WHENEVER you look at the Liberian polity and the developments therein, you always come to the sad and painful conclusion that our politicians are taking all of us for a ride.
IN A COUNTRY of over five million people, a few individuals, who are privileged to find themselves at the center of politics, are arrogantly playing God. They ride roughshod over Liberians. They decide what they like.
THEY TAKE WHAT THEY WANT. They have entrenched themselves in the system, sitting tight and daring everybody to do their worse.
AHEAD OF THE 2023 legislative and presidential elections, there are reportedly over 10, 000 aspirants who have declared their ambitions to seek elections in Liberia.
THESE PEOPLE see themselves as either the next lawmakers or the President of Liberia. Most of them are not only wishing but also telling Liberians so.
THEY ARE SAYING their aspirations are divine and are anointed by God to be either the next representative or president. Whatever they are claiming, they are doing so with so much seriousness.
THESE ASPIRANTS are everywhere in the nooks and crannies of the country, in the name of consultation. They are dominating the media space. Most of them have abandoned their current duties, endeavors and responsibilities and embarked on what seems to be obviously mission impossible.
AT THE RECENT convention of the opposition Unity Party in Gbarnga, Bong County, the truth, to the effect that among the aspirants were the serious, the pretenders and the jesters, came out.
FOR MOST OF THE ASPIRANTS, the whole exercise was a circus. They blew million of Liberian dollars knowing that they did not stand a chance and should not have ventured into the convention.
MOST OF THEM entered the race and perfected a plan to grandstand by stepping down for the media hype of it.
TO PROVE that these politicians want to not only have their cakes and eat them but also are taking Liberians for a ride, a few days after the end of their legislative aspiration charade, some of these aspirants have sold out to people they deemed as potential winners.
IN BONG COUNTY, it’s sad to say that some of those who have declared their ambitions to contest for elective positions don’t even have a dwelling place and lack the requisite academic credentials to qualify them to become lawmakers.
THE SAME can be said about those in Lofa, Nimba, Margibi and other counties.
IF POLITICIANS would delude themselves, go on a roller coaster ride, embark on what they know may be a wild goose chase and finally come back to do what they ought to have done in the first place, it simply means that they are taking Liberians for a ride.
THESE PEOPLE exploit, make nonsense of and foul the system to have their way. If a failed senatorial aspirant would quickly switch to vie for a representative seat there is something absolutely wrong with our electoral system.
THIS IS WHAT we would call “try-your-luck politics.” It is funny, vexatious and rankles. Politicians are just playing chess with Liberian democracy, with the system and the people as pawns.
ACROSS THE NATION, some incumbent lawmakers hijack the political developments and happenings in their counties. Using the instrumentality of their office, they manipulate the system and muscle out those who have dissenting voices.
MORE THAN 15 decades of democracy is long enough period for this system of government to not only take root but also begin to work for the country.
PEOPLE SHOULD be convinced about the position they want to vie for, taking into consideration their strengths and weaknesses. Where they vie for a position and fail to get election tickets or win elections, they should move on.
EVERYONE can’t be a lawmaker in Liberia. The system should not allow this.
POLITICAL PARTIES are supposed to be the bedrock of democracy. They should, therefore, do things that would strengthen democracy as well as make the country be taken seriously in the comity of nations.
POLITICAL PARTIES should stop encouraging politicians to do whatever they like. Political parties should know that they hold the yam and the knife and whosoever they give a slice would have a share.
THEREFORE, they should insist on the rule, giving no room for members or stakeholders to call the shots for them, when the reverse should be the case.
THE ELECTORATE should know that they are the basis and anchor for democracy. Democracy is defined as “government of the people, for the people and by the people.” The people should be the fulcrum of democracy, playing a prominent role in elections.
AHEAD OF NEXT year’s elections, voters should take their destiny in their hands. They should go out to vote.
THEY SHOULD ensure that their votes are counted, recorded and count. They should begin to take a leading role in democracy, to ensure that it is their will, expressed with their votes, that is done in elections.
THEY SHOULD do the needful to ensure that democracy becomes truly “government by the people” in the country.