Patrick Oliver Sawyer, His Open Letter To President Ellen Johnson


“I encourage you to go into your prayer closet, if you have one, and ask yourself these questions, what kind of Liberia do I want to leave behind for my great-grand children and their children’s children? What kind of Legacy and example do I want to leave back after I am out of Liberia’s political landscape?”

Editor’s Note: This open letter to president Sirleaf was written by Patrick Oliver Sawyer jnr.; BA, MA, PhD. Candidate. Oct 14, 2008 P O Sawyer is a 1995 graduate of the Sinkor Old-road Assemblies of God High School and currently resides in Crystal, Minnesota. He is the Drum Major of the newly organized Liberia’s Neo-Progressive Movement based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Dear Madam President:


In my capacity as Liberia’s Neo-Progressive Movement Drum Major, I bring you greetings from the beautiful Mid-Western City of Crystal Minnesota. Madam President, over the last two months, the Neo-Progressive Movement of Liberia has learned of series of actions on the part of your government that warrant commentary.


Recently you sent a bill to the Liberian House of Representatives which calls for a reduction in and limitation of the Presidential, Senatorial and Legislature terms. That action on your part, if legislated, would reconstruct Liberian politics in a way that would make it engaging, exciting and interesting. While still thinking neo-progressively, you recently requested the Defense Minister, Samukai, to address the concerns of former AFL Soldiers and re-enlist the most qualified of them. That request, if followed fully, will evoke a spirit of unity amongst us Liberians and reconcile a huge part of our bitter past.


About three weeks ago, you established, for the first time in Liberian history, Liberia’s Anti-Corruption Commission. Madam President, we encourage you to broaden the neutrality and mandate of the anti-corruption commission so as to reflect non-partisanship; to include young and qualified Liberian; and to meet gender balance. We are confident that if properly structured, the Anti-Corruption Commission will help alleviate the entrenched social epidemic, corruption, which Liberia suffers immensely today.


These recent actions on your part can not be allowed to go unrecognized, thus I, in collaboration with the Neo-Progressive Movement of Liberia, based in Winston-Salem North Carolina, recognize and commend you and your government for your farsightedness, bravo madam president, bravo and well done.


For us Liberian youths, Madam President, Liberia is all we have left; our childhood era was snatch away from us due to years of political and economic power greed couple with the 16 years of  civil war. We therefore encourage you and your government to heavily invest in Liberia’s future. The politics and politicians of the yesteryears deployed anti-poor policies that ultimately ignored the plights of the common Liberian and destroyed present day Liberia; they pursued their own interest, they did not considered the nation and its people’s future but your government now has that opportunity to turn that around. The nearly 16 years of senseless civil war we fought amongst ourselves, coupled with the massive corrupt practices our country suffered during past government, eroded our society, our future and our culture to the point that majority of our citizens continuously  remain severely and painfully destitute.


I know that after reading this letter, one may ask, what does Sawyer and Liberia’s Neo-Pros want President Sirleaf to do in order to prepare the country for the future. Well, to answer that question, Madam President, your government needs to increase Liberia’s social services budget so that Liberians will have opportunities to design local programs that would improve our competitiveness in this growing global world. Pipe borne water availability in Liberia is another area of focus we encourage you to invest in. The revitalization of electricity in Liberia, which will improve investment by promoting industry and help create small businesses that would subsequently generate jobs for our citizens, is another area that needs your government’s attention. Your government also needs to focus on making healthcare available and affordable for all Liberians. Our educational system, especially our only public university, UL, is in shambles while our disabled and mentally ill citizens are left to care for themselves. The reconstruction of the nation’s inner cities streets and rural highways is another area that your government needs to seriously think about as it will contribute to easy flow of goods and services throughout Liberia. Your government also needs to get tough on past and present corrupt public officials and civil servants; it is about time for Liberia’s judicial system to start publicly prosecuting corruptors, ban them from holding public offices for the rest of their life, imprison them, and confiscate their entire property including their bank accounts.


Madam President, there’s no justification for our citizens to be subjected to living amongst former and present public servants who transformed the country’s wealth into their personal use because corruption is a human right violation     . Those corruptors used our nation’s wealth to build themselves gigantic mansions in and out of Liberia, bought expansive cars, stockpiled the country’s money in their own foreign banks accounts and live a life of paradise in poverty stricken Liberia. This practice should be outlawed by your government, even if it involves your personal friends. Madam President, if any of your close confidants or affiliates are involved in corruption, as the Neo-Pros Drum Major I authorize you to use the Neo-Progressive Movement’s Mantra which states that, “I am a Liberian first before my political, personal or tribal allegiance and to Liberia first I hold my loyalty”, in order to seek prosecution against them. Corruptors should not be allowed to live amongst us in our neighborhoods with impunity, no matter how far back they embezzled the nation’s wealth. Our citizens are suffering; I know for sure that we Liberians are resilient people and the best in us can evolve when the opportunities are available. Madam President, you may have surrounded yourself with individuals who are disingenuous thus breeding elitism in our social structure but, I urge you to put aside your partisanship, lets us all join hands as Liberians, regardless of our various political affiliations, and develop an agenda that will get our citizens out of abject poverty, develop jobs, care for the underprivileged and disabled, and prepare our next generation for tomorrow’s global challenges. In today’s Liberia, the common-man is under a strange kind of socio-economic quagmire that seems to have no end in sight and that needs to be addressed urgently.


In closing Madam President, I encourage you to go into your prayer closet, if you have one, and ask yourself these questions, what kind of Liberia do I want to leave behind for my great-grand children and their children’s children? What kind of Legacy and example do I want to leave back after I am out of Liberia’s political landscape? What can I do to bring hope to Liberia’s future generation and set the stage for better and good governance? What can I do to bring genuine peace and reconciliation for all Liberians? Madam President please lead our nation with your eyes focused on the future. Again thanks for the recent development coming out of Liberia lately and may the good lord bless you and safe our country and its people.

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