Cart Before The Horse Mentality -The Pitiful Saga Of 14 Omega Market

The running street battle between marketers and police in their (police’s) quest to stop vendors from selling on the streets, resulting into their goods being destroyed, seized; while even going into  residences according to marketers, without search warrant  by state police; while some of the police officers not properly uniformed for vivid identification,  is currently outrageous and allegedly criminally driven on the part of the enforcers; when preparations were not completely carried out before the forced mass exodus from the Redlight commercial hub to the 14 Omega Market where hell has now totally broken loose as the ill-evacuation exercise has turned out to be putting the cart before the horse;  .absolutely wrong mentality.

Make no mistake, and don’t be fooled into thinking that it is bad for the migration of marketers to Omega, but the cardinal first step that should have been taken, has now become the last step which clearly shows that either the scheme was grudgingly unleashed to demonstrate the position of strength or politically executed prematurely to showcase unchallenged power and authority which has backfired so inhumanely that the back-blast has terraformed into such unwelcoming hullabaloos; wherein, perceived victims on one hand and aggrieved marketers bracing the heat and odds of dissatisfaction rigidly imposed by the police under the authoritative canopy of enforcing the mandate to the letter; has once again come to hunt the very authority that earlier fails to prepare, and is now reaping the  grim and sour open publicity  of prepared failure; despite the overnight damage  control being hurriedly instituted.

Also when dealing with people, be it multitude or not, it pays to always remember these motivational lines, that without time, there can be no change and without change, time has no meaning; there are some bad things that could be presented in good form and be accepted, whereas, there are some good things that can be presented in bad manner and be rejected. If we keenly think deeply and observe carefully along the line of providing services due the people’s livelihoods coupled with their comfort, joy peace and security; it is imperatively binding on all service providers and implementers to take heed of presentation totally in touch with timeliness.

Premature decisions or actions taken without firstly examining the attending consequences for the immediacy, and the future; grossly replacing the execution of a well-rounded wise council’s outfits; and worse of all, when the latter is being politically messed with by a predecessor frustratingly very far away from being on the main highway, quite honestly, the successor apart from being a national policy issue, must be soothingly ajar, weighing every, and all dimensional existing now, along the way and  the future components; before taking the first step to be followed by many others in keeping with properly studied unfolding circumstances, whether it is crystal clear or camouflaged to rage havoc in the aftermath by whatsoever concerned party; as has for example vaguely been in the disturbing case of Donald Trump and Joe Biden in the trending Afghanistan saga based on the departure of American troops as initiated by Biden’s predecessor and now the Afghan’s chickens are coming to Biden’s roost in the pool of raw and vicious barbarity heartlessly and mercilessly being carried out by the victorious Taliban strong arm militancy right at the heel of the US troops’ departure.

Although the posture of the 14 Omega Market episode may be different from that of the Afghanistan scenario by and large, but the political action of abrupt implementation of decision(s) reached by previous predecessors to have troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in line with considered plan before the inception of Joe of which he (Joe) did do; Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who set the entire  program into motion, did not preside over the mass eviction of marketers from the Redlight commercial hub to the newly found Omega site, despite the long delayed and drawback.

At that juncture, pundits indicated that the authority of the day would have thought a little, and look, before leaping, since this was happening over a still water which runs deep, and now, the angry noise starts to thunder far and wide, there might not be any plan B to immediately fish out the stuck power of the day, and so true, this is what the nation is being confronted with, and is now compared to lick its wound after shooting itself grotesquely in the leg.

Development from the police-marketers quandary is gaining enormous negative publicity amidst trading allegations of police’s heavy-handedness in quelling the defiant posture of the marketers to stand their grounds in that they were rushed to the wilderness without planned accommodation or prepared facilities to enhance their operations at the 14 Omega Market rather having spent their meagre resources to establish themselves, are now being confronted with total demolitions of their already erected structures to begin their business activities because the government is carrying out its obligation in keeping with its own scheme and structuring program;  while another generation of marketers are constantly wailing about sitting and selling  in the mud-prone areas; argued that after selling in the swampy areas, the little earned which was intended to keep up the family including paying kids’ school fees, will end up in the clinics where they would be seeking treatment for sitting and selling long hours in the swampy and muddy spots.

While the embarrassed government is doing now what it should have done long time ago, and in the wake of grave noise, confusion, allegations and condemnations crowned by very bad publicity earned locally and internationally, it remains very plain that applying the cart before the horse mentality is never the right way to go nor the correct pattern of having things done for utilization. The right way is to put the horse before the cart.

It can be recalled that recently, the government set a 90-day Action Plan is part of the Government’s Reform measures on the efficient management of market grounds in the country, with an initial focus on the grounds of the newly constructed Omega Market in the City of Paynesville.

The Special Presidential Committee will be headed by the Ministry of Public Works as Chair and Co-chaired by the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC), with the Ministry of State, Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, Liberia Land Authority, the Paynesville City Corporation and the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) as members. The mandates of the Special Committee are as follows:

  1. To ensure that the sale of table tickets by any person or institution at Omega Market is suspended for three (3) months with immediate effect;
  2. That there is no selling of space or any parcel(s) of land to any person or marketer(s) and that no marketer(s) shall pay any sum(s) of money for any space or land at Omega Market;

III. To make sure that all marketers leave the Red Light grounds and relocate to the Omega Market in peaceful and orderly manner; and

  1. To ensure full compliance with the Committee’s mandate at all times for the success of the 90-day Action Plan.

The Government of Liberia takes very seriously the health and livelihoods of every Liberian citizen, including marketers around the country, especially during these crucial times of our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, being conscious that market grounds are at higher risk.

The government also sees it as timely and prudent to intervene and maintain sanity at our market grounds, particularly for the safety of our mothers who spend a significant amount of their time in the markets.

The Liberian Leader has pledged the government’s commitment to collect and dispose of solid waste from the Omega Market grounds and maintain good sanitary conditions through an all-inclusive and participatory approach. The President assures all that the government will work with the relevant stakeholders to have amongst other things, the construction of a new warehouse for marketers, the rehabilitation of the road leading to the market, ensure the cooperation of the transport union, and the installation of solar lights to enhance the safety of marketers.

-Writes GDJ  


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