The Code as a Baby Step for a Better Liberia
Recently, Mr. Augustine Ngafuan resigned his position as Minister of Foreign Affairs squarely because he intends not to be “inactive”, as he put it, in the 2017 elections. Mr. Ngafuan’s action is laudable as he decided to be law abiding and not run the risk of starting an argument which will only make him appear like someone who wants to hold on to his government position in order to gain some kind of advantage at the 2017 polls.
Mr. Ngafuan could have decided to follow the lead of Dr. Jones by not resigning and hoping that the Code will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court as the result of a legal challenge in 2017, but instead he has perhaps taken the advice that it would be an illogical legal fight.
Liberia has had more than its fair share of mishaps when it comes to the proper running of the governance process for too long in the country’s history. The basic rules of decency which should characterize any properly functioning society have always being nonexistent in the country with expediency and compromise being the order of the day instead of the rule of and by law.
There has to be a cut-off point for these transgressions of the laws of the land and the fundamental principle of rule of and by law.
Liberians must all decide to ensure that there is the establishment of a strong culture of rule of law in the country. If the law makes it illegal for a former Liberian citizen to participate in elections in Liberia, that law should be respected and not ignored like it was in the Special Senatorial Elections of 2014 to allow President Sirleaf’s son Robert Sirleaf to contest for the senatorial seat of Montserrado. On the same premise, it was wrong to ignore the same law in 2005 to allow Mr. George Weah and every other former Liberian to contest the presidential election then and all other elections since.
If Liberians truly want to have a better Liberia and fully democratic country which works for all its citizens regardless of their religious, ethnic and political affiliations, strict adherence to the rule of law is the only route available. Giving full life to the Code of Conduct may be the first serious step in achieving the better Liberia aspiration of many of the country’s people.