams and aspirations of Liberians.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sharing Sepp Blatter’s Naivety

My love for football goes as far back as my childhood itself. All through my in experience, I never saw a footballer who has gone to the referee and admitted their wrong for a wrong call against the opposing team. Yet the game is referred to by many, especially FIFA Officials as the “the beautiful game of football.” Whether we like it or not, horrible things happen on the playing pitch. Only the players and the referees in some cases do explain these ugly acts once they come under probe. Other than that those issues are generally resolved by a “hand shake”. Few days ago the football community reacted as if though FIFA President Sepp Blatter’s statement was the most dangerous thing that would have brought “the beautiful game of football” into disrepute had he not apologized. Some went as far as requesting for the FIFA Boss’ resignation.
Candidly speaking, and sharing the naivety of Blatter as many people described the statement, I strongly belief that the issue of “racist” reactions in football is equivalent to one of those many emotional outbursts that players experienced during crucial games. Racism as we all knows it to be is more than just chanting, screaming or whistling by any group of football fans in a packed stadium. In my thinking if football authorities decided to play a particular game in a stadium not accessible to the fans based on racial reasons, it will be an endorsement of racism itself. I say this because the game starts with a handshake by the teams which officially dismiss the presence of any racist behavior among the players. Surely, no player with racial construct will want to shake hands under that circumstance.
We are all witnesses to the John Terry-Wayne Bridge story in the English Premier League. For example, during the handshake ceremony this is how BBC described the action of the two men; “Bridge finally reaches Terry, who offers his hand. With the sort of exquisite timing not seen from a Manchester-based comic since the death of Bernard Manning, Bridge stops for a nanosecond, wonders whether to take the proffered mitt, looks Terry up and down dismissively, and decides not to bother, sauntering off and getting on with life. Not for the last time in the day, Terry fails to react, his paw swinging sadly in the breeze.”
Though John Terry did not succeed as in the case of other players, all of us know that most of these outbursts are settled by “handshakes”, a yellow, or a red card given the direction the axe falls on. In other cases, the victims nursed their wounds while the perpetrator go home laughing. France for example, went to the 2010 World Cup on a disputed hand ball which resulted to the goal that qualified France. France also attributed their lost in 2006 World Cup final to the sending off of Zinedine Zidane in the 110th minute of the game after head butting Marco Materazzi. According to one of the French players at the time, William Gallas, "We deserved to win but that is life. I think we played very well and better than Italy but sometimes football is very strange.”
It is the “strangeness” of the things that happened in football that make me to now share in the naivety of Sepp Blatter. Is it not true that some these “strange things” in football are overcome by a simple handshake?

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Civil Liberty Issue

“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.” In one of His teaching section at the beginning of His ministry on earth, Jesus Christ told the people that gathered around Him at the time that the ONLY path to human interaction is the engagement process. The freedom to talk to your boss, leader, or master about the issues that are affecting your survival makes living better. Jesus Christ enhanced the discussion of freedom by the saying “for everyone who asks will receive, anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock.” In the 21st Century anyone one can argue that the choice to open the door depends on the person within. Well, let me inform you that even if all of the positive responses that are contained in the Jesus’ lesson were negative in our world of today, at least there would have been an interaction which is a demonstration of the civil liberty of the individuals involved.
Like the many issues that come up in our media landscape and certainly died natural death either with action or inaction from the government or the citizens, the subordination of the civil liberties of the Liberian people to any other plan that any government may have in mind should not go unchecked. According to the media, the Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), Cllr. Winston Tubman is quoted as saying that “civil liberties and press freedom are not a priority for the Liberian people.” Cllr. Tubman said Liberian people need roads, hospital, good working conditions with better salaries, and other social services. I am certain that the “Liberian Leader” in the making received over whelming applause from his partisans instantly when he made the statement. Minutes after the speech, I asked some CDC partisans where they would prefer the road to pass in their town. This is what they told me, “we will tell the government the kind of road and hospitals that we need.” There and then I knew that even the CDC partisans including those who applauded Cllr. Tubman did not understand what it meant to subordinate their civil liberties to the construction of roads and hospitals.
As a young man growing up in Monrovia, I still remembered that we had only one radio station; the state owned ELBC which later on became LBS because of its local networks in the various counties. There were three newspapers including the government newspaper. So when the Catholic Church of Liberia established a radio station which could hardly go beyond Monrovia in the 80s, the political playing field was deemed level by some advocates of the freedom of speech. Though the terrain in which that freedom was conducted constrained several politicians and civil liberty campaigners, the fact that there was a free and independent space, people felt comfortable. Twenty years on, our civil liberty has been threaten by one of the candidates who want to lead this great nation in this 21st Century. If civil liberty and press freedom are not a priority, what else will be?
For a nation that has transition from just one radio station to over 45 radio stations 30 of which are community radio stations and more than 19 newspapers with a blend of visual complements from five television stations, a step backward will be resisted by all well-meaning Liberians including some CDC partisans at the polls. The journey from one radio station to where we are in terms of freedom of speech and the press cannot be wasted or thwarted by any Liberia leader.
I am sure by now Cllr. Winston Tubman has remonstrated and justified the statement to his Vice Standard Bearer, Ambassador George Weah and other party executives quietly. What remains to be seen or heard is whether the learned Counselor slipped in delivering his campaign speech or he intentionally meant to say that our civil liberties as a people didn’t matter to him if elected. I am raising this concern because political speeches are shrouded with deniability. One politician may say something here and there and few days later it is denied with such clarity that even those who bring it to public sphere feel guilty. I hope we can have Cllr. Tubman confirmed or denied that he made this statement with “clear heart” like we say here in Liberia. On Wednesday, October 5, 2011, the Secretary General of the CDC challenged the media to provide any prove of the utterance of Cllr. Tubman on the civil liberty issue.
Surprisingly, on October 4, 2011, CDC Free Thinkers issued a statement in one of the local dailies condemning statements made by the party’s “compromised Standard Bearer, Cllr Winston Tubman.” The group indicated that Cllr. Tubman’s statement “runs contrary to the philosophy and objectives enshrined in the CDC Constitution.” The CDC Free Thinkers’ release further threatens “immediate expulsion” of Cllr. Tubman. Don’t be surprise if the CDC through another group denounced the Free Thinkers. Beside the CDC Free Thinkers, other groups including the Liberia National Union (LINU) have voice out their fear of the man who wants to lead Liberia. Surely Cllr. Tubman’s statement was made on grounds that he has the liberty to speak freely. A liberty and freedom made possible by this administration. How can he say “civil liberties and press freedom are not a priority?” “The statement is disturbing,” says one politician.
I am similarly thinking about what Ambassador Dew Tuan-Wleh Mayson of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC) will say when he hears that his fellow contestant has promised to subordinate the civil liberty of the people to all other national concerns. I am wondering whether those billboards printed by the NDC which carried the images of President Johnson-Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai in various sarcastic forms would have been printed if Cllr. Winston Tubman was president of Liberia. Surely, those billboards demonstrate the presence of civil liberty and press freedom in its highest form.
A young Liberian, Patrick Saah described the performance of this government as “overwhelming and tremendous.” He cited the moving the country's annual budget from 80 million to 0.5 billion, economic revitalization by the immense debts waiver and signing of concessions agreements worth 16 billion United States Dollars, amelioration of salaries from US$15.00 to a minimum of US$100.00, the exposure of corruption and the effort to fight it through the establishment of GAC, LACC, and the passage of the whistle blower act as a great success on the part of the government. According to Mr. Saah, civil liberty and press freedom has been accomplished by this government. Unlike in the old days when we were told to buy “tiger generator”, the presence of electricity is all over Monrovia. Judging from where I sit and looking at Mr. Saah’s description of the government’s performance record, I strongly think that Cllr. Tubman misjudged the cry of the Liberian people. Indeed if the people are crying for roads, hospitals, and other social services, the cry is about moving things upward not downward which the denial of civil liberty and press freedom will do.

Enough of the civil liberty and press freedom talk. Like Cllr. Tubman who I believed slipped in denouncing civil liberty and press freedom during one of his campaign speeches, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskin, in exercising his rights to speak freely also slipped by saying Liberia under the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf ranked highest among the most corrupt countries in the world. Cllr. Brumskin’s assertion has already been denounced as false and misrepresentation of the facts by many Liberians and government functionaries. It is difficult to piece together all of these negative massages that are coming from other political parties in the wake of the General and Presidential Elections and draw a clear line as to what they want to achieve. For example, every time one wrong message is sent forward, the contesting parties other than the Unity Party seem to be shooting themselves in the leg.

Seeing it Differently, I am convinced that the people of Liberia have changed a lot in the past six years. In 1997 the election was characterized by several slogans such as “there are more bad people than good people” or “you killed my ma, you killed my pa, I will vote for you.” In 2005, the message changed with a little twist. While the enlighten Liberians were saying, “shine your eyes,” the rest of the people, mostly young Liberians were saying, “you know book, you not know book, I will vote for you.” When the 2011 elections campaign was declared opened, the Unity Party surprised the entire nation with its major campaign slogan, “ugly bamboo wait small, the monkey is still working.” With less than 5 days to the election many Liberians, especially the other political parties are still finding it difficult to counteract this slogan. The slogan, “corruption, da her area,” has been twisted by the Unity Party in a resounding way such that if one was to insert any of the developmental achievements in place of the word “corruption,” the UP will stand tall. Similarly, in 2005, the contest was between the young people and the old people. Right now, the line is in the middle of the young people with the old people wooing a lot of them to the UP and other parties beside the CDC.

This is the election of the intellect, not color, flags, party insignias, or individuals. If anyone wants to take cue from this statement, he or she needs to review the result of the National Referendum, especially proposition number two which had the highest vote in NO category. Whether we like it or not, those who will be cueing up on October 11, 2011 will be doing so, based on the visible evidence of the things around them rather than the things that are yet to come including “civil liberties and press freedom” which might be CRUSHED if the CDC comes to power.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Quest to Win

“For to every person who has something, even more will be given….” Surely when Jesus Christ concluded his parable of the three servants, his thoughts were deeply rooted in what impact this parable would have on leadership; political, social, religious, and managerial. This statement sets the managerial basis for trust and the capacity to handle the business of the people including the people of Liberia. The Quest to Win therefore started in 2006 when the talents were divided among the politicians including the sitting President, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Six years on, each politician the president included are being ask, “What have you done with my talent?” and all that we hear is excuses. Major among the many excuses is the fact that “they were not at the helm of state power.” So right now the best way each politician would have reinvested and transformed their master’s talent which in this case is Liberia, is if they were elected president in 2005. If the parable is anything to go by in the General and Presidential Elections than the ruling Unity Party (UP) stands a better chance. Though many Liberians including her opponent in the elections speak less of the progress made by the President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led government, the visible evidence of how best she has invested her talent in these last five years made her a possible candidate to whom the master will say “well done you good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in managing small amounts, I will put you in charge of large amount.” Herein the Quest to Win is justified from the Unity Party’s point of view.
The Quest to Win which the UP has justifiably demonstrated through actions and deeds raise several issues that the other politicians can use in making their case. For example, there is no way any of the politicians would have undertaken any kind of infrastructure development of any proportion without having the finances and contacts with the international community. Moreover, some of these interactions require state approval and it is not likely that the UP led government would have approved the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) bid to construct a major road network by accessing funds through it international connections. That is what I think, but Seeing it Differently, most of the political parties did not help to improve lives in their “little corners”, but spent significant portion of their time criticizing the government.
The Liberty Party’s Standard Bearer is on record for saying that President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is not a “reconciler.” Yet there is no evidence of a reconciliation workshop(s) hosted by the Liberty Party either for its members or some Liberians in any of the would-be conflict prone community of the country. At least the corruption noise that was trumpeted by the Liberty Party’s Chairman is quiet now because of his involvement in a 2 million dollars scandal and subsequent incarceration. At the level of the Liberty Party, the Quest to Win is to discuss the failure of the government which the party was not in any way ready to fix. The provision of checks and balances on the government is not wrong, but depending on the same government to heal itself is more of a disservice to the people you represents. So like the servant, the master will take from the Liberty Party that which it has; the critical mind, and give same to one who has justified the Quest to Win. In this case the servant is the Unity Party.
As if this is not time wasting enough, several parties spent the latter part of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf administration mastering the art of criticizing her government, forming mergers, and coalitions. One of such coalition, the National Democratic Coalition’s (NDC) Standard Bearer, Dew Tuan-Wleh Mason accepted the party’s nomination with this declaration; “I am willing and able to lead our campaign to victory so that our people will be lifted out of the poverty-stricken conditions with which they are saddled.” That was since July 2011 and many of us especially Liberians know that those who participated in the convention that nominated Dew Tuan-Wleh Mason are now speaking from other parties including the Unity Party. The promise to “lift our people out of the poverty-stricken conditions” beckons one important question. What has the professor done for the people outside of the normal and persistence criticisms that he and his likes rendered the government? Surely there will be several answers from him and his supporters. Answers like, “I have given scholarships to needed students” which is all that we heard from most of the legislative candidates who participated in the debate on the Truth FM Radio.
That brings me to my next point of concern; the legislative elections. In his article, “My Senator, your Senator, our Senator”, K. Abudullai Kamara, provided this statistics; 99 persons contesting the 15 senate seats across Liberia. Ten of these contestants are women including two incumbents. Each of these individuals has their personal Quest to Win which has been stated in different form and style. As stated earlier, all of them have provided some kind of services to their people and constituencies. Seeing it Differently, I think we need to give those who justified their Quest to Win, the chance to lead us into the next six years. For example and according to Kamara, “the Bomi County incumbent contestant Richard Devine of the Unity Party (UP) comes with the controversial and generally incomplete caseload from the transitional government. His former party's alliance with the ruling UP has effectively taken him off the hook. The main challengers, Sando Johnson of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) comes with the notoriety of challenging and insulting the former Archbishop of Monrovia, during the reign of the NPP 1997 -2003. The decision to elect these people depends largely on what they bring to the table; The Quest to Win. What have they done not necessarily what they will do?
The Quest to Win is impregnated with several livelihood options that will benefit the Liberian people after October 11, 2011. For many politicians, especially the presidential candidates, the major quest is to explain to the Liberian people what President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf did not do rather than what they themselves have done in the past six years. I stand with some of them surely. Their distance from home did not allow them to see what the reality of living in Liberia was prior to this election. Practically, for some of them, the Liberian Presidency is a game of chance; get in, if you win that is it.
From where I sit, the Quest to Win is a baggage that that each of them needed to off load with the six years prior to the General and Presidential Elections. The baggage includes how well each of them responded to international, national, and local issues that affected and shaped the lives of every Liberian. Seeing it Differently, I think the 16 presidential candidates did not do well except for the incumbent. I don’t need to say what she has done; neither will I say what she did not do because the media landscape is filled with her failure rather than her than her success story. As the gap between “the day” shrinks, the decision of the voters will depend on how well they benefited from what was and is contained the candidates’ baggage; The Quest to Win.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Voice that Matters

“And the Lord God said let us make man…” out of this statement and several others “let there bes” came what we now referred to as the world and all that is in it. Like the voice of God, several voices shake and shape the world. In Liberia, when the people spoke in 2005, the outcome was an administration led by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Twenty more days to the General and Presidential Elections, the cacophonic of voices about the outcome of the elections filled the media landscape and the discussion is unending.
Last Saturday, several songs were sung including “da my area” that has been made famous by the elections process. Again, many Liberians committed to the Unity Party were out in their numbers to voice out their support for the incumbent President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. What is frightening and sometimes intriguing is that all of these voices including that of Madam Johnson-Sirleaf don’t really matter in all that is at stake. For example, in a statement to her many supporters at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) the question, “who got the Mansion key?” And surely the answer was a resounding “Ellen got the Mansion key.” If this was true to the issue at stake such as the General and Presidential Elections, than from my position and thinking differently, I would say there is no need for October 11, 2011 in the lives of the Liberian people.
Let us drift a little bit to some of the other voices that we heard in time past. The former Standard Bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) now the number two man on the CDC’s ticket, Ambassador George Weah, told his supporters in Kakata, Margibi County that “the CDC had 2 million registered voters” in spite of the 1.7 million announced by the National Elections Commission of the Republic of Liberia. Additionally, the Standard Bearer of the CDC, Cllr. Winston Tubman was quoted as saying that “the only thing that will denied the CDC of taking state power is, if they (CDC) are cheated.” Moreover, the Chairman of the CDC, Geraldyn Doe-Sheriff is on record for saying that “the CDC will not accept the result of the elections from any international community other than the one announced by CDC Poll Watchers.” Obviously, Madam Doe-Sheriff is right. What the CDC Chairman fails to tell the public is what she and her party the CDC will do in the event where their poll watchers confirmed the result as declared by those overseeing these elections and our friends. Surely Madam Doe-Sheriff has not forgotten that the same office that announced her as the winner of the Bye Legislative Election 2010 is the same office that is overseeing these elections. Seeing it Differently, the Lawmaker’s statement has cast doubt over the intensions of all CDC Poll Watchers.
In 2010, the entire country was engulfed in another cacophonic of noise over the “threshold bill.” When the issue of deciding which county takes the extra seats and which county was going to lost seats, the discussion was about having a job and being jobless. So for months the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of Government could not make a simple decision that would benefit the country in years to come. Those who knew how to talk spoke and their voices went unheeded. When the 53rd Legislature finally made their decision, it still did not count until the Voice that Matters spoke. There were countless numbers of individuals who expressed their intensions to run for legislative positions in their constituency until the Voice that Matters spoke. Right now, as you are reading, most of those individuals abandoned their quest with respect to the Voice that Matters.
Just recently, the noise about the National Referendum to decide certain constitutional issues emerged and it was like the whole country would drown in the noise. Politicians as usual play their games with us the voters. Others requested that we all needed to “vote yes to all” judging from the partisan stand point. Others told their partisans to “vote no to all”, while others directed their voters to “boycott the Referendum.” As if this was not enough, there were still others who were seeking the intervention of the Supreme Court of Liberia by asking the highest court in the country to “halt the Referendum.” By all account, the Referendum went ahead and the Voice that Matters spoke once again. Though there are many other voices that are challenging the Voice that Matters as it relates to the Referendum and indicated by the injunction placed on the campaign activities of some political parties including the ruling Unity Party by the Supreme Court of Liberia, to overturn the decision of the Voice that Matters, the challenges have lot of explaining to do for which I believe they are prepared. Thank God the Supreme Court of Liberia added its voice to the Voice that Matters.
Fourteen years ago, the late Henry Andrews, than Chairman of the Elections Commission, told politicians of the day during the presentation of the result of the elections that brought Charles Taylor to power that “the issues that took the politicians seven years to decide were decided by the Liberian people in few hours.” Though the 1997 elections results are still disputed by some as would any other elections results, the Voice that Matters spoke at the time and so it was. If anyone thinks that what happened in the country later on were the results of the elections in 1997, then we can move the discussion to another level.
Sixteen political parties, each trusting in their might to win these elections is indeed a tall order for any Liberian to live with. For example, on one local radio station during the legislative debate, two panelists described their parties as the “biggest opposition block.” Can you imagine what will happen if few hours after the elections and these same individuals were told by the Voice that Matters, that they did not even pull 200,000 votes from the 1.7 million registered voters. Ironically, each of these parties, have had their “million man match”, especially the CDC when the party welcome home Ambassador George Weah about a month ago.
The Unity Party’s (UP) campaign launch has been described by the local dailies in various forms and styles. The New Democrat Newspaper described it as “the most impressive show of solidarity in the campaign which the critics acknowledged is a remarkable show of numerical strength for the UP.” The Daily Observer Newspaper quoted President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as calling on her partisans to win the elections on the “first ballot”, while the Inquirer Newspaper ran a three words headline “it will hold” a campaign slogan that became the talk of the town following the UP Campaign Launch. Better still the Corridor Newspaper asked if the event was “A UP Tsunami”, simply because of the human waves that swept through the City of Monrovia. The CDC through its Mobilizing Chairman, Mulbah Morlu, conceded that the UP crowd on Saturday, September 17, 2011 changed the political trajectory and claims that the CDC owns the political terrain of Monrovia and its surroundings. As if this is not enough, several groups are still pledging their support and loyalty to the incumbent and her administration. Seeing it Differently, these are not the Voice that Matters.
The road to the General and Presidential Elections is getting shorter and shorter by the day. Yet the claims and counter claims of victory by the various political parties cannot be over emphasized. Surely these claims are more than enough to confuse anyone who does not understand what winning an election is all about. Right now, many Liberians, my grandchildren included think him or she who says “I will win” is the winner. How can 16 presidential contenders win a single seat at one time? IMPOSSIBLE!
The saying that “if you don’t say I am no one will say thou are” is true, but not in these matters of the General and Presidential Elections. Seeing it Differently, only one voice can say “thou are” through the actions or inactions of the Liberian people and that voice is the voice of the National Elections Commission; The Voice that Matters.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Philip A. Sandi out of LCC

At the 26th Session of the General Assembly of the Liberia Council of Churches, held at the St. Stephens Episcopal Church, matters surrounding the continuous utterances, emails and publications both local and international, against the LCC and its leadership by Reverend Philip A. Sandi were fully discussed.
The General Assembly, the highest decision-making body of the LCC, realizing that these negative utterances, emails and publications have the propensity to defame and question the credibility of the Council and its membership as well as its leaders decided that in order to prevent and curtail the re-occurrence of this destructive behavior, protect the long-standing integrity and credibility of the Council and its leadership, provide healing within its membership, provide clarity to its local and international partners and the general public, and finally, bring closure to this regrettable episode; the following decisions have been taken:
1. That Reverend Philip Sandi is immediately expelled from the Liberia Council of Churches for destructive and offensive behavior willfully violating the “shared conviction of faith” of the LCC.
2. In as much as Reverend Philip Sandi is a member of the Christian Media Center, a Fraternal Member of the LCC, and has consistently presented these inflammatory utterances, emails and publications using the name of the Christian Media Center; the Christian Media Center is called upon to publically dissociate itself from the actions of Reverend Philip Sandi within 30 days upon certified receipt of communication from the 26th General Assembly
3. In as much as Reverend Philip Sandi is an ordained minister of the Don Stewart Christ Pentecostal Church, a Full Member of the LCC, and was a recommended candidate from said Church for the position of General Secretary; the Don Stewart Christ Pentecostal Church is called upon to accept the decision of the Executive Committee taken on February 23, 2011 and ratified by the 26th General Assembly and publicly dissociate itself from the action of Reverend Philip Sandi within 30 days upon certified receipt of communication from said Assembly.
4. That member Churches and Organizations of the LCC reserve the right to proceed with appropriate legal action in defense of their reputation and that of their leaders in such instances.
The Liberia Council of Churches wishes to assure the Liberian people, the general public and all of its friends, partners locally and internationally of its commitment to continue to be the voice for the voiceless and an advocate for justice in our beloved country. The LCC remains united as it continues to work within ecumenical collaboration with other Churches and Organizations striving to uphold the core values for which it was formed.
This represents the Council’s official and final statement on this matter.
Rt. Reverend David R. Daniels, Jr. President On behalf of the 26th General Assembly, LCC July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Pastoral Letter from the Resident Bishop of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Dr. John G. Innis (The blogger has no part to play with this content)

My Fellow Liberians and Friends of Liberia:

As we prepare for the 2011 Presidential and General Elections throughout this campaign season, I wish to appeal to all the candidates and their respective political parties as well as to every Liberian who loves this nation to conduct themselves in the spirit of love, unity, and respect in order that the results of the elections will be celebrated with joyful thanksgiving to God in our hearts, minds and bodies.

Liberia is Africa’s oldest independent republic and although we have had fourteen years of a brutal civil war, we have been given another opportunity to prove that we are a mature nation that can show the rest of Africa and the world what true democracy is. We did that once in 2007 without resorting to violence and I am convinced we can conduct democratic elections that will be free and fair once again.

I call on all candidates and their respective political parties to conduct their campaigns with civility and respect for the rule of law. It is important to remember that because people belong to different political parties it does not make them our enemies. When somebody is a member of the opposition, that person should not be seen as our opponent. In your political campaigns, I urge you to focus on the issues and not on individuals, address the problems not personalities. We can disagree and still remain agreeable, we can have different ideas about how to bring development to Liberia but one thing we all share is that we love our country, Liberia and would like to see us move forward.

This appeal is also extended to our young people who constitute a major portion of our population in Liberia. You are Liberia’s future and it is important you begin the process of practicing true democracy by the way you conduct yourselves. Politicians and candidates will reach out to persuade you and there will be discussions with others who may support candidates different from your own. Listen to the leaders and what their ideas are to bring progress to Liberia. Think about what the needs of our country are and ask questions that will clarify the candidates’ positions. We must hold all our leaders responsible and accountable as we strive to build a strong Liberia based on principles of human worth and dignity.

I implore the entire Liberian population to remain faithful to the ideals of democracy. We must remain faithful and appreciative citizens always ready to develop new approaches for the ongoing religious, social, political, and economic development of our country. During these years, under the dynamic and caring leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia was able to regain her place with respect among the nations of the world.

I commend the opposition parties for their years of contributions to the democratic process by boldly speaking against some of the pitfalls of the government. Furthermore, I commend the Government of Liberia for accepting the criticisms of the opposition parties as well as from others with national concerns. As we campaign for the election of leadership of our beloved country, we must remain prayerful for harmony and stability while giving thanks to God for all the good things God has done for us, especially in the areas of peace and security.

I commend the United Nations peace-keeping forces for their contributions toward peace. I look forward to them continuing this exercise through the campaign and election season.

May God continue to bless this nation. May we continue to take advantage of the blessings of God to move forward toward peaceful and fair elections in October free from violence. May Liberia always remain under God and seek liberty and justice for all. I therefore call upon the people called United Methodists and the Christian community to hold before God this election campaign. May God bless us all and save the state.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Whose Campaign Team?

Just the other day, several criticisms were directed at the Unity Party for naming its Campaign Team. Most of the critics were from the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) now headed by Cllr. Winston Tubman after many years of denial that its former leader, Ambassador George Weah was not a presidential material for Liberia. Here are some of the things the critics said:

  • The naming of Eugene Nagbe on the Team was bogus

  • The Team will not deliver the presidency to H. E. Ellen John Sirleaf

  • The naming of a Clergyman as a bridged of the neutrality of the Church in Liberia's political affairs. Thank God the Unity Party withdrew the Clergyman.

The question is, if all of the above assertions are true including count three which is true, of what benefit is to the opposition parties, especially the CDC, that the Unity Party's Campaign Team will not bring home the result needed in the 2011 General Elections. Is this just criticism for the sake of criticising or there was nothing to say to the partisans?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

UMC - Liberia Distributes US$10,000 worth of Relief Items

Some of the Ivorian Refugees at the Bahn Refugee Camp in Nimba County who benefited from the relief items distributed by United Methodist Church in Liberia. The distribution was sponsored by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) based on a project proposal submitted by the Director of Connectional Ministries of the Liberia Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Where Do You Stand On These Complaints?

The new issue on the political blog is the new phenomenal of “voters’ migration”. What all of the discussants I listened to have not been able to say, what is wrong with any Liberian registering in any part of the country? Comments like,” political aspirants are moving people around the country”, “would be districts representatives are paying people to register in their districts”, and party loyalists are buying voters’ support for their parties” in my opinion have not done any damage to the four days old electoral process. Can anyone state in clear term, what is wrong with what is obtaining right now in Liberia?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

We Need to Work Hard

Less than 24 hours into the Voters’ Registration process, several individuals are raising “Red Flag” at the National Elections Commission (NEC) for several reasons. Among the many concerns are the “migration of voters”, the slowness of voter registrars, the shortness of the time allotted for the registration process, and worst of all of the complaints; the number and distances between voters and the assigned registration centers. I had the opportunity to observed the “Voters’ Registration Awareness Campaign” sponsored by the NEC. I encountered the marchers four hours into the registration process and not a single one of the individual that I spoke to had registered. Ironically, they all were wearing t-shirts marked “I Registered to Vote”. Up to the time of this posting, most of the individuals who participated in the NEC organized Voters' Registration Campaign could not even tell me the closest registration center to their community. More needs to be done. I am doing mine NOW!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What Is Going On?

Did we end 2010 on a wrong note or are starting 2011 on a wrong note? The air waves are filled with claims and counter claims from the government, civil society groups, opposition political parties, and concerned Liberians about the wrongful behavior of either of the named groups. What is difficult to decipher in all of these claims is that each group seems to be concern about the peaceful outcome of the 2011 General elections, without any clarity as to their role in ensuring that the playing field is level and that the rules governing the political game are respected.

On Friday, December 31, 2010, just when the year was about to end, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) had an encounter with the Liberian National Police (LNP) for the second time in one year. Each time, the claims ranged from the LNP acting out of order to members of the LNP pursuing their personal agenda in the conduct of national duties. Yet the CDC which claims to know all of the rules will not say where they went wrong. For example, the failure of the CDC, its Standard Bearer, and its partisans to obey a simple order of “traffic shifting” led to the destruction of state property(s). According to one radio talk show, Ambassador George Weah, obey the police order because he was in one of the first three cars that turn towards the Jallah Town Road. The question is, how did the partisans got into conflict with the police when the man for whom they were marching already decided to be law abiding. Who is running things at the CDC?

Two days into the New Year, Melvin Paye accused the government of “violating the rights” of the Liberian Children because according to him “the government failed to build recreation centers for children” ahead of the festive season, thus leading the children into such acts like drinking alcoholic beverages. Again, like the rest of us, Mr. Paye failed to tell the Liberian people what kind of activities he organized in his neighborhood to keep the children off the streets. Everything is the government.

In less than ten days into 2011, there have been several calls on the government or the President in particular, Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for her to take certain actions or risk the positive outcome of the 2011 General Elections in her favor. The calls ranged from such simple issues as the conduct of recruiting voters’ registrars to the rehabilitation of roads.

Are we starting well?