7 December 2012

Liberia: Much to Be Mourned in Loss of a Political Cultural Phenomenon


On Wednesday afternoon, November 27, 2012 having had a full day restless meetings in faraway Europe land where I am attending a conference, I was browsing the online papers of Liberia and in FrontpageAfrica pages, I ran into University of Liberia intellectual with big vocabulary who graduated with highest honor, a popular legislator with tricky announcement and apologies. It's said that politics is an honorable profession and, indeed, it can be. For many contemporary politicians, it's also a lifelong one. Today's political landscape in Liberia is dominated by con artists who got into politics rather early in their lives - in university, as a first job or after a short time in another career (either in driving, cooking or others) - and are now embedded in evil politics. Part of the reason is the sheer fascination that politics holds for some people.

Speaking at the induction of the workers union at the Liberia Broadcasting System Tuesday, Representative Edwin Snowe mumbled, "People in this country lie, People live on lies; they will come to you and lie to you and the lies will be per the size of your pocket if you have deep pocket and give them more money they will lie more if you don't give them money they will not lie. Had we not listen to some of the lies maybe some of the press conferences we taught we had in the interest of the country we wouldn't have had them." It struck me, and still strikes me, and I wept over the sorry state of our country's direction. Some of what you are saying, or even mischievously conjure up, ends up being "100 per cent untrue" What a deception from a legislator!

I already feel nostalgic for the Edwin Snowe era in Monrovia politics. It's not mainly democracy I'll grieve for in our little country. Our system isn't all that democratic anyway. Money talks in elections, winners usually don't even get a majority.

But I love Edwin Snowe because God knows such people are all too rare here in Liberia. My admiration for him is for his appetite for greed and the sort of political DNA coded imperative that he is under to keep spinning around. I really do love him because he was genuinely interested in the oil Block 13, a sense of entitlement for which he went down in the gutter and on a reckless rampage/aggressive opposition to score hit the Sirleafs for his greedy "conflict of interest". The oil blocks are the economic engine that will drives our nation to prosperity maybe now or soon. But his sense of victimhood is unmatched. And his apology isn't winning him much sympathy.

Cry us a river, Edwin Snowe, but who wrote the book on chaos? Well, here we are. Last month, you allegedly recruited few loyal foot soldiers and secretly went to Accra, Ghana and there the alarmist statement/political scripts were prepared and for five days you were tutored to read (your incompetence should not be ignored-your brain is not razor-sharp and calculative). You even called Hot FM (107.9) from Accra that "we are coming up with something on Rob". Upon your returned, your storm emerged and you went to press and grudgingly poured forth your blasted and notorious statement that demanded that you, and only you, would dictate Block 13 that demonized the Sirleafs. We listened to the bashing and the outrage, Edwin Snowe. Tell me how those activities are not evil? Where are the lies that you were told? Hypocrisy, of course, abounds in the nation's capital, a legislator being guilty. But this week's hypocrisy moment may rank as one for the ages.

Some speculate he's apologizing in an attempt to heal the rift and build the damage relationship with the Sirleafs because the major controversy that he caused embarrassed his personal or professional life looms and he's getting out while the going's good. That may be true, but the continuing, if negative, ability to generate or attract publicity is why Snowne isn't going anywhere. My guess is that this hugely ambitious man though not academically smart is getting out repositioning his brand, and then swapping his backwater power base for influence in the big time.

If it were elementary school, a real one in the late 1970s not the University where you graduated with highest honor, the teacher would tell you to go stand in the corner. Welcome to Edwin Snowe's week!

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