The OLM Constitution-Let's Do It The Right Way
In continuation of my discussion on the topic "The OLM Constitution-Let's Do It The Right Way", I promised to create another forum for a review of the most talked about issue in the Liberian community in Minnesota now a day-"OLM Referendum". It is in this prospective that I'm hoping that you join me in identifying a suitable and common procedure leading to holding a successful referendum on the OLM Draft Constitution.
Good judgment tells me that there were a number of chronological issues that were inadvertently overlooked by our community leadership. An outline of these issues centers around the following:
This arrangement is highly feasible and expedient because we lack the facility to hold the thousands of Liberians in this community. Besides, the community organizations are embodiments of the cross section of Liberians in their respective segments. The method of representation will enhance orderly discussion and achieve the intended goals.
We pray that the OLM leadership sees some of us as not critics or detractors, but rather, that it takes advantage of and utilizes our vast experience, time and resources in fixing the systemic problem engulfing our community organization over the thirty three years of its existence. Lots of time and and resources have been wasted already; so, let's stop the bickering and make history for once. Let's put aside our disagreements and build upon our commonalities for the general good of our people. Ushering a new OLM Constitution should be done the right way for lasting cure to the numerous crisis we continue to have in our community leadership. This should not be a matter of making name at all cost. After all, if the Constitution is properly done, this administration will still take the glory and make history at the same time.
J. Sackie Kennedy
FORMER SECRETARY GENERAL,
SACKIE KENNEDY BLASTS THE OLM .... SAYS "NO!" TO DUMB REFERENDUM!!
One of the prominent member of the OLM has blasted the Kerper Dwanyen and his band of henchmen for their recalcitrance in holding a very unpopular referendum. Over 98% of the people interviewed claimed that they have not seen the so-called draft constitution. Mrs. Marie Hayes, Mr. Kiapatrick Weah, Mr. Jackson George, Mr. Francis Zazay and many others have complained that the process is not consistent with any principle, but Kerper has refused to listen.
On the other, July 26 is Liberia’s Independence it is a time to celebrate and reflect on the historical past of our believe country. It is just not a day for any of such "referendum." It must be done appropriately. Here is Mr. Kennedy in his own words:
“Where there is smoke, there is bound to be fire. On October 29, 2008, we blew the whistle to signal the community that there was another sign of trouble for the OLM. But only a few persons listened. And it came to pass when the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the OLM clashed rather publicly over the issues of misappropriation of the OLM's fund; mal-administration and constitutional matters (duties and responsibilities of the two organs of the OLM). The Board brought the case to the attention of the community through the usual so-called town hall meeting hoping for some resolution. The parties (mainly the President and Board Chairman) condemned each other and almost resulted to a face fight. We all left the hall exhausted without any real solution. After a few months, we learned from "they say" (the same smoke) that the OLM Board and Executive have settled their dispute without the least courtesy of informing the Liberian people of what went wrong or right. This back door settlement between the Board and Executive leaves us, the governed, with a number of questions needing answers. We are therefore wondering whether the community's fund/s that the Board acclaimed the Executive Committee misappropriated has now been accounted for; the president now recognized the statutory responsibilities of the Board of Directors; or the appointment of the vice president by the president has been confirmed by the Board of Directors. In the wake of these important concerns, we notice the former belligerent parties smoking peace pipe and puffing the smoke on us. This smoke, if we are not mindful, will burn our huts in our little Liberian village in the state of Minnesota. Today, the OLM administration (Board and Executive), is pushing an agenda for a so-called referendum on a "Draft Constitution of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota (OLM)" as it is captioned. We must not be hasty to hold a referendum, for the codifying and ushering in of a new constitution require a chain of process and procedures which if not carefully considered and attended to will lead us back to square one.
There were few of us who saw this dark cloud long before now and cautioned the OLM administration and the Liberian community at-large (reference my posting of October 29, 2008 entitled "Another Sign of Trouble Ahead" ) about the procedure of drafting the OLM Constitution and endorsing the said document through referendum, but no one seemed to listen. Here we are today, faced with the same issue which shall have been addressed some nine months ago. Our leaders should not push this draft instrument in our throats because the document itself , outside of procedural matters, needs a comprehensive overhauling before taking it to the people for review and subsequent acceptance.”
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