Now is time to right a wrong, Mr. Weah

Liberian president-elect George Weah asked to put country first

Congratulations Mr. George M. Weah on your hard-fought and earned victory by defeating 19 other candidates and winning 14 of the 15 counties in Liberia in the presidential elections; Jarwinken Wiah writes.

There is no doubt, the country has spoken. You got a huge mandate, particularly from ordinary Liberians who have not experienced the true meaning of Liberia, the “Love of Liberty.”

Their daily livelihoods rely on the mercy of nature that is why you have the responsibility to right a wrong of 170 years, Mr. President-elect.

For the reason that the founding of Liberia was made possible because it was determined that slave trade was wrong. That was why it was made illegal in the United States.

That was why and how some of the freed slaves who had agreed to return to their ancestral roots had the opportunity to do so.

Africa descendants were mostly the victims of the slave trade.  Africans who became slaves were sold by other Africans who were in position of authority to the White men.

Similarly, the suffering of majority of Liberians in 170 years has been caused by the actions of other Liberians in position of power. 

When Liberia was designated as a country, the argument was about recognizing the human dignity of all peoples. It was about treating everyone with respect.

It was about unselfish prospect for everyone to have equal fighting chance regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, disability, position of power, connection, and country of origin.

It took a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 to formalize the recognition. It is 154 years ago now.

This recognition was the reason this 43,000 square miles piece of land was designated as the new home.

This was a test.  It was intended to figure out if blacks were capable to govern themselves. 

From our actions, we have not proving the Whiteman wrong.  This is your challenge to prove the contrary.

The reason is Liberia was designated to see if black leadership was capable of recognizing the human dignity of other blacks under black governance as this was the failure of the Whites. 

Whites were not treating Blacks with respect. They were not given Blacks equal chance.  This is not the question of the White control now.   

From history, there is no doubt that Liberian leaders have failed the test. That is why it is critical for you to right a wrong recognized 154 years ago.

This failure is the reason Liberians have turned out to choose you over 19 other contestants. This is why 14 of the 15 counties of Liberia voted for you.

The question of true patriots and legacy-driven ones start with the presidency.

The ball is now in your coat Mr. President-elect as Liberians are still looking for the leadership that will correct the mistakes of the past.

The argument is still about treating everyone equally with respect for which Liberia was designated in 1821 as the symbol.

This is the reason the country’s official name became Liberia (Liberty or freedom) and the official seal became “The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here.”  

At that time, this piece of land was already occupied by indigenous.
The forefathers comprising the 16 tribes of the country, they were not direct victims of the evil practice of slavery.

However, they too had experiences indicative of slavery on the homeland. To this date, the situation of slavery experience is still true for most ordinary Liberians because the wrong has not been corrected. Majority of the population survive at the mercy of nature.  

Mr. President-elect, please put country first and have the Liberian people at heart to finally right a wrong, which has been long awaited.

Jarwinken Wiah, the writer of this article, is executive director of the US-based Emancipation Movement of Liberia