Home EditorialGuest Analysis War and Economic Crimes Court Parade: When The Sinners Go Marching In, Who Will Be In That Number?

War and Economic Crimes Court Parade: When The Sinners Go Marching In, Who Will Be In That Number?

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Mwalimu-Koh M. Blonkanjay Jackson (MsEd, EdM, EdD) – May 19, 2024

Simply Thinking Thoughts
In my thinking thoughts, I considered President Boakai’s recent bold and audacious, yet laudable step to sign the war and economic crimes court (WECC) document. I also considered how former President George Weah had alluded to the United Nations Assembly he would approve the WECC and no sooner had he returned to Liberia told the Liberian people the decision was theirs and the Legislature’s. Since that time, the only mention of corruption and war criminals was by the United States Government.

Apparently as a face-saving maneuver, the maverick Ascarous Gray threatened a protest to disrupt JNB’s inauguration if he did not get a commitment. In my thinking thoughts, I asked, AS JNB has approved the will the huge number of criminals and thieves would have masqueraded ss saints over time be paraded and charged as sinners to account for their sins? With trepidation I wondered, when the sinners go marching in with JNB calling the roll to turn them over to the court, who all will go marching in? The answer came, “Yes, and they will be plenty O!”

Sinners Go Marching In
Brabbees, you see back in the day (1970’s) at the William V. S. Tubman High school, we were compelled to attend all Government of Liberia (GOL) approved parades especially Militia Drills, Flag Days, and Tubman’s Birthday celebrations. During militia drills, we were compelled to wear army khaki and receive training and lectures at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) from 0600 hours (6AM) to 1800 hours (6PM) rain or shine under the command of Col. J. Emmanuel Pepple (Col. Pepper as we secretly branded him). During those quarterly military calls, there were no band music so we sang and marched according to army cadence, quick time, half steps, and organized rhythms as we carried outdated M-1 rifles on our shoulders. No soul among us was stupid enough to play nonsense because Col. Pepple constantly reminded us that if we played fool or “F” up, we would be court martialed by the UCMJ. We hated those dreadful moments but remained straight like a needle until 01800 hours when the Liberian flag was lowered.

While the Militia Drill was a doggone pain in the “bunka,” Flag Day was an enjoyable time for Tubman High students. Flag Day parade received a teaspoon of foolishness, tablespoon of rudeness and cook spoon full of rambunctiousness. We were divided into platoons from A to K according to grade level. Platoons A to C which were near the AFL Marching Band and comprised of our junior and senior students were headquarters and headquarters (H & H) platoons. Those of us in 9th and 10th grades were in the Pupu Platoons from D to L. We did not even hear the band music behind. As a consequence, we sang some of our militia drill and ROTC songs to maintain our steps. Our favorite marching song was “When the Saints Go Marching In,” of course, as ROTC students, we added some salt and pepper: 

“When the SINS Go Marching In”
When the sins, Go marching in. When the sins go marching in,
O Lord I want to be in the number when the sins go marching in.
Left, right, left right, your Ma cadence , your Pa cadence, go! (Repeat)
War Crimes Sinner Platoons Go Marching In
My Brabbees, the war crimes court business that President Boakai put down here will divide alleged war criminals and thieves who have been stealing from the GOL into platoons like Tubman High students. Will they go marching in like Tubman High students marching down from Ashmun Street to Broad street then to Lynch Street on to the Army Barracks (BTC) at Rally Town Market to give the “Eyes right or be dragged if they resist?” Like the crowd treated us when we missed and “got: the eyes right, will we boo and punish the convicted and clap for the acquitted?

This platoon will be comprised of big-big so-called influential people who contributed money to support war crime sinners to kill for them take over the country. Another platoon might include notorious warlords who tortured and dismembered war prisoners alive and shot civilians for stealing food to survive while they themselves were also looting banks and businesses. There will be a platoon of sinners who opened pregnant women's bellies; and those who entered villages and just started shooting like their ma and pa born them with no doggone sense? Some of the war crime sinners gave orders and whole towns including women, children and babies were gunned down because they were of particular ethnic groups. 

Brabbees, when those foolish, drug intoxicated sinners attacked my town in Neegbah, Rivercess, they received a rude awakening and fled with their tails between their butts. That day, they arrived at the outskirt of the village and started shooting. Instead of fleeing into the bushes, we ran straight to the Cestos River with our women, children and elderly and plunged into the majesty Cestos, river and stayed there for hours. Because those criminals had never seen such a scientific maneuver, for people to hide under water, they got scared and fled without looting our village. From that incident, no rebel was stupid to try intimidating us. They simply passed through and even politely begged for food and sometimes refused to drink water. I have a hunch that those useless drug addicts will go marching in. 

Economic Crimes Sinner Platoons Go Marching In
The economic crimes platoons will be convoluted, complicated, and highly toxic. There will be sinners that are alleged thieves who swam and bathed in ill-gotten wealth of the nation while poor students, market women and children went to bed hungry, sick, and suffered. Sinners who placed themselves on two Government payrolls will be booked as criminals even if they made restitutions.

A big platoon in this group will be sinners who are so-called important people who suddenly transformed from living in dirty apartments to owning massive properties not commensurate with their income. Some of them took huge loans from banks even though they were not eligible. Those who applied GOL money to unnecessary vacations and legislators who misapplied development fund and built huge mansions for their side chicks and mistresses will go marching in. During President Sirleaf's regime, some thieves and sinners organized bogus companies and siphoned the small grant money set aside to help struggling businesses. Those people will go marching in.

Sanctioned Sinners Platoon
Look here my Brabbees, one platoon that promises to console Liberian people and please the US Government will be the one with people under sanctions. Some of them are in the Legislature, some were former Executive Branch officials who the United States accused of stealing and dealing, amounting to gross corruption and wickedness. Others were sanctioned because of human rights violations and involvement suspicious death squad activities.

You see, in spite of their “sanction statuses,” sinners in this group are still functioning without remorse as if they are invincible and the sanctions are nonsense. Some of the sanctioned sinners participated in the past elections, used their controversial wealth, and won seats in parliament. But mind you, my Brabbees, they will go marching in like Tubman High students. 

Over the last two decades, no matter what the previous GOL did to thwart the WECC approval, Uncle Sam who imposed the sanctions did not waiver. As former United States Ambassador McCarthy departed Liberia, he expressed frustration over the refusal of the Weah-led CDC to prosecute the sanctioned bunch but gave indications that his battle against corruption and abuse would still be accomplished. As support to those quests, to make sure all criminals would “go march in,” the renown WECC advocate Alan White was present at the Senate and meticulously observed the signing process. 

Benediction To Go Marching In
When the alleged thieves and criminals are indicted, will they resist to be arrested or will they go marching in to give their “eyes right?” Who would be dragged in and who would go marching in?

As we approach the commencement of this chapter of Liberian history, let us receive it with open minds instead of toxic discourses. Let us reflect on the case of Ex-President Charles Taylor and Ex-President Foday Sankoh of Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively. When Uncle Sam put foot inside something, he goes to the end. The greedy thieves and extremely notorious war lords who have maimed and suffered our people must go marching in, and “marching in,” they will.

Please join me in the 19th Century hymn, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (Note the second stanza)
1 O when the saints go marching in,
O when the saints go marching in,
O Lord, I want to be in that number
when the saints go marching in.

2 O when the sun refused to shine,
O when the sun refused to shine,
O Lord, I want to be in that number
when the sun refused to shine.

3 O when they crown him Lord of all,
O when they crown him Lord of all,
O Lord, I want to be in that number
when they crown him Lord of all.

Simply Thinking Thoughts

About the author:
The Rivercess man, CEO, and founder of the Diversified Educators Empowerment Project (DEEP), Mwalimu-koh Dr.. Blonkanjay Jackson holds a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Master of Science in Secondary Education (Mathematics) from St. Joseph’s University; he is a Yale University Teachers Initiative Math Fellow, and UPENN Teacher Institute Physics Fellow. He is a former part-time lecturer at the UL Graduate School of Education. Dr. Jackson served the government of Liberia diligently for four years and returned to private practice as Development Specialist and Education Engineer. The Mwalimu-koh can be reached at +231886 681 315 or +6105419114.

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