A commentary by Olando Testimony Zeongar
Inked in the good old book, the Holy Bible, as recorded by the Physician Luke, is an account of an intriguing masterpiece of a story of a monumental degree of unreserved selflessness and an utmost demonstration of benevolence on the part of one human being towards a fellow human.
In that epic tale originally told by Jesus the Christ, himself a man highly exclaimed for his unmatched humanitarian gesture and exceptional compassionate posture towards the entirety of mankind and famous for such heartwarming statement as “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, it’s illustrated that a wounded Jewish man victimized by robbers, who did not just rob him of his belongings, but also inhumanely brutalized and left him for dead by the roadside, was seen by people of his own kindred, some who he considered his brothers and friends, yet they saw him in his helpless state and passed him by without lending him a helping hand.
Jesus goes on to say in the story that after a while, and perhaps by this time, the man’s condition being a life-threatening one considering the length of time he laid there in an extremely agonizing manner with his battered and bruised body being unattended, then came along that route a man who had absolutely no family ties or any other significantly close connection with him except that they both were human beings – and Jesus narrates further that this man, who would later be known globally for innumerable centuries as a “Good Samaritan”, extended unto the robbed and wounded man in dire need of assistance, the help he needed that was denied him by people with whom he shared the same DNA.
What a way of practically demonstrating in the Earth realm the theology of “doing unto others what you would want them do unto you”, as well as being your “brother’s keeper”, and standing up for “your neighbor” when he needs you the most.
As I recollect this story about a Samaritan man and the robbed and injured Jewish man, as told by Jesus in the Bible book of Luke 10:25-37, my memory takes me back to another version of it narrated by a longtime newspaper owner, Philipbert S. Browne, Sr., who in his narration recently likened former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai (JNB) to a “Good Samaritan,” and how he had offered him a helping hand when he too ‘laid bruised and unattended to at his own roadside’, at the time those he refers to today as brothers and friends, were too busy crafting ways and means to ascend to state power for the sole purpose of enriching themselves at the detriment of poverty-stricken Liberians rather than concerning themselves with helping him.
Philipbert, the controversial newspaper proprietor, from his own mouth, narrated how seven years ago, former Vice President Boakai did all within his power to secure his release from the notoriously dreadful Monrovia Central Prison, a dungeon that can be best described as a death trap, where he said he was cellmate with hard-boiled criminals, many of whom he described as known murderers.
According to Philipbert, a jailbird, who is on record for spending his 52nd birthday behind bars at the Monrovia Central Prison in October of 2016, Mr. Boakai’s boss at the time, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf along with a certain lawmaker, for whatever reasons, wanted to teach him a lesson of his life that landed him behind bars – a lesson Boakai felt was unjust and undeserving of another human being, and for which reason the Unity Party standard bearer then Vice President, did not rest until the newspaper publisher regained his freedom.
Interestingly, seven years later, Philipbert would publicly admit to Boakai’s magnanimity of rescuing him from near death and hail him for being a “Good Samaritan”, but ironically, the newspaper owner would choose to pay back with evil, Boakai’s kindheartedness that included handing him US$5k cash of his personal money so that the newspaper man just leaving prison at the time could seek medical treatment – some of such money meant for health purposes, would instead, even later be lavishly spent on the purchase of material things by Philipbert.
One good deserves another and one act of kindness begets another, so it is said. Therefore, any rational mind would have thought that with all the praises Philipbert publicly sang for Boakai for his unsolicited kindness towards him, the best for him to have done was reciprocate kindness at the time it is now in his power to do unto the Unity Party standard bearer as it was done unto him (Philipbert) years back.
Instead, Philipbert out of greed for pecuniary gain, has elected to as usual, prioritize money and what he calls “family close ties” as opposed to standing with the man who once saved his life, as he fights teeth and nails with just anyone and everyone including Boakai, whom himself calls a “Good Samaritan” – with the newspaper man even recklessly flaunting journalistic ethics cardinal to the practice of the noble profession as far as its relevance in being a vital tool in upholding democracy and protecting peace is concerned, only in the name of supporting the re-election of incumbent President George Weah for a second six-year term.
From being the middleman charged with the journalistically unprofessional and repulsive task of organizing others as money-anxious as he is to grab cash and in return, on countless occasions, while caring less about objectivity, use the pages of their various newspapers and the airwaves on their radio stations as propaganda machineries for Mr. Weah’s re-election quest, to publicly making seditious statements that threaten the peace of the country and instill fear in the citizenry, Philipbert feels justified that he’s helping someone who calls him “Brother”, and for whom he imprudently brags that he’s under obligation to protect over someone who seven years ago according to Philipbert himself, ‘raged hell’ for him to have been released from a prison cell where those who masterminded his incarceration were actually seeking his elimination from planet Earth.
With Philipbert’s proximity to the current regime led by a retired footballer turned politician, the newspaper man annoyingly continues to tell the world that he has information that the ruling elites are hatching plans to rig results of the impending presidential election slated for next Tuesday, a heinous electoral crime and unacceptable breach of democracy frowned at globally by all adherents of the tenants of democracy – and from all indications, the newspaper publisher is in support of such a reprehensible ploy and undemocratic maneuvering to circumvent the inalienable right of the mass of the Liberian people.
Imagine Philipbert of all persons, obnoxiously stating quite recently that absolutely nothing would be done should his kleptocratic band of ruling elites rig results of the 10 October presidential election against the popular will of the Liberian people for the “Good Samaritan”, Joseph Nyuma Boakai to be their next president because according to him, without providing an ounce of evidence, ECOWAS and some other members of the international community allegedly rigged results of two elections against Weah in favor of Boakai and his former boss, Sirleaf.
Apparently, Philipbert and his pals in government being inclined to Joseph Nyuma Boakai, the man who saved his life seven years ago, being the closest to winning the presidential polls, he seems cool with the devilish plans of his governmental masters using iron fist on those who would protest vote-rigging, as the newspaper man keeps spewing out threat and causing panic among Liberians that there would be blood in the streets of the country in the event Boakai is cheated and his supporters protest.
What a world! Indeed, paying a “Good Samaritan” back with evil – the case of Philipbert Browne choosing money and family ties with Weah to stab Boakai in the back.