Underscored how democracy is highly costly and cannot be easily earned by an individual or group of individuals in Liberia or anywhere for that matter, recent visit to the Republic of Ghana by United States President Barack Obama, the first on the African continent since becoming President of that very great country, may just have accentuated and justified the truism of most countries of Africa to now thread the path to economic development.
Although with very few still choosing the path to chaos and thus draining their economies and the lives of their peoples, economic recovery will obviously become the ultimate at the end of destruction, though this time with eyes of the National Security Council (UNSC) wide-open to institute punitive actions for wrong-doing.
Considered very timely and appropriate, therefore, amidst gradual transformation brought about as a result of some nations adopting to the democracy, underscoring of the propagation and sustenance of the concept by the American President as the medium through which people of the continent would be able to reshape the landscape in order to realize the healthy fruits thereof, with better health care becoming the engine, truly reflects the best prescription in recent time.
Directing the way forward in Accra, Ghana during the historic visit, President Obama, the first African-American leader of that great nation whose ascendancy remains unprecedented in the many decades, called for the strengthening of democratic institutions that would advocate consensus in decision–making, as opposed to tyrannical or despotic rule that has adversely affected most third world nations in recent decades, with the personal gain of nations’ wealth prioritized over the common good.
All-embracing as the historical food-for-thought for the African continent by President Obama stands, with some nations already struggling to make amends to methodologies in governance style that may not be in conformity with the will and aspirations of the people, it is only proper to admit that African countries that have undergone civil crisis for various internal reasons, although with international implications, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, Rwanda, the Congos, Sudan, etc., all of which are members of the African Union (AU), with those in the West becoming members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Mano River Union-Cavalla Basin (MRU), true lessons ought to be drawn from their catastrophic situations with hands on deck, in pursuing germane institutionalized approaches in order to be in line with the global order of good governance in the realization of healthy lives.
Imploring leaders of the African continent to take full charge of their destinies, with youths who must form an integral part in the forefront, it becomes an extreme challenge that whilst proponents of the democratic culture dictates that the masses are less committed to its rules than elites and more are likely to go outside these rules and engage in violence, resistance of the culture of impunity therefore becomes ideal in discouraging inordinate societal activities, using the rule of law and all of its attending attributes as yardstick.
On the home-front, a critical review of planned lessons being taught by the Unity Party leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, another pride of Africa whose resilience and magnanimity at national development through constructive engagement with leaders and institutions on the premise of interdependency, serves as a sample for others to borrow from in their case studies of the African situation.
Evolving from metamorphic changes largely attributed to undemocratic tendencies detected in past decades, with the coup d’etat of April 12, 1980 in which a democratically-elected President who was also a highly-religious leader, Rev. Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr., while serving as President of the Baptist World Alliance and the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention (LBMEC) and forcibly indoctrinating a population entrapped by high illiteracy, periods thereafter have since been characterized by fluctuation in socio-economic activities, notwithstanding the enormous resources that must be expeditiously utilized at the greatest advantage of the entire population.
Precedent being laid in such practice now surfacing in considerable number of countries on the African continent worth drawing practical lessons, needless indicating those of the developed world.
Difficult as it appears to be fully construed, perhaps as a result of the cultural way of life of peoples of the region, with Liberia been of no exception and as interpretatively underscored by President Obama that no amount of assistance provided by the United States would quickly transform the continent, unless with the full participation of its people through active involvement, the destiny of Liberia indeed lies strictly in the abilities of its citizens to first unite, resolve their petit differences in truth and not deception and as well see themselves as nothing more than mortal beings.
Quite symbolic of the belief and as appropriately prescribed in the study of democracy that its survival depends upon the commitment of elites to democratic ideals rather than upon broad support by the masses, it can be deduced that extreme tolerance exercised over the very short years by the leadership of President Sirleaf to the point that some individuals have now begun directly disrespecting constituted authority and abusing the atmosphere prevailing, simply to invite chaotic paths principally intended to dehumanize the citizenry, latest recommendations to government by the Truth and Reconciliations Commission (TRC) could just prove a God-sent to expose hidden agendas of individuals.
Far from preferences, whatever the utterances may have been in recent weeks by those who may feel offended by the recommendations made by the TRC now serves as sufficient clue to their adversarial tactics, with majority Liberians having since embraced the democratic way of life now gradually helping to improve their lives.
Imperatively considered "over and out," since pursuers of bad governance tendencies may still be clamoring for "power?" in the land, as if the nation was a personal property that no other person should govern, the democratically-elected President of Liberia, Madam Sirleaf, whether serving the last term or not, must be given an even hand to deliver whatever was promised to the population. Those desirous of contesting the highest post in the land could do so through the ballot box and no other means, as lessons have already taught Liberians.
Strengthening democracy, as urged by United States President Barack Obama, therefore, and as now practiced in civilized societies, Africa cannot continue to remain victim of circumstance out of slowness by some in understanding the global concept tending to create a free and safer world.
For now, however, the definitive lesson in having African countries strengthen democratic institutions as means to realizing their potentials, shying from tyranny and dictatorship, must be adhered to by governments truly seeking the welfare of their peoples, void of corruption, "cuts" in reaching agreements or employing cunning means to enriching oneself without least regard for the majority.