The Capitol Building, from the moment of having for the first time visited there in December 1970, simply to obtain permission from a now a fallen Vice President thereat to take a vacation upcountry, something not peaceably granted on account of been brought to Monrovia to continue pursuing higher education, yet choosing to do so on my own volition out of radicalism, at least lessons have since come to be learnt therefrom over the decades as to the delicate roles of its honorable members.
Then composed of legal-minded individuals, whether having earned the legal education from recognized institutions or an alternative approach that obtained by through apprenticeship, many challenges have since had to unfold thereat over the decades, in spite the several transitional arrangements void of pre-requisites, with a unicameral coming to bear.
At some point in time nearly duplicating the functions of the Judiciary in which adjudication of matters strictly within the perimeters of law were found to have been handled by some of its members, rather than simply providing oversight and guidance to those who may have tried to duplicate its functions, the Legislature has begun taking its actual shape with members thereat becoming cautious of their roles by avoiding repetition of the past.
Draconian some past legislations may have been in the past, obtaining largely from existing environment, only to later be abrogated when conditions are normalized and reconcilable with the Liberian constitution, revisitation of processes through which legislations have evolved need not be recounted or cited, moreso with the democratic culture fast-recapturing lives of the population in which more accountable and transparent measures serve as transcripts.
Apparently guarded by backlashes that had obtained from the incongruent discharge of state responsibilities, howbeit in pari material or Ejusdem generis, intents that have been seemingly behind the heightening and new legislations since tenure of the 52nd Legislature ought to however be reconciled with the prevailing democratic environment as an affront to ensuring the perpetuity of the Liberian nation.
Unarguably been viewed in public circles that the current 53rd Legislature that has Grand Bassa County Senator Gbezohngar Findley as President Pro Tempore of the House of Senate, Bomi County Representative Hon. Alex Tyler as Speaker of the House of Representatives and Grand Bassa County Representative Hans Barchue as Deputy Speaker, whilst His Excellency Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai who is Vice President of the Republic of Liberia constitutionally maintains the position of President of the Liberian Senate is trying to out-do achievements of the 52nd by conducting revision of its activities is truly a myth and does not represent the fact.
A microscopic analysis of performances of the 53rd Legislature in the last five years would indeed provide pointers that whilst the Unity Party-led administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has, since its inception, continued to encourage unity in diversity on gradual basis, allowing the three branches of government to respectively effectuate their statutory obligations to the Liberian people without let or hindrance, peace, stability, reconciliation and socio-economic prosperity appear foremost on its agenda.
To therefore encourage the simplest thought by any sane and organized citizen in make-believing that the 53rd Legislature, in spite its composition that may not necessarily contain legal-minded in toto, yet versed on activities plaguing their various constituencies to co-relate both regulatory and statutory functions, thereby defeating the cause of interrogatories that most often than not preoccupy the time of the honorable members accentuates what is known in Latin as todi nihi cras tibi, something that may never bring about the goals to be achieved by the honorable body in the coming six or more years.
Void of simply and currently performing roles thereat out of tax-payers’ monies that must be justified as usual, with this columnist coming from the private sector where he has been over three decades, and in spite the democratic calling discouraging sectionalism and tribalism, a basis that has allowed him to have revisited the Capitol after over four decades, the transforming governance pictures now being created by the 53rd can only be hoped to remain on stable course void of manipulations and conspiracy theory.
With many bills fast-been introduced on both floors of the Legislature --- the Senate and House of Representatives --- landing many into committee rooms for synchronization to be placed in proper perspective, since many do not bear holding, reasoning or policy, yet becoming debatable to preoccupy the time of the honorable members, the current 53rd Session cannot become a forum for toying at the expense of the poverty-stricken who must rebuild their lives following many years of debacle.
Anatomical as bills introduced by members of the august body must become, in spite possibilities of been referred to committees, basic ingredients must be contained therein to satisfying prevailing conditions and as means to making work of the honorable body more flexible and not time-consuming, since there are targets to be met before their phasing out.
Whilst patriotic Liberians look forward to a more-improved performance of the 53rd Legislature, with the tackling of cardinal issues far from attacking the personality of those pursuing steps thereat, initialized as it has proven since the first sitting of the honorable body that has rendered the opposition and ruling parties quite indistinguishable in rendering invaluable services and becoming committed to transformation process of the Republic of Liberia once again, roles of the Judiciary at which the Minister of Justice, Cllr. Christina Tarr and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia, His Honor Cllr. Johnny N. Lewis have since been up to the task must be respected.
No wonder why the Judicial Institute, the Law Reform Commission (LRC) and Public Defender have all come to be put into place, with credit deserved by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Cllr. Philip A.Z. Banks, since functions of the three branches of government, intertwining they may be, cannot be allowed to provide any semblance of a dictatorial make-up within a democracy.
The first branch of government --- the Legislature --- should be viewed as a clearing house from which effective governance of the nation through legislations that have as by-products statutes and regulations.