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.

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