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Elections: Message of Peace, history making for Liberians

Richlue O. Burphy
Mr. Richlue O. Burphy
Mr. Richlue O. Burphy

I am particularly excited to be in Liberia this time and to be part of the history making process in this country. In moments like these, I feel even more proud to be one of Liberia’s legitimate owners and to be called a Liberian.

I say this is history not just because we are going to be voting for new leaders but because my generation is going to not just witness but also initiate a transition from one elected government to another; something which has not happened around here in decades. For this, I am excited and can’t wait to see it happening in January 2018.

Moreover, it makes me feel good when I hear the aspirants or candidates share with electorates why they want to be voted into office. This is democracy – ask people to vote for you by telling them why you want their votes and let them make the ultimate decision at the ballot box.

Our national duties as citizens

Somewhere in our national duties as citizens is our responsibility to vote and we need to take it seriously. I have listened to several persons say they will not vote on elections day.

Some of them even say they only went to get the voters ID to use it for other purposes. I think it’s a serious disservice to the motherland and it should be discouraged on all fronts. Good citizens do vote and they take pride in the fact that they voted. So on October 10, please go out and vote!

And as we vote, let us choose peace over everything and everyone. During these elections, I pledge my allegiance to a greater loyalty and it is to the flag of Liberia and the republic of which it stands.

Our Peace

I talk to people everywhere – in my house, my community, on the radio, in church, in the streets and in all the 15 counties where I work. My message is a message of peace. Peace is expensive and it is valuable. Let us cherish the peace that we are enjoying.

As a person in the development circle, I know how much is spent every day around the world to maintain peace. In some cases, I know how many lives it cost for peace. I can only say to us that during this period, let us vote for peace.

Freedom

I was a refugee for 21 years; lost significant part of my childhood to war and grew up in refugee camp where we depended on aid from UN Refugee Agency for a while and when aid stopped, we had to fend for ourselves in a foreign country.

Being a refugee comes with a lot of discriminations, setbacks and disadvantages. It is not an experience I want in life again and it is not something any Liberian would which for.

It pays to be free. Freedom is sweet. Freedom is an awesome thing that we would not want to trade for anything. With the massive progress that is taking place all over the country – people building houses, starting their own businesses, going to school, building families, are these things we want to trade if we think of violence? You know the answer.

For years now, many Liberians started to put their lives back together. And one way to continue this path is to choose peace. Let’s go for a peaceful election.  Let us be tolerant as much as possible and respect the views of others even in our disagreement on choice of candidates.At the end of everything, none of us will be less than a Liberian. No matter who wins, our identities will not change. We will remain who we are.

Respect for one another

I therefore call on all Liberians to prioritize peace in these elections. Let us avoid violence at all fronts and let us be quick to identify things that has the propensity to cause violence so that we stay away from them.

Tearing down posters, using abusive languages, telling lies, and interrupting your opponents political activities are all recipes for violence. Stay away from it. Let’s remain united in our diversity. Let’s continue to discuss the ideas that the candidates bring to the table but in an orderly manner.

We have a future to build and protect. We have a motherland to uphold. We have a democracy to maintain. We have families to cherish. We have communities that we must continue to live in. and most importantly, we have a peace that we must continue to enjoy.

Therefore, let us continue to stay on those lanes. Let us continue to do what is right. Let us continue to pray and hope for the best. Let us continue to remind ourselves of what is at stake. Let us continue to cherish our oneness. And let us recommit ourselves to the line in our pledge that we are indivisible.

Long live Liberia.

About the author:

Richlue O. BURPHY is an AWAS Global Youth Ambassador
and a Liberian Development Professional

 


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