The purpose of this press statement is two-fold. First, I want to address Mr. Kerper Dwanyen’s allegations pertaining to my involvement with the Nimba Redemption Council (NRC). And second, I also want to comment briefly on Mr. Dwanyen’s exploitation of Mrs. Tarloh Quiwonkpa’s pain to give weight to his allegations against me.
I want you to know that the Superintendent of Nimba County, Mr. Harrison Karnwea, along with elders and prominent citizens of Nimba County, asked me not to make any public statement on Mr. Dwanyen’s allegations because a committee to investigate and determine the truths has been established. I pledge full cooperation with the investigation and also commend the superintendent’s leadership as well as the interest elders and citizens of Nimba at home and abroad have demonstrated.
Today, notwithstanding Nimba citizens and Superintendent Karnwea’s advice, I take the liberty to respond to Mr. Dwanyen’s allegations and his unconscionable use of Mrs. Tarloh Quiwonkpa’s name. Not only has Mr. Dwanyen injured my reputation and endangered my life but also he has questioned my abiding love for Nimba County and its people. Indeed he has questioned my integrity and called into question personal sacrifices I have made to help improve the lives of Liberians and Nimbaians in particular.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am shocked and painfully disappointed not only because Mr. Dwanyen’s allegations are injurious but also because he is my little brother. Mr. Dwanyen’s allegations are a fabrication and, at this point, his motivations are unfathomable. As excruciating as Mr. Dwanyen’s allegations are, I take some comfort in the fact that all of those he named in his article are alive.
Specifically, Mr. Dwanyen alleged that, “Harry Yuan called me on the morning of February 16, 1993 to say that ECOMOG had 3 battalions in place and my refusal to go on the air was putting the project at risk”. The fact of the matter is that such a telephone conversation DID NOT occur between Mr. Dwanyen and me. I, in fact, had contact with Mr. Dwanyen concerning the Nimba Redemption Council. That contact, however, took place AFTER he had given the BBC interview and returned to Monrovia. The investigation will uncover the truths. I will not pre-empt the outcome of the probe.
It is quite unfortunate and it saddens me deeply that Mr. Dwanyen would drag Mrs. Tarloh Quiwonkpa into making his case against me. I do no justice to the memory of my late brother and friend, General Thomas Quiwonkpa, Tarloh’s honor, and the unimaginable pain she has endured for the loss of her dear husband by engaging in claims and counter-claims about abandoning Mrs. Quiwonkpa. I am earnestly praying for Tarloh to return home sometime soon so that I can have the opportunity, at last, to wipe her tears.
Mrs. Tarloh Quiwonkpa lost a husband, Nimba County lost a beloved son, Liberia lost a legend and a patriot, and I lost a brother and friend whom I loved and cherished. If, after twenty years, I have not come to terms with the loss of General Quiwonkpa, no one should expect Tarloh, his wife, to stop crying and no one should exploit her pain for personal gain.
Thank you very much.