By Morris Luogon Karyon - (May 19th 2005)
The present practice of journalism is a disgrace to our country. Some of our journalists will publish any trash as headlines as long it is paid for. We depend on people in this profession to play a virtual role in the coming elections by exposing the past of our aspirants in other to help our people make the right choices. If some of you guys do not take your profession serious and continue to promote people who are not presidential materials because of money, the next blood of our people will be on your hands..."
I have just returned from Monrovia where I witnessed the arrival of New Deal vice presidential hopeful Mr. Alaric Tokpa. Mr Tokpa, like other seeking the highest office in Liberia, returning from the USA, received the same kind of welcome accorded other candidates. However, my impression is that New Deal crow was different from the rest of the crow that turn out for other candidates. The difference is that, the people I saw are not charter crow, they were not people who went for food, they are not people who other parties can change their votes from New Deal; they are people who are committed to that party. To point their level of commitment, there were representatives and partisans of the New Deal who transported themselves from as far as Maryland and Grand Kru to Monrovia just for that ceremony.
Therefore, the information posted on the Perspective by the FORUM is part of the manipulation process by outsiders of the Liberian process. During this critical period of our history, our journalists have to demonstrate some degree of responsibility. Money is good, but receive it with dignity. The present practice of journalism is a disgrace to our country. Some of our journalists will publish any trash as headlines as long it is paid for. We depend on people in this profession to play a virtual role in the coming elections by exposing the past of our aspirants in other to help our people make the right choices. If some of you guys do not take your profession serious and continue to promote people who are not presidential materials because of money, the next blood of our people will be on your hands. If the present irresponsible conducts in this noble profession at this critical period of our history continues, our country will not have the opportunity to elect people who really have the country at heart, rather we will end up electing people who have us to where we are today. Remember, if there is no peace, you will not have the opportunity to freely practice your profession and make the money you deserve as a journalist.
What is the basis for such an insinuation by the FORUM? Who are those diplomats that are considering Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, George Oppong Weah, Dr. Roland Massaquoi, Cllr. Winston Tubman, and Cllr. Varney Sherman? Is your source telling you that those diplomats are going to determine the results of the coming elections? Considering such unscientific conclusions as published, I want to admonish those involve that, Liberia is not a playground. We should not be taken for granted. What I think our journalists need to be doing now is to begin to introduce the candidates to our people and to those very diplomats that creating confusions in the minds of our people. The Liberian press should distance itself from such conspiracy.
Of the candidates named, what make them credible? These are people who want power at all cost. To do what with it? No one knows. When Ellen was not able to get the nomination of LAP in the 1997 elections, she changed gear to UP. This year during the UP emergency convention, when another candidate emerged against her, the old TWP tactic was used to get him out of the race. Her group introduced the property clause (one of the many reasons that started the confusions in the 1970s) with the hope that Mr. Thompson will not be able to get the $50, 000.00. When he came up with the amount, they set another condition that, you have to be in the party for at least four years, and you must be in good financial standings with the party. The question is, did Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf meet these conditions when she went over to UP in 1997? Since according to Ellen’s theory, no one from a poor background can become a leader, what guaranteed do we have that her presidency will not take us back to where we came from? Very funny! This theory implies that leadership ability is measured by wealth (I clearly intent to deal with this in a subsequent article)-nonsense right? The confusion in LAP over presidential nominations (see Korto’s Letter: www.theperspective.org. May 13, 2005), “Winston’s crossing over to NDPL, Brumskin’s failed attempt to manipulate the people in LUP”, and other information emerging about fraudulent lists (which is criminal under our law) by proposed parties to gain qualification, speaks volumes about the credibility of those the diplomats in question are allegedly eyeing (considering) as serious contenders for the jobs in Liberia.
This is just enough of a caveat to New Deal party and CDC that the two forces need to unite in a common front to defeat these power-hungry addicts.
These were some of the same group of people that were running to Mr. Weah, although not in good faith for support or for him to serve as their running mate. The truth is, the New Deal has done the impossible thing under Mr. Taylor. Under the Taylor administration, people considered it impossible for any political party to register. New Deal proved it wrong. Because of this, our so-called political oligarchy decided to win Mr. Weah over, in order to divide the votes of the youth and those frustrated with them. There is creditable information that similar attempt was made with Koffi Woods also in that direction. This made Koffi Woods to think that he was a presidential material. Unfortunately, Koffi’s endeavor to establish a political party did not work well, as well as that made with Mr. Weah in Florida to go as a running mate to him (Weah).
There are differences between New Deal and CDC. CDC is made of people whose leadership, and role in the civil wars are in question; however, I think their common front with the New Deal Movement that has already in place a set programs and structures will help transform most of these people who are victims of the civil wars. There will be disagreements among New Deal people over this proposal; however, to ensure that we do not go into the wrong hands again, you guys have to be willing to strike such a front. Therefore, I am requesting partisans and supporters of New Deal and CDC, members of the religious communities of Liberia (both Christian and Muslin) that support these groups to allow reason to prevail by bringing them together for a united front in order to deter these people who are responsible for our underdevelopment and the civil wars from coming to power.