By Ms. Argbah Momolu
|The Late Gedimina Flomo|
Friday, March 17, 2017 was one of those days the family had hoped that Gedimina Flomo (popularly known as GG) was succeeding in the fight against death. We felt somehow optimistic because GG, about two weeks ago, had escaped from the traps of death. News about the death of GG had gone global through social media. Later we learned that GG’s condition was critical, but was still alive. So, yes, when GG’s physicians informed us about his improvement the night before, we had hope that the Almighty God would save GG from death. With good news and the hope that God was on GG side, relatives, friends, and I rushed to the hospital early that morning to encourage him to fight for his life.
Sadly, one of GG's medical doctors, after realizing that I have a medical background, called me, whispered in my ear that GG had only a few more days to live. Trying to fight back my reaction to my disappointment, I then called and asked Mr. J. Yanqui Zaza, one of GG's friends, to speak with GG and encourage him to fight the good fight. Guess what happened, the efforts on my part to send a signal to GG that the news from his doctor was good did not work because tears were running down my chest and GG as well. Okay, I did not honor the medical code of conduct since I did not hold back my tears, but I acted as a bereaved relative (GG's mission daughter). In any case, my tears betrayed me. Because of my relationship to GG I ended up signaling to him that he was fighting a losing battle.
Since that scornful day, I have been contemplating on writing a comment or a tribute about a loved one who has departed from this world to the unknown. I know that writing a tribute might be easy for many others, but difficult for someone like me who is not a writer and much more is unable to get over his death. This is my dilemma. Emotion has made me incapable to accept the death of my mission father, even though he and I were aware that death is part of life and is inevitable. Further, his activity in life, primarily the transformation-advocacy duties, did not allow us time to do many things together; hence, I have limited information to share with you.
However, I will share with you my experiences with him from our Voinjama Multilateral High School days and the following. He and I met at the Voinjama Multilateral High School where I became his mission-daughter because of his relationship with a lady (Ms. Mama Yassah Jallah) who bore his second child that is named after me (Mrs. Argbah Flomo-Wilson). After graduating from high school, he enrolled at the University of Liberia and I enrolled at the Cuttington University College. After a few years apart, he and I reconnected in the United States where he came for medical treatment and I had come to earn advanced nursing degree. During those years, I observed him and found out that he (GG) did learn and maintain good characteristics that had helped him to excel in life. Patience dominated the many characteristics. It was the strength and best weapon of my mission-father had. He used patience in conversation, patience in debates, patience in writing exams, patience in analyzing and calibrating assignments, mission or projects.
I guess he used those characteristics, of course within conducive environment to have become an honor roll student, and at the same time effectively manage the student government at the Voinjama Multilateral High School; represented University of Liberia students at the University Liberia Council as student representative; and managed the Liberian National Student Union (LINSU). LINSU acted and performed as the opposition group to the military government of Liberia and the Charles Taylor government.
Patience did not only assist GG to become an effective leader, but it also assisted him to be an excellent student in high school and at the University of Liberia. His desire to become the valedictorian was thwarted by President Samuel K. Doe's lieutenants who incarcerated him because of his political view. In the same year, he went on to top the National Exams administered by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Liberia. At the University of Liberia, he was awarded Magna Cum Laude when he got his undergraduate degree in Political Science and Public Administration.
GG, after enhancing his managerial skills at the University, undertook two endeavors that have become part of his legacy. One of those events was the effort on the part of patriotic Liberians and sympathizers to promote democracy and create opportunities that could encourage both supporters of the Samuel Doe Government and leaders of the armed warring factions to end the civil war. The Liberian student Union (LINSU), under the leadership of GG, in collaboration with other civil society groups such as religious institutes and Teachers Associations, etc., organized a mass rally in June,1990 few months after Charles Taylor launched the 1989, armed insurrection. The deceased and other organizers of the rally did not succeed, and, unfortunately, over three hundred thousand innocent civilians lost their lives, etc.
The second event was his assignment to help make a scheduled Liberian Conference, which was to be held in Burkina Faso in 2002 a success. The idea of the conference was to end the war between the warring factions (LURD) and (MODEL), on one hand, and on the other hand the Charles Taylor Government. Some former members of President Charles Taylor rebel group (NPFL) and other opposition leaders launched armed movements to remove President Taylor who was elected in 1977. Just as President Samuel K. Doe did not like the idea a conference with rebel leaders, President Charles Taylor also did not like the idea of the Conference. However, the deceased was one of the key players who were responsible to identify and encourage leaders of civil society groups in Liberia to attend the Conference in Burkina Faso. Liberian opposition leaders, fortunately, were able to present the true character of Charles Taylor to Liberia’s international partners.
Gedamina Flomo, my sweet mission-father, I say thanks for the many efforts on your part to encourage dialogue and promote peace and unity. I salute you and cherish you, and hope to meet you one day in Heaven.