Our Response To James Sirleaf’s Threat & “Desist Order”

By Bai M. Gbala, Sr 

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
Posted May 11, 2017


James Sirleaf

In a recent outburst, Mr. James Sirleaf, son of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, threatened court action with a “Desist Order” against “former members of the Doe administration”.

As the visible, former member of the Doe (the late former President, Samuel K. Doe) administration under threat of a court action, I submit this Response to Mr. Sirleaf.

In his article, My Reply to Francis Kwarteng (Analyst Liberia, May 9, 2017),Mr. James Sirleaf writes:

1. “I am prepared to take court action on all former members of the Doe administration for my incarceration and desolateness . . . by . . . security officers . . . led by the late Jenkins Scott (then Minister of Justice)”.

2. “I was arrested by the Doe administration in 1985, intimidated, placed in jail, falsely accused and humiliated . . . almost lost my life as a consequence, brought before military tribunal, almost killed . . . never ever charged with any crime . . .”.

3. “... I escaped from Liberia in May, 1990 . . . I have a lot to hate for. I would have been one of those that (took up arms) would . . . take the gun to take revenge on any one part of the late administration”.

 4. “I want to say here that those people who continue to place my President and mother’s name in a line-up with the iniquitous elements . . . former warlords in Liberia, to immediately desist.  She reacted to the scandalous mayhem in Liberia as most intelligent . . . people would”.

5. “The Truth & Reconciliation Commission (TRC) or no other group constitutes enough authority to make the ‘charge-less’, ‘charge-for’.  All of these were reasons why a civil war was fought in the country. Not so?”

 6. “It is high time now for National Reconciliation in Liberia and (that) we must let by-gones be by-gones”.

Our Response
Indeed, Mr. Sirleaf makes a powerful, compelling, reasonable and strong case for national reconciliation – “forgive, but not forget”, mindful of the saying “that those who ignore the lessons (mistakes) of history are likely to repeat them”. His apparent anger is understandable defense-protection of Mother by son.  

We, in Liberia, have come a long, long way to achieve national unity by inter-marriages, other socio-unions, business-unions, education, cultural-mix and ethnic diversity as a public policy, such that today, it is not possible to find a 100% “Country” (indigenous), “Congo” or “African-American”, the so-called “Americo-Liberian” among age 30 and below, the highly-educated.

But the problem of the DIVIDE IS THERE AND A REALITY, promoted, preached and practiced by the very few for wealth and political power, exacerbated by the recent, Un-civil War, warlords.

So Much to “Hate” for
Yes, we will be first to admit that during the period, immediately, following the military adventure of the deadly un-civil war, the historic demonstration of Man’s profoundinhumanity to Man”, “hate” was inevitable. Comparatively expressed, the impact of this military-styled, deadly un-civil war was, and is, felt, clearly, in terms of level and scope, upon the people of this nation. Take the case of Mr. James Sirleaf’s wartime experience and consequences of a lone, innocent, un-armed civilian; and the case of Grand Gedeh County, the overwhelming majority of its population of men, women and children, also innocent, un-armed civilians.

According to objective, validated facts of history of the Liberian un-civil War, Grand Gedeh County was captured by force of arms and occupied in about March, 1990 by the NPFL, agents of the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL), the premier organization that conceived, planned, financed and managed the un-civil war by non-other than Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Thomas Woewiyu, Open Letter to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Liberia Dialogue, August 30, 2005).

During the NPFL occupation, thousands, not individuals of a single family, were subjected to summary executions, rape, looting and destruction of their properties, etc.  Families - men, women and children, fled into the Konobo and Putu-Gedeh forests; others fled across the Cavalla River to La Cote d’Ivoire; while still other took to their heels to neighboring Sierra Leone and La Guinea. But the NPFL followed and inflicted death and destruction upon the Grand Gedean and other Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone. The rest is validated facts of history.

Back in Liberia, the NPFL announced a policy decision to annex Grand Gedeh County to its northeast neighbor, Nimba County. Thus, had the un-civil war successful as planned, Grand Gedeh County would be wiped off the face of Liberian map. Of the entire nation of 15 counties, Grand Gedeh suffered the worst of the NPFL-ACDL brutalities, including destruction of the economic and political infrastructure, and the socio-cultural fabric of the County, with more refugees displaced, per capita, than any other county.

Finally driven out of the county, the NPFL left the towns and villages in ruins, including the once vibrant, highly-developed, populated City of Zwedru, former capital of the-then Eastern Province. Today, the remnants of the NPFL occupation are clearly visible and troubling. The County had been, and is, after the un-civil war, effectively isolated and forgotten.

Grand Gedeh County, the Victim
We argue, reasonably, based on the facts of History, that the citizens of Grand Gedeh County did not attack nor made war against any other county or people, but that it was the NPFL, without any provocation, that rained death and destruction on the County and people. We challenge an open debate on the chronology – who started the un-civil war and for what - of its events. 

Our writings on the un-civil war have been, and are, basically historical, the truths or facts of history, not criticisms, “mindful not to ignore the lessons (mistakes) of history”, relevant, compelling message for the young people, in whose hand rests the future of our country.

National Reconciliation
Yes, given the un-civil war developments, “hate” was inevitable. But we cannot succeed in building a peaceful, democratic and thriving nation, hating our friends, associates, other citizens, neighbors, our family members and ourselves in the process.

Therefore, “It is high time, now, for National Reconciliation in Liberia and (that) we must let by-gones be by-gones”.

Dempster Yallah
Here comes this octogenarian again, with another of his tired crocodile tears in want of what, sympathy? And I say "Crocodile tears" simply because Mr. Gbala has become a sort of expert at these false, insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief to feign victimization. This phrase we learned is derived from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey. That personification is the very essence, the core of Mr. Gbala's being, as one of the chief architects of the Doe misrule which culminated into the revulsion of our people with attendant excesses notwithstanding. Surely indeed, any other well-meaning sons or daughters of Grand Gedeh, or Nimba and any others decimated by that experience could sermonize us with whatever the beseechment or supplication, but pleeze, not an incarnate of those harrowing times. Lord hear our prayers. ...Carpe diem!
Dempster Yallah at 10:49AM, 2017/05/12.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
James Sirleaf,

Your vain, corrupt, incompetent, and despoticly very wicked mother Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is according to Liberian Laws and International norms and laws AN INDICTED WAR CRIMINAL.

Bygones shall only be bygones after she has been stripped of powers, finally prosecuted and placed behind bars!

As for your very silly rant about you been jailed in the past, so according to you, those who have been jailed by your despotic mother's regime, and the families of Harry Greaves Jr., Cllr. Michael Allison, Victoria Zazay, who disappeared and found to have been slaughtered upon orders of your mother Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should take Joseph Boakai and others who worked with your mother's cartel should be taken to Court including your brother Robert Sirleaf who server as Senior Adviser to your despotic mother an indicted war criminal!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 07:52AM, 2017/05/13.
Ergo Manning

A truce transforms shooting war to a stare-down war with demilitarized, buffer zones. Immediate benefits: Lives saved, real estate and properties spared from destruction, safety and security established. That's the excellent part.

The sad part: Short of the decisive defeat of one or the other party, each side is convinced that their war and policies were right and proper, therefore, reluctant to abandon certain positions that started the conflict. And no one or party admits guilt, gives useful quarter.

The ugly: A lingering, protracted, and debilitating Divide; genuine peace sits captive of Godot.

And so the "nearly got killed, imprisoned, and traumatized survival" of Dear Mother's Humanitarian Civil War to regain perceived ordained right to governance threatens legal action for defamation of the good family name and value system.

But what about the eternally silenced 250,000 graveless Dead, the nameless skulls condemned to river bottoms, haunts the forests, and faceless victims of your Mother the President's conceived, funded, and executed savage war for power, money, real estate, and personal interests?

What about the survivals, relatives of those who carry the burden, nightmare, and scars and memories of war? Where is the Inner Voice of Conscience to mitigate the crucibles of war?
Ergo Manning at 09:18AM, 2017/05/13.
Ergo Manning


...that HAUNT the forests..
Ergo Manning at 09:32AM, 2017/05/13.
Sylvester moses
Mr Dempster Yallah, Agent Carpe Diem, apparently, the despotic kleptocracy of EJS pays per insult you throw at your betters, or elders. For heaven's sake, as the son of Africans, don't you have any modicum of traditional family value left, like, for example, sparing from your rude behavior a patriot as highly respected as Mr. Bai Gbala, someone old enough to be your father? And what did this elderly gentleman, whom even your "godpa" Dr. Amos Sawyer has regard for, actually say to earn such angry malicious insults? Do the stipends from the regime worth all the trouble of insulting anyone who speaks truth to Ellen's unaccountable power? Or are you that desperate for funds to pay for some PhD degree to validate your senile insensitivity? And if I may dare: where is your compassion and empathy for the vast majority suffering from pervasive poverty while she makes more money annually than the US President?

For, evidently, all Mr. Gbala did in this reasonable article is to rationally refute the false narrative being peddled by EJS, and the beneficiaries (example, James Sirleaf) of her Mafia rule that she bankrolled both the 1985 Qwiwonkpa and 1989 Taylor invasions, which killed a quarter million people, because she wanted to save the country from Doe. But despite the millions of US dollars your Iron Lady is spending on relentless propaganda offensives to sell that sacrilegious falsehood (using the dead), most of our people, and some foreigners now know that she stoked the genocidal war to become "great" when president for the sole purpose of raping the nation's resources, and grabbing revenues.

Unsurprisingly, even some smart foreign correspondents, including one who correctly described her as "Terror Queen", have written about the runaway corruption and, bad governance on this very platform of the perspective.org, yet you have been too timid to retaliate; the question is, why Mr. Bai Gbala? Or did the paymasters actually believe that rapid fire insults from "hired Internet goons" like you would silence everybody? Ironically, the American press knew about EJS's double - speak tactics from her days as Finance Minister under Tolbert. For instance, when "The Washington Post" scathingly ridiculed her for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on a white elephant called OAU village, she rationalized the corrupt - oriented expenditure as "Sustainable development". Incidentally, many who had served in more than one administration in Liberia initially gave her the benefit of the doubt with the expectation that she would through reforms restore real hope to an already traumatized nation, it was all for nothing: monkeys don't change their black hands. So Agent Carpe Diem, just enjoy the free money, but stop making enemies for yourself by abusing well - respected elders like Bai in a Quixotic effort to defend the indefensible.

Sylvester moses at 09:38AM, 2017/05/13.
Ergo Manning

Crave freedom.

Then actualize with unsurpassed zeal through rain, thick, and shine.

For those physical and mental shackles imposed and installed on any humanity by the sadistic Oppressor are NOT jewelry as you think, Mr. the Agent Fiduciary Carpe Diem.

The sooner done that freedom would blossom, self-worth restored, and justice and liberty, fair and equitable wealth sharing flow to all, Comrade Carpe Diem.
Ergo Manning at 11:25AM, 2017/05/13.
Bai M. Gbala, Sr.
Indeed, at this critical point in the history of our country; at my age of three scores and a little more than ten years; and as a liberal, progressive, democratic, eternal political animal, it is extremely important and a responsibility as an elder to “educate and inform” the young academics/intellectuals, the Dempster Yallas, that:

• Bai Gbala served, with dignity, honesty, credit, “courage and raw guts”, not only the Military (PRC) Government of Head of State, Master Sergeant Sammuel K. Doe (4 years); Civilian Government of President Sammuel K. Doe (5 years); Interim Government of National Unity of Dr. Amos Sawyer (5 years); Council of State, Interim Government of Chairpersons Kpomakpor, Sankawulo and Perry (3 years, 5 months) as Political/Economic Advisor; and the “elected” Government of President Taylor (of “jungle justice”) as International Affairs Advisor (9 months).

• It is necessary and compelling to educate Dempster Yalla and Company that an advisor is a “Staff” Aide to a decision-maker. He/she (Advisor) prepares and presents decision options to the decision-maker, based on research study and analysis, with the consequence of each option, on issues particularly, specifically concerned with the advisor’s assigned portfolio, period.

Judging from the persistent undefined pie-in-the-sky charges or allegations, it is reasonable to conclude that the Dempster Yallas are not informed on the Theory of Organizations regarding functional responsibility with emphasis on the system of our Government. If so informed, then it is, also, reasonable to conclude that they, the Dempster Yallas, are profoundly consumed by Ethnic/Tribal Bigotry and the discredited notion of “guilt-by-association”. What else?

I argue that the people, including the Dempster Yallas, do have the right to prefer charges against officials or anyone or call public officials to account, but the accused, also, does have the right to demand specificity – precise names, dates, places, objects or the “fruit of crime”, etc. But, apparently, the Dempster Yallas relish in generalities – “our people”, the convenient approach, without specific evidential connectivity.

Bai M. Gbala, Sr. at 02:45PM, 2017/05/13.
sylvester moses
Elder Bai Gbala,

With all due respect, Agent Carpe Diem Dempster Yallah is just an unprincipled mercenary. The paymasters care less whether what he writes makes sense or not: His mission is just to bark noisily to attract some attention. Not to mention that in the above comments, you've been over - generous. Frankly, reasoning with someone motivated by payments, is like quoting the scriptures to a kidnapper expecting his ransom.
sylvester moses at 03:32PM, 2017/05/13.
Ergo Manning

It is a patriotic duty to serve in government--any government--via rights and obligations under the law, by one's conscience, and by agreed ethics.

With certainty, your extensive record of public service appears unmatched compared with any number of counterparts in highest positions of influence, power, and authority, then and now, in my inconsequential view.

But knowing when to say no, when to walk away, was, is, or might be, the Achilles Heels of an otherwise distinguished career.

Further, might it not raise a red flag in most resume-evaluators' minds to say that one proudly worked for President Obama and later, President Trump, two policywise ideologically, diametrically opposing administrations, for a full term or two severally, by way of demonstration?

A humble opinion. The critique. I beg your pardon, Sir.
Ergo Manning at 04:43PM, 2017/05/13.
Sylvester moses
Brother Ergo Manning, from the summary of Elder Bai Gbala's work experience, obviously, he was a senior public servant who served in the administrations of several heads of state. Thus, to equate that with an example of "policy - wise ideologically diametrically opposing administrations, particularly in Liberia, is a very strenuous stretch; don't you think?

For, tellingly, even in the US (which you cited) where there are definite dissimilar Repulican - conservative and Democratic - liberal approaches to governance regarding, for example, the economy, foreign policy, wars, race relations, immigrants, education, and so on some senior public servants had worked for both parties. For instance, a topical example is the dismissed FBI Director James Comey. This highly respected Republican and lawyer was employed by Reagan, and worked in the administrations of Bush 1, Bush 11, Obama, and then Trump.

Not to mention that there aren't much difference in the approaches of past Liberian administrations toward the above - mentioned different policy goals attributed to the two US political parties. Moreover, in parliamentary democracies such as the UK, the most senior public servants are permanent secretaries, and they, their deputies, and assistants serve in their positions no matter which political party runs the country.

In other words, to put it bluntly, Elder Bai Gbala's resume doesn't make him a political prostitute, because he was simply a public servant employed by whosoever was the head of state. Anyway, I'm happy, brother Ergo Manning, that you asked a very important question that has befuddled a lot of people back home. Most importantly, the take away here is that public officials serve the country, not a head of state.

That's why FBI Director James Comey refused to "pledge personal loyalty" to President Trump. He has already sworn fealty to the US constitution, ending it with: "So help me God". And, if I may, are our few overzealous security sector officials listening? Because they've been the problem, instead of the solution, in most of the situations that have degenerated into civil crises - a la "Tubman gave me gun not book" enduring mentality.

Sylvester moses at 09:41AM, 2017/05/14.

Post your comment

You can use following HTML tags: <a><br><strong><b><em><i><blockquote><pre><code><img><ul><ol><li><del>

Confirmation code:

Comments script

© 2017 by The Perspective
E-mail: editor@theperspective.org
To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: http://www.theperspective.org/submittingarticles.html