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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Genesis of 2nd Republic Violence and Need to Maintain and Secure the 3rd Republic Peace

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   BY D. WA HNE, JR.

As a columnist my pen has been silent for six years. Colleagues in the media have been concerned and have been urging me to revive my weekly Column, THOUGHTS, POLITICS AND PEOPLE, published in the past in the New Dawn Newspaper and the INPROFILE Newspaper.

I thought I was through with my self-inspired motivation to analyze critical issues arising from the political, social, and economic environments of Liberia, but recent developments which seem to remind us or practically draw our attention to Liberia’s 14 years of senseless civil wars that have devastated lives and destroyed our nation have reawakened me to the reality that I have a role to play through this article by placing Liberians on Red Alert based on past experiences.

This article may not be pleasant to some readers, but it has the history of the emergence of the 2nd Republic violence.

Perhaps we would not have faced the 14 years of carnage had we left the Grand Old True Whig Party in control of the State up to present to deprive the majority of Liberians of their fundamental rights and keep in place a defacto one party state suppressing democracy and freedoms we are lavishly enjoying today.

However, this thought is in itself rejectable by this generation which enjoys democracy to the fullest.

Nevertheless I must proceed in the way I began because of the seeming emergence and/or a replacement of the Grand Old True Whig Party by UP and LAP.

April 12, 1980 ended the oppressive reign of the True Whig Party. Their leaders were executed and blood of vengeance gave rise to the formation of the Liberia Action Party which absorbed nearly all top members of the TWP.

The objective of the Liberia Action Party was to restore power back to the elites and continue their reign of oppression.

They were joined by their sympathizers and others who opposed the People Redemption Council atrocious actions. Samuel K. Doe was their prime target.

Springing up also were progressive parties such as the United People Party and the Liberia People Party which wanted to actualize their political philosophies rejected by the PRC.

For its part, the Unity Party formation was a result of disappointment and the desire for revenge against Samuel K. Doe regime for allegedly double-crossing Dr. Edward B. Kesseley.

The founder of the UP was the head of the Constitution Advisory Assembly and a prime persuader for President Doe to run for President as he believed Doe was the only one the military would have trust him.

He was ambitious and sought to be the first Vice President of the Second Republic under the Presidency of Samuel K. Doe.

With this ambition set in place, Dr. Kesseley and few others including late Kerkula Kpoto held secret meetings in Gbarnga under the cover of darkness after Assembly sessions to form the National Democratic Party of Liberia as the platform for the achievement of the Doe/Kesseley Agenda.

In the process, Superintendent Ayun Cassell discovered that the ban on politics was being violated and threatened to arrest Kesseley and his group of violators.

Dr. Kesseley quickly reported distortedly to the Head of State that his Vice Gerent had threatened to arrest members of the Constitution Advisory Assembly and obstruct the work of the Assembly.

A hearing was held on ELTV and Cassell was dismissed as Superintendent.

The articles of association of the NDPL was completed and was slated to be registered as a political party. Kesseley had the assurance of becoming the running mate to Samuel K. Doe.

At the formation of the Interim Transitional National Government, Dr. Kesseley was double-crossed by Kerkula Kpoto who persuaded the Head of State to name Dr. Harry Moniba, Ambassador of Liberia to the Courts of St. James, London, as the better and safer choice than the overly ambitious Kesseley.

A rift was set in and Dr. Kesseley proceeded to establish the Unity Party to contest against Doe. Kesseley became a sworn enemy of Samuel Doe.

On his part, Doe was still a bit hesitant to get involve with civilian politics and called on the late Baccus Matthews to extract a deal from political parties in the race to not tamper with the provisions of the approved 1986 Constitution that protected him and members of the PRC from prosecution should any of them become President.

He assured Mr. Matthews that he would not contest the presidency should they accept.

Baccus Matthews met with both Dr. Kesseley and Jackson F. Doe and others to persuade them to give Doe the deal.

He told them that if the deal was accepted, Doe would not run. But if rejected, Doe would run and if he did he would win as it would be based on self-preservation.

These politicians insisted that Doe would be prosecuted for the execution of the 13 politicians of the TWP and for other crimes committed. Doe therefore ran and won the elections.

Prior to the elections being held, both parties voices were heralded with threats of unconventional actions against the government for any form of rigging and the consequences would be devastating.

After the elections were held and counting of ballots started, some observers observed irregularities in the voting patterns as ballot papers were reportedly and allegedly stuffed in the ballot boxes unfolded. The ballot box then was not transparent.

The matter was reported to the Chairman of the SECOM who ordered the boxes to be flown to Monrovia and a 50 persons committee was set up to verify and count all ballots with all parties and international observers present.

It was alleged that most of the ballots stuffed were LAP and UP. They were discarded and the counting proceeded which outcome declared Doe the Winner.

LAP, UP and LUB began series of protests and formed the Grand Coalition and filed a writ of Prohibition against the SECOM certifying what they described as an unconstitutional process of counting.

The Supreme Court rejected the Grand Coalition writ on grounds that the Coalition was an illegal body not recognized under the Election Laws of Liberia.

They were advised to file individual writs in the name of their parties.

They rejected and accused the Government of interfering with the Supreme Court.

They spoke of the right to assemble and the right to form associations, but ignored the fact that the laws of Liberia must be applied.

The two parties with one agenda resorted to violent means by teaming up to cause the November 12, 1985 Quiwonkpa invasion and the subsequent invasion of Liberia on December 24, 1989 which took away approximately 350,000 lives and destruction of billions of dollars private and public properties as well as causing the highest humanitarian crisis in the world which attracted the presence of the world to Liberia.

All these were the result of both parties to revenge against Samuel Doe and reinstate the TWP hegemonies through the UP and LAP.

Today they have merged as one to ensure the success of their agenda.

In 2017 the UP once again started accusing the Government of ploys to rig the elections in favor of Ambassador Weah.

There were insinuations and open discussions that if Ambassador George Weah wins the elections there would be war.

After elections were declared in favor of Ambassador Weah, UP engaged the Liberty Party to jointly take actions claiming that the elections were rigged.

Fortunately the Liberty Party Standard Bearer was a man of peace and of the rule of law. He preferred the legal process rather than the violent means of the UP.

That saved the nation from another disastrous war that would have been organized by UP and LAP.

In spite of Liberty Party efforts for the rule of law, the UP was not in total agreement to allow for a nation of peace without them leading it.

Their post 1985 elections strategy was put into motion by pushing for the establishment of the CPP which was the metamorphosed version of the Grand Coalition.

Liberia was set almost ablaze with persistent and subverting style protests aimed at forcefully removing the CDC from power unconstitutionally.

The perseverance of President Weah and his commitment to peace, unity, democracy and development saved Liberia from their planned civil war once again.

With few days to elections, the old nature of UP and LAP now one in body and thoughts has reawaken.

With no indicators visible, UP has begun series of threats to bring Liberia to an end under the presumption that the Government plans to rig the elections.

Without provocation, according to sources, UP has allegedly murdered three Lofans for supporting the reelection of President Weah.

Impeccable sources claimed that UP is frustrated and disappointed that its stronghold that they thought was impenetrable was broken into by the good deeds of President Weah and have now committed themselves to elections violence and intentions to end the existence of Liberia.

With their history of violence and wars that have devastated Liberia and destroyed the lives of our young people now referred to as Zokos, it is expected that the UPians and their generals would seek redemption by being good democrats and peace ambassadors rather than reminding Liberians of their atrocities in the past.

Liberians are no longer what they were in the past under the True Whig Party.

We are now a people given birth to by the spirit of democracy and fundamental freedoms.

We have graduated from violence to peace and from conservatism to liberalism.

It is hard time that UP come to this realization and stop all these threats and violence.

Success at the polls are based on campaigns and interacting with the people and not sitting supinely and criticizing President Weah for walking in the rains and going from one place to another campaigning because “he did not do a good job”.

Perhaps the UP does not know that it will be disastrous to Liberia if this nation slump into another civil war.

If it does, we will risk being placed on UN Trusteeship without self-determination.

That action would not be felt by President Weah alone, but all Liberians. UP and RDM, let us maintain the peace we have and secure it.

Know that Liberia belongs to all Liberians and not to individuals political ambitions and selfish agendas.


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