By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
The ethics of the journalism profession bars media practitioners from relying on rumors without checking the facts or try to ascertain as to whether or not such rumors are true, especially when it relates to a news story. And so today, because I do not have the facts, I have decided to avoid doing a news story as this would be unprofessional. Notwithstanding this does not bar me from expressing my view on two major rumors circulating in and around the city, where I work and reside.
The first is that during the July 26 celebration in Greenville, Sinoe County, the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) is planning to hold a program concomitantly alongside the Independence Day celebration. Similarly, it is being rumored that a group of citizens or admirers of the Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Dr. Mills Jones are planning to petition him to contest the President 2017.
It is common knowledge that since the bank reinforced its loan scheme to the rural areas, there have been all kinds of speculations that the Government may contest the presidency in 2017 because the scheme had made him a popular person in the rural parts of the country.
This fear led to the National Legislature to enacting a statute, banning him and others from the bank from contesting elective posts, unless they resign three years prior to the electoral process. It is generally believed that the lawmakers see Dr. Jones as a strong candidate, in that some of them are also interested in producing the next president of Liberia.
Today, that stature has come to be known as the” 4G Law” because of the swiftness and rapidity that characterized its passage into law, something that was denounced by many, including human rights lawyer, Cllr. TiawonGongloe.
Again, as I said earlier, I am just joining these rumors, as a member of the society because rumors in the Liberian society are not taken lightly. The Liberian society generally believes that “for some rumors, there are always some truths in them.”
As a result of this belief, rumors in the Liberian society are always viewed with high degree of believability. Therefore, when such continues to spread like bush fire, there is a need to comment on it or not, so that by the time it becomes as true story, one would had expressed his or her view on the matter, rather than waiting when it comes to fruition.
Since I heard these rumors because there have been no official pronouncements on these pending events, I have been ruminating as to why the CDC and supporters of Dr. Jones elected to have such events at a time when the whole nation is expected to gather in that county and its neighbor, Grand Kru ,for the celebration of this year’s Independence Day activities that have already begun.
I am concerned about this because I see it as an attempt to being about some distractions during this national event because some of those very persons expected to attend these functions, are some of the very persons expected to grace the Independence Day activities. The CDC officials, including its political leader, Senator George Weah and Dr. Jones, Governor and more importantly a son of the county, is also expected to attend these events which are not for one day.
Let me not be misconstrued as suggesting that these citizens do not have the right to assemble to petition Dr. Jones or that the opposition CDC does not have the right to hold events in Sinoe, as guarantee under the Constitution; no, this is not my concern. My concern relates to the timing of these events as there is a planned national event that must be graced by citizens. During such time, it is only such national event that all should focus on and that there should be no such program or political gathering of any party or individuals.
As I continue this peace, I still find it difficult that there are people who want to engage in activities alongside the national event. Frankly, if it is true that this opposition party and supporters of Dr. Jones, who made history yesterday with the dedication of the new modern headquarters of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), then, such a decision is ill-advised or unwise and should give the organizers and the CDC a sense to rethink over the holding of any activities at a time when the country will be observing its Independence Day in that same region.
Intuitively, I believe that Governor Jones himself, as a prominent citizen of the county, would not want to indulge in any activity that has the potential to undermine some aspects of the celebration in his county. After making history and also after receiving complimentary comments from the President for history’s program in Monrovia, I do not see him stabbing himself in the back against his county.
Many times it is said that one of the reasons for the backwardness of this country is because of self interest by some individuals and groups who always want their interest and that of their group to supersede national interest, something I feel is wrong. Hence, if it is true that the CDC is planning a program and supporters of Dr. Jones are also planning to ask him to contest the 2017 presidency, it is wise to reconsider such decision in the national interest.
As it is common knowledge that the Independence Day is a day for all and not as particular persons or organizations, let all those who have planned activities alongside this celebration rethink about this to allow only the Independence Day celebration which includes the dedication of projects set for the celebration.
Again, I am not suggesting that this rumor is true, but my comment and concern is based on the general belief that “for some rumors, there are always some truths in them.”
As I conclude, I still feel that this is just another rumor that is circulating and that the CDC and supporters of Dr. Jones do not plan to engage in such activities during this national celebration of Independence Day.
Conversely, if it is true that there are such plans, then, I beg to plead with them to postpone such in the interest of the day’s celebration, as I feel that it is only the fools who would want to venture into such areas with another program concomitantly.
But I know that those of the CDC and those of the governor are not fools and would, therefore, not want to undertake such petitioning programs, as there is time to do so and not necessarily on the country’s Independence Day.
A hint to the wise is quiet sufficient. I Rest My Case.