Dear Madam President,
We, a group of concerned citizens of the Republic of Liberia, write to ask you as to whether being deceived hurts; in other words, we would like to know whether or not you really believe that it is wrong and hurtful for someone to deceive another through words or deeds.
Our desire to ask you emanates from reports indicating that you are furious or feeling hurt because, according to you, the people of Bong County deceived you in that they told you that they would vote for you hugely – that they would give you at least 90% of the votes in the 2011 elections – but that they failed to do it.
According to information, while you were speaking to a group of Bong County women recently, you didn’t hide your frustration and furiousness about what you term as deceitfulness on the part of the people of the county. You said: “I am not here to waste my time behind you deceitful Bong County women; Bong County people are deceitful.”
We can understand why you told them, “I am not here to waste my time behind you deceitful Bong County women.” We understand why you said of the Bong citizens: “Bong County people are deceitful.” Generally speaking, no one likes to be deceived. It hurts. It disappoints. It causes distrust. It causes anger. So we understand whence you come.
But this realization also forces us to ask some questions, too. So when a person or a group of people promises another person or group of persons and fails to keep that promise, it hurts? So it’s good for one to keep his/her promise? Actually, we can understand your frustration, and anger and disappointment. We can understand your furiousness, Madam President.
But, seriously speaking, Madam President, what flabbergasts us is that this is exactly what you did to the Liberian people. During the 2005 elections, as you will definitely recall, you promised us and, by extension, the whole wide world, that you would be a one-term president; in other words, you would not seek a second term.
When we heard your words, we believed you, just as you believed the people of Bong. We believed that you would keep the promise and not re-run in 2011. We were convinced because we thought you meant what you said you would do, just as you believed the people of Bong.
If you can audaciously and publicly tell those Bong women that you were not going to waste your time on them because they are deceitful – that they told you something that they knew would not happen – what do you expect us the people of the land to say and do to you about what you did to us? If, because of the incident, you can bravely say that “the people of Bong County are deceitful,” what do you expect us to say to you?
If being deceived really hurts, when did you realize it, Madam President? Did you think about the feelings of thousands of Liberians and non-Liberians when you announced in January of 2010 that you would be seeking a second term, after you had said in 2005 that you would not?
Now, imagine this, Madam President. If you can feel so furious and hurt and disappointed all because you, a single individual, feel deceived, think about how the multitude of us whom you promised that you would not seek a second term felt. We felt deceived. We felt lied to. We felt hurt. We felt disappointed. Are you aware, Madam President, that Senator Prince Johnson, it is said, announced his presidential candidacy all because of that I-will-not-run-no-I-will-run deception on your part? He, too, like many others, felt deceived and disappointed.
To conclude this first part of the letter, Madam President, we, the group of concerned citizens mentioned earlier, do understand your frustration, anger and disappointment about what the people of Bong did to you, for which you call them “deceitful people”; however, we also want you to understand that you deceived us in 2005, and if you realize that being deceived hurts, then you need to apologize to us.
To be continued …
Yours very sincerely,