Dear Opposition Political Leaders:
I bring you patriotic greetings at a time when our nation is fast descending into an abyss of economic paralysis, creeping dictatorship, and mass looting of public resources.
The future seems scary and cloudy under footballing President George M. Weah as a result of massive leadership bankruptcy and increasing hardship. His vision is lacking. There is no concrete agenda â€“ no realistic strategy â€“ and unquenched greed to amass illicit wealth is the new normal under this ruling Coalition for Democratic Change clique.
The â€œChange for Hopeâ€ mantra is yet to offer any real hope firmly built upon those cherished democratic values of justice, equality, civil liberty, and prosperity for all.
Such failed slogan, especially under a domineering presidency, is a reflection of a promise betrayed. Liberians are left alone in a state of obscurity and extreme poverty after 16 months of participating in a historic democratic transition.
The choice made in 2017 has proven futile so far, with Liberians even more vulnerable, miserable, and hopeless.
Amid these harsh realities, there are two fundamental questions worth considering:
- Do Liberians still have hope? If yes, where can they turn for relief/reprieve?
- Can the 2019 Montserrado senatorial and representative by-elections offer any real hope or change for Liberians, especially ahead of 2020 and 2023?
Of course, all is not lost â€“ there is still hope far beyond prevailing odds. The republic can be rescued from this national tragedy or nightmare only if revered patriots begin to unite in words and deeds. This rescue mission must begin with these 2019 senatorial and representative elections in Montserrado â€“ the powerhouse of politics in Liberia. This year is a defining moment; in fact, it is a litmus test for 2020 and 2023.
As key opposition leaders in Liberia who command huge following and influence in our body politics, this is a call to action. The nation needs you most to rekindle a unifying spirit of solidarity during these challenging times especially in these impending 2019 senatorial and representative elections.
It is not enough to channel such deep sense of resilience, patriotism and urge for change through audio and video recordings. Though endorsed as senatorial and representative candidates by the Unity Party, the Liberty Party, the Alternative National Congress, and the All Liberian Party, it appears that candidates Abraham Darius Dillion and Telia Urey are left alone to woo voters and canvass for opposition victory in vote-rich Montserrado, which seems unfair.
In contrast, President Weah, the political leader of the CDC, is frantically campaigning almost everywhere for candidates Paulita Wie and Abu Kamara. How I hope Joseph Boakai, Charles Brumskine, Alexander Cummings, and Benoni Urey, as prominent figures of the opposition, could go all out to campaign for Darius Dillon and Telia Urey.
This could seal the deal and send a resounding caveat to President Weah and the CDC ahead of 2020 and 2023. Lest you forget that vote-rich Montserrado holds the key to the presidency, and any elected seat won in Montserrado is a plus or political boost.
These elections are about Weahâ€™s political coalition on one hand versus the four collaborating opposition parties on another. These elections are not about Darius Dillion and Telia Urey. Weah is taking these elections very personal, evident by his outburst against the opposition during his partyâ€™s campaign rally on June 22, 2019.
It was good that the collaborating opposition parties endorsed Dillion and Urey, but it would be far better to roll up your sleeves and begin to canvass for them in the trenches and hamlets.
A lot of your supporters who are eligible voters would be far more inspired to vote for the two candidates just by seeing you. Physical presence counts more than audio and video recordings in a process such as this.
If Weahâ€™s coalition wins, this is our worst-case scenario:
- The opposition would be rendered impotent and weak
- Weah would have his way and even break more laws and amass more wealth
- Weahâ€™s claim of having exclusive ownership of Montserrado would be proven
- It would validate Weahâ€™s claim that he is doing well
- It would place CDC in a better and stronger position for the 2020 senatorial elections and 2023 presidential elections.
If the collaborating opposition parties win:
- This will send a loud message against misrule and bad governance (especially corruption, dictatorship, and increasing hardship) under ex-soccer star George Weah and CDC
- It would solidify CDC as an unpopular ruling party after just 16 months
- Weahâ€™s popularity in his political stronghold would be diminished. This would further disprove Weahâ€™s claim of having absolute control of Montserrado
- It will strengthen opposition parties and solidarity forces to unite even more ahead of 2020 and 2023 elections in order to save Liberia
- The peopleâ€™s hope and aspiration for a new future would be reawakened through an alternative and opposition victory.
Boakai, Brumskine, Cummings, and Urey:
I admonish you as key opposition political leaders to consider the Montserrado factor as an indispensable political capital you could lean on to for future elections. With just five more days to these upcoming by-elections, I encourage all of you to leave your comfort zones and move across Montserrado to canvass for your candidates (Dillon and Urey).
Yet another opportunity has been made available for you to resist Weahâ€™s overly ambitious plan of consolidating excessive power ahead of 2023.
You have all it takes to win in 2023 as opposition collaborating parties. But such victory begins now in 2019 and beyond! Yes, you can defeat Weah and his Coalition of Desperate Crooks.
Featured photo by Zeze Ballah