Today, the In Profile Daily Newspaper introduces a new column that will appear on each Friday, designed to critically allow views of unheard voices that significantly contributes to the socio-economic and political growth of the Liberian society.
Whilst efforts in recent months by the Senior Editorial Advisor of the newspaper, Mr. Sam Van Kesselly, Sr. had seriously attempted introducing another column that would have been called “Street Talks,” but became inopportune to do so as a direct result of serious professional engagements contributive to the growth of the institution, at least as friend of the media for many years, success can now be assured of following the footsteps of the veteran journalist by venturing into improving skills intended for the good of society.
Thus, with an imperative to introducing readers of this newly-introduced column that is expected to watch the massive participation of “silent voices,” important as their inputs continue to prove in the good governance process of the Liberian nation, of course with not only the good but bad things as well to be featured, considering the latter to be the only way through which the public can become adequately sensitized to exhibiting good conduct meant for the sustenance of our newly-found democracy, one does not necessarily have to tighten seat belts but to enliven the column by their participation as guaranteed by the Liberian constitution and other sub-regional, regional and international instruments seeking to protect freedom of the press in which speech, and expression are integral part.
Already described by some members of the public during a survey of how “The Undercurrent” would be received by readers as a “surflay-surflay,” apparently referring to an tiny animal in the forest that is feared by lions, leopards and even elephants, since when it grabs any at anytime, it does not leave their flesh, no matter how it is bitten by the larger animals, most of which end up been easily killed by hunters or face death on their own out of serious molestation by the tiny “surflay-surflay,” it is just far from telling short stories that the late Professor Wilton K. Sankawulo helped students throughout the country to learn and become educated.
No doubt, since establishment of the print medium in Liberia during the early 19th Century, it is only those who have been prepared to read and fully understand their contents that have been able to remain supportive of the selfless and sacrificial duties of men and women to the international calling.
Said in Liberia that the fastest mode in mass communications in Liberia has been “EL-They Say,” generating the odd practice from what may have appeared to have been the prolong inaccessibility to the media by the “common man,” though they have a saying in the steering of ship of the state, without which they usually experience the greatest adverse impacts.
In more recent decades, however, and with proprietors of media institutions having since been poised to creating a significant difference by shifting from news-gathering and other processes only from the top, simply to please the governed even at their detriment, as proven in past decades with devastating consequences, the three-prone approach in which the governors must now inform the governed and vice versa, as well as the governed equally informing the governed truly accentuates the democratic calling as effective measures for progress in society.
As a debut, however, The Undercurrent will just use as example the recent National Visioning forum held by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf with the counties of Lofa, River Cess, Grand Bassa and Bong in Gbarnga City at which tribalism must be discouraged amongst the citizenry as means to attaining national reconciliation, socio-economic growth and development.
Apparently viewed by some elements in society as imposing civilization upon a people who can do absolutely nothing for themselves without the very wise prescription provided by the Liberian leader, something fought against by some past leaders but became grossly misunderstood and cleverly branded as trying to create what, in essence, had not truly been the case of a “Congo-Countryman” syndrome but destructive politicking with no gainful returns, leaving consequences still being told by citizens throughout the country, one requires sobriety in fully understanding why now should the clarion call be resounded.
With the latest coming at a time that most dialects spoken by people within the 15 political sub-divisions are now written, though tumbling with which of the dialects should be considered national language, such cannot be allowed in officialdom, meaning that where official functions are held should be void of dialects-speaking but English, at least to prove one of been on the way to civilization, since to be educated is one thing but to become civilized is another very hard school of education.
Granted the easiest mode of communication particularly among our traditional people is the use of the “native language” that they understand best, such can only be done in colony where bulk of those at occasions understand it. But to have others who do not understand it been left with what appears “dirty ears” would always point to subversive act, especially those with clean hands and hearts as divine nature.
The Undercurrent of such behaviors becoming truly promotional of divisiveness, who then would be trusted in society to be pursuing the true path of good neighborliness, especially when bent at cheating on account of others not knowing what is being spoken but must be subjected to the segregative act, howbeit its creation by God and spread among mankind but with specific purpose not injurious to the same species.
Officially declared that there are 16 tribes in Liberia, many of which, when seriously traced, descended from other countries within the African region and not necessarily Liberia, will one be communicating with others not of their kin out of the indulgence into dialectal approaches? Perhaps the Liberian government will now, in the democratic dispensation, have to think about establishing a Ministry of Dialects, since the statutory role of the Ministry of Internal Affairs that must bring all into the body politic is not solely charged with providing free education thereat, other than the Ministry of Education.
Halting thus far on what the newly-introduced column seeks to achieve and with today, February 24 been the first of two days retreat by the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), co-sponsored by IREX and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), intended to evaluate media performances in the recently-conducted Presidential and Legislative elections, the exercise accumulates to what is truly being sought by this columnist, as proven by the Union’s desire to pursue a more professional path seeking to elevate the standard in practices of the profession in the country.
No hurt at all but it is time that the ordinary views are heard on matters that affect their lives, as opposed to only hearing from our governors.
Slipway, West Point, Logan Town, Buzzi Quarters, Jorkphen Town, Plumkor, S.K. Doe Community, the historic Camp Johnson Road community, Kpelle Town and the suffering majority who may now seemingly be exposed to community radio stations but still hindered by … well, you know it all, must be empowered through adequate sensitization in becoming more participatory than exclusionary in the effective governance of the Liberian nation.
The too many lies and mere perceptions by individuals and institutions must stop as means to constructively rebuilding the Liberian nation, since some institutions created in the past and paid out of tax payers’ monies should now be considered demolished, at the extreme delight of the democratic population.