Liberia: Rule of Law, Not Rule of Outlaw


The January 28, 2022 Induction Ceremony of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) has motivated me to write this Commentary: Rule of Law Not Rule of Outlaw. With the overamericanization of Liberia, it is most important to focus on why the Rule of Outlaw prevails when the Constitution of Liberia calls for the Rule of Law to prevail. While the Constitution of the United States of America (USA) calls for the Rule of Law to prevail, we observe the prevalence of racism in the USA and the January 6, 2021 attempted coup d’etat in the Seige of the Capitol in Washington, District of Columbia, the Capital City of the USA. Such prevalence is convincing evidence that the powers that be have interest in sustaining a system of white racism that backed the Siege of the Capitol by supporters of the immediate past President of the USA, Mr. Donald Trump. The struggle against this racism resulted in the election of the current USA regime of President Joseph Biden.

Despite the change in regime, the change is not fundamental because the same system, selective justice, prevails. This absence of fundamental change is what Chief Imam Ali Krayee referred to in his religious Message at the LNBA Induction Ceremony. In effect, the Chief Imam indicated correctly that selective justice means no justice because if one person were to be deprived of justice, then all persons would be deprived of justice. The Rule of Outlaw rather than the Rule of Law continues to prevail in the USA just as in Liberia. The source of this problem is the actions of the powers that be that promote the production of raw materials for export with no prioritization of Value Addition.

The transformation to the Rule of Law remains most important in Liberia because the Rule of Outlaw has resulted in poverty generation, where there is no Justice for the Poor, instead of poverty alleviation, where there would be Justice for All. In the promotion of its Mandate, the promotion of the Rule of Law, the LNBA remains central to problem identification and problem solution in Liberia. But the longstanding and widespread problem of poverty continues to prevail through the State management and promotion of the production of raw materials for export with no prioritization of Value Addition. If Value Addition were to be prioritized, the result would be poverty alleviation instead of the prevailing poverty generation. Under the Rule of Outlaw, the absence of Democracy prevails because the People of Liberia want one thing but the powers that be want something else. The People of Liberia say: We Want Peace! No More War! But the powers that be allow Corruption and Poverty to go on and on like business as usual. Worst of all, poverty has become the pretext for violence, as seen in the coup d’etat and Civil War in Liberia that took the lives of 300,000 people, ten percent of the population of Liberia at the time, damaged billions of dollars of infrastructure and left unrecovered to the pre-war level the Liberian economy.

Legislators who should be representing the voters of Liberia 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 of the people of Liberia have access to at most less than USD2 million a day (Annual Reports of CBL, MFDP, MCI, LISGIS, ADB, WB, IMF and UNDP). Two thirds of the children of Liberia who should be in school are not in school (UNICEF, 2019; UNDP, 2020). Suffering under the prevailng societal living conditions, eighty percent of the people of Liberia have concluded that Liberia is heading in the wrong direction (Afrobaromedia, 2020).

In the midst of the overamericanization of Liberia, when children and others go to school, they do not learn about Liberia. Therefore, they can not solve the problems of Liberia. Common sense tells us that when you do not know yourself, you can not solve your problems. So, Liberia continues to be headed in the wrong direction, as praise singers continue to hurt Liberia with their sychophantic chants.

In his Message, the Outgoing President of LNBA, Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe, exhibited leadership by example when he demonstrated to the Guest Speaker, Head of the European Delegation, the Induction Officer, Ambassador of the United States of America (USA) and the general audience, through his Turnover Notes, that some Liberians know and practise the right thing to do, but they are not the powers that be. Note the evidence on the knowledge and practice of anti-corruption measures when the Outgoing President presented publicly known evidence about financial management during his tenure of service as President of LNBA. Let us recall that the Outgoing President, in his personal capacity, served as Legal Counsel in the pathbreaking Case of Tipoteh versus Korkoya at the Supreme Court of Liberia (SCL). The Case showed that Korkoya was serving as Chairperson of the National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia in violation of the Constitution of Liberia because he is not a Liberian citizen. Mr. Korkoya is a citizen of the USA. In effect, the Case is bent on raising awareness through the Rule of Law to transform NEC from an UNFAIR entity to a FAIR one. Such transformation is the only way to get persons with good records, helping the poor to help themselves sustainably, elected to public positions. Only elected persons with good records have the Will to take actions to move Liberia from the state of poverty generation to the state of poverty alleviation. Up to now, after two years, the SCL says that it is not prepared to give a ruling on the Case. Not a single national leader, religious, political, business or government has given support to the Case.

Much of what is being said here is repetitive because the problem of poverty generation continues, making it necessary for the raising of awareness to continue stronger and better to get Liberians more motivated to work together through the Rule of Law to generate Justice for All to prevail, the only ingredient for sustainable Peace and Progress.