By Atty. Archie P. Williams
On Wednesday, October 11, 2023 the National Elections Commission (NEC) commenced announcing the preliminary results of the recently conducted Presidential, and Legislative Elections held on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
Shortly thereafter, a rather unknown, and, or unheard of figure in our political constellation and presidential candidate of the relatively obscure GDM party in E Wade Appleton Jr., unexpectedly emerged on the spotlight with tremendous headways whereat he garnered thousands of coveted votes over CPP political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings who indisputably possessed acute credentials of international repute; and including renowned Human Rights Activist Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe.
Both presidential candidates were wildly considered as alternative forerunners aside incumbent President George Weah of the CDC, and former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai of UP.
Against said backdrop, several folks have approached me to fashion a brief historical highlight and background of Mr. Appleton as to what could’ve been the driving force behind the whirlwind of his seeming political currency which is fastly dwarfing the referenced traditional politicians who, over the years have earned for themselves accolades of enviable records both one the national and global international stage, with chests of moral and economic resources through which they ably attracted some of the best minds, and strategic tacticians in the game of power acquisition from across the country’s political landscape.
For the benefit of this platform, and those who approached me, I therefore present the following insights about the referenced presidential candidate, and what he embeds.
“Eddie Appleton” as he was popularly known during his days in Monrovia prior to transitioning to the United States shortly after Taylor became President was a classic representation, and an embodiment of what is termed as a “regular guy, and bluff boy” in Monrovia.
He ably gelled and resonated with all and sundry especially amongst the grassroots populace based on the inclination of his friendly disposition.
That explains why he contested as Standard Bearer of the GRASSROOTS DEVELOPMENT MOVEMENT (GDM) party.
He commenced his primary education at the Nathan Barnes School in Harper, and subsequently, the Cathedral Catholic High School in Monrovia.
His family are descendants of the well known, and highly connected Appleton Dynasty from Maryland County.
His father, the late E. Wade Appleton Sr., was a household name in the breadth of Liberia. He graduated from the University of Liberia in 1961 with a BA Degree in Political Science, and few years thereon, he graduated from Law School.
During the Tolbert, and Doe eras he was one of the finest lawyers highly revered amongst his peers.
Moreso, in the early 1960s he, along with several of his political comrades that amongst others included Robert Q. Kennedy who eventually became superintendent of Lofa County were arrested and incarcerated by Tubman for their alleged ascription to “communistic and foreign ideologies.”
Several years thereon, he embarked upon his law practice through which he rendered several pro-bono services to scores of indigents who dubbed him as a “Poor Man’s Lawyer” in Monrovia; its environs and the bailiwick of Liberia.
Shortly after the 1980 coup, Counselor Appleton was enlisted into the Armed Forces of Liberia with a Rank of a Major, and appointed as defense counsel at the Military Tribunal, whereat he ably provided legal representation for several AFL soldiers charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
In 1983 he was amongst the first batch of those who resigned from the PRC government in adherence to CIC Doe’s mandate that those desirous of contesting in the ensuing 1984 Elections which was eventually postponed to 1985, should tender in their resignation a year earlier.
When the ban of political activities imposed in May of 1980 was effectually lifted on Independence Day of July 26, 1984; he, and several like minded individuals provisionally organized the National Democratic Party , or NDP for abbreviated short, in August of 1984.
Within the same time, August of 1984, several vestiges and politicos of the TWP era that included former representatives Leroy Francis, and Kekura Kpoto, of Marshall Territory and Lofa County, well as Dr. Boley, Charles Williams, and others organized a political rally in Bassa, which outgrew from a petitioned ceremony in the Schefflin Barracks by a corps of AFL hierarchs and some PRC members to Doe that he contest the presidency.
Thereat in Bassa, Doe gave his acquiescence to contest under the banner of the proposed National Democratic Party of Liberia(NDPL).
Upon the submission of their respective registration documents to the Elections body, it was discovered that there were two National Democratic Parties ; howbeit the name Liberia was the deferential.
And by that the counselor was advised by the authorities of the election body; SPECIAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION (SECOM) headed by Ambassador Emmett Harmon to change his party’s name as a “courtesy to Doe” so as to avoid any “un-forseen electoral un-derpinnigs”.
As a law abiding citizen, the astute counselor obliged, and changed his NDP party to the Conventional Democratic Party (CDP).
Unfortunately, he was subsequently disqualified for not meeting the registration requirements on deadline date.
The counselor was last seen in public glare on television in 1989 at the Barclay Training Center where he was one of those that represented Gen. Gray D. Allison, his cousin and kinsman who was on trial for allegedly murdering police patrolman Melvin Payne for ritualistic purposes to dethrone Doe.
Per the aforementioned, it could safely be conjectured that Mr. presidential candidate Appleton, Jr. who is also a brother of Counselor Gerald Appleton is a beneficiary of his father’s kindness and legacy as others similarly situated have boastfully done, and that which is garnering for him the votes he is accumulating much to the consternation and un-believability of several political pundits and the observant populace.
In America, he served as Senior VP and Managing Partner at the Liberia Investment Promotion, Inc based in Houston, Texas USA where he resides.
I hope I have been historically helpful to all those who made approaches to me, and as well as members of this platform.
Above are the photos of he, and his father, Counselor E. Wade Appleton Sr.