Out of all sincerity, the bloody CIA intervention in the over-throw of our nation’s leadership would not augur well for the image of the Americans had they given themselves the credit.
The rest of the world would have pictured them negatively, and so 17 soldiers of the Liberia National Guards or LNG (later referred to as the AFL) who manned the grounds of the Executive Mansion were quickly organized into a military leadership group called the People’s Redemption Council or PRC with the selection of little known Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe.
These soldiers did not even know how the President died-they were only told on the surface by those who did it; remember, these were soldiers who neither know the inner look nor ever enter the Executive Mansion since their assignment. As a matter of fact, Sergeant Doe and a few soldiers had just been brought from Tubmanburg, Bomi County in Western Liberia on re-assignment as the Mansion in February of 1980.
Family members of the late Dr, William Richard Tolbert, jr., 19th President of the Republic of Liberia, including Grandson Joseph Tolbert (shot in the leg) present on that cold bloody morning while being protected as a child in the Presidential apartment at the Executive Mansion are living testimonies to the “white hands that brutally killed their father”. Most of these children (now grown up men and women) still live in Liberia and elsewhere in the world.
Mrs. Victoria Tolbert, the late wife of the President further detailed the entire episode that morning in a book she wrote while in exile in the United States after witnessing how her late husband was killed.
Even though the American CIA executed the President, who was then President of the World Baptist Convention and had just hosted an international Baptist Conference which ended on the night of April 11, 1980 at the old Providence Baptist Church on Broad Street, for not being in tune with their political and economic interest, especially during the ‘cold war’, the so-called coup leader, Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, in his first nation-wide address just following the coup, announced that President Tolbert (believed to be Liberia most progressive president) was killed and his government overthrown for rampant corruption, nepotism, as well as misuse of public offices, among others.
Whether or not these reasons have been overcome since the death of Tolbert and today in Liberia, it is anybody’s guess. But one thing that must be made very emphatic is that Liberia is still being hunted in terms of growth and development despite the availability of almost all of the God-given natural resources, including oil and natural gas, because we continue to be our own problem, i.e., our problem with us is us.
The hatred envy and wickedness for each other and the land of our nativity, which once and presently characterize our very existence as a people, continues to pin our growth and development.
And unless we as a people, including our nation’s leadership, sincerely “ change our minds and attitudes towards each other and our country”, our progress will continue to remain at bay and our country will continue to be “the second poorest country” in the world with almost all of the natural resources, including the just discovered oil and natural gas.