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Let’s Not Eat Old Kola Nuts Again!!

Written on:October 5, 2011
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This is to remind all Liberians of our past, present and future as it relates to the upcoming elections. October 11, 2011 Legislative and Presidential Elections in my beloved nation is a test to peace and development. Do you continue on a progressive and gradual path with improvement or begin a new path?

It is necessitated nationalistically that all registered citizens of Liberia in the nation vote on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 because it represents the future of our beloved land and its people. Liberia is a country in transition; therefore, your vote is an indication of the direction you are sending us and the nation as a people.

In this light, I sincerely request all stakeholders, which include the national Elections commission, the president, Ellen J. Sirleaf, political parties and leaders, the three branches of government, society leaders, county leadership, and fellow Liberians to conduct these 2011 elections in a very free, fair, translucent minor that is acceptable to all.

Despite your choice as voters, it is necessary to bring few points to your attention. In 2006, when President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to control the state of our nation’s affairs, she met a broken country, a collapse economy, a nation lock of credit worthiness, a nation with a very bad reputation, broken infrastructure, a filled state devastated by war, its people displaced and refugees, and dysfunctional institutions.

From 2003 to Tuesday, October 11, 2011, Liberians have and are enjoying relative peace. I and many Liberians deserve and request the continuance of such peace in the nation after October 11, 2011.

Liberia is functioning again as a full state. It has made progress since the 2005 Legislative and Presidential Elections. During the Sirleaf’s administration, Liberia did not only maintain peace, but also began the process of educational reform, a good international respected record, building a new military of decency, value, and respect for Liberia who they will defend against foreign forces, a gradual economic growth in areas such as mining agriculture, oil exploration, and forestry. The government enables sixteen (16) billion of foreign investment in Liberia. It enables the cancellation of Liberia 4.9 billion dollar long term debt.

It is a government in our history that has enabled new measures of social responsibilities for investing companies in Liberia for Liberians. Despite the government is balancing competing priorities to put the broken pieces of the nation together, it is on a difficult path of providing basic services such as roads, clinics, hospitals, schools, electricity, and water. There is a way forward to the rule of law and good governance, freedom of speech, and basic fundamental freedoms. There are other positive aspects of the administration such as civil servant salary condition.

All I have mentioned of President Ellen J. Sirleaf are based on facts from my research and her many national and international interviews. It is also from international journalists’ reports. These are not things my uncle, brother, sister, mother, dad, and friends have told me. As I said, I am not pleased with everything that President Sirleaf has done over the last six years of her first term, but I am a person who sees my country on a trajectory of a very brighter future. I clearly listen to her remarks during her meeting with President Barack Obama who I believe doing a good job under a very difficult condition as well like her. She stated facts to president Obama.

In spite of our country’s past and those stipulated progress accomplished by the government, there are more to be completed, which the Sirleaf government knows. In her words, the president said, if Liberia continues on this current path, and with our natural resources, the nation will not depend on foreign aid ten years from now. Whether you believed her or not, I believe in continuity, and require reminding fellow Liberians to not vote their heads. They should vote their hearts, minds, and souls on October 11, 2011 as they are faced with the decision for national peace and prosperity in the country’s history. Liberians should know that our nation is still defined by civil war despite of its present progress.

Let me enlighten you. I am not president Sirleaf partisan, but a person who sees a better future for the country. The responsibility is mine to express my view to fellow Liberians, so they can know what it means to vote with your hearts, minds, and souls. Therefore, I must inform them of our past, past status, governmental achievements, and unsolved problems.

Now, I understand that there are lots of unfinished concerns of the nation as you go to vote on October 11th, but do we need to change our country’s driver at this point when we have our car traveling on a rocky road and driving at night to our unknown destination? Do you know for fact whether the other political parties’ platforms will continue this current trajectory of our nation’s progress? I need you to know it well as there are nine (9) days left for voting. Where do you desire to send our nation’s future after October 11? I am not naïve of the fact that Liberia is a nation with frustrated unemployed youths; some of whom are ex-combatants who can bring us down if they find the way as in our dreadful past. I am aware of the country having no electrical grid, and has its people and businesses using gas power generators.

Yes, it is known that less than 500 miles of paved road in the country, and that the dusty roads suppress economic growth and full development. Like you, I know Liberia is still a very poor country that has eighty-five percent (85%) of its people living on less than $1.00 a day. There exist a culture of gender base violence that is entrenched in the society, corruption in government, business, and society, and poor infrastructure and education system that require improvement. With all of these, my questions to you remain.

The present government knows of these problems. President Sirleaf called them a societal problem that is systemic. I believe anything of such description requires national resolution, and not a single president or a one term leader. According to her, these are problems that derived from years of deprivation. As you, the government, and I know, there was a time in our country’s history when people did not have living wage. They were told to live on their ways and means; as the result, people survived and surviving on the idea of dishonesty, impediment, and indiscipline. Our nation’s issues are not created over night, and will not be solve as such. For instance, I dislike corruption, but this is a big animal in Liberia.

It requires all Liberians and friends of Liberia to aggressively kill this animal called CORRUPTION. All of these problems require our collective efforts and moral force. Please know the platforms of the others, but President Sirleaf has a record, which is a fact. I am not a partisan, but a Liberian who has seen a path to a better future, and her record tells me.

Let it be known that our nation has other challenges apart from the old age concerns. Most of the brains of Liberia who are capable to assist the nation are out of the country. These are people with money and knowledge who can assist, but awaiting your decision as well in some cases. Our country has a weak, but growing judiciary system that needs more to be done. Let’s not forget that Liberia is turning the Conner, and continuity is very essential. This being Liberia’s second legislative and presidential election after 14 years of civil war, a move toward democracy, sustainability, and peace is in the hands of you who are fully registered to vote on October 11, 2011. I request you all to vote for your choice, but do it on all the political parties’ platforms and President Sirleaf’s record. We need a free, fair, transparent election. It should be the one that represents the choice of the masses, and accepted by all.

To add on to the nation gains, despite of your decision, the United Nation Peace Building Commissions will still provide funds to continue our rebuilding process. The fund will be used to build and staff Regional Justice Centers nationally to provide greater access to courts throughout Liberia, basic services will be built and security will be maintained, and police will continue to be trained. Our military will still be focused on. Who do you need to be the manager for all of these? Is it a new driver or the old driver who has brought us this far to our unknown destination?

Once we complete these elections successfully, Liberia will be on an irreversible path of democracy, development, and peace. The world is watching us as a nation that is still defined by civil war. The political conditions of our Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Sierra Leone are factors to our future. Let’s pray for their success. I wish you all well in good spirit as you go to vote.

Written By:

Trokon Smith
Hagerstown, MD

6 Comments add one

  1. LeRoy S. Nyan says:

    It is rather unfortunate for young Liberians to be discussing national issues on the basics of what people may have done for others.

    I read a comment on your site recently by Garjay Davies in reaction to Trokon Smith praises on president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

    In his comment, Garjay query if president Sirleaf had helped pay student loan for Trokon for he, Trokon to rain praises on her. regrettably, it seems my compatriot Garjay is one of those favor seeking individuals who supports or appreciates politicians on the basis of what that politicians may have done for him or her. In this case, Trokon does not have to get a student loan from President Sirleaf before acknowledging the good works that she has done for Liberia. For your information, Garjay Smith, president Sirleaf has helped restored dignity to Liberia and Liberians. The country which was once described as a pariah state, inhibited only by criminals is now proud that its citizens are once again darling of the world, as we are hailed and accepted where ever we go. Over 3 billion USD investment has been brought into the country under the leadership of president Sirleaf and most importantly, our people are proud to have a leader so adored by the world that our president has been awarded a highest award in the world, the noble peace prize for 2011.

    Mr. Davies, well meaning people such as Trokon Smith appreciates the fact that GOD has given us President Sirleaf at a time we had just emerged from a callous period in the history of mama Liberia.

    If you don’t see the need to be appreciative to others don’t equally criticize others for doing so.

    LeRoy S. Nyan
    Monrovia

  2. JEFF T. REEVES says:

    I concord with Mr. Smith on most of his stands. Our country is at a crossroad and changing driver at this moment will take us six miles back before we can blink our eyes. I think the president is making progress on a whole lot of fronts, even though the poverty rate is still high, while corruption is still public enemy number one, I’m quite optimistic that things will get better when Liberians give her a scones chance to complete where she is right now. @ Peter Cole, it’s true she said should only run for one term not one year as you stated but looking the at state of the country when she took office to where the country is today I think we should intrust her with another term for the betterment of our people.

  3. Am not against Ellen for been president of Liberia.But what did she say doing the first election, that she only going to be there for one year, whatshe say about Samuel Doe is what she doing now.

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  6. Garjay Davies says:

    Nice letter Trokon,but I wonder whether Ellen has helped to pay for your student loans that’s why You are singing praises for her.We better open our eyes as Liberians and embrace change,otherwise,we are doomed for life.
    Thanks,
    from St.Paul