The 35th Convention Of The True Whig Party- A Time For Reflection, Redemption And Renewal


A keynote Address  delivered
By Tiawan S. Gongloe  
at  the  35th Convention of the True Whig Party
Held in Bentol City, Montserrado County at the Administrative Building and  
Grounds
On July 6, 2015 



The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 7, 2015

                  



 
 
 
 
From Roye to Tolbert
The Rise and Fall of True Whig Party

Officials and members of the True Whig Party, invited guests, other distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Before proceeding any further, may I beg your indulgence to bow with me for a moment of silence in memory of all Liberians who have died for political reasons, since the independence of this country? They are President Edward James Roye, those chiefs and tribesmen killed for resisting the extension of governance to the rural parts of Liberia, S. David Coleman and his son, D. Twe, those who were killed during the 1979 demonstration against government’s proposed increase in the price of rice, President William R. Tolbert and his cabinet ministers who were killed in 1980, members of the Peoples Redemption Council and other soldiers who were killed by the PRC regime, Jackson. F. Doe, Gabriel Kpolleh, Edward Kesselly, Samuel Doe and the over two hundred thousand Liberians who were killed during the civil war, amongst others. Thank you.

A little over a week ago, I got a phone call from my good friend Reginald Goodridge, informing me of my selection by the Convention Committee of the True Whig Party to be the keynote speaker at its upcoming convention and he wanted to find out from me whether I would be willing to accept an invitation from the party for this purpose.  I thought for a few seconds and answered, “Yes”. But I will be the most pretentious and certainly a traitor to my conscience to say to this audience that I was not shocked at the content of Mr. Goodridge’s phone call. I was shocked because, although,  I have spoken to many groups of people in and out of Liberia, over the years,  I did not expect that in my life time the True Whig Party would invite me, or anyone with my political history to speak at  an important occasion of the party such as a national convention!

After Mr. Goodridge’s call I kept wondering whether members of the convention organizing committee of the True Whig Party really knew the person they were inviting. Did they know that I was an active member of the Vanguard Student Unification Party of the University of Liberia in 1970s? Did they know that I was on the editorial staff of the University of Liberia Spokesman, the official news organ of the University of Liberia Students’ Union (ULSU) that was very critical of the True Whig Party Government? Did they know that I was one the six student leaders who was detained by the True Whig Party Government on April 3, 1978, for opposing President Jimmy Carter’s visit to Liberia because the government declared the day as a holiday in Monrovia, when in fact President Carter planned visit to Liberia was for only one hour, in contrast to his three day stay in Nigeria, without that country declaring a holiday in Lagos or any part of Nigeria? Did they know that I was a member of MOJA? Did they know that I was an active member of the Sawyer for Mayor Campaign in 1979? Did they know that I participated in the 1979 demonstration led by the erstwhile Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) against the increment in the price of rice in Liberia? Did they really know me? The only answer that came to my mind was, “yes” indeed, they knew me. I felt that the action taken by the organizing committee was well-thought of and deliberately taken with the full knowledge of the person they were inviting.  Unless and until I can be proven wrong, it is my view that the purpose for my selection by the organizing committee to speak on this occasion is that the Grand Old Whig Party wants to critically take an introspective look at its past with the view of redeeming its image and renewing its commitment to the building of Liberia as, truly, a land of liberty for all without distinction, and on an equal and fair basis.

I then concluded that this was an occasion that called for brutal frankness, as a way of helping the party to experience the rebirth that it so badly needs, if it must be reconsidered by the Liberian people as an alternative in the search for national leadership, given its not so favorable political history.  Therefore, I have decided to speak to this convention on the topic: The 35th Convention of the True Whig Party- a time for Reflection, Redemption and Renewal.
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One hundred and forty-six (146) years ago, in 1869, the True Whig Party, was formed against the background of the control of political power by the Republic Party from the time Liberia gain its independence up to that time. The Party was formed on the promise of making Liberia a land of liberty for all and opening the political space for the participation of all Liberians without distinction. The question is did the True Party keep the promise? Did every Liberian who wanted to participate in politics during the rule of the True Whig Party have an opportunity to do so? The answer is, certainly, a big, “NO”! The True Party achieved many things for Liberia; but opening the political space for all and making Liberia a true land of liberty for all, cannot be counted among its achievements. In fact, it is the systematic effort by the True Whig Party to close the political space for all, except for True Whig Partisans, that lead to the virtual creation of a one party state in Liberia, followed by violent political eruptions in resistance to such rule and the eventual failure of the Liberian state.

No one can take the credit from the True Whig Party for beginning the process of the infrastructural development of Liberia. It was under the True Whig Party that motor roads, railways, airstrips, and seaports, amongst others were built for the first time in Liberia. No one can also take from the True Whig Party the credit for the introduction of telecommunication, radio, television broadcasting, electricity and pipe borne water. These are great achievements for which the Grand Old True Whig Party must be applauded. However, the True Whig Party cannot run away from taking the blame for introducing a governing approach that stimulated violent reactions that hindered the progressive development of Liberia and the conflict that destroyed the very infrastructure built by the True Whig Party and caused the near collapse of the Liberian state.

In order to understand the point that I am making, it is important to look at the history of the party from its formation in 1869 to the fall of its rule in 1980. It was formed to challenge the Republican Party because that party had held onto power exclusively from 1847 to 1869, a period of twenty-two (22) years. The Republican Party was, largely, composed of lighter skinned Americo-Liberians and excluded other Liberians, largely darker skinned Americo-Liberians and recaptured slaves from the Congo Basin and indigenous who had become “Christianizes and civilized”. The True Whig Party at its formation was seen as a revolutionary party ready for change because it stood against the control of power by one group of people. It was expected, therefore, that the party would open the political space for all Liberians, consistent with the dream upon which Liberia was established and that dream was that Liberia would be a land of liberty for all Liberians without distinction.  

The Liberian voters in 1869 believed in the True Whig Party’s promise that it would be a mass-based political party, not a party of the elite and open the political space for all to participate in the politics and governance of Liberia, on an equal basis and voted the True Whig Party to power. But in just two years, the True Whig Party lost power in a violent coup, based on the suspicion of corruption and political manipulation to stay in power longer then provided by the Constitution of Liberia at the time. The story is that on January 1, 1870, President Edward J. Roye, the first president elected on the ticket of the True Whig Party was inaugurated as President of Liberia. His tenure was due to end on January 1, 1872.

In May 1870 a special election was held. On the ballot for the special election there was a proposition for the amendment of the Constitution by extending the term of the president from two years to four years, the senate from four years to six years and the House from two years to four years. According the Constitution of Liberia at that time, it was the responsibility of the Legislature to declare election results and not the president. Yet, President Roye took the liberty, without any support in law, to  issue a proclamation declaring that by the result of the special election, his term of office had been extended to four years, the senate to six (6) years and the house to four years.  Subsequent to the action of President Roye, the House and the Senate issued a joint resolution declaring that the proposed constitutional amendment had not been adopted, according to the result of the special election that they received.

President Roye ignored the joint resolution issued by the House and Senate and maintained that the presidential election scheduled to be held in May 1871, could not be held because his term of office had been extended by two more years. Therefore, the presidential election of May 1871 was not held. The position taken by President Roye created a political turmoil that became violent because he had armed militia and his opponents had armed militia. In the midst of this confusion, members of the legislature, met in Monrovia and issued a manifesto on October 26, 1871, in which they declared that the President had been deposed. There was no legal basis for this action of the Legislature because the only means available to them against President Roye was impeachment.  But members of the legislature argued that the process of impeachment was too long and time-consuming and that they needed to act quickly to end the political crisis that had developed, based on the arbitrary action and intransigence of President Roye. So, Roye was removed from office by a coup d’état.

In addition to the debate between President Roye and the legislature over the result of the special election, he had another problem. He had obtained a loan from Britain under circumstances that created a suspicion of corruption. The full amount of the loan was One Hundred Thousand (100,000) British Pound at the interest rate of seven percent (7%).  Of this amount, President Roye reported that 30,000 pounds was retained by the bankers as discount and advanced interest and 10,000 pounds was used to purchase goods. Therefore, the balance left with him was 60,000 pounds.  However, it is reported that more than half of the 60,000 pounds was mismanaged and misappropriated and that the amount that was actually received by the Liberian people was between Twenty Thousand (20,000) pounds to Twenty Seven Thousand (27,000) pounds. The people became very angry with the President for such a very bad loan. They also suspected him of being corrupt. The House of Representatives brought charges against him for impeachment but the Senate did not support the action of the House. This was happening while his two year term in office was coming to an end. The confusion that these two developments generated led to the first overthrow of a Liberian president and the first coup d état in Africa. The Roye story is detailed in the book entitled the Legislative and Political History of Liberia written by Charles H. Huberich.

For two (2) reasons, nobody expected Roye to fall from power for the two reasons that were given for his removal. First, he was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia and consequently, he was to respect the law.  Besides the fact that President Roye should have allowed the legislature to declare the result of the referendum, it should have been clear even if the term office of the President had been extended, it would have affected his tenure, but the tenure of the President in the pending presidential election.  Second, Roye was a very rich businessman with a fleet of ships, therefore, nobody expected him corrupt.    Also, how could he have benefitted as an incumbent? Even if the proposed amendment had been adopted it would have become effective in the subsequent election. Further, it is reported that Roye was a successful businessman owning a fleet of merchant vessels before becoming president; consequently, it was surprising that he could be involved in corruption.  

The True Whig Party experienced another coup d’état ninety years later in which President William R. Tolbert, Liberia’s 19th President was overthrown. This time it was a military coup carried out by seventeen enlisted men of the Armed forces of Liberia, led by a master sergeant. President Tolbert came to power on July 23, 1971, following the natural death of President Tubman, after years of political repression under True Whig Party leadership of Liberia, accentuated during the twenty seven year rule of President Tubman. The people of Liberia, especially opposition politicians, had accrued anger that was ready to erupt like volcano, at the time of Tubman’s death.

Tolbert knowing the situation promised the Liberian people change in the political situation. And the Liberian listened. But, because he was held back by the old guards of the True Whig Party, he reneged on fully bringing about the change that he had promised on coming to power. Like the True Whig Party he betrayed his promise to the people. The result was the lack of trust in his leadership and consequently, the erosion of respect for his office and rising protests against his continuous stay in power by the disappointed masses of the people. In the emotional reaction to Tolbert’s betrayal of his promise for change of the political situation, his integrated rural development programmed that witnessed the increase in construction of schools, clinics, farm to market roads through his policy of self-help; his agricultural programs, and his reduction of school fees up to the University level meant nothing to the angry people of Liberia.

While President Tolbert was being challenged by his political opponents , there were internal dissentions within the True Whig Party, with some of its members planning to remove President Tolbert either by impeachment or by coup d’état, as was experienced by President Roye. The older members of the True Whig Party who know its oral history very well have more details on the erosion of cohesion of the party under President Tolbert. There is a common saying that a house divided against itself cannot stand. The True Whig Party was a divided party under President Tolbert. The wife of President Tolbert, the Late Victoria Tolbert in her book narrated that she informed her husband many times that some of the members of the True Whig Party that he considered his friends were not his friends, but traitors, who were planning to remove him. In order to ease tension, President Tolbert released opposition leaders held in detention for leading the April 14, 1979 demonstration. Tolbert also, promised to hold general and presidential elections in 1983 and to transfer power to the winner. In preparation for the promised election, President Tolbert convened a special convention of the True Whig Party in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County which he referred to as the Bassa Quadrennial Conference. Some of the people at this convention attended that conference.  But by that time Tolbert had lost credibility both in the True Whig Party and outside the party. His failure to hold the 1979 promised mayoral election deepened the suspicion of the opposition that he would not hold election in 1983 as promised. Meanwhile, Tolbert’s desire to be a key player in the non-alignment movement and the Organization of African Unity (now African Union) by remaining committed to the radical decisions of these international bodies, during the height of the cold war and at the time that he had a very week political base, made his removal from power just a matter of time. Tolbert was overthrown on April 12, 1980, thereby making him the second President of Liberia that has been overthrown. In reflecting on the past, the TWP need to examine the reasons why its two leaders were overthrown.

The True Whig Party at this convention must take serious note of some aspects of its style of governance that affected the chances of other Liberians to have a role in the governance of their country. The party, for example, cannot shy away from blame for introducing, patronage, cronyism, nepotism, favoritism, political exclusion and marginalization, and massive abuse of human rights in the governance of Liberia. The legacy of this type of governance practice transformed into a mainstream governance culture and that governance culture still remains with our country to this day.

This convention should be used by the True Whig Party to reflect on its past, not for the purpose defending it, but for the purpose of examining all of the criticisms that have been made against it over the years by Liberians, scholars and observers of Liberian politics  in order to redeem its image by recommitting itself to the promise it made to the Liberian people at its formation that it would be a party for the masses of the people and not a party for the elite or a party surviving on political exclusion and marginalization.

The True Whig Party also promoted domination of one group of Liberians over all other Liberians against its promise of promoting a land of liberty for all in which every Liberian would have the right to participate in politics and governance as well as the right to benefit from every opportunity provided by the state on an equal basis. Domination has not helped Liberia in any manner or form. At one time, the lighter skinned Liberians exclusively controlled political power in Liberia for over two decades under the banner of the Republican Party. Then for most of the period beginning 1870 to 1980, the True Whig Party exclusively controlled power for more than a century as it came to power 1870, lost power in 1871 and regained power in 1878 and remained in power until 1980. From April 1980 to 1990 the indigenous Liberians  controlled  political  power both under the military rule of the Peoples’ Redemption Council and the National Democratic Party of Liberia.  Under the National Patriotic Party, governance was by a mixture of Liberians, but the politics of fear and violence introduced by the True Whig Party and improved upon by the military and the NDPL was used to drive away leading political opponents of the NPP.  The politics of dominance and exclusion are parts of the legacy of the True Whig Party that it must guide against in its reflection at this convention.

The True Whig Party introduced in Liberia what could appropriately be described as black apartheid, whereby, one group of people controlled political power and had better access to the opportunities provided by the state while the rest of the people were denied the same opportunities. Under the True Whig Party access to the opportunities provided by the state for other Liberians who were not members of the ruling class was by patronage, cronyism and favoritism. Therefore, the True Whig Party developed and encouraged a political culture of opportunism and sycophancy that has become so entrenched in Liberia. If the True Whig Party wants to be accepted by the Liberian people it has to commit itself to denouncing patronage, cronyism, favoritism, opportunism and sycophancy because these are tendencies that undermine every effort to make Liberia a land of liberty for all Liberians on an equal basis. Is the True Whig Party willing to change from these old ways? This is a challenge for the True Whig Party, if it wants the Liberian people to give it a second chance to govern Liberia.

No well-meaning Liberian should be hoping for reviving a Liberia in which respect for rights and access to opportunities are based on ones last name, ethnicity, class, religion, creed, color, fraternity, sex, amongst other such types of distinctions. That type of Liberia brought us conflict and hindered the development of our country. We must all strive to prevent a return to that type of Liberia.   Liberia should be for all Liberians without distinction. Therefore, we should work towards a Liberia in which when a Liberian wants political or civil service position or seeks access to any other opportunity provided by the Liberian state,  he  or  she  should  be   only   accessed,   evaluated   or   judged   based   on knowledge, character content and track record.   When we build this kind of Liberia, then we can say that we are in the Liberia that was dreamed of at the time of the independence of Liberia- a land of liberty for all by God’s command. We are not there yet. We are still far from reaching the Liberia that was envisaged in 1847. There are many reasons why I hold this view. For example, I hear people saying that the time for Americo-Liberians to control power is over. I also hear some people say that Liberia is back or there is a need to get Liberia back. And the question is in whose hands is it back to or in whose hand should it get back to.

Another observation is that under the True Whig Party many people were happy to say that they were Americo-Liberians, Congo or civilized. Today, I have observed some politicians getting angry when they are referred to as Americo-Liberians or Congo. I have also observed some Liberian politicians trying hard to emphasize their tribal names that were not known before to the public, as a way of gaining greater acceptance among the electorates. I have heard some politicians who are known to be Americo-Liberians trying to speak a local language or taking the liberty to explain their genealogy to show that have native or tribal heritage. Our current President, for example spent a lot of time during the 2005 campaign to explain to the Liberian people her Gola and Kru origins and how her skin pigmentation was based on the fact that her maternal grandfather was a German, as a way of distancing herself from the Americo-Liberians or Congo people.

There are some who even hold the view that all Americo-Liberians are bad. How can this be true when, Albert Porte, for example fought against his own people for justice for all Liberians, including the indigenous people, even more than any indigenous Liberian? There are those who maintain the view that because Liberia has many ethnic groups, Liberia will experience disunity if a member one ethnic group becomes a President of Liberia. These kinds of views and actions by Liberian politicians show that we are not yet in the Liberia that was dreamed of. It also shows that Liberians are still not yet united as a nation.
                                                
Some Liberians have suggested that the way to bring about peace and progress in Liberia is to seek some form of homogeneity, either by adopting one of our indigenous languages as a national language, or by having one national religion, or by choosing our national leaders from one fraternal organization, amongst other suggested forms of homogeneity. The argument of those who are making these suggestions is that when political actors in Liberia are of the same background in terms of religion, language, fraternity, etc, then they will have an avenue for understanding, cooperation and oneness of purpose and the result will be that Liberia will experience sustainable peace, stability, unity and progress. However, history and contemporary developments have shown that homogeneity in whatever form is no guarantee for peace and progress in any nation.

Look at Somalia. Before the outbreak of civil war in Somalia in 1991, it was considered the most homogeneous nation in Africa. Except for a small percentage of Arabs and Bantus, most of the people of Somalia are of one ethnic group and speak one language called Somali. They are also all Sunni Muslims. Yet, Somalia has a conflict that the whole world has found very difficult to resolve. In Liberia, for example, history has shown that some of the victims of political conflicts were people who shared the same background as those who harmed them. Under the True Whig Party some Americo-Liberians became victims of arbitrary arrests and cruel and inhumane treatments. The story of the famous Albert Porte from Crozerville, a few blocks down the road, is instructive. Porte a pure blooded Americo-Liberian suffered under Presidents King, Barclay, Tubman and Tolbert, all of whom were Americo-Liberians, only for exercising his right to freely express himself about how Liberia was governed under those presidents.  . Harry Johnson and Nelson Toe, two Krahn members of the People Redemption Council (PRC) were killed by Msgt. Samuel K. Doe, along with Gen. Thomas Wehsyen, Joseph Sumo and Henry Zuo, because Doe reached a conclusion that his two kinsmen threatened his political power. The issue in Liberia has been how those who control power, over the years have perceived power. The desire to control power at any and all cost has been the problem.

Given that dominance, exclusion or homogeneity has not solved any problem in Liberia or elsewhere, nobody in Liberia should be made, by any circumstance, to deny who he or she, truly is. Some people have indigenous blood, but grew up as Americo-Liberian or Congo and some people have Americo-Liberian or Congo blood and grew up as indigenous Liberians. None of these people owe anybody an apology for who she or he is. As long as these things are happening,  the struggle to build Liberia as a land of liberty for all must continue.

At this convention I advise members of the True Whig Party to take a critical look at the party’s past record. Look at the records of its internal politics, particularly the caucus system- a system whereby a few people in the True Whig Party decided on the candidates for elected posts. This is not the way to build internal democracy because the caucus system is not based on the will of the majority. The caucus system may have contributed to the internal dissention within the True Whig Party and could have been one of the factors that weakened the party. The party should find away to strengthened its internal democracy. Let me quickly note here that most Liberian political parties lack internal democracy, at least when it comes to selection of their standard bearers. Except for the 2011 primary in the Congress for Democratic Change, which recorded  the defeat of George Weah, the man around whom the party was formed, by Winston Tubman, a less  popular member of the CDC, most political parties in Liberia a mere campaign committees of their founders and funders. This is a bad lesson that the new political parties copied from the Grand Old True Whig Party. The party as a matter of necessity, must muster the courage to face all the facts associated with its past, in order to avoid making those mistakes that made it to fall from power twice, first in 1871 and 102 years later in 1980.

Liberia and Haiti were the first independent black republics in the world, with Haiti first in 1804 and Liberia in 1847. Both countries had the historic obligation to show to the rest of the world that black people were capable of properly governing themselves. However, both countries, have shamefully failed to be the example  that  they  were  expected  to be, as a result of the nature of the politics that have been practiced by their politicians. Most of the countries that gained independence as late as the 1960s are doing better than Haiti and Liberia in terms of their commitment to upholding democratic values, such as respect for the rule of law, respect for human rights and holding credible elections. As a result, those countries are experiencing sustained peace, security and development. Liberia and Haiti, after nearly two centuries of independence, are, very unfortunately considered fragile states as demonstrated by the presence of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in the two countries. Liberians must make a commitment to change this situation for Liberia, by the way politicians conduct themselves in their political parties and in government. The True Whig Party must begin the process of change by improving on its internal democratic process.

Finally, I advise anyone seeking to be the next president of Liberia, whether on the ticket of the True Whig Party or any other party to know that Liberians will not accept any form of domination or exclusion of Liberians, anymore.  All Liberians are looking for a politician who will lead them to the promise land of freedom, equality and fairness for all Liberians. Now before I take my seat let me take the liberty to ask you the following questions, with the hope that I can get an answer from the audience: Will Liberians accept any form of domination, again?  I say no! Will Liberians, again, accept any form of exclusion? Again, I say no!

Backward never, forward ever! In union strong success is sure.
I thank you.

Theodore Hodge
The author writes, "I then concluded that this was an occasion that called for brutal frankness..."

That's how far I read. Since the author is calling for brutal frankness, allow me to be brutally frank:

1. If the TWP is interested in Renewal and Redemption, it picked the wrong guy to deliver its message.

2. Mr. Gongloe should have been brutally frank with them by declining the offer. By accepting to be the keynote speaker at this convention, I think Mr. Gongloe undermines his own credibility.

3. It is my opinion that Mr. Gongloe speaking on this occasion and on this topic is tantamount to a black citizen of the United States justifying the US Civil War between the North and the South and justifying Confederate causes. It is also tantamount to someone who used to be a Civil Rights leader now apologizing and trying to justify Jim Crow Laws. The rationality should elude and rational person.

4. The South Carolina legislature has finally agreed to bring down the Confederate flag from flying over the state house; the flag is now going to be consigned and relegated to a museum, where it properly belongs. Similarly, I think the TWP should become a relic of the past; a curiosity to be examined by historians, anthropologists,sociologists and other social scientists.

The idea of renewing the party that stood for class division and injustice and inequality should have no redemptive value after such a very short time in history. That the children and grandchildren of this divisive party are regrouping to gain power and prestige in our lifetimes is repugnant and repulsive.

But most amazingly, that such a message is delivered by someone who has built the prestige of being a "Human Rights Activist" is absolutely appalling and mind-boggling. Brother Gongloe, this shall not be your best moment in history.

Thanks for the opportunity to be "brutally honest".

Yours most sincerely,
Theodore T. Hodge
imthodge@gmail.com


Theodore Hodge at 12:01PM, 2015/07/07.
Nyekan Eboko
I'm an admire of Cllr Gongloe and see nothing wrong with him delivering the key note as I'm sure they wanted someone of his background and reputation to enable a reboot of sorts for TWP. That said I'm disheartened he failed to call the spade a spade. TWP was an apartheid party and Liberia still has the structures and symbols of the TWP apartheid system in place. Look at the nations motto " The Love of Liberty Brought Us here"...By touching on the issue of Congo background in the context of this new attitude of identification with the natives I welcome his frankness and believe we would all do well to further these types of exchange in the context of where we are coming from where we are and where we want to go as a unified nation and people.

Nyekan Eboko at 04:02PM, 2015/07/07.
George K Fahnbulleh
Who would be interested in "reviving" the TWP?
Who would be interested in reviving the White Citizens Party?
the National Socialist Party of Germany (NAZI)?

What does/did Gongloe see in the TWP, that he believes in the REVIVAL of the Party?

The mind of the people who want to revive the TWP is that Liberia was better of as a one party state, with discrimination against an entire group of Liberians, with education opportunities limited to certain families, and resources consumed by those families.

Ask me to speak at their "revival?" My response: you belong in history's dustbin.
George K Fahnbulleh at 11:56AM, 2015/07/08.
sylvester moses
“If the True Whig Party wants to be accepted by the Liberian people it has to commit itself to denouncing patronage, cronyism, favoritism, opportunism and sycophancy because these are tendencies that undermine every effort to make Liberia a land of liberty for all Liberians on an equal basis”.

As well - meaning as this advice is, it sounds ironical because the Sirleaf administration which Counselor Gongloe served exhibits the same “patronage, cronyism, favoritism, opportunism, and sycophancy”. We agree, however, that she would be the last Liberian leader to ever get away with such wickedly bad governance. Truth be told, the TWP has a role to play in the quest for the following existentialist goals: reconciliation, stability, and sustainable peace. The present configuration of political parties alone won’t; Liberia needs all political persuasions for a renewal of hope. And a rejuvenated TWP can probably merge with NPP, LP, CDC, Urey’s and Tipoteh’s party against the ruling UP and a coalition of other parties. Some commenters would, of course, have better ideas; the template here is tranquility.

Many have come to terms with Liberia’s tragic history, and the damning legacies. Because to hold on to the past wouldn’t bridge whatever barriers that were erected. The pioneers’ mandate from slavers in America wasn’t to coexist with the African natives, but to subjugate them. The rationale then was that only by lording over those they met, just like Europeans did over Native Americans “Indians”, the Blacks left behind would’ve been encouraged to make the arduous and hazardous exodus to what became Liberia. After all, that was a condition of freedom opened to all. It’s under these circumstances, and more, we should understand the past, forgive its painful shortcomings, and unite to salvage this joint heritage, and save our bloody selves.



sylvester moses at 05:06PM, 2015/07/08.
Julius Saykergeepo
Cllr. Gongloe, let me state in all frankness my admiration for you in this public manner. You have set out to be one of the decent, noble and honest men our nation has ever given birth to.

My very first encountered with you was in 2005 when armed policemen with guns in shot stormed, invaded and ransacked our university, the United Methodist University, on Ashmun Street, simply because as young students activists then, we were booing the police for the inhuman and brutal manner in which they were treating protesting widows of ex-AFL personnel that were demanding their just benefits. These policemen were acting on the order of Abraham Darius Dillon, who was then special assistant to Solicitor General, Cllr. T.C Gould.

So many of our militants and cadres were arrested and put in prison without charge. Some of us managed to escape with wounds and injuries.

It was on your intervention that our militants and cadres were released. You were brutally frank to the police then that there was absolutely no reason for our arrest and that we must be released.

Again, our second encountered was when you were Solicitor General yourself and policemen again stormed our university. You ordered those police officers to be disrobed and punished for storming our university and brutalizing students.

You were the only cabinet minister who walked out of Sirleaf's government after her abused of power and illegal move to send all her cabinet ministers home as though she were paying them from her pocket or they were working on her farm. These plus many more, have given me all reasons to consider you a nationalist and hero.

However, Cllr. Gongloe, I think you weren't fair enough to the Grand Old True Whig Party convention by telling them in your speech that they can be revived and that the Liberian people might take them seriously.

Counselor, no amount of renewal, redemption and revitalization can rescue this party. These people will never be taken seriously and their days of reaching close to our national governance is over.

We congratulate them for the century of misrule, suppression and marginalization, they can now go, therefore, and find their place in the backward pages of history. Our kids will read about them.
Julius Saykergeepo at 10:21AM, 2015/07/09.
k

Dear Tiawon,
Your frankness needs spreading in a nation where very few people including those calling themselves religious leaders dear to be frank. Whether the True Whig Party is revived or not, it needs to remember the more than one hundred year of misrule and apartheidlike governments it presented the people of Liberia all these years.

I hope their 'revival' is a true revival not the same old ways in which the country was divided and a handful of people like in the Apartheid regime in South Africa, benefited while the masses suffer.

Long Live Liberia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
k at 05:54PM, 2015/07/09.
Sylvester S. Barjolo, Sr.
Tiawon,
You should have told the the TWP to go to hell.
I don't think you can go back to your mom and suck on her boo aftr you left it many years ago. i meant you cannot be a baby again.
The TWP is done and the rest is history.
I Think you were not frank with them. TWP destroyed every fabrics of Liberian society. how can they be revived? There is no way that a TWP member can come to my door and canvass. The Liberian people are not fools anymore. The last mismanagement governmnet will end with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. No more can Liberians condone this this kind of division.
It is better for Liberians to elect a billy goat as persident than the TWP. The trouble in Liberia started from the TWP. They refused to educate the Liberian people and there is no place on earth where you can lead bunch of blind people. When their eyes are opened, you expect the worst. You did the TWP lip service. you should have told them to go to hell.
Sylvester S. Barjolo, Sr. at 10:01PM, 2015/07/11.
Sylvester S. Barjolo, Sr.
Tiawon,
You should have told the the TWP to go to hell.
I don't think you can go back to your mom and suck on her boo after you left it many years ago. I meant you cannot be a baby again.
The TWP is done and the rest is history.
I Think you were not frank with them. TWP destroyed every fabrics of Liberian society. How can they be revived? There is no way that a TWP member can come to my door and canvass. The Liberian people are not fools anymore. The last mismanagement governmnet will end with Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. No more can Liberians condone this this kind of divisions and mismanagement.
It is better for Liberians to elect a billy goat as persident than a TWP candidate. The trouble in Liberia started from the TWP. They refused to educate the Liberian people and there is no place on earth where you can lead bunch of blind people. When their eyes are opened, you expect the worst. You did the TWP lip service. You should have told them to go to hell. The TWP left bad memories with Liberians. Liberia should have been a shinny city on the hill, but look at Liberia and tell us where are Liberia's natural resources billions for the past 160 years under the so-called black apatherid regime in Liberia. All went to the West. The TWP government signed all the major agreemnets in Liberia and nothing to show. The TWP governmentruled Liberia like the Party's farm.
In Sanniquellie, the Martha Tubman Elementary School was built with dirt blocks and you were there when the school collapsed. Care Liberia built another one like and it was a junk also. I don't know where or not Sanniquellie ever had a modern school building after I left in 1976. TWP is history in Liberia and their way of divide and rule is still in their minds. An example is the memorial of those killed with Tolbert in 1980. The TWP crime against the Liberian people was grossly abused of human rights and crime against humanity; the penalty was death by firing squards. The TWP asked for what they got in 1980. How can they memorilized certain group and how about those that died because of the TWP bad governance? Enough is enough. I will be ashamed if someone called me an Americo Liberian at this time in Liberia. That name alone brought problems to Liberia. The TWP was dismantled and buried in 1980 and will never be revived. The Liberian people are not stupid, our eyes are opened. Thanks to the PRC.
Sylvester S. Barjolo, Sr. at 10:46PM, 2015/07/11.
Nyan Zikeh
Tiawan,

It is difficult to satisfy everybody at the same time. In life it is said that change is the only constant everyone must experience. Accepting to be a keynote speaker at a TWP convention, an institution whose polices, belief system, practices you opposed is a proof that you have the capacity to continually fight and work for positive change in Liberia. TWP is part of the Liberia mosaic, we cannot denied its existence or being.

Bringing to the fold the negatives we have each committed as individual and institution for public dissection and reflection is the first step to recognizing what needs correction and change.

It is now upon all of us Liberians to put aside our bigot attitude and sit at the table and "brutally confront our excesses that has stray as psychologically, economically, socially and politically" from doing the right thing for Liberia.

Good things can be copied from the dust bin of bad history. Liberia history is covered with wickedness in leadership from its inception up to now. It is time we ready ourselves and take bold steps one at a time time Tiawon Gongloe. Facing the bad in its face and saying this is what you are is a step forward. Never throw the baby away with the bath water simply because the baby pass stool in the bath tub while you were bating it.

Tiawon continue the your good examples. Telling it as it is or as it happened to the face of wrong doers will help stop sycophancy in our society. You are grooming the next generation of True Liberian Nationalist who will see Liberia now and in the future and not my clan, class, tribe, region or religion.

God bless you and continue the work of truth.

Nyan Zikeh at 04:20PM, 2015/07/12.
Nyan Zikeh
Tiawan,

It is difficult to satisfy everybody at the same time. In life it is said that change is the only constant everyone must experience. Accepting to be a keynote speaker at a TWP convention, an institution whose polices, belief system, practices you opposed is a proof that you have the capacity to continually fight and work for positive change in Liberia. TWP is part of the Liberia mosaic, we cannot denied its existence or being.

Bringing to the fold the negatives we have each committed as individual and institution for public dissection and reflection is the first step to recognizing what needs correction and change.

It is now upon all of us Liberians to put aside our bigot attitude and sit at the table and "brutally confront our excesses that has stray as psychologically, economically, socially and politically" from doing the right thing for Liberia.

Good things can be copied from the dust bin of bad history. Liberia history is covered with wickedness in leadership from its inception up to now. It is time we ready ourselves and take bold steps one at a time time Tiawon Gongloe. Facing the bad in its face and saying this is what you are is a step forward. Never throw the baby away with the bath water simply because the baby pass stool in the bath tub while you were bating it.

Tiawon continue the your good examples. Telling it as it is or as it happened to the face of wrong doers will help stop sycophancy in our society. You are grooming the next generation of True Liberian Nationalist who will see Liberia now and in the future and not my clan, class, tribe, region or religion.

God bless you and continue the work of truth.

Nyan Zikeh at 04:20PM, 2015/07/12.
Nyan Zikeh
Tiawan,

It is difficult to satisfy everybody at the same time. In life it is said that change is the only constant everyone must experience. Accepting to be a keynote speaker at a TWP convention, an institution whose polices, belief system, practices you opposed is a proof that you have the capacity to continually fight and work for positive change in Liberia. TWP is part of the Liberia mosaic, we cannot denied its existence or being.

Bringing to the fold the negatives we have each committed as individual and institution for public dissection and reflection is the first step to recognizing what needs correction and change.

It is now upon all of us Liberians to put aside our bigot attitude and sit at the table and "brutally confront our excesses that has stray as psychologically, economically, socially and politically" from doing the right thing for Liberia.

Good things can be copied from the dust bin of bad history. Liberia history is covered with wickedness in leadership from its inception up to now. It is time we ready ourselves and take bold steps one at a time time Tiawon Gongloe. Facing the bad in its face and saying this is what you are is a step forward. Never throw the baby away with the bath water simply because the baby pass stool in the bath tub while you were bating it.

Tiawon continue the your good examples. Telling it as it is or as it happened to the face of wrong doers will help stop sycophancy in our society. You are grooming the next generation of True Liberian Nationalist who will see Liberia now and in the future and not my clan, class, tribe, region or religion.

God bless you and continue the work of truth.

Nyan Zikeh at 04:20PM, 2015/07/12.
Nyan Zikeh
Tiawan,

It is difficult to satisfy everybody at the same time. In life it is said that change is the only constant everyone must experience. Accepting to be a keynote speaker at a TWP convention, an institution whose polices, belief system, practices you opposed is a proof that you have the capacity to continually fight and work for positive change in Liberia. TWP is part of the Liberia mosaic, we cannot denied its existence or being.

Bringing to the fold the negatives we have each committed as individual and institution for public dissection and reflection is the first step to recognizing what needs correction and change.

It is now upon all of us Liberians to put aside our bigot attitude and sit at the table and "brutally confront our excesses that has stray as psychologically, economically, socially and politically" from doing the right thing for Liberia.

Good things can be copied from the dust bin of bad history. Liberia history is covered with wickedness in leadership from its inception up to now. It is time we ready ourselves and take bold steps one at a time time Tiawon Gongloe. Facing the bad in its face and saying this is what you are is a step forward. Never throw the baby away with the bath water simply because the baby pass stool in the bath tub while you were bating it.

Tiawon continue the your good examples. Telling it as it is or as it happened to the face of wrong doers will help stop sycophancy in our society. You are grooming the next generation of True Liberian Nationalist who will see Liberia now and in the future and not my clan, class, tribe, region or religion.

God bless you and continue the work of truth.

Nyan Zikeh at 04:20PM, 2015/07/12.
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Remy Ajakah
I speak from the point of an outsider, however, i think there should be room for repentance.

The first time i was in Monrovia, i was taken to the relics of what used to be Decor intercontinental Hotel. I thought i saw it as a representation of how destroyed the nation is. Then my friend took me to Ashmond Street where he showed me the TWP building built in memory of the first pour black president of Liberia Edward James Roye. According to my friend, the corrent state of the building is what he thinks is the meterphoric representation of the Liberia state. My heart bled.

My take is that since the old ways did not work. The True Whig Party Seoul metamorhpose into a new party by going into alliance with some other political organisations as someone has suggested. I will be glad to come to MMonrovia again to see that the building has been transformed into a national pride.

Regards
Remy Ajakah at 06:06AM, 2017/05/24.

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