Indeed, “Buyers Must Beware…”

By Atty Philip N. Wesseh  (PNW)

Today’s issue is not a controversial one or something of serious public concern, such as the 4G CBL Amended Act or the more than US200,000 PR/lobbying fees, rather, it is something I feel is necessary as some of us on a daily basis go about purchasing in the streets, especially from vendors that we do not know or who can be traced.

On this piece of communication, I wish to share my experience. As human beings, man would always communicate; whether this is verbal or nonverbal, but as long as man exists, communication would always take place. One of the purposes of communication is to share information or personal experiences to others so that they would learn and guard themselves whenever they are faced with similar situations.

In fact, the term “communication,” came from a Latin word, “communicare” ‘which means “to share,” therefore, it is not a gainsaying that people would always communicate or share something they have experienced with others. In most instances, there were always those persons who were duped or victimized by some unscrupulous individuals.

As stated earlier, the basis for this piece of communication is to share my experiences for some time in dealing with some young petite traders in the streets of Monrovia. It is an open secret that in many parts of the city, these young traders, many of them in their teens, go around selling CD’s with music and movies. They go from street coroners, to offices and also entertainment places. They go to places they know their items are marketable, or are of high demand.

But as I try to promote these young traders, some of whom, sometimes claim that they are engaged in this trade to help supplement what their parents can afford to help in their schooling. Personally, I always feel that it is good to purchase from these teens, since they are determined to go to school, as future leaders of this country.

But for sometimes now I have observed and continue to observe that some of these teens have begun engaging in dishonest acts through this trade. I have fallen victim to this, but continue to purchase from them in the streets. Sometimes when a particular CD is purchased, which portrays certain movies, one discovers that it contains something quite different from what is on the cover of the CD.

My recent experience was on Saturday, while en route to the funeral of the fallen sister of former Public Works Minister, Samuel Kofi woods, when I decided to purchase some Liberian Gospel songs, something befitting such occasion. I was again duped by a young seller, as it contained only three songs of the said listed many Liberian gospel songs.

As I experienced that act of dishonesty, I was reminded of some thing that I learnt in the law school, which says, “let the buyers beware,” from the Latin phrase, “ Caveat emptor,” a doctrine, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, that says, “purchasers buy at their own risk.” Certainly, I agreed with that like a fool to be duped for more than once.

Hence, today, I blame no one for being victims of dishonesty by these young sellers of CDs, but I decided to share this personal experience so that others venturing into such transactions should be mindful and careful to avoid being duped or victimized by some of these young peddlers.

Besides sharing these personal experiences with you today, I am concerned that these young Liberians who are expected to take over the leadership of this country would be engaged in such acts of dishonesty. With this kind of behavior, what can one expect of them in the future? This is any body’s answer. Until we can all work to change this act of dishonesty to honesty, for a better future for this country, I Rest My Case.