Many brothers have been concerned about why Moses Uneh Yahmia, a student of Political Science, who is actively involved in understanding the political dynamics of this space we occupy, is not a passionate and avowed member of any of the established political parties in Liberia’s political theater.
Some who are already members of the ruling party and some who are members of other opposition political parties have cautioned me about the danger of neutrality in this theater, and have stressed how dangerous it would be for my political growth if I continue to sit on the fence and allow other brothers, some in their subconscious state to provide political directions for the masses of our people.
They all have advised that I take a side in this political synagogue especially as we move towards the critical October, 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections. These are ones that take seriously our democracy only during time of electoral processes.
After elections, they abandon the people in the ribbed off parties’ T-shirts languishing in despair. The preceding two sentences are not reasons why we take up the pen. Let’s get back to our principal objective. Some will come with their flattering rhetoric “Comrade, you have great potentials that the party needs, the urgency for you to come over cannot be overemphasized” in an attempt to have me sign into partisanship.
Little did they know that we have learned from Dr. H. Boima Fahbulleh, Jr. that “Historical verdicts are never given based on neutrality, one must always take a side” It is against this backdrop that we will elect to take a side in this arena.
But this side will not be the side of the ruling political status quo. It will not be the side of any of the opposition political parties. We will choose the side of the people. In this concise write-out, I want to have the public informed about two germane reasons for which we have chosen to be non-partisan of any political party in the Liberia’s political cinema.
Firstly, I cannot join the Unity Party, the ruling party or the trailblazer of the Liberian political theater. This is because; this party through its presiding over of the Liberian state for the past decade has proven to be a right-wing conservative agent of an anti-people socio-economic system. I am referring to a system that says property including the main factors of production (Land, labor and capital) should be privately owned and that the economy should be market driven.
Thus, property is only in the hands of the rich minority while the majority poor are deprived. The market economy, because of its extreme profit motive only provides social needs for those who have money. Those without money are left in the pool of poverty, disease and ignorance to fetch for themselves.
This system has mandated its conservative agents to mortgage state assets to private corporations through concessional agreements, mineral development agreements, forest management agreement and etc.
This is why a company like Firestone Liberia will acquire many hectares of our land but cannot produce a good that will meet the social needs of ordinary Liberians. But rather it produces synthetic rubber that is exported to now-developed countries at an internationally influenced price.
Such rubber is processed into other finished goods and imported to Liberia at an inflicted price. This is the same condition with Arcelor Mittal that was given a Mountain in Nimba to exploit our Iron ore. It is the same with palm oil giants Same Derby, GVL, Bong Mines successor China Union and every other private corporation that have acquired state assets by mandate of this acutely exploitative socio-economic system.
The state in return only receives from those corporations little taxes and rents that are unable to provide the necessary social services like health, education, security, infrastructure and etc. to the masses of Liberians.
The little taxes and rents are only distributed among the agents, co-agents and sub-co agents of this system through the state’s almost 85% recurrent expenditure budget. The little that is allocated to public investment is often siphoned by these same right-wing agents of the system.
Agents of this system plundering of funds meant to build the Bong County Community College manifests the system’s cruelty. The mysterious bankruptcy of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is a case in point.
The recent report of the disappearing of funds from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is also another. The signing into law of sixty-six concession agreements at the disadvantage of majority of Liberians according to the London-based accounting firm Moore Stephens also shows the barbarity of this system.
Frustratingly, nothing is done to bring the pillagers to justice. For it is the chief agent of the system that maneuvers cunningly to appoint family members and cronies into government for the sole purpose of protecting the selfish interest of this system.
We all saw the role played by Robert A. Sirleaf, the son of our president at the National Oil Company. It is the chief agent who sends anti-people contracts, concession agreements, and mineral development agreements to the other agents in the National Legislature and they are swiftly passed subject to huge bribery.
The hurried and enigmatic passage of Petroleum Sharing Contracts between the government and international oil companies is enough for substantiation. So while the people are victims of unavoidable poverty and deprivation, the right-wing conservative agents of the system and owners of the system swim in the cesspool of extreme wealth.
Secondly, I cannot join any of the opposition political parties that stand as alternatives to the status quo (Unity Party). This is because the opposition block in the Liberian political theater has not proven to be a real resistance to the acutely exploitative socio-economic system.
They join the ruling party to run with the parallel right-wing conservative agenda: bidding for a system that has time without numbers distributed poverty, disease and ignorance on the masses of Liberians. Therefore, they represent nothing but a group of people aspiring to replace the agents of this anti-people system and not the system itself.
We hear little about their alternative to the status quo’s economic methods and theories. We hear little about their standard bearers’ history of service and agenda for socio-economic transformation. We hear nothing about a pro-people platform on health, education, infrastructure, and etc.
We only hear them on the radio; we read about them in the papers; we watch them in the various communities preaching populist messages that highlight corruption, nepotism, cronyism, messy education, deplorable health care delivery system, poor infrastructure, Ellen and Joe’s failure and etc.
They tell us that Ma Ellen and Pa Joe are the reasons for our backward objective condition. And that if the Unity Party is democratically replaced with their respective parties, this space we occupy will be a heaven on earth.
The gullible public gets mesmerized as usual. You cannot blame them. In their poverty and ignorance, they are the persistently victimized genre of our society. Therefore they are eager for a people’s redemption. And so anyone who comes as a messiah will be hailed and decorated by them. But for us who have spent some time understanding our environment, we fathom that the opposition stands not as a real alternative to this system that is keeping our people in ruins and rags.
The opposition is enthusiastic only about also enjoying the rights and privileges of serving as right-wing conservative agents of a system. Therefore, aiding and abetting the giving of political power to these elements veiled as opposition will change nothing.
I rather elect to form part of a process that will lead to the establishment a people’s movement that will champion the cause of overthrowing democratically this evil system and its associates and ensure the economic emancipation of our people. Such side will be the side of the people.
Moses Uneh Yahmia,
A senior student of Political Science and Economics at the University of Liberia