By Joe Woyee (November 4th 2005)
"...let us liken the elections to the restoration of a historic building in complete disrepair. What is the first thing that anyone trying to restore a building to its past glory with all the pomp and regalia that it deserves will do? They will hire a competent, experienced building restoration company. Not a civil engineer or a mining engineer or even a “good businessman”. In other words, you hire the best person for the job based on work history, experience and reputation. ..”
The list of candidates for the post of president of Liberia in the October 11, 2005 elections was a mixed bag of opportunists, thieves, liars, murderers, misguided do-gooders, patriots, fence straddlers and plain old politicians. In short, the cast of characters could have starred in the old war western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Unfortunately, the future of Liberia is not a movie plot. At the end of the day, no one can just get out of character and walk home to his or her real life. Most of these aspirants may have had very good intentions as to how to “fix” Liberia but as we all know, there is a huge gap between good intentions and actual results. History of the Doe, Taylor and even William Tolbert regimes will attest to this fact. Electing a president, especially one for Liberia, at this time in her muddled existence, should not be done on emotion as we Liberians are famous for doing. We can not turn the future of Liberia into the hands of the wrong person no matter how nice, militant, or pushy that person may be. Our tendency to act on emotion first and then apply logic to back our emotional outbursts afterwards should not come into play this time around. Being a president of a nation is not simply a matter of might or having the right warrior credentials or being the most popular. Anyone can kill another person. (Most people won’t unless in extreme cases of self defense) It doesn’t however, make them a leader, just a killer or at best someone who is good at self-defense. A popularity contest is a temporary social exercise that is soon forgotten after the celebrity fades. We cannot dismiss education and experience because previous leaders with education and experience did not improve the conditions in Liberia. This is like deciding not to take a seriously ill person to the doctor or hospital because other sick persons taken to the hospital died while in the care of the doctors at the hospital. There are many reasons why a patient might die while in the care of a doctor. Several factors, including the patient’s condition – whether advanced or terminal, the patient’s attitude, the patient’s response to treatment, the availability of the right medication or even the availability of the specialty, etc. etc.
For the purpose of analysis, let us liken the elections to the restoration of a historic building in complete disrepair. What is the first thing that anyone trying to restore a building to its past glory with all the pomp and regalia that it deserves will do? They will hire a competent, experienced building restoration company. Not a civil engineer or a mining engineer or even a “good businessman”. In other words, you hire the best person for the job based on work history, experience and reputation.
The planners or investors (in this case, the Liberian people) should hire the best, most experienced construction/restoration company (president) available. Not the most popular or most patriotic or even the most “neutral” construction company.
By virtue of this “construction company’s” history, one can conclude that it will hire the best architects, designers, masons, bricklayers, electricians, landscapers, etc to restore the building. Liberia is indeed a dilapidated building that is in need of major repair and restoration.
We all know a good, caring and popular person from the neighborhood that takes care of everyone and is always ready to lend a hand and, if necessary, organize groups to protect the neighborhood. But if someone in the neighborhood needs a doctor, that person will be taken to a doctor not the “good neighborly person” who is not a doctor.
Providence has given us a second chance to make the right choice. This time around, let us use logic and common sense in deciding who should be the next president of Liberia. Let us hire the best “restoration company” to not only restore this broken but beloved building that we call Liberia, but a “company” that will exercise the vision to learn from our mistakes and avoid them in the future in forging a new nation that will draw on its racial diversity, cultural pluralism and religious differences.
May God bless Liberia and may the people of Liberia be on God’s side.