President Sirleaf Has Always Been An Advocate of Generational Change


The Editor,

I think that most of our brothers and sisters are just being emotional about the President’s call for a generational change. We’ve all been asking for a generational change until the President’s comments. In my view, it doesn’t mean that we should elect an inexperienced or a very young person at this time.

It could also mean that we should use this opportunity to empower more and more youth so that they can be able to receive the torch with the requisite experience and qualifications. 

For those who have followed this President, you might agree with me that she has been an advocate of generational change for a very long time and that’s the reason why a lot of young people got appointed as ministers, deputy ministers, assistant ministers, directors, deputy directors and etc., many youth also had the opportunities to study at some of the best and most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world than any time in our nation’s history.

Some of whom are even insulting the oldma for making the same statement that he believed in when she sent them out there to study. Under her youth empowerment program, President Sirleaf built community colleges throughout this country.

When did you become an opponent to generational change? If and only if we stop acting like reactionaries around here, we will understand that generational change it’s a process and the gap needs to be closed for any nation to advance.  We all can not dismiss the need to close the generational gap in this country. It’s a fact!!

Very soon these elections will come and go and a lot of young people with the passion, capability and capacity, will remain unemployed. The President is aware of some of those harsh challenges that our nation might continue to face even after her presidency. So, it’s not and shouldn’t be a taboo for her to begin talking about them.

That’s sheer patriotism.  Soon after the elections, when young people continue vying for leadership as the President rightly suggested ,  some of the very same youth who are lambasting President Sirleaf today will begin arguing that the old folks are eating up all of the positions that are supposed to be for the youth. That’s what the President is talking about.

It is egregiously foolhardy to conclude or suggest that the President’s statement on generational change, which could also mean youth empowerment in some cases, and particularly with the case of Liberia, was directed against the candidacy of Vice President Joseph Boakai.

Let’s look at those in the race and apply the legal age range of youth under our nation’s current youth policy to see if any of those “serious” candidates or major political parties are all that young to fit in the youth category. Once about 18 to 21 and you fall around 35-45 years, you are within the youth definition under our law. George Weah is 51, Benoni Urey is 60,  Alex Cummings is 61, Charles Brumskine is 66, and of course,  JNB will be turning 74 on November 30. 

Those are the candidates of the main political parties. Believe me, if there will be any winner of these elections, that person will come from one of the above listed candidates.

President Sirleaf’s statement was made in good faith. It’s time for generational change.  No one in his or her right mind would think that the President-elect would come from a different list other than what I have just listed even though some are very far from it.

The President’s statement was clear as she said, “we have young people that are vying for leadership, that have the capacity,   passion and capability”, don’t we have young people who have all these qualities? How do you understand the meaning of leadership? Does it only mean presidency?

Or are you reducing the meaning of the word “vying” only to running for presidency? It could also mean to strive for superiority, better employment or job.  There are many positions that young people could fill including legislative seats and etc.. 

You cannot argue that she was talking about Ambassador Weah because, not only that he has  failed the age test too, but he is very far away from some of the qualities the President named. He may have the passion, but he lacks the capacity and capability to become President. 

I have now come to realize that the poor connection between Madam Sirleaf and VP Boakai in these elections time has been unreasonably exemplified by some inexperienced, emotional, overzealous and marauding supporters of both leaders.

The call for generational change or youth empowerment, which is a process that never ends, as one generation, will have to hand over power to the other next to it. This doesn’t hurt any party or any candidate in these elections. To me what’s for everybody is for no one in particular and what concerns everyone, concerns, concerns no one in particular.

Therefore, I am asking everyone to chill out, be patient, God’s willing we will have a leader by or after October 10. God knows what we’ve been through and it’s my fervent prayer that He provides us a leader who will continue to build on the gains made so far.

Long live Mama Liberia.

Manyou MAS Bility, Milwauke, Wisconsin
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