As the time on the clock alacritous positions on the clockwise direction in approach to the historic 2017 General and Presidential Elections of Liberia, the political atmosphere, as predicated by numerous indications, has started to metamorphosed gradually across the country.
There are glimpses of pseudo-politicians doing their habitual immoral habits of cajoling the masses (voters) to commercialize (sell) their votes to them come 2017 elections. The “sell your vote market” is about to be officially opened again.
Vote purchasers are now setting their budgets for the “Operation sell your votes”. They hold the inane belief that money can do everything.
They believe that occupying elective posts is done only through the instrumentality of money or business. They have not still realized that it is done by the people and that it is not done for/with money but by their choice – The people make their choice wholeheartedly and nationalistically without any financial interference, pressure and influence.
The people through the process of free and fair national elections choose (elect) who they want as their President, Vice President, Senators, and Representatives and so on. All power is vested in the people according to article one of our supreme law book called The Liberian Constitution.
If they (the people) don’t desire you in those elective public offices, it is advisable and worthy that you find something else to do – but not to demand and cajole them to selling their votes to you.
The practice of commercialization of votes has been customary in the Liberian society for a very long time. It is usually observed during campaign and election times. A profound research by electoral experts has concluded that an ”estimated 30-40℅ of voters sell their votes and the majority of whom are the youths.
It is very saddening and frustrating to realize that the youths who are crying for ”transformation” on a daily basis are the ones who are mostly involved in this anti-progressive act.
This unpatriotic, disloyal, immoral and unethical practice has been one of the prime factors to this wonderful nation’s backwardness and retrogression. It has ushered in the emergence of bad and inept leaders. It has led to the ascendency of draconian leaders to a significant number of public offices. It has put our ‘sweet land of liberty’ which is the oldest independent nation in Africa, into a state of retrogression.
It is a patriotic, nationalistic, constitutional and intellectually obligated duty on “all well-meaning citizens of this our common denominator” (Liberia) to advice, educate, inform and warn our people most especially the downtrodden and marginalized masses of some underlying dangers and negative effects or consequences which emanate from the commercialization (selling) of their votes. We have to do this with proper knowledge and wisdom in conformity with sincerity.
We have to let them (masses) know and understand that those politicians who buy their votes have no compassion for Mama Liberia. We have to come to the realization and analyzation without any pretentious assumption or conjectural supposition but rather through proper observation, which will lead us to the truthful conclusion that their missions, visions and intentions in connection with their ambitions as seen through their exhibited actions to this great nation are not any of the following below mentioned:
Showing to Mama Liberia, a heart of Compassion and affection; giving our children good education; doing farsighted representation; making sound legislation; bringing pipe-borne water and sanitation; good roads, schools, hospitals and estates construction and rehabilitations; tumbled down facilities’ renovation; scholarships creation; eradication or alleviation of rampant corruption; civil servants’ salary maximization; consideration of good suggestions, recommendations and propositions; proper management of National budgetary allocations; good projects innovation; Youth empowerment programs creation; jobs and opportunities creation; building of good institutions; economic vultures, bandits and corrupt officials’ prosecution and incarceration; eradication of destitution, malnutrition and prostitution; proper management of our natural resources through signing good agreements on concessions; bringing more transformations and the development – But rather the following mentioned below are their intents: Bringing division, retrogression, discrimination, corruption, and abomination to this wonderful and sweet nation.
Remember my fellow compatriots that by virtue of the Liberian constitution, your vote is not a privilege but a right. My people! Please don’t sell your votes. Selling your votes will not help but hinder Mama Liberia as a whole. Please vote people who are capable and having the potentials in moving Mama Liberia forward.
My people! Please know that those politicians who purchase your votes are all crooks and cronies. They are very insincere and ungrateful. They are only and solely wanting to become President, Vice President, Senators, and representatives for merely seeking their own personal aggrandizements/interests and enrichments. Only they, their families, relatives, and friends benefit.
They are your best of friends when purchasing or requesting your votes.
They are “down to earth” or appear very common and simplistic during those times. They make uncountable promises; deliver rhetorical, flowery and emotional speeches. They appear clean and plain even more than angels (flawless). They give hopes.
But ironically and unfortunately after they have acquired those offices, they position themselves on the “au contraire”(on the contrary) .They become arrogant, pompous, selfish, proud hearted. They never know you again. When driving their exorbitant (expensive) cars, they speak to you by wasting dirty water and flashing mud on you.
They become worse than those (their predecessors) whom they used to criticize. They automatically change to earless (deaf) creatures such as fictional “killer Bean” to your plights and grievances. They don’t seek anything that lies in your interest. There is no fulfilment of the promises made. They are only after enriching themselves. The plight of the downtrodden masses is taken for granted and therefore left to die in perpetual limbo.
But the trillion dollars question that we need ask ourselves is: Do We Blame Them? And the appropriate answer is No, No, No – We don’t have to. We have to blame ourselves for continuously selling our votes.
This disgusting nonsense can never occur if at all we decide not to sell our valuable votes to them for peanuts money. If we act smart and patriotic by wholeheartedly voting the sincerest, most competent and qualified person (candidate), such a regrettable situation would never come our way – but instead the story would be a very positive one.
It is often said: ‘You cannot have it both ways’. Either you choose to prostitute your votes for little peanut amounts such as $25/ $40/$50 and do an ephemeral (very short) enjoyment which may last for one day or two and then after that you suffer for 4 or 6 years and moreover face forever poverty, oppression and marginalization – Or you vigilantly (smartly) “open your eyes” and prohibit yourself from selling your votes – thus voting the right person…and when I say the right person – I mean the person who will bring transformation to Mama Liberia.
You have to bear in mind that “One rotten apple spoils the other fresh apples”. That is, if you forgo voting the right person and thereby prostituting your votes to the wrong person because of money or other valuables, be guilty that you are doing a grave injustice to other loyal and patriotic citizens who voted the right person.
As a patriotic and loyal citizen, you have to forgo your egocentric (selfish, self-centred) interests and put the country’s own first. Mama Liberia’s interest should and must at all times be your first priority. Her interests should and MUST be supreme and superior to yours at all times. Selling your votes really hurts Mama Liberia. It hampers, obstructs, and puts an obstacle to her gradual progression and transformation.
Fellow downtrodden masses and slum dwellers! You also have to bear in mind that those whom you prostitute your valuable votes to have absolutely nothing to worry on/about. They have all they need in life. They live the most luxurious life. They receive thousands on a daily, weekly and monthly basis at the detriment of you the downtrodden masses. They eat regularly.
They eat the best of foods during breakfasts, lunches, dinners, suppers and at any time of their choice(s). They ride the most exorbitant (expensive) cars especially the newest models. They wear the most brand new clothes.
Their children are acquiring quality education in the most renowned and sophisticated educational institutions in America, Europe and other parts of the diaspora. They travel frequently at the expense of poor tax payers’ money.
They enjoy all these amenities while the downtrodden masses continue to thirst and die of impoverishment.
In fact eating a mere meal per day is a nightmare for the downtrodden masses. The masses’ children’s education is rightfully described as ‘messy and disgusting’ while no effort(s) is being made done to transform it to ‘best’. You have to be wise now. Don’t sell your precious votes for peanut money! You have to wear on the garments of discipline, dignity, ethics and patriotism.
Open your eyes fellow altruistic compatriots! Don’t sell your votes to power greed and power-hungry elements. If you surely want the following in Mama Liberia(with progress and high sophistication) : agriculture, security, job opportunities, pipe-borne water and sanitation, electricity(not LEC because it means: Liberia Expecting Current), paved roads, good health sector, standardized educational system; transparency, credibility and accountability in governance, proper management of our natural resources, existence of a fair justice system; unity, equality, stability, peace, harmony and tranquillity; developments and progress, youth and women empowerment, good legislation, gender equity, better transportation system, commerce and industry, local and international investments, genuine democracy, eradication of all the following vices: rampant corruption, nepotism, favouritism, destitution, prostitution, discrimination, injustice, and all forms of societal ills in Mama Liberia – .then please don’t sell your votes but instead be wise and sincere by voting for the right, competent, qualified, and potential person in order for Mama Liberia to resurface progressively among the comity of nations.
My people! It is often stated and often quoted: “those who ignore historical mistakes are bound to repeat them”. Remember we now live in one of the most critical, cardinal, historic, and best times in our nation’s unique history which is also a turning point…therefore any decision(s) we make today(positive or negative), will last for eternity and we will be judged by our posterity or generations yet unborn.
The choice is yours to make. Even though the present generation of ours is being made to suffer as a consequence of ill-decisions taken by our predecessors and ancestors, we should not repeat this naive history to somersault or resurface on our children yet unborn. We must all join hands together to uplift our sweet land of Liberty. Don’t use your ballots for people who afterwards appreciate and compensate you with bullets. Instead use your ballots to bullet those fake and unworthy leaders. Please use your senses to the fullest my fellow well-meaning Liberians. Never allow yourself to be trucked from Montserrado to Nimba only to vote for someone there because he has bought your vote.
Never allow yourself to be trucked from Lofa to Grand Bassa only to vote for someone there because of money. Never vote people based on tribal or religious affiliations and sentiments. Please don’t commercialize your votes! Please don’t sell your votes! Please don’t prostitute your votes. Please vote for the right persons! Your sincere votes will make Mama Liberia a more glorious and sweeter land of Liberty by God’s command. Long live Mama Liberia. May the 2017 general and Presidential elections be conducted in a free, fair, non-fraudulent, transparent, and peaceful manner. And finally, I rest my case and hereby drop my pen.
About the Author:
Lassana V. Donzo is a Liberian student and former student of the Salafiya Grammar School located in Monrovia, Liberia. He currently studies on an international scholarship at the Uluslararası Mustafa Germirli Anadolu Imam Hatip Lisesi (Mustapha Germirli Anatolian Imam Khatip International High School) in Kayseri, Turkey. He is an emerging scholar, writer, young thinker and ideologue. Email: [email protected]