Campaign in Calm: Peace Must Overcome Violence, Not Vice Versa


The Editor,

Elections are not taken so seriously until campaigns commence. Campaign allows candidates to expatiate their messages, make public their plans and market their platforms.

It is the conduit via which people seeking offices may seek to show and otherwise make a vaunted boast of how they and their parties are cash-filled and expensive-prepared to reap votes.

So too will the case be beginning July 31, the day many have anxiously anticipated. Liberia, very poor, will witness the display of logistics never seen during the last few years prior to this election, on October 10.

In fact, money will be used and misused as though gaining it was never a problem, never difficult and never required hard work. “

“If one were to be dramatic about it, one may say, the campaign will gain admission into the “university of excess cash-usage”.

There may be somewhat a “carbon cycle” of cash in the economy, which could lead to “voodoo economy”, especially when such cash flow is not buoyed and backed by adequate goods and desired services.

It has been demonstrated by the glaring writings of history that political campaigns in Liberia have always been dipped and bludgeoned by incidents of force or violence.

In 2011, there was violence and a young man of the then Congress for Democratic Change (now Coalition for Democratic Change) died.

In 2014 during the Senatorial Election, there was a clash between supporters of Robert Sirleaf and George Weah.

If one takes a historical journey to our first General and Presidential Election held on October 5, 1847, one will also discover that there was a combat between supporters of Joseph Jenkins Roberts and those of Samuel Benedict.

Political campaigns in Liberia’s past have always been marred by violence, most if not, all.

Campaigns and elections have played vital roles in Liberia’s thorny past. It is not lost on us therefore that ours is a mandate to meet force with nonviolence; peace must overcome violence.

We must not allow the politics of tribe and origin, of regionalism and sectarianism to divide us.

The words we spew are as well significant: they have the potential to instill chaos.

We must be mindful that ours is a peace that is fragile, and any attempt by anyone or group to thread the path of violence, our gains as one people and nation maybe once again lost to the roaring hands and soaring forces of misery and destruction. As your candidates make the fanciful promises including among other things that they will convert salt to sugar, they must commit themselves to a campaign, swollen in sustainable peace.

Remember, “An eye for an eye” only meets the word “blind”.

Campaign in Calm!

Abraham M. Keita,
[email protected]