Thirty-nine years after the 1980 bloody coup that toppled Liberia’s 19th President William R. Tolbert, Jr. and his one-party rule, the grand old True Whig Party or TWP discloses plan to engage the Government of Liberia and international partners to exhume the remains of its slain standard bearer and others who were buried in a mass grave hours after the military coup that changed the course of Liberian politics.
The coup was staged on April 12, 1980 by 17 enlisted soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia led by Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe, rocking peace of Africa’s first independent Republic.
Thirteen officials of the Tolbert regime were tried by a military tribunal, convicted of rampant corruption, abuse of power and nepotism, among others and subsequently executed by firing squad.
Sergeant Doe, who immediately became Head of State, formed the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) that ruled the country for five years before organizing elections in 1985 under his watch that he rigged and became a civilian president.
In a press release issued in Monrovia, announcing celebration of its 150th anniversary the TWP says it is re-awakening its Unification and Integration Policy with series of programs spinning over a one-year period, beginning October 8, 2019 to October 8, 2020 under the theme: “A Time for Healing.”
The Party says it also intends to identify and construct a national memorial park to honor all past Liberian presidents, and victims of the country’s civil conflicts.
“It is the vision of the TWP that a Presidential Library and Museum will be constructed in the park to be a center for study and research in Liberian history, politics and culture”, the release reads.
The TWP says it also plans to solicit assistance to complete the National Unification Monument on Providence Island, in Monrovia which was started by the late President Tolbert, as a symbol of national unity.
Meanwhile, it says in order to engender national reconciliation, TWP will seek cooperation of the government, political parties, international partners and civil society organizations to convene a week’s national symposium on ethnicity, identity and national development in helping to resolving historic ethnic mistrusts and remove tribal barriers that continue to divide Liberians.
According to the release, the True Whig Party was founded on October 8, 1869 in Clay-Ashland, Montserrado County, as the first grassroots opposition political party to oppose the then ruling Republican Party, dominated by mulatto Americo-Liberians. In 1970, it defeated the Republican Party, but one year after, its first standard bearer, President Edward Jerome Roye was deposed and killed right where its national headquarters, the E.J. Roye building was subsequently constructed. Press Release