By Weah Karpeh, Coordinator – Media Research and Strategy Team Gongloe|
Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe
The Liberian People’s Party (LPP) is expected to assemble on Friday, May 6, 2022. Probably the first in many years. I hear the selection of national and local chapter officers to tend the activities of the reborn old-time Party, and the re-structuring of its leadership and revising its constitution ahead of the 2023 Legislative and Presidential election are critically the highlights of the impending convocation.
The LPP was established in 1983, nearly 39 years ago. It aimed to participate in the democratic processes including the electoral exercise that impended in 1985. But the dream was short-lived. Although the Party galvanized, mobilized and sensitized the people to elect it, the Peoples Redemption Council (PRC) that comprised of 17 soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia who toppled the True Wing Party (TWP) administration in April, 1980, quelled the progression.
The military regime banned the Party after it had demonized it as one of radicals, extremists, ideologists or troublemakers. In multiple ways, the PRC ridiculed or soiled the young, exuberant and intellectually agile men and women as they carried on the struggle their predecessors enunciated to curb the one-sided rule that obtained. Largely, it is worth mentioning that the soldiers sailed on the so-called troublemakers’ steady advocacy for systemic change which accordingly fertilized the ground for their ousting the TWP.
Even though bloody, the military takeover was popular, embraced and acclaimed nationwide. Jubilant students, marketers and other lay citizens filled the streets and squares. Even some of those the junta would perceive downstream as radicals took up governmental positions and were decorated with military insignias as “Majors” Togba-Nah Tipoteh (PhD), Henry Boima Fahnbulleh, Jr. (PhD), Oscar J. Quiah, Dew Tuan Wleh Mason, Gabriel Baccus Mathews and so on were part of the lineup that assumed technical jobs in the military government to assist reform Liberia.
But, the marriage was short. It soured and was unattainable. Policy difference underpinned the problems that subsisted between the pair. Thus, divorces in terms of resignations from the government occurred. Many of those that parted company regrouped and formed other parties. Among them was the LPP started in 1983 to participate in the Presidential and Legislative election in October, 1985 but the junta banned it. Effectively, its and the leaders of the other groups that panted to see a Liberia of equality and social justice thus referring to themselves as “Progressives” or “Comrades”, melted and went underground. That is why the struggle for the upliftment of the peoples from mats to mattresses still continues, unabated, through the promotion of the “Better Liberia Agenda”.
I deduce the framing masked the “Progressives” or “Comrades” and likely to impair the frantic effort underway to elect one of them who has distinguished himself in public service as President of Liberia to transform the Country based on the rule of law. He cuts across every political, cultural, regional or religious divide based on his commitment to respect for the rights all human beings and the rule of law in Liberia.
This is why I had suggested to a meeting of Team Gongloe in Monrovia in August, 2021, we refrained from referring to ourselves as “Progressives” or “Comrades” but Mr., Mrs., Miss., Academic or Professional Titles. Or else, only our first names would do. But the call generated disdain, and was quashed, with the overriding view that with the end of the cold war, words like comrade and progressive were no more harmful.
To date, I applaud some young “Progressives” or “Comrades” at the meeting who allayed my fears. They asserted that the tide had changed. Regardless of ethnicities Liberians itch for “A Better Liberia” and are convicted that Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe would drive the anticipated transformation and in the process unmask the “Progressives”.
Appeased and pacified, I move that once we attain the victory we envision with Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe the President of Liberia, and transforming the Nation, we would then beat our chests while shouting the loudest in celebration along with colleagues beneath our feet: Comrade! Comrade!! Comrade!!! Comrade!!!!
Already, the name Cllr. Gongloe has become subject of household talk. Even callers on radio talk-shows across the Country espouse him becoming President of Liberia to reform the Motherland based on his public service record of integrity, honesty, accountability and transparency. It is this aspiration of the people he longs to fulfill which is why he has developed a 10-point roadmap dubbed: “A Better Liberia Agenda” and a 12-point “Strategy to Fight Corruption in Liberia.” These documents, he professes, would guide the national overhaul and renewal he would lead.
Accordingly, the Gongloe-administration would issue an Executive Order to bar officials of government from disrespecting, interfering, influencing or obstructing the police and other law enforcement officers. Stern reprimands including dismissals following summary investigations would be meted to violators. Similar actions would ensue if said public servants stand in the way of judicial officers such as bailiffs, magistrates, marshals, the Chief Justice and so on. The outstanding lawyer assures the public that there would be no selective application of the law because there must be justice for sustainable peace, progress and prosperity for all Liberians.
As President, Cllr. Gongloe would instigate a partnership of public servants and journalists – known archrivals in serving Liberia. To do this, he would issue an Executive Order to direct that every citizen including journalists have a right to take photos of the conduct of employees and officials of government at any time. This would be his way to stoke an open governance. The Executive Order, according to him, would be followed by a bill to the Legislature seeking to make it a crime for any law enforcer or official of government to take away the camera of anybody or to force the deletion of a photo. The foreseen marriage unheard of would cream good governance in Liberia.
To promote Liberian music and the performing arts i.e. cultural entertainment, comedy, and other creative work, his administration would commit government funding to this crucial sector to not only boost the Country’s economy but enhance its enviable intellectual prowess or gift. Toward this end, the government would build facilities such as theaters and cultural centers, museums to preserve the positive Liberian culture and promote tourism. Even efforts that promote the unique Liberian cuisines and costumes would attract deliberate State bursaries to develop and flourish.
When elected President of Liberia, Cllr. Gongloe assures, the government would empower the youth by massively investing in a comprehensive youth program that covers compulsory, quality free primary and secondary education program, as well as, youth sports and athletics programs in schools and communities to promote entertainment, incite competition, boost physical fitness and good health, and to prevent crime. The possibility of the Liberian youth qualifying for the African Cup, the world cup, the Olympic and other international sports and athletic competitions will higher than present. The rehabilitation and skill-training programs of the drug affected youth will a part of his youth empowerment program.
Cllr. Tiawan S. Gongloe is a transformational public servant. He was the first Solicitor General, since the independence of Liberia from 1847 to assign only well-trained lawyers as county attorneys in all of the counties of Liberia and as Minister of Labor issued regulation number 17, which increased the work permit fees for non-Liberians from four hundred United States Dollars to one thousand Liberian dollars, thereby causing employers to employ more Liberians and reduce their non-Liberian employees. His most recent record of transforming the Liberian National Bar Association speaks for itself. He also completed the draft of the Decent Work Act and submitted it to the President, while serving as Minister of Labor. The Presidential Hopeful’s pronouncement that he would deliberately empower Liberian businesses by ensuring the aspects set aside by law for exclusive Liberian ownership are done by only Liberians is something to write home about, given his track record of commitment to Liberalization.
Also, Cllr. Gongloe’s itch to rigorously enforce provisions of the Decent Work Act that forbids issuing work permits to foreigners for jobs Liberians can do, and to charge the Ministry of Labor to develop a database of Liberian professionals in order to fit them to workplaces making them chief drivers of the economy, frightens the merchants as well. This is why impeccable sources say they are plotting to prevent Liberians from electing Cllr. Gongloe as their President because he is too straightforward, unbending and incorruptible contrary to the past and current leaders of Liberia that they know.