The danger of sharpening an executioner’s knife in a post-conflict society
SOURCE: JACOB N.B. PARLEY









For every time I hear  comments that I see as politically  explosive or combustible, especially considering  where we are coming from as a nation, my heart bleeds in a psychological manner.  And I also want to believe that the heart of every other person who   is a   patriotic and   nationalistic citizen of this   country experiences or has some idea on   how it hurts me when these harsh utterances are made.
I must admit that the Liberian Constitution, the organic law of our country recognizes the principle of freedom of expression, among other basic elements intended to keep us together by sharing notes or exchanging both coherent and opposing views   on crucial issues that interplay our religious and political lives as a sovereign nation.
There   should be no   argument   about whether or not our constitution calls for a pluralistic trend of society   as such is   enshrined in Article 15 of the Constitution of Liberia.
But I   wonder whether some   people   are actually mindful or aware of the parallel responsibility attached to the issue of freedom of expression.
For quick reference, the Liberian Constitution, in the same   Article 15 also talks about what is involved or what happens in an event where someone makes comments/utterances that violate the constitutional   rights of other members of the state.
Reports of comments amounting to threats to our country’s well-being, specifically   peace and security are very counterproductive to Liberia’s emerging democracy.  If at all there are people who think the essence   of politics is to divide us then I beg to quickly register my disagreement before   proceeding with this article.
  Although some of the politicians   and their political disciples to whom some of these explosive statements have been attributed continue to deny   ever making them. But what   I do know is that these comments suggest as if we   have not learnt any meaningful lessons from many years of bloodletting in our country, a situation that was influenced by power greed, hatred, disunity and ethnicity and corrupt practices, among other vices.
Are we not calculating that one day the international community will pull out so that   attention will be given to   other troubled countries   around   the world or other places that may need the presence and assistance of institutions such as the United Nations, African Union, European Union   and ECOWAS, in the case of any eventuality?
What do we really   want in this country?  When will   we   grow   by building the culture of responsible politics, advocacy and love for our own country- where the interest and safety of the   country will be permitted to   triumph over falsehood, self-interest, gaining political   popularity at the expense of the majority who cannot read and write, least to mention the ability to analyze and rationalize before passing judgment?
Please, do not misquote me because   I must, again state that I highly welcome the rights of other Liberians   to comment on political issues happening in Liberia.  Because when any society creates   a situation where the views of the public are suppressed, these people may bottle up their feelings for a long period. This is dangerous   because those who feel suppressed may one   day revolt. This may have moved John Kennedy of the United States when he said: ‘’those who make peaceful revolution inevitable will inevitably make violent revolution evitable.” And I want to believe it is based on similar principle that   our country is today, under the current government   providing some space for every Liberian to be heard.
We know there are still challenges that the   Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led- government needs to address, such solution   cannot however be sought overnight because it is a clear issue that to build takes time while destruction takes a few seconds.
But where I always differ with some of these people is the   manner in which they   comment on national issues. Does it make any sense for us to be preaching the building of a peaceful and refined society after a period of civil war when others   are, at the same time spewing out fire-liked statements to   implant fear in our people, scare away investors and teach our children   the highest degree of disobedience through the uncontrollable unleashing of vulgarity during political rallies or radio talk shows?
The issue is simple, if you do not like a particular candidate; you can quietly walk to the ballot box and vote against that person   rather than to be obnoxious in referring to that candidate. This goes to every Liberian who   is a participant in the electoral processes, both   past, present and the ones to come in the future, especially those who owe allegiance   to political parties.
I can freely make reference to the recent electoral activities in the country, especially Monrovia and parts adjacent,   when a group of   women who are supposed to set good examples before their children spearheaded   what I will call a   repellent   gathering   dominated by teenagers. I stood breathlessly for a while to see these beautiful women conduct themselves in such an   unrefined manner and style.
Another issue has to do with a group of young high school   graduates who pulled crowd near an entertainment center while celebrating   their graduation program in central Monrovia recently.
‘’Nobody should think because we are in our graduation clothes so we can’t   deal with anyone who will try us here, we are not stupid people and our hands not tied.”Remarked     some of the fresh graduates, both boys and girls, with nearly all of them parading large bottles of beer as some of the older people started   leaving the scene due to the uncontrollable attitude of these young   graduates.
But these are people who   are supposed to be future leaders of our country and at the same time singing the song of generational change.
Let me admit that calls for us (young people) to be provided opportunities so that we can begin preparing ourselves for   future leadership challenges are not wrong. But the other side is that how will people trust and repose any confidence in us if  some of our younger brothers and sisters graduating from   the various institutions of learning are misbehaving   in public places without any remorse?
I am sensing that efforts to   restore our lost cultural and religious values, as well as  building a  discipline society may  go in vein because some of the parents, especially   women who are supposed to play key role in this national agenda are also  running with terrific speed in leading their children along the path of disobedience and   disrespect.
I am not writing this article to get at anyone or group of people, but what I am simply trying to do is to highlight what I see as a dangerous precedence that is being set in contemporary Liberian politics and democracy, especially without   taking into account the implications of   these things.
I want us to note that the expediency of trying to appease our political institutions and attempts to gain political relevance at the expense of a   country that has less number of educated people by making   explosive comments and   teaching teenagers to be rude like the rough rude   sea could be an executioner’s knife   awaiting all of us in the future.
Let all of us remember that ashes fall on those who throw them.
The author can be reached through: jacobtheancestor@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 
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