Liberia now runs on a three-tier class system society: the tiny rich powerful congua, the corrupt overpaid big shots who are enjoying in the government both congua and native, and the poor masses majority of whom are the long suffering tribal people. Every Liberian back home fits into one of the three categories.
Go back to Christmas 2005 which would be three weeks before President-elect Ellen Johnson took office and the mood was festive with great anticipation that the end was near in the suffering of the Liberian people. Ellen Sirleaf never missed a beat to raise the expectations of the people, trumpeting her credentials as the person would deliver Liberians to the promised land of peace, happiness and self-sufficiency in things to come: jobs, water, electricity, good hospitals, roads, schools, national reconciliation and Economic buoyancy.
"Liberia is not a poor country but a country run poorly", she was thundered then. Then upon taking office on January 16, 2006, in front of foreign dignitaries, she promised the full restoration of electricity, pipe-borne safe drinking water in six months, meaning by Independence Day July 26, 2006. In attendance were American First Lady Laura Bush, White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and the richest black American woman Oprah Winfrey.
Everything or dream is achievable with her at the leadership helm of the country if, and a big IF, we are determined to defeat the country's number enemy: Corruption. She then declared "war on corruption as enemy number one." The corruption enemy has taken our leaders prisoners of war (POW).
Looking back now, how some wish they didn't put the cart before the horse. Sadly, words, once spoken can't be taken back. This is why smart politicians watch their words and don't talk too much and that their actions speak for them. Too little, too late for others.
The promises would include that the dwindling father population decimated during the war would mean they would take center stage as the engine that restores the breadwinner role in the family. Ellen promised "Papa new good paying jobs and would come home from work with his bags full with goodies to restore the long lost smiles of his children and family." Papa is still looking for job and many refused to return home because of the shame.
11 Christmases later and this possible misprint in the Frontpageafrica headline: "Jingle, Jingle, HARD CHRISTMAS" and the heart-wrenching stories by Liberians at a time of the year when people are to be jolly? Yet, there are those who don't feel the pain of the economically hard pressed Liberians; the top one percent in government who have enriched themselves with their New York City Wall Street-like salaries ranging from $100,000.00 to $400,000.00 in a failed state like Liberia. Christmas has been good to them since Ellen took office.
This also is the time that good Santa presidential candidates should show their juice and be visiting the forgotten slum residents in vote rich communities of West Point, Clara Town, New Kru Town, Soniwhen, Sinkor Old Road, Bassa Community, Logan Town in good Christmas spirits Ch politicking dropping off bags of rice, meat, chickens and cooking oil. May God continue to have mercy on the poor, war traumatized, poverty-stricken, disease-infected, hungry Liberians while the rich big shots eat steak and drink whisky this sad Christmas.
Jerry Wehtee Wion,
Journalist and Political Commentator
Washington, DC, USA