Ellen?s Second-Coming?. Can She Deliver ?

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On Monday, January 16, 2012, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf embarked on her journey for a second term, when she was inaugurated as President of the Republic of Liberia.

The occasion was not only graced by an array of foreign and local dignitaries, but was also characterized by pomp and pageantry nationwide by the citizenry.   

During her first six-year tenure which began in January 2006, President Sirleaf, amidst multiple mind-numbing challenges, successfully navigated the post-war Liberian ship of state towards the bastion of peace and tranquility, as well as socio-economic growth and development.

This is demonstrated by Madam Sirleaf’s overwhelming re-election by the Liberian people in the 2011 presidential election, from among more than a dozen other candidates who vied for the nation’s highest office.

Improvement of Liberia’s international image, leading to 100 % waiver of the country’s huge foreign debts; decentralization of development projects through the provision of County Development Funds (CDF); attraction of major foreign investments for job creation, and democratic governance were some of the laudable achievements made by President Sirleaf in her first six years in office.

However, as the Liberian Chief Executive assumes her second term of office, many citizens wonder whether or not she will sustain her legacy of achievements made in her first term, by placing more premium on protecting and upholding national interests in the execution of her duties, or dance according to the temptations of friends, relatives and other associates for their pecuniary gains, since President Johnson Sirleaf may not seek re-election after her current term of office.

Others wonder whether or not the recent achievement of the Liberian President, as one of the three winners of the 2011 prestigious Nobel Peace Prize, would undercut her determination, commitment and resolve to deal decisively with individuals and groups who deliberately violate the law of the country for political appeasement, and in protection of the President’s globally celebrated Nobel Peace records.

For us, we only wish to caution the Liberian Leader that, as she begins her second and last term, it is only prudent to ensure that those who, for personal aggrandizement (political or otherwise), elect to hold other citizens and/or the entire nation to ransom, must be made to desist from such acts through the framework of the law of the country.

 Indeed, the sanctity of the Liberian Constitution and other statutory provisions of the country must be respected at all times, no matter the status of individuals or groups who may come in conflict with the law of the state.

 Indeed, there should be no room for anyone to feel like being above the law of the country, and defy the government at will.

This also means that even those in public service (including high, middle and low level state officials) that choose, for pecuniary gains, to engage in acts of corruption including fraud, waste, and abuse of state resources and finances must not only be exposed, but made to uncompromisingly account for their deeds before the courts.

If such claims are legally proven through conviction, such convicts must face the consequences of their actions as clearly prescribed by statutes.

Our position lies in the fact that law, which is a system of rules and guidelines that govern people’s behaviors in any society, also serves as a social mediator for societal peace, stability and progress.

Moreover, government of inclusion, implementation of reconciliation, and creation of jobs are desirable and indispensable ingredients for national stability and development.

In short, President Sirleaf must continue to exemplify those positive attributes and courage that won her the nickname, “Iron-lady” and other local and international accolades by meeting the wishes and aspirations of the Liberian people, as she prepares to leave the nation’s leadership stage after the end of her current tenure, so as to bequeath unto the younger and future generations a truly positive legacy.