Historical Fact-Checking: A Rejoinder to the Editor of the Africa Probe

ByAlfred P.B. Kiadii

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
February 23, 2017



I have read many local dailies and news articles struggling to detail the chronicle of events and people that historically contributed to the civil malady that engulfed Liberia. Unfortunately for me, I am confused to have read one of the most contradictory analyses in recent time in the Friday, February 10, 2017 edition of the Africa Probe Newspaper.

In a story captioned “The deceivers,” the editor made slew of unsubstantiated allegations that border on tawdry logic, hasty generalization, vague analysis, bias inclination and non sequitur conclusion. The story, in and of itself cannot qualify to be anything more than a sadistically crude propaganda written by an unreasonable scoundrel who has an ahistorical and vitiated understanding of the struggle that ensued in this country for the past three decades.  All we can wager on is that the editor and news elements at the newspaper are pens-for-hire and mercenaries of the abdomen that pander to the instincts of primitive accumulation and conspicuous consumptions.
We are inclined  to believe that the paper is one of those papers whose gatecrash onto the newsstand is characterized by mercenary proclivities, given how the story was carried with slew of deliberate misinformation and wanton innuendos devoid of facts and truths. It is our submission therefore that the motivation to write such gibberish dubbed as an analysis is geared at not only besmearing the reputational disposition of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr., but to make him guilty of the conscious role he played in engendering the democratization of this space called Liberia. He and others were the vanguards that contributed to this  free society where freedom of speech and of the press are no longer playthings of the rich and powerful in the republic, but fundamental democratic tenets inherent to the ordinary citizens as well as media practitioners. Our submission is tailored on the fact that anonymous paper such as the Africa Probe would go to the gutter in denigrating and tagging an individual as a deceiver, a person who is revered by society for his role in ushering the current democratic dispensation in this republic.   

Nowhere in the history of humanity that glaring facts and known historical occurrences can be distorted by tyro journalists to suit their quest and agenda. It has never worked before and cannot work because the conscious vanguard will always write to counter the introduction of myth and lies in the history of humanity. It is important to note that the commentary in the Africa Probe is a ponderous regurgitation of useless recital peddles by political jesters and historical nondescripts, parroted by a ventriloquist yahoo who is on a futile move to bruise the character of a man of honor and dignity.

It becomes our sacred conscious duty to always rise to the occasion to thwart a twaddle that masquerades as a truth. As we were thought in our revolutionary classes, the enemies of the people are sadistic and vicious; they are always on a mission to frustrate the conscious effort of the people to move forward. So, militants and cadres must be decisive in dealing with these elements who only reason to ascend to public office is to amass wealth to the detriment of the people.

To understand what unfolded in this republic in the 1970s and the 1980s, one ought to analyze the objective conditions that precipitated the struggle that led to the emancipation of this republic from the cesspool of man’s inhumanity to man. It is this lack of fundamental understanding of the history of our country that renders the commentary bias and slanted. What objective condition led to the likes of Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr., Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, etc. forming MOJA to struggle against hostile social forces that ceased the republic and relegated its people to the fringes? 

Prior to the introduction of progressive politics in Liberia, the Liberian society was virtually a failed state and essentially a failed experiment. The society was fundamentally stagnant, where the vast majority of our people neither had a better livelihood nor given the opportunity to exercise their universal franchise. They were duped into believing that the condition that assisted then was the natural way of things. They lived in a society where they did not have the opportunity to elect their representatives and petition the government of the day. 

In fact, the society was politically oppressive and economically marginalizing. The exploiters harbored that the people, like all other people in history, would be docile forever. On the contrary, even if they were, their enlightened sons and daughters would acquire education to interpret the floundering condition in the homeland. Instead of being docile forever, the people were moved by the voices of patriots who have read in the scheme and deceit of the true Whig Party.

Proto progressives who exposed the duplicity of the status quo were either chased out of the country or quarantined to irrelevance. Some were slaughtered in cold blood like Coleman and his son. D. Twe was booted out of the Legislature for introducing a bill to end forced labor.  Not to mention someone like the enlightened Barclay who was bullied for engendering the concept of collective equality and treatment over gluttony and egoism. Even an illiterate chief called Juah Nimely noticed the inequality in the state and started to struggle from the outset. Not to mention the legendary Albert Porte who used pamphleteering to put the system on trial. 

In history most revolutionary struggles have been fought due to the denial of the basic rights of the people by a certain cliquish minority. The America revolution became a reality when the British Monarchy refused to allow the people to run their own state and freely participate in its governance. The American people refused to be taxed and resisted the milking of their resources by the British crown.  The founding fathers took serious offense to that and decided to struggle at the peril of their existence.

The French Revolution happened because those who enjoyed the wealth of the state refused to pay taxes while the mass majority of the struggling people were squeezed to pay taxes. The marginalized people who thought that such injustice cannot be condoned to permeate decide to struggle against such indignity, in order to usher in an egalitarian society that rests on the collective forward march for all and sundry. Interestingly, after the revolution, the French society went through some serious historical turmoil before achieving tranquility. For those who are familiar with their history would understand that it was just in 1958 that general Charles de Gaulle ushered in the Fifth Republic, and this republic marks the rising tide in the influence and growth of France.   

MOJA and PAL emergence marked the true emergence of democratic order in Liberia. The former concerned itself with the contradictions in Africa and the Third World, with the Liberian situation being mirrored in it, while the latter concerned it with more Liberian-centric issues. These two organizations must be credited for the current democratic space that the country experiences.

Prefacing the commentary the writer of the commentary posits:

“The Africa Probe (AP), as part of its maiden edition wishes to bring to the attention of many first time readers of the paper the chronicle of event and people who contributed to the downtrend of what is Liberia today.”

Mr. Editor, your preface is loaded with bias observation and hasty generalization, to begin with. Indeed, it borders on specious argument and wishy-washy conclusion. In its entirety it is more propagandistic, ahistorical and sadistic than factual and truthful and analytical. In the mind of any reasonable Liberian who intends to discuss the national quagmire, he or she would analyze the stunted path of the state from the inception of its founding, which was premised on contradiction, the wholesale exclusion of our people and the despoliation of their land.

You argued that society was blossoming in glory and honor, which is at best erroneous and farfetched, given the steep poverty and intolerable backwardness of the state. Indeed, the resources of the country were given to foreign concessions to make investment, but the people were not feeding the trigger down effect of those investments. If the economy grows, for whom was it growing? It grew for the cliquish cabal and their House Negroes. The ordinary Liberians did not feel in their gust such growth.

Indeed, failed and corroded remnants of the True Whig Party who thought that they would have continue to make history to the detriment of the people never imagined themselves being democratically overthrown from their position of wealth and privilege. It still looks like an illusion to them how their failed cabal was booted out of the governance space of the state.

The Carnation Revolution happened in Portugal because the enlightened soldiers felt the indignity of the people and decided to struggle against the dictatorship of Estado Novo. What started as a loose mutiny, with the backing and civil resistance of the people, shaped the politics of Portugal for the better, from one of the most backward counties in Europe to a leading light of opportunity and development in Europe.

Simply put, if there is crude marginalization of the people, even if docile or lethargy to the core, they would wake up one day and stampede themselves into history. The people are transient force in history. They could be docile for a short while but do not underestimate their ability to move forward. Physical stasis of the people must never be attributed to their dialectical disposition. While they could be restive physically, some kind of punctuated equilibrium can be in motion.  

In another contradictory submission the writer posits:

Critics of Fahnbulleh have said of him as been an arrogant-filibustering character.”
In propaganda piece such as yours words such as pundits, critics, analysts would feature prominently in an attempt to bamboozle the public into believing that certain loaded biases do not represent your opinion.  So, we are not surprised in the least at your attempt to infuse your opinion as a submission of critics.

What is filibustering about a person who uses his intellectuality to impact consciousness to the young people and the nation, a rare task being undertaken by knowledgeable individual? What is filibustering about a person who uses public forums and engagements to speak truth to power, and excite the young people to be the master of their destiny? What is filibustering of a person who time without number maintains that young people must serve as the trailblazers for transformation?

Author's Statement: Alfred P. B. Kiadii is a student of the University of Liberia who studies Political Science and Public Administration. He is an ardent disciple and follower of the philosophical and Pan-Africanist ideological constructs of Dr. H. Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden, Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, Amilcar Cabral. He believes in the concept of revolutionary violence as espoused by Frantz Fanon.  Furthermore, he is the Director of the Bureau of Information, Press, Outreach and Mobilization of the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU).

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