Sunday 23rd July 2017,

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‘Liberia faces threat of breakdown’ Political science professor observes

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Honoree Prof. Alaric Tokpa

Honoree Prof. Alaric Tokpa

Prof. Alaric Tokpa, a former student leader for the Liberian National Student Union (LINSU), during a speech, has maintained that “an honoring dinner” wasn’t “a time for much talking.”

Prof. Tokpa acknowledged this particular “recognition” imposed upon him an “obligation” for which he felt compellingly required to say something about” what he called, “the threat of breakdown” Liberia is presently faced with.

He posed six key “unanswered questions” that he said, Liberia faces in the hope that those who apparently have the country’s interest at heart would begin to find answers to those questions as time could not permit him to elaborate or provide “clarifications [on some issues] that could lead in the direction of reasonable answers.”Prof. Tokpa is flanked by Mayoral  Candidate Joy Marsh-Stephens and another guest

The political scientist theorized that “ever problem has a cause.” “And in order to solve a problem,” he pointed out, “you must try to find the cause of that problem.”

But he said, “The key to finding the cause to problems is to ask the right questions. I think that we have not yet asked the right questions in our attempt to attack the Liberia problem.”

Amongst the challenging questions posed by professor Tokpa were:

  • “Why has public discourse on the historical purpose for the creation of Liberia been abandoned?”
  • “Are our present institutional and policy frameworks adequate for responding to the burning desires of the Liberian people at home and abroad?”
  • “The Government of Liberia has recently opened a Diaspora Affairs Department from a grant received from the International Development Association. This is commendable. But will the Government of Liberia have the political will to sustain the Diaspora Affairs Department without donor funding? Even if this becomes possible, what kinds of engagements with the diaspora, will answer the fundamental questions before us today?”
  • “When we define high goals for ourselves, such as a democracy that works satisfactorily, we will have to search for the necessary instruments by which to reach such goals. In what ways can the Liberian diaspora be part of the necessary instruments for achieving a workable democracy in Liberia?”

With these, among others, Prof. Tokpa urged Liberians themselves to find the right answers to those burning questions because, as he put it, “No other country or experts who have not lived our historical experience will find themselves in a better position to answer these questions for us.”

“We have the power. Be not deceived. We have the power to change Liberia. We must know that we have that power. We must claim that power. We must utilize that power in a progressive democratic manner,” he declared. RELATED STORY

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