Re-Foundationalized Liberia to Affirm Statehood

and developed from the onset. Liberia’s unique intent was not statehood, however reasonably a brief outpost that had no solidifying ambition! How can a nation be constructed on such basis?  The continued try to construct one thing everlasting on provisional footings wastes very important assets and causes a type of torpidity we might by no means get from beneath.


Report by Ansu Opa Dualu, [email protected], Contributing Author


Nation-building should have a purposeful intent; it should search to be generational with a stage of inclusivity that ensures nationwide success. Liberia failed to begin with a focused goal.

The target to construct establishments, inclusive society, and a nationwide construction that takes under consideration the aspirations of future generations have to be constitutionally assured, enforced and grounded in insurance policies which can be calculated and account for the continued financial and political stability of the entire nation. Therefore, the guiding rules that promote that nationwide framework have to be forward-looking, and enshrined in them ideas that foster the whole elevation of the nation and the happiness of all!

This new basis should have a type of collective bolstered metal backbone – one thing that was missing to start with – that equally helps each faction that has a stake; making certain equal entry to nationwide wealth, a judicial system the views justice because the glue that makes statehood potential; ample illustration of all its peoples, coupled with a unifying nationwide agenda the seeks to raise our collective nationwide aspirations.   Re-foundationalizing additionally includes awakening the understanding of our Liberian Id – by no means permitting outsiders to regulate or outline who we’re and altering on our personal phrases when it advantages us.  We should all the time keep true to our reestablished unique beliefs: justice, brotherhood, equitability and the upkeep of Liberia’s Cultures and Traditions – the Liberian Method! Our new basis should begin right here.

Furthermore, the true personification of lunacy is the continuation of an try to construct a generational system upon a “slave mentality” basis when it was not designed to assist a country-wide, inclusive developmental initiative.  Couple this with various levels of kleptoparasites who greedily fatten themselves on nationwide assets and fully neglect the inhabitants, made nearly no try to develop the nation in any significant method, but proceed to control in the identical neglectful faction! How can we construct a viable nation on these footings? Change this by instantly reorienting our nationwide compass, making certain equitable redistribution of the nationwide assets to start constructing this all-supportive, nationwide basis.

Thus, the main focus on this piece will probably be how can we systematically dismantle an association that was by no means meant to be, and institutionalize a nationwide developmental design geared in the direction of laying the framework for a country-wide, affluent future? This “re-foundationalization” will cowl Four pillars, with every serving as a vital bridge in the direction of real nation-building:

Revisit the Structure with Purposeful Intent

Restrict Nation to 5 Areas

Legislation Enforcement Closely Indifferent from Government

Cultural and Conventional Adherence

Revisit the Structure with Purposeful Intent

The one option to change the end result of a failed state is to purposefully change the blueprint that created that state within the first place. Perceive that the structure is a dwelling respiratory doc that shapes the affairs of the state. No matter is written in it, guides the path of the end result. There are lots of statutory mandates in our structure that weaken the state when this doc ought to serve to strengthen it. Take for examples sure presidential appointment powers, tenure of legislators, archaic fines and payment necessities that aren’t adjusted to replicate present circumstances, discretionary finances allocations that doesn’t have in mind folks calls for, and so on.

Because it stands, the Liberian Structure doesn’t serve the folks! In reality, in the long term, it even disadvantages gullible officers who naively consider they’re defrauding the system – they often discover out after they go away authorities that the sport has been these very grasping leaders all alongside.

To start restructuring the structure to plant a extra strong footing, first restrict presidential powers and switch a few of this energy to the legislative physique and elections. Take away the Central Financial institution Governor’s appointment powers, Legal professional Common, Nationwide Chief of Police, Election Commissioners and the Minister of Finance from beneath the manager and provides these appointment duties to the legislature – the legislature will nonetheless preserve their oversight duties, however it can even have the only real powers to nationally appoint within the above listed positions.

These alternatives, vetting and appointments might be finished via committee, supplied stated people are accredited with no less than fifty p.c of elected senators. This identical physique could have the powers to observe their efficiency all through their tenures and recall them when the legislature deems it mandatory with a fifty plus one majority. Equally necessary is that mayoral, superintendents, district commissioners and any such appointments be abolished; these positions have to be seated solely by elections. Native folks should have a direct say in who leads them and never some partisan bureaucrat who’s beholden to an government far faraway from native circumstances.  The intent of eradicating these appointments from the president is to first: halt the development of an all–{powerful} government, have the folks really management their very own monies and future, nook corruption by making expenditure extra seen via committee oversight and make the president really answerable to the folks – this restructuring of the constitutions will ensure the persons are all the time consulted earlier than their monies expended. The seat of energy must be with the legislature, not the presidency – too many issues can go fallacious as now we have seen all through our historical past. Bear in mind, whoever controls the cash has the most important say.

Furthermore, restrict the tenure of legislators: 4 years for senators, 4 years for the president and a pair of years for representatives. Scale back the whole variety of senators to 15 (fifteen), and the utmost variety of consultant to 25 (twenty 5); illustration will nonetheless be primarily based on inhabitants, nevertheless with sure regional concerns as defined beneath. Individuals looking for to run for consultant have to be a school graduate no less than 5 years prior, have complete five-year, common asset valuation that’s minimally two instances (2x) the common annual compensation package deal of the members of the home (vacant lands will probably be evaluated with particular requirements or thought-about at a most proportion stage); the identical requirements will apply to the senate besides s/he have to be 10 years faraway from faculty commencement. Those that usually are not faculty educated can qualify to run after they attain the age of 45, however should be capable to learn and write! Any space indirectly spoken to within the structure will stay as is, or tweaked within the ultimate formulation of the brand new doc.

 The reasoning behind this discount and excessive requirement requirements is to a), weed out people who solely take up public workplace for the only real goal of stealing and to get wealthy b), get individuals who have confirmed themselves and have amassed some acceptable quantity of wealth and prominence earlier than matriculating to public service c), shorten tenure to get elected officers accountable and consistently nearer to the electorates. Moreover, individuals who have amassed some wealth are much less prone to be managed, coerced or sellout so simply – they’ve their very own cash. Due to this fact, they’re secured in themselves and have confirmed that they’ll eke out a dwelling exterior of presidency. 

Constitutionally mandate that no public worker makes greater than 5 instances, and solely in particular instances (when that is accredited by a legislative physique) can anybody make as much as ten instances the common earnings of a civil servant. No public compensation package deal is to exceed greater than ten instances the common package deal of a civil servant. Civil servants’ earnings will grow to be the brand new measuring rod for all factor equal in society. So if you wish to enhance massive photographs’ compensation package deal, you need to first enhance civil servants’. Bear in mind, folks go into public service to serve to not get wealthy.

 Make it legislation that not more than 35% of the nationwide finances must be used to run the federal government – the lion’s share of the nationwide finances should go on to training, infrastructure and folks improvement, not the opposite method round. Lawfully finish any type of perks that paid staff should purchase for themselves to in embrace autos, gasoline slips, housing, telephone playing cards, journey per diems ( with restricted exceptions), and so on. Constitutionally finish all concessions of nationwide assets or lands and require a minimal (50/50) partnership/revenue sharing in all such offers. We can’t personal the assets and have multi-nationals take all the advantages. Liberians have to be the principal beneficiary of Liberia’s wealth.

Take away the language of the “Negro Clause” however preserve the unique intent till the next occurs: Liberia’s literacy price reaches no less than 85%; per capita earnings hits $25,000 every year; and the common life expectancy is 65! Grant twin citizenship with full rights – with out limitations – to individuals of Liberian heritage be it one or each mother and father regardless of the place s/he’s born. Moreover, make it assiduously unimaginable for setting officers to carry frivolous lawsuits towards the press – this physique have to be really free and jealously protected if we’re to achieve the type of developmental outcomes we so desperately search.

Remove by-elections and have the regional governor appoint and the regional council affirm a alternative for the rest time of that emptiness. These appointments might be rotated sub-regionally to make sure every sub-group has a good likelihood at illustration. Write the foundations in a method that ensures a dominating tribe isn’t all the time the one to symbolize a given area. So for instance, if a member of 1 tribal group takes a seat beforehand occupied however is now vacant, different areas ought to occupy that seat to complete up the emptiness – you possibly can even rotate amongst council members. This can maintain true till our folks be taught to vote the very best candidates, regardless of tribal affiliation. Begin this by pushing a unified cultural id and one language nationally.

Restrict Nation to 5 Areas

Break the nation down into 5 administrative zones with every being run by an elected official known as a chief or governor. Together with the chief administrator, a council of seven elected officers (there must be not more than 4 individuals of the identical intercourse on the council – impose gender illustration necessities) must be instituted to manage this regional physique – the governor and council members should completely reside with their households in these areas, experiencing the day-to-day happenings that have an effect on native folks. There shall be no training or age necessities for native council members. Elected native officers can get a a lot wanted expertise in these native our bodies earlier than going to the nationwide legislature. The areas must be damaged down on this method; totally different configurations might be made and named, however restrict the areas to 5:

Every sub-region must be assured one senator and one consultant within the nationwide legislature; nevertheless, every area ought to have a minimal of three representatives however not more than 5 representatives. These areas must be semi-autonomous, levying their very own native taxes, write native legal guidelines, offering comparable providers discovered within the capital and administering their very own affairs beneath nationwide pointers. The vast majority of selections that have an effect on a area must be made within the area; restrict nationwide authorities interference, intervening solely when native legal guidelines usually are not in conformity with nationwide structure. Moreover, by lowering the areas to 5 as an alternative of 15 counties, you might be doing a number of issues: 1) limiting the variety of allocations made within the nationwide finances whereas on the identical time simply monitoring these allocations 2), offering direct administrative oversight whereas nonetheless sustaining management from the capital 3), getting sincere suggestions from native governors as a result of they’re immediately coping with native issues 4), the seat of energy will probably be within the folks’s yard and never some faraway place that seems to have zero affect on their lives.

For a rustic our dimension and inhabitants, it is unnecessary to have over 100 legislators who take up an enormous portion of the nationwide finances but do nearly nothing to enhance the nation. Closely restrict their numbers and shift the extra assets to nationwide improvement. The intent of regionalizing the nation is to shift the on a regular basis affair to the regional our bodies, create regional and nationwide cohesion, leaving nationwide legislature to really concentrate on governance and insurance policies points that have an effect on the whole nation. Nationwide legislators might be in session with their varied areas to information coverage selections, however their central focus must be on the nationwide agenda.

Legislation Enforcement Closely Indifferent from Government

The only best drawback that has stored Liberia in its present backward state is the refusal to implement the legislation and cling to the mandates of the structure! That is primarily because of the method legislation enforcement officers are appointed and managed, and the “who-knows you” patronage system that denies justice in each type. Deconstruct this organized, judicial crime syndicate by a), really making the legislation enforcement arm of presidency  unbiased and having the legislature appoint officers to incorporate the legal professional normal, solicitor normal, nationwide police chief; b), all anti-graft establishments’ officers and should have complete autonomy to incorporate their very own courtroom with prosecutorial powers; c), “on a regular basis courtroom” judges and police chiefs within the areas have to be elected and supervised by the regional superior courts whose judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the nationwide legislature. Shifting legislation enforcement powers from one individual – the president, and giving this accountability to a physique, lessens the probability of presidential abuse of powers and the on a regular basis massive man illegalities which can be usually perpetrated by the manager. Moreover, this selection offers our legislation enforcement arm the broad vary  to freely do their duties for the folks and never worrying about offending an omnipotent government who has come to consider s/he personally owns the state. Nevertheless, the manager can nonetheless management the military beneath current constitutional preparations.

Conversely, regional prisons must be organized to serve the area, not simply with confinements however a prison-work system that develops inmates’ expertise, capitalizing on their labor to construct very important regional infrastructure, and so on. This isn’t a pressured labor system, however reasonably an optionally available association the place each events profit. Prisoners might be compensated in a variety of methods to incorporate discount in jail sentences, capability constructing, a standardized sum for his or her labor, and so on. When freed, former inmates must be given a possibility to work on these authorities initiatives or farms to proceed their rehabilitation and a possibility for gainful employment. 


Cultural and Conventional Adherence

Because the household stands as the fundamental unit of the society and authorities, tradition and traditions act because the compass that guides the path of the household and by extension, the general society. You can’t sideline the very cultural norms which have guided our lands for ages and count on society to adequately capabilities absent these values. Legal guidelines usually are not adequate, even when correctly enforced! We should do not forget that tradition and traditions play an intricate position and type the genesis of the very nuances and the lifestyle of a given society. These customs outline our beliefs, expressions, symbols, supplies, traditions, behaviors, morals, values, and so on.  It’s on this basis that any civilization that intents on elevating itself from backwardness, should construct upon to attain the innovation, development, modernization, trade, science, and revolution it must develop. A tradition of meritocracy must be launched; abolish this “who is aware of you” patronage strategy to employment and alternative and make critical efforts to carry on board Liberia’s greatest and brightest if we’re critical about making this turnaround.  In essence, we should return to our roots to be able to develop and really self-actualize as a folks.  Liberia should reinstitute the “village order”, the place those that apply themselves are given choice, place, honor and respect; not the opposite method round. We should return to the teachings of our forebears or stay on this wilderness of despair! There isn’t any different method!

The bastardization (or zogo-rization) of our society might be closely linked to the shortage of indoctrination of our younger folks to our cultural norms. We should revert again to the teachings of the elders – they’ve knowledge and know higher! To repeatedly blame the civil struggle when authorities and oldsters usually are not held accountable and refused to play their half, is an argument Liberians can now not proceed to make. Moreover, we who haven’t been corrupted or severely short-changed morally or educationally by our brutal civil struggle owe Liberia an amazing accountability to reshape her again into type. If we fail to do that, we could have no grounds to criticize what’s occurring in Liberia. However, our society ought to start to coach up the brand new technology within the customs and traditions of our folks or put together to have an ungovernable society consistently on the point of complete collapse. Such society can by no means develop.

Consequently, abolish the imposition upon ourselves overseas cultures we don’t perceive, however reasonably totally embrace who we’re, making modifications when archaic traditions don’t match into trendy life. Adapting cultures that aren’t ours creates the type of societal confusion and disorganization that’s pervasive in Liberia immediately. Nevertheless, the modifications we search should solely be made by us with out stress or affect from overseas forces; Liberia should place itself to be sovereign sufficient, self-sufficient sufficient, unbiased sufficient and robust sufficient if we really wish to management and outline our personal future.  


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