Our justice system is designed to promote and to protect the fundamental freedom of individuals and of groups. When justice is delayed, we know it is denied; however, in the wake of strong leadership, justice once again holds a chance of being administered.
My fellow Liberians, Ghanaians, Americans and global citizens, I express to you today, the onset of the realization that we are on a path to breaking grounds; grounds for a group of citizens who have until now, been shadowed by the oppression of leaders who have abused the trust of its subjects. Those leaders are out. Though physically some may still be lingering, their voices, their ink power and their craft are no longer sewn within the fabric of our Liberian garment.
Liberia has always been a blessed nation, and today we are abundantly blessed. Over a century and a half of leaders who suppressed the majority either through tribal and manufactured eliteness, followed by hostile military takeover, civil war guerrilla leaders, and post-war desperation, we now have a distinctive democratically elected leader for and by our people--
His Excellency, Our Honorable President George Manneh Oppong Weah.
What do I mean by "democratically elected leader for and by our people":
He is Organic--From his upbringing through his school days, eating Mama "M-One" palm butter and fufu with his team mates in the same big bowl right after football juggling in the church yard, community involvement and empowerment in the refugee camps simply because it was the right thing to do and not because of Nobel Peace ambition.
He is young and wise, energetic, and he relates to every Liberian. Unlike leaders of the eras mentioned above, today we have an "integrated leader." Everything about him, most closely mimics all Liberians, which is more than any other time in our history. Most importantly is his sincerity that he has for the future and growth of our country. This is not a blanket statement. Again, let's look at the leadership he exemplified during the darkest hours of most Liberians, and his pureness in carrying this out when no one was watching, when no one was writing awards about him. He carried out leadership silently and touched the hearts of many Liberians who felt desolate while in the refugee camps. Again he did this and more, when no one was watching.
He is a trusted executor-- Reality shows that it is only now that our country has entered post-war recovery. Though we had 12 years, on paper of post war prior to his current term, we were pampered and glorified during those years. We had global bodies carrying out facets of security with sustained international financial and other resources in our country. This obviously contributed to economic growth, or at least sustainability. We had nearly a billion dollars of debt forgiveness. We had another billion dollars and more of grants and other monies that flowed into Liberia and under the direct administration of the previous government. We had different groups with internal interest running about to make a name for themselves by ditching out awards; awards often tied to monies and self-generated accolades. Illustration purposes only: This is akin to a woman's first pregnancy, after years of barrenness. Everyone became so excited and showered the mother and infant with gifts. Gifts and more gifts that could never be accounted for. Even trust funds being established for this baby; funds that eventually vanished. Worse, this all aided in the creation of a spoilt deflated brat. The mother failed to account for the fact that one day her time would expire and someone else would have to raise this child. This says it all. When you adopt or acquire a child who has not been disciplined and whose entire trust fund has been depleted by its birth mother, who all the gift givers now resists because of the mother's deceptive conduct, what do you expect the new parent to do? Also how quickly can that parent get the child on the right path? It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes "the entire village" to get this child back on track. So as we recognize that Liberia is only now entering the era of "real" post war recovery, each of us have a responsibility to govern ourselves well, and to support our government and our communities in rebuilding our country. Individually and collectively, challenge yourself with a "call to action." Spend some time in your Liberian neighborhoods helping the children with their homework. Forgo another designer handbag and bring back school supplies and sanitary napkins for our youth, just because it's the right thing to do. Most of us have too many purses, shirts and hair wigs as it stands. Let us give back. Working hand in hand with our communities will ensure the success of our trusted executor.
I thank our Honorable President Weah for creating an environment in our country where the three branches of government can function independently as our constitution reads and for the intestinal fortitude that he continues to exhibit in taking on this challenge of truly carving the structure to bring our country into post war success. I thank our President's Cabinet members who continue to give him support and guidance, led by Minister Nathanial McGill.
I thank my attorney, Counselor Arthur Johnson. I thank our entire Ministry of Justice Leadership team and the courts, led by Honorable Solicitor General Sayma Syrenius Cephus, and Minister Musa Dean. I thank Barrister Jacob Ifere of Abuja. I thank Counselor Varney Sherman. I thank all of you who have trusted me and prayed for me. I thank my uncle, Honorable Cyrus Cooper, who has been not just my family, but my friend and inspiration. I thank my friend, Nehemiah Garley, who exhibits courage beyond words. I thank my friend, Cecelia Hippe, for standing with me every step of the way. I thank my brother, Ophoree Diah, for his relentless support. I thank my brother, Mohammed Kamara, for his unwavering love. I thank my mothers, Lucretia Korto Turnquist and Josephine Arna Gibson, and my father Emmanuel Efome Kwame. I thank all my aunties and uncles and Aunty Rita, even in her death. I thank my brothers and sisters. I thank my children, Michelle and Michael. Lastly, I leave you with hope as "Hope in reality is the worst of all evil, because it prolongs the torments of Man."-- Friedrich Nietzsche
Recognizing today that only last year, did we begin the path of recovery from the war and from a century and a half plus, of inequalities suffered under manufactured elite regimes. With this, we can now separate "Past Fallen Hopes" from "Today's Hopes" for a prosperous and humane nation for all--Liberia.