Are Liberians Gullible Politically or Just ‘Stupay?’

Posted July 9, 2022

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

Liberian ‘political gurus’ are good at jumping on the bandwagon to defend the indefensible when their conveniently settled minds are already made up on their choice of presidential candidates.

They are unanimous in their views and will parrot whatever is out there that stirs their souls as they pretend to be legitimate when legitimacy and credibility seem to be a far cry from the grounds they walk.

The internet talk show hosts and their pals, the ‘political analysts’ and their views, and others can’t wait to share those views with just about anyone who will listen since it doesn’t cost a dime to lend an ear to the talking heads who want us to believe they are making sense.

But are these individuals making any sense at all?

To them, they are making sense, and of course, making sense is in the eyes of the beholder.

The lingering perception of Liberia as an unserious place to do anything, and a place of corrupt and unserious politicians and their handlers, is no laughing matter either because it affects policy and decision-making and every aspect of life in Liberia.

So, why would any serious political analyst think there will be free, fair, neutral, and independent elections in Liberia when the so-called National Elections Commission, as it has been in the past, is often commandeered by the sitting president and the ruling party?

Do you expect to get a fair result when the incumbent-sitting President of Liberia appoints the individuals who are entrusted to run the nation’s elections?

These election commissions are like an insurance policy for a sitting president, an incumbent president who wants to remain in power and will not hesitate to use his/her cunning and manipulative schemes to influence, control, and micromanage an election when the president, his/her partisans, friends, and family members are on the ballot.
This is why it is important to sound the alarm over and over and fight vigorously to change the entire setup of elections in Liberia through a mandatory referendum in the constitution to take powers away from a sitting president to not appoint members of the National Elections Commission.

Decentralize these elections, take them away from the corrupt hands of the President of Liberia, fund them and provide the resources, and put them into the hands of a civic body comprised of business leaders, the clergy, teachers, students, and other patriotic Liberians.

That’s because the history of Liberian election commissions is troubling.

The current National Elections Commission is a compromised institution void of any ounce of credibility.
Like SECOM and the other election commissions of the past, the National Elections Commission is beholden to the President of Liberia, making it an enemy of democracy.

Liberians are supposed to discuss the nation’s continuously rigged elections and find a way to get rid of the National Elections Commission, decentralize the elections, and get elections out of the hands of the nation’s president.
What’s so troubling, however, is their obsession with the CPP, the intra-party squabbles between the candidates and their supporters, Musa Hassan Bility, and politics in general.

These enlightened and supposedly relevant Liberian political analysts and their various candidates accepted this flawed arrangement, and for the sake of peace and to get along, and to protect their jobs and friendship with the president, jumped on board and allowed themselves to be used by President George Weah and his CDC party during this just-ended Lofa County Senatorial by-elections only to later complain about a ‘rigged’ election, which is too little, too late.
Propping up the clueless, incompetent, and clownish Buga-dancing George Manneh Weah to win reelection is not only unfortunate but also unpatriotic and selfish.

Also, the idea of pushing the nearly 80-year-old frail and sickly-looking Joseph Boikai to run for president, a man who couldn’t even win an election in his own backyard, is as sad as it gets.

If Mr. Boikai cannot win an election in his region, or if his influence couldn’t get his candidate to win an election, do you think he can win a national election?

Are these unrepentant partisans who continue to push these issues, their positions, their political parties, and their candidates because that candidate is from their backyard somewhere in Liberia, serious when they take the convenient road, at a time when the country is bleeding?

Institutions are broken and ineffective. Monrovia is a traffic, garbage, sewer, and drainage systems nightmare. No law and order, and there’s no effective law enforcement as Liberians are being killed by Liberians and others with no justice in sight.

Princess Cooper’s case, the killings of presidential sons, John Tubman and William R. Tolbert, III, and others have yet to be solved.

Motorists in Monrovia and its environs are reportedly stuck in traffic for 3-5 hours during rush hours with no plan to ease the congestion and no national traffic policy to build roads, and bridges, and expand existing ones.

The recent massive flooding of the historic Broad Street and other streets in Monrovia is a warning that something must be done by politicians to build more storm drains and fix the drainage problems.

Vactor trucks and pull-along trucks and other drainage-cleaning equipment are needed to ease the drainage problem.
Garbage trucks are needed and well-paid sewer and sanitation workers are needed to work throughout the day and night to keep Monrovia and the various cities functioning, safe and clean.

But these Liberians are busy worshiping their President Weah and defending him because he’s one of their own. And the presidential candidates are too weak and not vigorous and forceful enough to state the reasons they want to replace George Weah.

Are Liberians just too gullible politically or ‘stupay?’

The widely shared enthusiasm and usage of the made-up word ‘stupay,’ a corrupt version of the word ‘stupid,’ is a reflection of the troubled times Liberians find themselves in as a restless bunch of individuals dwell on pseudo-intellectualism, cronyism, and a hustle climate in this age of (Liberian) politics to make themselves relevant.
Pretending to be relevant at a time of national discontent, total chaos, and national paralysis is not only flawed and misleading, it is like replacing a poor and disheveled individual with another poor and disheveled individual whose only means of grasping for hope are from the mouths of those pretending to be relevant.

When these (political) sides are already chosen by these ‘relevant’ individuals and truths are thrown out the windows to survive Liberia’s tough economic climate just to seek and protect a government job, pad one’s bank account, and protect an ethnic interest, it beclouds judgment and undermines any thoughtful-credible political analysis that gives hope for any change on the horizon.

Liberia’s burgeoning national problems cannot be solved by shelving them under the rug to play nice or to secure a presidential preferment that is doubtful, anyway, because of corruption and the unqualified background of the individual.
A politically gullible and selfish climate will not do it.

What’s wrong with Liberians?
You tell me!!


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