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What message will our children get from this 2005 election?

Please close the doors NOT on ADVANCE EDUCATION but on the continuous CORRUPTION that exists in the country.

If advance education is not a benefit to the society, and being well-liked by your fellowmen and women in the society is what it takes to compete for the Higher Office, let us start by closing every school in every town and city and start engaging ourselves in humanitarian initiatives. Is it a little advance education that makes up for bad leadership or is it a lot of unscrupulous behavior from people in leadership that can deprive us of our wealth as a country and put it in the hands of a select few? The world is watching and our children are looking. Let us make a rational decision this 2005 election based on not whom we like or dislike, but on what we can explain to our children without scratching our heads.

I must first declare that I personally have not yet decided which candidate will get my vote. And the point of my article is not to put down one candidate and to promote the other.

Before I go further, let us consider the following:

  • "The degree holders, what have they done for the country"?
  • "They (degree holders) failed us, it's time to start anew"
  • Let us also consider the following questions:
  • Is it too much education that made the past or present leaders of Liberia failed us or is it the greed for money and power?
  • Which candidate can any voter be assured of that will not be corrupt after he or she is elected into office?

Every time a job is posted (especially here in the United States), the employer usually requires that a candidate has the academic background (a specified degree) or the related work experience in lieu of the degree or both. How is the higher office (the Executive Mansion) different in the requirement for the job applicant (in this case the presidential candidate) to show academic qualifications or the related work experience/a solid career path in relation to the job/the office that he she wants to have?

Learn to "crawl before you can learn to walk"

I intend no disrespect to Mr. Weah. I admire this fellow for his dedication to the country and all that he has done. Like George Weah, there were even some candidates that were running for the Executive Mansion during the elections that Taylor maneuvered his way through, if not bought. Some of those candidates were degree holders who did not have the experience for a higher office like the Executive Mansion. At the advise of family and friends, they were told to "crawl before they try to walk" and some of them are now running to become Senators or Representatives of their respective counties.

I think Mr. Weah could start by learning to "crawl before walking" his way to the Executive Mansion. And make no mistake, fellow Liberians, that the mistakes of today will be repeated tomorrow. Your children, our children will see no reason in advance education or training if their ability to be well-liked by their fellowmen and women can get them any position of their choosing. George Weah is well liked by the Liberian youth and he is thriving on this phenomenon.
But mind you, if we let this happen, we may as well close all the schools in every town and city and let every child starts some kind of training in humanitarian duties and be well-liked.
Sometimes when the child does not learn to crawl before taking steps to walk, he or she takes the chance of falling and knocking the head against something or will fall right on the face. Liberia as a nation has had enough set backs as a result of 14-years old war and wants to move forward with the rebuilding process. While I admire Mr. Weah for taking such heroic steps, I'm afraid it will be at a cost to all of us as a Nation to fall flat on the face.

The "Old Politicians"

The common argument I hear all the time is that there are the "old politicians" behind Mr. Weah. If this is true, then you and I better turn around and start casting our votes for the candidates we know are out there for our scrutiny than to indirectly vote for the once hiding behind some other person and want to run the Country from behind closed doors.

Can we blame past or present leadership that has failed the Country to the fact that these men and women were educationally drunk and that is why they couldn't do the best for their country or shall we say they were unscrupulous, greedy for money and power, and that they were corrupt in every way imaginable?

It is true that education does not mean for one to hold a degree. If Mr. Weah had other past responsibilities that would have prepared him for his wanting to lead an entire nation, that would serve just fine. Sometimes people learn from actually doing the job. Mr. Weah does not have any advance educational background or subsequent jobs or positions in his career path that would have prepared him or led him to the Executive Mansion. So in those situations where you usually hear the employer say, "we will take your degree or experience or both", Weah has NONE of the above.

About failing the country, how does one determine a person who will or will not fail the country? In school (in a Math class), we learn that you cannot solve a problem (an equation) with two "unknown factors/variables". We cannot have two unknown factors in a candidate and predict he or she will be unlike the other "bad leaderships" that we all suffered. Experience and leadership qualification is one factor to look for in a candidate and the ability to be corrupt, greedy and mismanagement of the country's money is another factor to look for in a candidate. No one, except the candidate, knows what he or she will do in terms of corruption after taking over the Higher Office. Whether a person is qualified, based on his past work experiences or academic background, can be the "known" factor we can work with. Why will you want to work with two "unknown" factors in trying to arrive at a solution? Mr. Weah has these two "unknown factors" besides the fact that he is well-liked by the youth of the Country, that it should be hard to determine whether or not he will be the best leader over any of these other candidates.

No offense to those without an advance education (including myself).

Let us not get sensitive about the whole educational issue and loose our ability to make a rational decision. The whole Weah issue is not to put down anyone without some advance education. If holding a degree were a requirement for the higher office, it would have been stated in the constitution. However, it is important that a candidate for the higher office show his or her skills and a solid career path to gain the trust of the Liberian people that he or she can be an effective leader. As for corrupting the people and the resources of the country, we can only get on our knees and pray for the best and look up to God for the rest.

It is myopic to take the words of any candidate who says "I will be the only leader who will not mislead you, steel the money and the one who will make the country a better place". This aspect will forever remain a perpetual "unknown" factor until he or she gets in and out of the higher office. Therefore, let us scrutinize every candidate in terms of effective leadership qualifications base on experience or educational background. Let us concentrate on the things we can see and analyze such as a person's ability to guide and lead a diverse group of people base on his or her knowledge of things he or she did in school or on the job.

Please close the doors NOT on ADVANCE EDUCATION but on the continuous CORRUPTION that exists in the country.

Comments to this article can be sent to the author ladiefa@yahoo.com

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