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THE CONTINUING IMPACT OF “JUNGLE JUSTICE”: TAYLORISM AND LIBERIA’S ENDANGERED, FRAGILED DDEMOCRACY

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In a recent article, we held that theoperational activities of Government and Governance, socio-cultural, economic and political, have long-lasting effect, positive or negative, upon the governed – citizens and people. This condition, we held, had been, andis, the case of the citizens of Bong County, particularly, the residents of the nation’s central City of Gbarnga, when the ACDL’s NPFL/INPFL insurgents invaded Liberia by force of arms, captured and partitioned Liberia’s lawful territories, including Bong County.

The insurgents, led by Mr. Charles McArthur Taylor,did not only relocate from their entry-point into Liberian territory with administrative command post in Logatuo, Nimba County, but, also, set up their military-styled “government” Headquarters in the City of Gbarnga, Bong County, as the Capital of their so-called “Greater Liberia”. The “President” of this “government” was, of course, Mr. Charles McArthur Taylor.

The smooth-talking, charismatic,flamboyant Political Operator, “President Taylor”, moved swiftly and smoothly to endear himself to the citizens of BongCounty and “Greater Liberia” by raising NPFL/INPFL fighters to Colonels, Generals and appointing Political Rebels and human rights violators as ministers, managing directors, superintendents, etc. and support for senators and representatives.

In personal terms, Mr. Charles Taylor, this Charismatic, dashing, flamboyant, play boy political Operator dumped his second (?) or third (?) wife for short-term relationship with, and later, married theGbarnga-city migrant Lady having outstanding, attractive female qualities and equipment,and appointed their cook, also a Gbarnga-city resident, Mayor of the City.

Madam Jewel Cianen Howard of Lofa County migrated to Gbarnga, Bong County, like all of the others, in search of political opportunities and found a political gold-mine – married, briefly, toPresident Taylor and acquired the status of First Lady catapulted Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor to dominate Bong County’s political landscape.

With support of the Taylor loyalists and election as Senior Senator of the county,She was elected standard Bearer of the National Patriotic Party (NPP) founded and led by her estranged, ex-husband when he (the ex-husband) was convictedof “Crimes against Humanity” or chief African political criminal now serving a 50-year prison term.

Importantly, her position asStand Bearer of the NPP and election of Vice President of Liberia clenched the reality of Liberian, national political influence of and byMrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor and her loyalists. As indicated earlier, it was not so much because of her academic/intellectual qualities, but because of her female qualities and equipment that introduced Madam Jewel Cianen Howard to Liberia’s national political stage.

Now, it is reported that Mr. Taylor and his former wife, Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor are some of the largest land owners in Bong County and reported buried treasure of millions of US dollars, andthat Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor is poised to dominate Bong County’s political landscape with his (Taylor’s) political loyalists for the fore-seeable future.

Political Change has been, and always is, dependent upon education, peaceful agitation, activism and advocacy. In this case of Bong County and City of Gbarnga, the young and the educated youth have the important role in advocating for and making this Change a reality. This remains to be seen in the light of the most powerful and entrenched reality of Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor and her loyalists.

The Charles Taylor Loyalists
This brings us to the Chairman Emeritus of the Taylor-founded and -led National Patriotic Party(NPP),“Chief Cyril Allen, the foremost of the Taylor-Loyalists. Apparently, Mr. Cyril Allen, like all others migrated to RuralLiberia – Gbarnga, Bong County –since, perhaps, he is not of any of the Gio, Mano or Kpelle tribes, but, perhaps again, from the St. Paul River north bank Brewerville, Arrtington or the“Up River” communities like Mr. Charles Taylor.

Speaking on the reported strained relations between President of Liberia George Weah and Vice President of Liberia Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Standard Bearer of the NPP on the occasion of the72nd Birth anniversary celebrations of the jailed Mr. Taylor, founder of the NPP and ex-husband of the Vice President,“Chief Cyril Allen reflected on the high, crucial and successful critical points, major responsibilities and challenges of the National Patriotic Party to the CDC Coalition, the Liberian Nation and People. Said he that:

1) “The Vice President, Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor, is not ‘a handpicked weakling within the political dispensation to be manipulated and played with’. Functionaries of government must be diligent in their duties and ensure that the Office of the Vice President is duly respected. In the absence of the NPP,no one can succeed in any political undertaking in this country”;

2) That “the basis of our strength is the unity within our Party (although he said) I suggest that internal division the NPP could be responsible for the reported maltreatment that the Vice President, who is also the Standard Bearer of the Party (NPP), is experiencing from the government. All over the country, the NPP is the most politically broad-based party in the country”;

3) That “Because at the formative stage of our party, we visited the 68 constituencies at the time and planted our seeds in these various districts. Let it not be said that we are a weak institution that can be manipulated by a handful of people or drawn to one side and persuaded by individual sentiments and interests; absolutely not”; and

4) That “the NPP is strong and firm in its base. We want to send a warning out to the CDC that we, also, are part of the Coalition for Democratic Change . . . we played a very major role in constructing the Coalition Document and developing the formula for the electoral process that we won”.

But the seemingly, the eloquent Chairman Emeritus of the National Patriotic Party, neglected, conveniently, to reflect, also, on the facts that the National Patriotic Party (NPP) of former President Charles Taylor is “Freedom Rebels and Killers” that bought the Liberian nation and People face-to-face with almost annihilation as a people that spared no village, town and city throughout the length and breadth of the nation and that:

a) The deadly facts of the history of ACDL-sponsored, Taylor-led insurgency executed,the civil war nightmare that brought the NPP to political power on the shoulders of war-front commanders-executioners with such spine-chilling titles or nicknames as “Rambo, Gio Devil, General God, Man-Pass-Man, One-Man-One, Pepper-And-Salt, etc., at checkpoints or gates throughout the nation, awesomely named and known as “No-Man-Pass, God-Bless-You, Kuwait, Give-Me-Blood” and execution centers where life or instant death was or is determined by ethnicity and membership in the national armed forces or employment by the national government;

b) The Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s organized and financed ACDL-sponsored military-styled invasion of Liberia by the Charles Taylor-led insurgents announced on BBC Focus that “this was an armed-struggle to remove a dictator by force of arms”, but developed rapidly into ethnic/tribal manipulations that inflamed inter- and intra-tribal passionsand developed into national, mind-boggling ethnic/tribal tragedy;

c) The NPP looted, destroyed private public properties – economic and political infrastructure of banking and financial houses, including looting of the nation’s only Hydroelectric power plant of its major power-generating parts and that the NPP had been actively engaged in massive disruption of hundreds of thousands of citizens as refugees who fled their homes for their lives into neighboring and distant lands seeking political asylum while others naturalized as citizens of foreign countries;

d) Most importantly, the NPP was the classic example as agent of political tyranny, destruction, human suffering and deaths of an estimated quarter of a million Liberians in a modern war with sophisticated weapons of mass destruction against poor and innocent civilians of men, women and children and no wonder that former President Taylor, the leader of his declared “Taylor’s Bloody War” and “Policy of Jungle Justice” werethe basic grounds for opposition resistance fighters to drive President Taylor into exile in the Federal Republic of Nigeria where he (Mr. Taylor) was arrested and turned over to the International Criminal Court (the ICC) at the Hague, Netherlands;

e) Mr. Taylor was tried, convicted of “war crimes against humanity” and sentenced to 50 years in prison, the British top-rated, prison security facility for Africa’s chief political criminal. Indeed,it was convenient that former President Taylor’s former chairman of NPP neglected to “reflect” on the sordid history of political indignities and crimes of our times; and that

f) Today, Taylor’s Partners in war and economic crimes, the Warlords and Loyalists now enjoying impunity from prosecution, including former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who, reportedly, financed the political campaign of her political opposition for protection against prosecution for accused war and economic crimes, some “prominent” senators and representatives.

Apparently, President George Weah recognized his political error in accepting alliances with rebels, killers, human rights violators, graft/greed and corruption addicts with decadent moral rectitude.Thus, we wrote, for posterity, during the heat of civil war, tothese unfortunate political developments in our country and observed by the article hereunder.
Vice President, Mrs. Jewel Howard-Taylor “Chief” Cyril Allen
Crowned “Dahkpanah”, Traditional Zoe Former Chairman, National Patriotic Party

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