Consultation Rather Than Confrontation
LAST WEEK, HUNDREDS of students took to the streets of Monrovia creating serious traffic jam by barricading the convoy in which President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was commuting from an occasion in Sinkor thereby prompting her to walk with the students from City Hall to her Foreign Ministry offices.
ACCORDING TO REPORTS gathered, the students had earlier converged on the premises of the Capitol Building in expectance that the Liberian leader would have appeared there having being summoned by the leadership of the House of Representatives to discuss and clarify issues surrounding the academic calendar.
THE HUGE GATHERING was prompted due to the position of the House’s leadership through a pronouncement on radio that day that President Sirleaf would have appeared even though she had received her communication dated July 1 where she referred to her previous letter dated June 30 requesting for a meeting on the same topic.
REALIZING WHAT THEIR decision had done to the residents, the lawmakers reverted to accept the President’s request for a meeting without hesitation amidst criticisms from the public including members of the Liberian Senate.
THE PLENARY OF the Liberian Senate as President Sirleaf knows, is that the best way forward to addressing confusion in the country is by dialogue and not confrontations as one member of the Liberian Senate, the Grand Cape Mount County Senator, Varney Sherman, who frowned on the fact that the House of Representatives could summon the President when lawmakers do not have that power to do that.
SENATOR SHERMAN SAID, “We should not ignore that aspect, because when we ignore it tomorrow it will attempt to summon the President again,” and educated his colleagues that even in impeachment proceedings, the President needs not appear therefore all lawmakers needed to understand that they do not have the power to summon a President to appear.
HOWBEIT, ONE THING that cannot be ruled out of the ongoing saga as it relates to the confusion in the academic calendar is that the leaders who should first understand the issues have to include members of the Legislative and Executive Branches of Government because the Education Minister is from the Executive while the lawmakers are representatives of the student body and school administrators as well as instructors who are supposed to be feeling the brunt from the measures which come from the exhaustive consultations.
WHILE IT IS true that the lawmakers are representatives of people, we also believe strongly that they are leaders or one may describe them as ‘elders’ who demand respect but also consultations in no way should be miscalculated as an insult or a form of disrespect because it is said that ‘One can refuse what is in the call and not the call.’
CONFRONTATIONS IN LIBERIA’S history has always not been the best way for solving problems and that has been tested without numbers in Liberia both during crisis and in simple matters but if the ‘elders’ have not noticed it yet, then we have come to tell them that ‘yield to consultations’ because it is the best way for solving problems.
IF WE ALL are to work in the interest of our over ten years of fragile but sustained peace, we must also be cognizant that ‘fire does not put out fire’ and dialogue is the only way to good leadership and governance and someone must always take the lead.
WE JOIN MADAM President and the Liberian Senate to call on the House’s leadership for sincere consultations regarding the future of our children; for indeed it is the best way to lead a civilized democracy.