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?