An opinion by Paul M. Kanneh
Men who moved into historical and political revolutions with limitation must be supported to understand the true meaning of revolution, and not to bully them into believing that they will submit. As a matter of fact, their perception of knowing too much in their limitation would not easily permit them to submit. At this junction, it becomes incumbent on conscious men with historical and political knowledge to bridge the gap by providing deep reflection of the missing pieces so that everyone gets on board to save the state from the hands of historical and political robbers.
In the truest meaning of leadership, Henry Costa has not committed any crime. Rather, he has displayed his shortcomings and needs help to recalibrate. It is not possible for a complete and experienced revolutionary to commit inconsistency twice without recalibrating. Such inconsistency must be left with knowledgeable people to define and not individuals with sentimentalism. Henry Costa, with no disrespect, has so many shortcomings as regard Liberian political history and governance.
Yes, it makes sense to think that Costa has been on the political field for his personal interest. At the same time, it makes sense to think that had Henry Costa known the history of political and democratic deceptions against Liberia, he would have acted to avoid the current stall mate that has left some many questions unanswered about his involvement.
Against this backdrop, I have come to remind Henry Costa about democratic transitions in Liberia. This is the best way I have thought to plead with him and make him understand his shortcomings in order to lower his arms against noble statesmen. It is a known fact that revolutionaries are rich in ideas and human capital, but poor in material/financial wealth. In practical terms, their suitcases and libraries are what they cherished over money.
Had Henry Costa known that revolutionary political leaders depend on the support of the masses, he would not have bragged about “feeding and transporting” Amb. Joseph Nyumanh Boakia, if he ever did with his own money. Had he also known that the leverage he got to raise funds was as a result of using Boakai’s name, he would also not have bragged about feeding the people’s leaders.
Except that Liberians, especially the fly-by-night leaders and politicians are not good are listening to advice because of their arrogance and limitations. Nonetheless, it is incumbent on us as to provide the needed reminder in order to save the state.
In February 1871, President EJ Roye was killed on an allegation of corruption for a loan he had not received. EJ Roye had come to the presidency with an aggressive leadership style for change of the old order. This noble statesman was blatantly lied on, disgraced and killed by men who felt that their desires for continuous state plunders were being threatened by his presidency. As expected, Liberia continued on the negative trajectory following the death of EJ Roye. This nobleman’s dream for a better Liberia was never realized.
When it was time for David Coleman, a man seen as a sympathizer of the idea of the native emancipation to become President, President Edwin Barclay held the party primary of the True Whig party in the army barrack. Tubman, a con-artist emerged as Standard Bearer of the True Whig party, and eventually president. President Tubman’s 27 unbroken years of leadership was characterized by misrules, corruption and the elimination of perceived political opponents. For instance, When D Tweh, a reformist and campaigner for social inclusion, expressed interest in the Presidency; Tubman manipulated the constitution in his favor, and lied on D. Tweh. The end result was a forceful exile of D Tweh into a foreign land where he lived and died a dishonorable death. His family had to beg Tubman to allow the remains of their son on the Liberian soil for burial.
President Tolbert, although caught between the cold war and the interest of the west, was a good man. He was killed in cold blood on April 12, 1980. His dream for a better Liberia died a perpetual death. When the time came for a noble statesman, Harry Fomba Moniba to continue Doe’s tenure, a conspiracy was planned and executed under the pretext of peace initiative that saw Dr. Amos Sawyer emerged as an Interim President.
All these while, Liberia and Liberians are victims, as bad system remained in place. In 2004, two years to the 2006 general and presidential elections, Harry Fomba Moniba got killed in a mysterious car accident in the United States. By all qualities, Dr. Moniba was seen as the best person to transition Liberia from war to democratic stability. Although no evidence exists of a foul play, Dr. Moniba’s death remains a big mystery today.
In 2017, the world witnessed a surprise package for Liberia. Hoping that an immediate vice president would be an appropriate successor to continue gains made, a sitting president willfully, intentionally and maliciously facilitated the election of a novice, surrounded by group of inexperienced and incompetent people. The detractors cleverly lured former vice president into choosing the wrong person as running mater, and also denied him access to resources. Immediately after the election, JNB’s running mate reunited with the wining party (CDC). The aftermaths of that election and plot against JNB became known as unexplained killings, drugs trafficking, rapes, corruption, incompetence and state looting. In short, nation’s retrogression became an idea.
When the bad guys saw the CPP was a force for good in the 2023 election, they planted their man, Musa Bility to fracture the CPP and render it worthless. The used the Liberty Party for their deadliest political maneuvering. Today, you all are alive to tell the story. With this basis, I have come to remind Henry Costa to see reason to drop his arms against a man he has no business challenging or insulting. I encourage him to see Joseph Boakai as the driver, and not his running mate. We all must work to abort the evil child and win the battle over the bad and corrupt guys who continue to loot our country. We should not give them chance to undermine Boakai and as they did to Harry Moniba, D Tweh, Presidents EJ Roye and William Tolbert, who, by all evaluations, were paused to lift Liberia out of the ashes of poverty.
Whether we like it or not, regional politics, good or bad has become the means by which people show strength or win election in Liberia. Otherwise, selection of a running mate shouldn’t be a problem in the midst of many qualified Liberians out there. But these qualified Liberians may not be the favorite for eligible voters from vote-rich counties/regions regardless of the incompetence of their sons and daughters.
The question of what will it profit a county to gain the vice presidency and the nation suffers becomes relevant. Is Henry Costa going to hold on to his anger of common “ungratefulness”, while the country he claims to love goes back into the hands of state plunderers? Lastly, what is happening to Henry Costa is not “ungratefulness” but a challenge to his idea from men and women of immense confidence and ideas. The sooner he accepts that there are men with competing and superior ideas over him, the quicker he will position himself to his area of limitation, and the better things become for the “Rescue Team”.
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