....Liberians must not use frustration of the past to set the nation on a sure path of doom. Unlike football, the consequences of failure in government will be another round of human carnage and suffering. This time it will be the fault of those who sang in the streets and voted wrongly, and the world will be looking elsewhere because Liberians had their chance.
At a time when even developed economies as the United States are realizing the need for continuous academic advancement of its populace to keep pace with the global challenges, Liberia, already decades behind, has a presidential candidate in footballer, George ‘Oppong’ Weah whose supporters are advocating that the country neither needs well educated leaders, nor educated public servants.
Such comments and displays make the world and international community wonder about the expectations that Africans (Liberians) have for themselves, their children and their future.
It is unfortunate that we take the mutilated bodies of Liberian victims to the gates of the American Embassy and expect the United States and other countries to send their ‘educated children’ to our rescue and when faced with the prospect of changing the course of our history, Liberians seem not to have learned the hard lessons.
Liberians, are frustrated, the ‘Oppong supporters say, blaming ‘educated Liberians for the carnage that has engulfed the country over the last decades. Unfortunately, most of these Liberians who danced to “Oppong’s homecoming singing “He know book he na know book, Weah that our president”. are the same ones who danced to Taylor’s killing singing “ you kill my ma, you kill my pa, I will vote for you”.
Uneducated Samuel Doe ruled Liberia from 1980 to 1990 taking a country with an expanding economy into the ravages of civil war. Remember the chanting “country woman born soldier”? It was the expectation that an illiterate Doe and his band of illiterate PRC could build a more functioning society. Is it fair to accuse all uneducated Liberians for the acts of Doe and his redemption council government? Certainly not!
Acclaimed footballers ‘Oppong’, Salinsas, and as far back as Wanniboto and Monkey Brown and the hoards of Lone Star Players have been unable to take the Liberian Lone Star to World Cup. Liberians have been frustrated. The hopes of soccer fans have been dashed time and time again. Does that mean that all the football players are useless? Or that we can expect better results if we replace the Lone Star with the Kickball Team from G. W. Gibson? Such action will only guarantee that we are doomed.
In many ways football is like politics. Knowledge, training, discipline and experience are important. We may not have yet reached to world cup. But Lone Star stands the best chance by recruiting the best and most experienced players, weeding out the selfish ones, and providing the best support. So it is with politics.
Liberians must not use frustration of the past to set the nation on a sure path of doom. Unlike football, the consequences of failure in government will be another round of human carnage and suffering. This time it will be the fault of those who sang in the streets and voted wrongly, and the world will be looking elsewhere because Liberians had their chance.
If it is blame for Liberians, there is more then enough to go around. But the reality is that a new Liberia, requires a leadership of well educated Liberians. Who can create the environment to provide the same opportunities for education and advancement to all Liberians.