Liberia: Build Lives Not Sell Lives

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Some people are celebrating the Selling of Lives, as in the Slave Trade, not realizing that only Our Creator gives Lives and only Our Creator takes Lives without selling or buying Lives. There is a meaningful Liberian expression: if your house does not sell you, the street will not buy you. Millions of Africans were bought as slaves from Africa by slave buyers from America because there were slave sellers in Africa.

Some of the slaves who were bought from Africa returned to Africa as freed slaves because of several reasons: 1) the cotton gin was invented and placed into operation, reducing the number of slaves needed to work on the cotton plantations, and 2) some slaves resisted being enslaved, as seen in the United States of America (USA) and Haiti  and so they fought slavery, especially through the Underground Railroad  Movement led by Ma Harriet Tubman in the USA and the Revolution led by Pa Toussaint Louverture in Haiti.

Most unfortunately, some freed slaves returned to Africa 200 years ago and behaved just like their slave masters by treating indigenous Africans like slaves. Some indigenous Africans were sold as slaves to Portuguese slave buyers in Fernando Po in the 1920s,100 years after their return to Africa. As there were greedy Africans prepared to sell land, the representatives of the freed slaves bought land from them, although they were not the owners of the land. Remember that there were greedy Africans who sold lives when they had no right to sell any life. Let us recall how the Boers also took land from the indigenous people who were the landowners in South Africa just as greedy freed slaves bought land from greedy Africans who had no right to sell the African people’s land.

Now, 200 years after the freed slaves returned to Africa, some people are engaged in celebration while nearly all Africans continue to experience suffering from longstanging and widespread poverty that has now become the pretext for violence, including coup d’etat and civil war. In the midst of this violence-oriented suffering, some freed saves have become State managers within the powers that be mold, promoting the production of raw materials for export without any prioritization of Value Addition. Therefore, the main problem is not between Americo-Africans and Indigenous Africans but between Good Africans and Bad Africans. The Veteran Human Rights Activist Albert Porte, an Americo-African was a Good African but the African leaders who sold indigenous people as slaves to the Portuguese in the 1920s were Bad Africans. Chief Buthelezi of South Africa, an indigenous African who supported apartheid was a Bad African but Madiba Mandela, an Indigenous African and Leader of the Liberation Movement in South Africa, was a Good African. 

In correcting the main problem, Madiba Mandela showed that good leadership can be the Way Forward For The Better because apartheid tried to break his resolve unsuccessfully over 27 years by putting him in the Roeben Island Prison and made him to break rocks. On Madiba Madela’s 90th Birth Anniversary, I wrote and presented to him in Soweto, South Africa, a Statement with a Message stating that although apartheid tried to break the Back of Madiba Mandela, it was the Back of Madiba Mandela that broke the back of Apartheid (See The Mandela Foundation; see also my website: www.togbanahtipoteh.com). Amandla!

This Message should help us to realize that as Liberia turns 175 years on July 26. 2022, we must celebrate the opportunity that Our Creator has yet once again given us to correct the mistake of poverty generation and move into poverty alleviation through the prioritization of Value Addition. Essentially, it is Value Addition that gets Liberia into the education and health transformation to know ourselves to be able to solve the problems of Liberia. It is impossible to solve your problem when you do not know yourself!!! Legislators do not know Liberia and this is why they continue to have access to at least USD1,000 a day and their foreign partners, in the commercial sector alone, have access to at least USD2 million a day while nearly all Liberians remain poor with access to at most less than USD2 a day (Annual Reports of CBL, LISGIS, MFDP, MCI, WB, IMF and UNDP). This is why most (80 percent) Liberians conclude that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction (Afrobarometer, 2020). 

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