President Ellen J. Sirleaf of Liberia
I would like to give few reasons why I believe in the leadership of our powerful leader. It might come as a surprise when I say that I never supported. President Sirleaf nor voted for her during the 1997 election. To make things worse, I was among those singing the infamous, “♫ the Oldma walking some kinda way aaa ya, the... Oldma working some kinda way aaaya♫”

Had you been in Liberia during the 1997 election, you would have known the rest of this song. This was just one of the ways I expressed my contempt for than candidate Sirleaf. I did not want her to become president. I still do not know why I did not want her to become president; probably because I had already decided to vote for former President Charles Killer. Oops meant Taylor. I along with 75% of the Liberian electorates voted for Charles Killer at our own peril. I will
skip the details for now.

Fast forward 2005 election, I was not in Liberia but knew from the get go that I did not want [George Weah] to become president. I had so many reasons why I believed Weah was not competent for the job; the most dominant was the fact that he reminded me of President Samuel K. Doe. His persona had all the hallmark of SKD. I just could not visualize him been president for Liberia. Do not get me wrong, George Weah was already my idol when these skepticism were creeping through my mind. Most times, I feel like there are two [George Weah]; Weah the politician and Weah the soccer legend, Africa best, European best, and world best. [Weah the soccer legend] is my hero and idol, unfortunately, [Weah the politician] reminded me of the worse things that will happen to Liberia. He scares me more than Satan does. I will leave out the detail for later.

In 2005, Ma Ellen won the election without my vote. Even thought I did not vote for her during that election, I felt more comfortable with her been the president than [George Weah]. With my conviction, I monitored President Sirleaf for the next five years, while residing in the United States. Using the internet, news media, and chat with family members in Liberia, I was able to acquire some information on sequence of events back home. Some of that info was great while others were more of the same, but what caught my attention was an unusual pattern.

Within the first five years of the UP led administration, I hosted close to ten of my former school and classmates from Liberia. Couple of them came for army training, while others were here to complete their masters in various area of study. Besides those I hosted in the US, I was privileged to chat with others in Europe, Asia, Australia and some part of Africa; almost all of them on government scholarship. I found it awkward that most of my former school friends supported the president. Little did I know that most of them were just students and not necessarily partisans…

My first convincing point was when my older brother, who had not work for almost two decades, got a job at LAC only by showing his credentials from Cuttington Agriculture college RDI---which he acquired prior to the civil war. Upon been hire, he called me on several occasion from different parts of the world where he was undergoing training. Been the skeptic that I am, still did not buy the stories I was getting, therefore I decided to pay a visit to Liberia mid 2010. My simple business trip turned out to be one of my most memorable moments. 

The first thing I felt when I entered Liberia was HOPE. Hope like the one I have never seen before. Despite the fact that some people were still suffering and the infrastructures were not fully restore, I felt hope beneath all of those inadequacy. I also saw those of my friends who buckled up their shoes and study hard reaping the benefit for their sacrifices. Most of those guys were working in the banks and driving some of the best cars, while some were just OK.

As I drove around Monrovia looking for long time friends, I kept seeing the same trend. I also interacted with several other individuals who had no affiliation with government that could easily dig out US$10,000 from their account to loan out with a 25% interest rate. When I needed extra cash to free my container from the Freeport, someone was available in less than a day to loan me the money. These were ordinary young Liberian executives.

In spite of all this, it was my visit to Ghanta and Buchanan that sealed the deal for me. I saw countless well-to-do young Liberians, educated and uneducated roaming about. While we spend countless hours working the United States to survive, these people are building homes and running homes. This was just amazing. To insinuate that everybody in Liberia is enjoying, will be an exaggeration; notwithstanding, the reality on the ground is, Liberia is by 1000 times better then Charles Taylor era with a prospect of surpassing all previous regimes.

Al Hussein Fadiga


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