A Patriot’s Diary with Ekena Wesley
Only in Liberia do we proudly celebrate thieves. It is a gullible society. While there exists an inherent argument amid class struggle, it is mind-boggling that the once perceived have-nots have become worse than their rivals, the ‘Haves.’ What has changed suddenly? The locus shift in position. Power shit. The power meant to lift the masses from hopelessness to posterity simply entered the heads of the once ‘have-nots.’ Lest we forget, there is no such phrase as a poor and humbled person.
But Thomas Sankara was different. Nelson Mandela was equally unique. In Liberia, we refused to become cultured in making the system work for the state. Perhaps our laws are good but we do NOT have the audacity to enforce them. So who is to blame? The lack of political will. Who knows? The absence of patriotism. We pretend to grow but our attitudes remain unchanged. We often plan to fail and it impacts our national life.
Barely three months ago, Magnitsky Act lowered its hammer on three Liberian government officials. It hit the very heart of the Liberian presidency. Something was not right. It took President Weah a sense of docility to act naively in a premature fashion. His shamed and named officials later uncharacteristically resigned. Whispers from officialdom filtered that some of these hooked officials were involved in resignations characterized by charades.
The Magnitsky Act details a whole lot. But for the Americans to come back in order to vehemently clarify the letter and spirit of the Act speak volumes. We have a leadership that ignorantly is not taking the sanctioned action seriously. Why such hopelessness? The very reasons why the decision was taken are becoming increasingly self-evident.
Civil servants are beginning to feel the pinch amid salary arrears. Liberia’s bombastic Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah was recently ordered arrested by the Supreme Court for stalling the functions of the Judiciary. Surely, when the judiciary’s work gets stalled – it affects the rule of law. When the rule of law is crippled, the citizenry loses hope. When the citizenry becomes disillusioned, someone takes the fall. The government seems unable to find solutions. They were elected to do better than their predecessor.
The diabolical actions of the sanctioned officials can be seen and felt along the Robertsfield Highway which is now a death trap. Our schools are out of instructional materials. Teachers cannot report to work because the government has failed to pay salaries. The poor students are forced to pay a price they have absolutely no business paying. Our hospitals are nothing to write home about. Essential drugs are in short supply.
48 hours ago, the U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Michael McCarthy returned to the same room he held the press conference when Nathaniel McGill, Bill Twehway, and Syrenius Cephas were sanctioned by the U.S. government. This time, amid a strong note of caution that those doing business with sanctioned officials risk being axed by Magnitsky. If enablers and handlers of the sanctioned officials are just not getting it, we hope they do now. Corruption has cost us dearly and it is seen when development becomes inaccessible as well as schools and hospitals become badly hit. It is high time we support supporting the corrupt in our society.