Letter To The Editor

From Dempster Yallah

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 4, 2014


The Editor:


I am responding to the latest of Mr. Theodore Hodge's series of incendiary vitriol lately, targeting  people of LPP/MOJA genre and for whatever the personal motivation or agenda. The latest of this indulgence having to do with Dr. Amos Sawyer and how he is now supposed to be a “backstabber,” in Mr. Hodge’s character inquisition. Such a scathing indictment for spurious indulgence.

Let me hasten to point out that were this Perspective news outlet an investment portfolio with stock options, the past few days would have seen those stocks valued at astronomical heights, or would they? And based in the chain of vitriol and malicious articles this outlet has collaborated in denigrating others’ characters, with Mr. Theodore Hodge, that self-proclaimed venerable Liberian journalist with over decades of writing experience as editor-in-chief.  I wish I had that much writing experience to jolt this man’s sense of character assessment in this piece as a lesson in social deportment.

For whatever the agenda Mr. Hodge seems relentless if not dishonest in his “seek (not search) and destroy” mission. He started with president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and how “miserably” she is handling the Ebola epidemic and thereafter, he has now redirected his venomous and incisive campaign at incriminating especially LPP/MOJA stalwarts as part of that obvious agenda-driven recrimination, as if those comrades were health officials, with Dr. Amos Sawyer as prime target.   

In this self-deluded banality Mr. Hodge summoned the courtesy in alerting his reading audience with the caveat, ”I am hearing through the grapevine, innuendoes that Dr. Amos Sawyer is conniving with certain diabolical elements in the Diaspora to seek the removal of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as president of Liberia, and thereby constitute another interim government as caretaker government until elections are held thereafter.” And why? Because of the “unsatisfactory” manner in which the president supposed to be handling the Ebola situation in Liberia. While that is even debatable in lieu of unavailable resources coupled with obvious endemic social impediments, but that can be deferred  for later.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hodge posits various scenarios as possible take-over schemes by the would-be plotters were that the case, and nearly all of which he dismissed as implausible and essentially because they couldn’t fit his own yardstick, except that is, the one alibi he was looking for. True to the time-tested maxim that the more you focus on anything, the likelihood you will find what you’re looking for, Mr. Hodge began his well calculated search for his culprit in the prevailing matter. 

The presumably keen and ardent journalist he is, Mr. Hodge ran few scenarios to test the feasibility of this take-over plot. In the order of constitutional succession already laid out in our constitution, he plucked in the vice-president as scenario #1. For whatever the consideration, that did not satisfy Mr. Hodge’s benchmark. He squashed that as “rubbish.” He then ran his second scenario with the speaker taking over. That too was squashed and for the same reason, “not plausible!” Then another scenario.  ” Naaa,” to that too, it couldn’t hold water. Now left with the one name fitting his profiled target, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Bingo! Final answer and in spite of the fact that the first two scenarios were even more logical for the constitutional undergird (God forbid) than the Sawyer scenario, were such diabolism even remotely the case.

More than that, Mr. Hodge apparently forgot that he had prefaced this character-demolition derby he has embarked upon with the caveat, “news circulating through the grapevine…!” One wonders what could be the new definition of “grapevine” other than rumor mill; gossip; hearsay; tittle-tattle or something unsubstantiated? Yet Dr. Sawyer is indicted and headed for the gallows against a mere rumor in Mr. Hodge’s “book,” as he proclaimed? God help Liberia with such precept for rule of law lying in wait for us were the gods to sanction any such historical accident by marshalling, yes, you heard me right, “marshalling” such draconian tendencies near state power.

As fate would have it, and through these perverse empiricisms we are being treated to an exemplar of what may have befallen us were Mr. Hodge’s ambition to head the Information Ministry in 2006 to come true. God is good! We are often reminded.     
Imagine the fate of the maligned individuals in this viciousness were such under a tyrannical regime, wouldn’t the lives of those people implicated in this coup plot parody be in clear and present danger? I guess such ramification never registered somewhere on Mr. Hodges’s anatomy in his rush to lynch Dr. Sawyer and the others about this.


In the realm of full disclosure Mr. Hodge, I too, was on that “now infamous” teleconference with Dr. Sawyer on Saturday August 30, which you now use as raisondetre to buttress these spiteful and malicious conjectures. And you really believe in your own assumed astuteness Theodore Hodge were Dr. Sawyer to harbor such ambition and for playing advocate, the Internet would be the appropriate place to strategize about it? Mr. Hodge must have a very low estimation of our collective acumen in that regard.

Just like you and think-alike Mr. Hodge, some of us heard as well, similar nonsense surrounding vice-president Boikai’s meeting with president Obama when the former was here for the “African Heads of state Summit” in Washington, DC about a month ago. We simply trashed such tittle-tattle in the knowledge that no American president will go that far in a five minute diplomatic courtesy chit-chat with any foreign leader. The State Department, CIA and US Embassy in the country of interest take care of that. Except you know otherwise, in which case we are all ears!

Additionally, it is no secret there are people around here many of whom you know personally Mr. Hodge, people who have been advocating and soliciting support for the resignation of president Sirleaf as a shortcut to whatever the little agendas/ambitions they may harbor, some even calling for Liberia to be placed under US or UN Trusteeship. Isn’t that something? While millions of people died to free themselves of foreign rule, here we some Liberians craving to be subjugated as such! Given the Internet “nationalist” you are Mr. Hodge, one wonders why haven’t you taken any of those folks to task, or even denounce them like some of us have done in that regard? Or haven’t you heard?       
Ultimately Mr. Hodge, no amount of disparagement especially from nonentities can expunge the cherished and indelible contributions made by patriots like Drs. Sawyer, Tipoteh, Fahnbulleh and others of their political colleagues in the ongoing quest to make Liberia better and livable in the pursuit of our individual/collective aspirations as is obtaining today. These individuals have dedicated their lives over the years to ensuring democracy, rule of law, civil liberties and freedom in all its manifestations for Liberia. While we are still far from there, but at least, we can say with pride that we are on the way. As they say, Rome was not built in one day. When you consider the trails of others before us, you appreciate more the little progress we have made thus far.

While we are at measuring presidential achievements as your preoccupation, perhaps you may want to share with us for the record, what significant achievements did your late father, president Tubman make to account for the 27 years he hijacked power, aside from drinking whiskey every day and smoking pot for the most part?

I should also remind you Mr. Hodge, that every form of struggle is guided by tactics and strategies every step of the way. Tactics and strategies largely dictated by the prevailing circumstances. As such, people are not subject to whatever the adamancy and secondary to some delusional convictions just to please Mr. Hodge and kind, especially without the benefit of existential advisories, or the encumbrances of the new reality.    
As for us, and in our book, president Sirleaf’s government can be considered “saved” for now and on the following fundamental thresholds:
1.     The current government has not betrayed our confidence yet by resorting to the sort of abuse and brutalities reminiscent of our recent past, which paralyzed us for years.
2.     This government is inclusive to a large extent, thus appealing to our desire for integration.
3.     As abhorrent as corruption is and a cancer to national empowerment and development, we can tolerate it minimally for now over other harsh alternatives some alluded to in count 1 above but especially for the reason highlighted below.
4.     We want to nurture a pattern of true democratic transition from one government to the other, as opposed to continuous grumble and confusion just because someone didn’t win election the last time around and can’t wait for the next round. This is no free pass per se, as subsequent course of action will be dictated by the obtaining condition.

I reckon none of the above may fit your style of keyboard “advocacy.” If so, you need not suffer your little conscience, just muster the testicular fortitude to launch your brand of advocacy group and leave others alone. After all, the other figures you disparage today were in their late 20s and mid-30s when they launched theirs. Fair? Think about it.  

Dempster Yallah, a licensed social worker in the state of Michigan.

Anthony Cofrancesco
Mr. Yalla, your attack on Mr Hodge was not deserved by this objective reporter, who has written on issues of concern as seen by majority of Liberians. Did Mr. Hodge manufacture the teleconference discussion that was held, Saturday August 30 2014? Do you think Liberians will sit on the sidelines and have what you called MOJA/LPP selfish ambition destroy Liberia as was done in past years? No my brother, this will never happen again because Liberians have seen for themselves the destruction brought about by them. We are tired of this confused group promoting mixed ideologies in our country that continue to bring havoc to the people who no longer trust them. At the University, they wanted the socialist form of Government; but when they controlled offices of the Executive branch, they changed ideals to capitalist system. What are you trying to say that Liberia is better now than before the era of MOJA/LPP existence? MOJA is no longer LPP and you know that. MOJA has become Dr. Tipoteh peperbush and LPP is Dr. Sawyer Pepperbush. So what is this about MOJA and LPP. They are not cohesive; this is why they are not a political party. These groups have lost their credibility among their followers and they have become extinct; meaning they are no longer in existence.

You mentioned a few issues that I think should be debated about the Tubman Era. This is long overdue and Tubman deserves his rightful place in history that many people tend to overlook. It was Tubman, who provided scholarships for Liberians to attend colleges abroad and at home with the intention that the recipients would return to Liberia to work and expand the education programs in the country. Thanks to this leader for his far sighted vision of encouraging education throughout the country. His integration and Unification policies opened the country to permit others to see and reach out to what was once known as the hinterland of Liberia that everyone outside of the hinterland feared to reach; which he did to unite the country. He expanded education throughout the country to include all desirous of knowledge into the education program. It was his unification and integration policies that brought about the scholarship which included all Liberians to benefit from local and foreign scholarships on competitive basis.

The recipients to name a few were your idols Dr. Sawyer, Dr. Togba nah Tipoteh etc. Tubman had very minimal education and people like those, always aspire to provide for others what they were not privileged to. He wanted to see children of Liberia given the opportunity to advance in education, this was the reason he extended the scholarship program to include foreign countries to train Liberians quickly to return home in order to join the already limited team Liberia had to expand the system. My point is, the money spend on the above recipients and others by the Government of Liberia to acquire higher degrees up to the Doctorate level, to return home and expand the educational system, was an investment to give back to the country what they had learned. The question is, have LIBERIANS BENEFITED FROM OUR INVESTMENT OF THESE CITIZENS THAT WERE PROVIDED SCHOLARSHIPS.

Why is our education system still in shambles after so many years of the Tubman Era? And now going back to the issues of, what have the Liberian Government education investment brought to her? Who should we blame now, a group of rebellious recipients returning home? Infesting our universities with hate and anger for a system that is thriving to survive? Or was it greed and selfish ambition. What were the issues that have led us to where we are now? These are the questions that need to be addressed by scholars; so we can avoid these attitudes in future generations and build on what we have in order to move our county forward.
Anthony Cofrancesco at 09:53AM, 2014/09/04.
Ted Allison

Although you said it in a mouth-full, you hit the nail right on the head. Tubman might have been considered a bad leader to many, but he benefited some, including his principal backstabbers today with Dr. Sawyer leading the list.

Yallah's father might have just been a rubber tapper in Firestone, but Dr. Sawyer enjoyed the sweat of the government. He got a PhD on government funds... that fact cannot be disputed.

Yallah, remember: You pull rope, rope pull bush. Be careful how you defend the backstabber.
Ted Allison at 02:32PM, 2014/09/04.
Anthony Cofrancesco
TED ALLISON,Thank you for mentioning some of those who were beneficiaries of the late President Tubman education scholarship program.I believe the records will show that the late Tubman education program finance the education of about 75% of Liberians that acquired education abroad and at local universities from 1960 to 1980. It is a shame that his free education policy was taken for granted by the beneficiaries. No one seem willing to credit the late President for the generous policy of providing free education to many unfortunate Liberian students who would never have had the opportunity to acquire a good education.I believe Historians will record the great policies of Tubman.
Anthony Cofrancesco at 05:50PM, 2014/09/04.
Prof. T D

A question to Mr. Theodore Hodge:

While we are at measuring presidential achievements as your preoccupation, perhaps you may want to share with us for the record, what significant achievements did your late father, president Tubman make to account for the 27 years he hijacked power, aside from drinking whiskey every day and smoking pot for the most part?
Prof. T D at 03:29AM, 2014/09/05.
T.Nathaniel Tamba 111
Look, Young man (Yallah) you do not actually know Sawyer!!Sawyer is a back stabber!Liberia seriously need more of Theodore Hodge throughout the Country!!!

You better try and concentrate on the improvement of your education from a mere social worker to some noble profession instead of backing the wrongs of these crooks (with their Ph.Ds) you call "LPP/MOJA stalwarts" who are clearly accomplices of this current presidential criminal empire under Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

They laugh at people as you in their hearts and consider such as you as mere Tools and Canon fodders!

If Sawyer werén´t a backstabber the acrimomious chasm which exists today between two best friends - Dew Mayson and Boima Fahnbulleh would have not been the case. This transpired at a meeting we had in Ghana in the 80´s via a backstabbing gossip (against Boima Fahnbulleh) of which Sawyer was the ring leader.

In a quarrell between Fromoyan and Boima Fahnbulleh, the gossip, via the anger of Fromoyan was lashed out by James Fromonyan for which Boima Fahnbulleh struck Fromonyan and in anger when Fahnbulleh tried to put his hand in his bag he was stopped and held back for fear that he was about to "blow out Sawyer Brains" as was spread by Conmanny Wisseh who now in his own backstabbing the Liberian people is telling them to "stop complaining, and complaning". Sawyer is a back stabber!

Again, you are a Young man. Do not allow these crooks to use you folks as the did in the 70´s and 80´s simply for their own personal interests as opposed to the national interests.

You see Dew Mayson today...he got his billions out of the tyranny of Taylor. Tipoteh, Fahnbulleh, and Sawyer are getting theirs from Ellen´s criminal and heartless tenure.

This selfish and hypocritial act on the part of these crooks or cockroaches you refer to as "comrades" are in totality a heartless backstabbing on their individual and collective part AGAINST THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE!
T.Nathaniel Tamba 111 at 04:33AM, 2014/09/05.
B. K. Washington
Sorry but I have no idea why this Social Worker in Michigan called Dempter Yallah is launching such a vicious attack against Theodore Hodge in defense of Amos Sawyer who is accused of backstabbing Ellen Sirleaf with a view to deposing her and taking over as Interim President of Liberia.

Okay, maybe this person writes in his capacity as a hired gun or a spokesperson for Sawyer or Sirleaf or Tipoteh or Fahnbulleh or Mayson? Who else? Which one? In any case, if he is representing one or more of these people, why doesn't he simply identify himself as such right from the start?

It is only toward the end of his rant that Yallah clearly proves that he cannot be relied upon for any objective analysis of the Liberian situation past or present, so deeply committed is he to the two parties (Liberia Peoples Party and MOJA) which baptized and confirmed him in Liberian politics. As a result, in his view, Tubman is the devil personified and Sirleaf and Sawyer are Mother Mary and Jesus Christ.

In the final analysis, one gets the distinct impression that this Letter to the Editor is really just an attempt on Yallah's part to prove to his former professors at LU that he has come of age and is now capable of defending them with his life against anyone who tries to impugn their character. Accordingly he all but declares that he fully deserves to be offered a job on Sirleaf's or Sawyer’s Titanic which he believes with his whole heart to be absolutely unsinkable and going somewhere.
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