This article is our Liberian, on-ground version of the communication addressed to our Compatriots in the Diaspora about their concerns expressed about “What is wrong with Liberia?” (The Nation-State) and the prevailing conditions and atmosphere in our country.
My communication to the Brothers was that I or we too, at home, are similarly, deeply concerned, because “What is wrong with Liberia” is the topic of Chapter 2 of the book Liberia: A Century of Survival, 1847-1947 by Raymond Leslie Buell, published on the 100th birth anniversary (1947) of Liberia. The question was a rhetorical, the answer to which was the subject of Mr. Buell’s analysis contained in the book.
Compounding Liberia’s historical tragedy has been, still is, that all, almost, informed, highly-educated, trained/experienced Liberian political ruling Class – MBAs, MSCs, LLMs, PhDs – including those who fled the towns & villages of Rural Liberia, a Class/Leader which should and must teach, lead and be its “brother’s keeper” in terms of the brother’s socio-economic well-being, but the (Ruling Political) Class has become the opulent swimmer in the pool of corruption and dishonesty – of lies, deceit, thievery, war & economic crimes.
In my view, nevertheless, there are these Considerations (A), Suggestion and (B), Identifications of the major sources of our Concerns:
A) There is urgent NEED for Integrated Organization of Liberians (I O L I L) – Attorneys & Counselors-at-Law, Economists, Social Scientists, Academic-intellectuals and related Professionals – on-ground in Liberia, dedicated to Challenges-for-Change of Liberia’s Traditional Political System of Untouchables who are now ruling Liberia, the modern Untouchables with characteristic impunity. Indeed, this Challenge-for-Change requires not only concerns, but also, democratic and patriotic Liberians committed to Challenge and Expose the Nation’s ancient Political System of:
1) Corrupt Judges, Prosecutors, Court official, Grand Juries and defendants with corrupt Insurance Bond/bail Companies;
2) Corrupt National Police, National Defense, NSA Security officials, NEC; Corrupt State-owned Enterprises (NPA, LPRC, NOCAL, NASSCORP, FDA, NIC), etc.;
3) Most Corrupt Branches of Government, the Executive (President) and Legislative (Speakers & Protemps); and
4) The Indigenous Liberians who fled the towns & villages of Rural Liberia for education/personal growth and development, but now are the major crooks and criminals.
I argue that an on-ground, integrated Organization of Liberians is doable, because is concerned and dedicated to do the right and lawful and that the International Community (led by Liberia’s historical ally and mentor, the USA) is, and will be, with the Liberian Organization. But we, Liberians, have to start “the ball to roll”. Some of us will have to “invest” in the Change “for crying out loud”, fundamental and comprehensive. Dishing out pie-in-the-sky pontifications of classical democratic principles from the comfort of Salary/Wage Allowances and the cesspool of corruption will not produce the desired socio-political Change.
In my Article, “What is wrong with Liberians”, the people (Analyst Liberia, June 12, 2013), I dealt, exhaustively, with the relevant political issues.
B. In Response to an Editorial (New Democrat, May 25, 2017) entitled The Destruction of Public Institutions in Liberia, the newspaper (New Democrat, May 22, 2017) moans “Liberia’s backwardness rooted in an indecent culture wherein thieves, murderers and hyper dishonest people are celebrated and often rewarded with public (government) offices”. The Editorial chronicles the events and institutions in which these crooks and criminals were and are rewarded. I identified and exposed some of the major individuals in detail. They include:
1. Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer.
Mr. Sawyer earned and holds the PhD degree in Political Science and, therefore, Social Scientist. Dr. Sawyer has been, and is, one of the major political players on the Liberian political stage in various crucial, critical positions for some 35-40 years. He was the most and major influential political player during the administration of the Military Government (PRC), and appointed Chairman of the powerful Constitution Commission, apparently, as reward for Principal Teacher at the former Marcus Garvey Night High School of the former BTC where M/Sgt. Samuel Doe and his comrades, the AFL NCOs coup-makers were students. It had been reported that the “Progressives” of Dr. Sawyer provided the political, academic-intellectual rationalization and support for Regime-change, the April 12, 1980 coup d’état.
The PRC-banning of the dreaded TWP and the difficulties with the PRC regarding his Liberia Peoples’ Political Party (LPP), including the Liberia Action Party (LAP) of Mrs. Sirleaf, both political incarnates of the banned TWP and collapse of the Grand Coalition, his major voice of opposition to Head of State Doe, Dr. Sawyer fled Liberia to the USA and teamed up with Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. There they planned, founded and organized the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL), the premier organization that conceived, planned, financed and recruited operation agents for the overthrow of the Liberian government by force of arms, a political crime that they detested!!
Thus, the ACDL, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dr. Sawyer and the host of other “untouchables/notables” of who-is-who in the dreaded TWP hierarchy bear the responsibility for the mind-boggling nightmare of the civil war which took the lives of an estimated quarter of a million, innocent, unarmed, civilian, Liberians.
After President Doe was assassinated, Dr. Sawyer was elected and served as Interim President of Liberia for 5 years. Now, Dr. Sawyer is Chairman of the most powerful Governance Commission, the Public Policy development/decision-maker, presentation and Advisor to the Government of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the last 12 years.
As Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Sawyer, apparently, lives part-time both, in Liberia and the USA, where he has a home and family. Like Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dr. Sawyer is, often, on-the-go. He is, perhaps, US citizen. Also, as Chairman of the Governance Commission, Dr. Sawyer crafted the Code of Conduct, apparently, designed to eliminate all possible formidable candidates for President to give retiring Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf the retired-kingmaker status by appointing her successor who, from inside of her rebel-war-making-killer and thievery circle, will protect her from prosecution for alleged, political war crimes against humanity. But the plan fizzled; so, Dr. Sawyer and his intellectual policy rationalists called off application of the Code’s provisions regarding politics. A recent writer suggested the removal of Dr. Sawyer and his “Doctors’ club” from the Governance Commission.
Indeed, there are several celebrated individuals now holding high public positions as reward for rebellious, “hyper-dishonest” war activities – destruction of public and personal properties, looting, deceit, lies, thievery, murders, etc., etc. Dr. Amos Sawyer appears to be the dean of them all. Time and space do not permit full and complete discussion and/or exposure of Dr. Sawyer’s activities. But sooner or later, law will catch up with all of them to join their agent, Mr. Charles Taylor at his 50-year retreat.
2. Dr. D. Elwood Dunn
Mr. Dunn, also, earned and holds the PhD degree in Political Science & History; thus, the Social Scientist. He has been the major, long-time, in-house political ideologue and policy rationalist for the dreaded, deposed True Whig Party (TWP) that ruled Liberia as one-party state for 133 years. In fact, Dr. Dunn was the Presidential Minister of State at the time of the time of the military coup d’état on April 12, 1980. Now, a US citizen, Dr. Dunn lives in the United States and is the retired Professor of Political Science & History of a US University. He is part-time political counsel to the Liberian Government of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during its 12-year tenure.
His most recent, major notable part-time service to the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Government included the 2012 Independence Day Oration and Advisor in many areas of national politics. Regarding the Oration, Mr. Samuel Tweah challenged Dr. Dunn’s analysis of Liberian History in an article entitled, Sugarcoating 133 Years of Americo-Liberian Dominance, August 9, 2012. Mr. Tweah wrote:
“At a time Liberia struggles with national reconciliation and a cohesive national identity, it pains to pen this article. But Dr. Elwood Dunn, a noted Liberian historian and scholar, leaves no choice in his less than honest assessment of our past during his July 26, 2012 Independence Day oration. Dr. Dunn’s oration leaves too much to be desired in interpreting our past. He makes several troubling assertions . . . In describing the ‘what, why and how’ of Liberian History, the professor asserts: “In the beginning of Liberia there was a contestation of visions, but a single vision prevailed for long and shaped the country’s development or evolution.”
“What Dr. Dunn calls ‘contestation of vision’ can more accurately be considered an ‘imposition of vision’ . . . Before and after independence, the political landscape in Liberia was marred not by ideological or visioning perspectives, but by battlefield contests over settlers’ need for territorial acquisition, without which asserting authority would be difficult, and tribal peoples’ need to retain control of traditionally inherited lands”.
“No such condition existed at the founding of Liberia. Americo-Liberians, who founded the state, had an incontestable, near unanimous vision to exclude indigenous peoples from the echelons of power . . .The settlers, at our founding, never admitted indigenous peoples into legislatures or constitutional conventions, where debates to influence the course of Liberian history were held. The Bassas and Krus, who might have provided an alternative vision, were nowhere around the seat of governance”.
Thus, the apparent, questionable or erroneous interpretations of Liberian History, perhaps, on conscious political, ideological grounds by Dr. Dunn and other “celebrated” officials of our Government. Dr. Dunn demonstrated this approach at the program held at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia in honor of the late Nelson Mandela, the former South African President and ANC freedom fighter.
In lecture-like historical, intellectual analysis and Remarks, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn “urged Liberians to introspect ‘What, Why and How to Reconcile’”. He told Liberians that “After 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela . . . and his ANC colleagues worked . . . at reforming/transforming Apartheid government to transition South Africa from oppression to freedom . . . There was a country to govern . . . wounds to be healed and . . . compromises to be made. Remember, the racial, cultural and religious diversity that is South Africa. These, required accommodation, unending negotiations”. Continuing, Dr. Dunn noted that “A model design of a truth and reconciliation process ensued . . . A ‘Rainbow Nation’ sums it all up. Challenges remain, of course, but the social fundamentals seem in place, seem established”.
But Dr. Dunn argued the wrong historical analogy of the South African (SA) and the Liberian (LIB) struggles for freedom.
The SA struggle was between the racist, apartheid, colonialist, social cultural (Caucasian or white) minority rulers and the African black Negro, white-ruled majority; whereas, the LIB struggle was between Black, Negro, African-American minority-rulers and Indigenous, black Negro, ruled-majority. In the LIB struggle, both minority-rulers and majority-ruled were, and are, of the same racial and social cultural group. Therefore, the nature, level, scope and depth of the struggles are historically different, dissimilar. Besides, although the South African minority-rulers had the military and economic might to hold-on and maintain its undemocratic rule, but conceded democratic defeat and surrendered power peacefully. But the Liberian minority-rulers went to disastrous 14-year war!!.
While we appreciate and will remain grateful to Dr. Dunn for the opportunity to learn and benefit from the political, diplomatic and economic history of the South African struggle for freedom from colonial, minority rule in which the Republic of Liberia’s patriotic sons and daughters were frontline leaders, the facts of history of the South African and the Liberian struggles for freedom show absolute differences and, because of these differences, Dr. Dunn’s “lessons of history” – of compromise, give-and-take, negotiated settlement and, indeed, “reconciliation, once liberated”, we noted, “ have been lost on or to us”.
3. Dr. Abdulaye Dukule`
Dr. Dukule`, the former co-worker and very intelligent individual, holds the PhD degree and claims Liberian citizenship. He had served as Executive Assistant to Interim President, Dr. Amos Sawyer and, since then, Diplomatic Envoy and Political Policy Theorist or Public Relations Advisor to the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Government during the past 12 years.
The range and coverage of Dr. Dukule’s diplomatic, political and Public Relations activities on behalf of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Government, the Liberia nationally-discredited Administration with historic record dominated by liars, deceits, thieves, rebels, killers, human rights violators and ordained Honorable(s) with characteristic impunity, are all in the cesspool of corruption and decadent moral behavior.
This condition gave rise to a journalist who questioned Dr. Dukule’s Liberian citizenship and the location of the Liberian High School from which he graduated.
This brings us to my book. With the completion of the manuscript of the book on Dr. Amos Sawyer, his politics and political Works, it is necessary to present a copy of the front cover page of the Book.