Piecemeal Change to Illegitimate Constitution Is Wrong!

first_imgIn her January 26, 2015, State of the Nation Address, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf called on the legislature to pass a “Dual Citizen” bill into law, which she intends to send to that body shortly. The bill if approved would effectively replace Article 28 of the Constitution. Its resolution, however, may not be a sole legislative prerogative since voters should have a say via referendum. The aim of the bill, according to the President, is to reintegrate Liberians who were compelled to seek refuge in other countries as a consequence of the mayhem the country endured, thus acquiring citizenships in other countries. I believe it is a far-sighted intention, and would be just as daring for a change to also apply to one of the most discriminatory provisions, specifically, Article 27 (b) which denied persons of non Negro descent of Liberian citizenship. Our brothers and sisters, who fall in the category of being non blacks, could very well have much more toward the growth and development of the nation if they are encouraged through laws to be permanent stakeholders. For a country which has been the recipient of near worldwide largess in numerous instances of its suicidal mission and history to condone such racist laws in 2015, does not only reveal timidity and insincerity, it does restrain development.    For disclosure purpose, this writer supports dual citizenship privilege yet is mindful of the concerns of some that are resisting the reintegration of their brothers and sisters. That said, it is past time that Liberians overcome their fears and resist the urge to discriminate against their fellow natives. Another puzzle is the apparent lip service to equally changing key anti-development and anti-accountability provisions like the unprecedented tenures of public officials- which were the handiwork of the military that had no intention of giving up power to legitimate civilian authorities.The well-known elephant in the room that the powers that be are either unwilling to face or wish no one talks about is the self-serving long tenure of elected officials. At the initiation of the constitutional process in the mid nineteen eighties, many of our former “progressives” and those in the opposition and intellectual communities complained of the insanity of imposing such monopolized tenures on the Liberian people. But at last check, the once admired shadow reformers are now rulers, and are more satisfied to keeping prolong tenures in place which the military and its loyalists invented against the interests of Liberians. Strange, isn’t it? I call it profile in self perpetuation which ought to have no space in public service.  The President’s enthusiasm to fight corruption must not be separated from empowering voters to hold senior policy makers accountable in order to weed out miserable performers in the shortest possible time. While I’m not qualified to speak for Liberians, it is safe to say they would overwhelmingly vote to reduce the nine and six-year tenures, if allowed to, of individuals whose public service records are nothing more than a joke, experts in corrupt bargains and looters of State coffers, thereby relegating those they have sworn to serve to a life span of poverty.So, why are those undemocratic provisions still embedded in the constitution? Why did the unbelievable and pretence referendum of 2011 not include answerability provisions in Articles 50 (tenure of President and Vice President), 46 (tenure of Senators) and 48 (tenure of Representatives)? The 2011 referendum, among other insignificant issues except one, laughably put forth an increase in the retirement ages of Supreme Court Justices and Judges of subordinate courts, which stands at seventy years. Voters were practical to send the aforementioned in the rubbish bin where it truly belonged.If Liberian leaders cannot muster the courage to spearhead a comprehensive change to a military imposed constitution, it is equally wrong to advance an incremental reform without stressing provisions that are unfavourable to the rulers’ interests. As our nation bleeds from all kinds of ills, its people are crying out for leaders that would at least put their personal interests in jeopardy to do what is right in support of the nation’s progress. And there are valid reasons to move quickly and produce these overdue constitutional amendments:First, even if elected officials were commendable, nine or six-year single tenure of office is unnecessarily long and counterproductive to the democratic tenets of accountability. It is somewhat upsetting if not offensive for public officials to hang on to power, using a flaw constitution as justification for such continuance.Second, producing an ideal leadership does not have to be a license for officials to continually exercise dominance over what is right. Instead, their experiences in public office could be an asset in other sectors as they exit government. The private sector can then be strengthened to impact the millions that were not helped while in offices.And third, voters don’t have to tolerate protracted tenures to vote officials out of offices if they are detrimental to the public interest. Any public service tenure above four or five years must be term limited to a single term to prevent enormous harm to the peoples’ interests. Democracy can live up to its true meaning when elected representatives are held to answer through the ballot box within a reasonable time period so that it is clear with whom the real power lies, which is the people. That is the essence of good governance. The argument that elections are costly and drain the limited financial resources of poor nations is self-serving. If we calculate the projected and real costs associated with untrustworthy, thoughtless and nepotistic governments, we might find frequent elections to be a good cause to advance growth, development, justice, peace and security. If experience is any guide from our democratic experiment, all-inclusive changes to our body politic have got to be treated as a national security issue. Regardless of the inspirational rhetoric, Liberia will continue to lag in every category of human development unless the structure of the State, premised on people first and not official first policies, is revisited.   Until such time, which I believe is now, when self-interest politicians are not legally empowered to protect and enrich themselves for a single do nothing six and nine year tenures, I submit accountability, human rights, national development, peace, justice and security would be elusive. Then the people, not the “vampires of development”, to use the President’s words, would continue to suffer.  Liberians must act, if the officials, who these bad laws support, cannot and would not act!    Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA TO SUPPORT IRISH LANGUAGE WEEK

first_imgBuncrana GAA Notes for Week Ending Sunday 9th March 2014Thosaigh Seachtain na Gaeilge ar an chéad lá mí Márta agus leanfaidh sé ar aghaidh go dtí Lá Fhéile Pádraig. The Club will be hosting various activities to promote the Irish language during this time and asks you to support these efforts. We have started a daily Irish phrases and sayings section on Facebook so check that out. Also check out our Facebook page for details on our great Comórtas Ghrianghraf le duaiseanna (Photography Competiton with prizes).Imeachtaí fá Choinne Seachtain na Gaeilge (Events for Seachtain na Gaeilge) Céad teacht le chéile don Chiorcal Comhrá Dé Céadaoin 12ú Márta ag a 8 i.n. FÁILTE ROIMH ACHAN DUINE. Na bí buartha faoi do chuid Gaeilge, tar isteach agus labhair í!First meeting of Irish Conversation Group on Wed 12th March at 8 pm. Everyone welcome. Don’t be worried about your amount of Irish, come in and speak it! Beidh an grúpa Scór na nÓg ag cur i láthair a ndráma sa Teach Altranais Dé hAoine 14ú Márta ag a 2 a chlogScór na nÓg group will be performing their drama in the Nursing Unit on Friday 14th at 2 pmBa choir go mbeadh na hiarratais don chomórtas ghrianghraf istigh idir a 6-8 a chlog i.n. Dé hAoine 14ú sa clubtheachEntries for photo competition should be in between 6- 8pm on Friday 14th in the ClubhouseLá ‘le Padraig sa Clubtheach!! (St Patricks Day in the Clubhouse!!)Beidh ceoltóírí, scoileanna rince, bia agus deochanna ar fáil,There will be musicians, schools of dance, food and drink available. Fáilte roimh achan duineEverybody welcomeCead isteach ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig – saor in aisceEntry on St Patricks Day is free..free…free! Beidh craic agus ceol don teaghlach uilig!Music and fun for all the family!Ba chóir duine ar bith atá ag iarraidh cabhrú ar bhealach ar bith teagmháil le Deirdre nó mé féin. Go raibh maith agat…agus bain usaid as do chuid Gaeilge!Comhgairdeas aris do Darrach O’Connor. Bhí sé ag imirt don fhoireann chontae i gcoinne na Mí agus d’imir sé go hana mhaith!Seniors, Minors, Under 21’s and Reserves Hurling & Football training this week, Wednesday 7.30pm and Friday 7.30pm. All players are urged to make every effort to attend.Senior Ladies training every Wednesday at 7.30 in Buncrana Youth Club. New members always welcome.Under Age TrainingU6 Football 6.30-7.30pm Friday Crana CollegeU8 Football 4-5pm Saturday Buncrana Youth ClubU8 Hurling 5-6pm Saturday Buncrana Youth ClubU10 Football 6-7pm Friday Buncrana Youth ClubU10/U12 Hurling 7-8pm Wednesday Crana CollegeU12 Football 7-8pm Monday & Friday ScarveyU14 Football 7-8.30pm Tuesday & Friday ScarveyU14 Hurling 7-8.30pm Tuesday & Thursday ScarveyU12/U14/U16 Girls Football 7-8pm Mondays ScarveyU14 B lost to Muff on a windy Saturday. Very proud of them all as they battled a full Muff team to the very end and gave it their all.Next match U14 A team play LK Gaels on Monday in the Scarvey at 6.Next weekend U14 A team vs St Eunans on Saturday @ 12 andU14 B away to Carn on Sunday @ 12Parish League continues – League standing and fixtures on Club Og Facebook.Level 1 Coaching Course in the Scarvey 7-10.30pm Friday 14th March and 9-4.30 pm Saturday 15th.U18 Newton Vs Buncrana 12 pmMembership registration Please note if you or your child is a player/coach you must pay membership for insurance purposes. If you wish to be considered for ticket allocation for the All Ireland series of matches your membership must be paid by 25th March.NB:- Membership does not guarantee match tickets and only adult members can be considered for ticket allocation. Please see our Facebook page, Website and notices in The Clubhouse for membership fees, or contact secretary.buncrana.donegal@gaa.ie if you have any further queries or contact Claire (0863340965) or Grainne (0864650200).Branded Gloves Elizabeth Anne has ordered Buncrana branded gloves. She wants to remind all managers to inform their player’s parents of this fact and that she is taking orders for them now. They should be available in 2 weeks, various sizes.Please contact Elizabeth Anne on 0860604075 to place orders or ask any questions.Club Notes: Anyone who would like to receive a copy of the weekly club notes should email Jim at buncrana.pro@gmail.com to be included on the mailing list. If you have any items which you think should be included in the club’s weekly notes, please email Jim at buncrana.pro@gmail.com by 6pm on each Sunday for consideration. To keep up to date with all the latest goings-on, please join us on www.facebook.com/buncranagaa or www.twitter.com/buncranagaa @buncranagaa, or visit our website www.buncranagaa.com.GAA NEWS: BUNCRANA TO SUPPORT IRISH LANGUAGE WEEK was last modified: March 10th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:buncrana gaa club noteslast_img read more