By Bai M. Gbala, Sr
In an Editorial 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 that:
We repeated, above, the Editorial’s recent exposure of prevailing patterns of “destruction of public institutions, the rule of law,” etc. by “thieves, murderers and hyper dishonest people celebrated and rewarded with public (government) offices” in detail, because the editorial provides excellent opportunity for reflection on the recent past activities of some of the celebrated people rewarded as public officials. They include:
Mr. Amos Claudius Sawyer
Mr. Sawyer earned and holds the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Humanities and, therefore, the Social Scientist. Dr. Sawyer has been, and is, one of the major political players on the Liberian political scene in various crucial, critical positions.
Dr. Sawyer was the most, major influential political player during the administration of the Military Government (PRC). He was appointed Chairman of the powerful Constitution Commission, apparently, as reward for alleged head of the academic “progressives” who taught at the Garvey Night School, BTC, where leaders of the military coup were enrolled. It had been, and is being, reported that the “Progressives” provided the intellectual rationalization and support for Regime-change, the April 12, 1980 coup d’état. Dr. Sawyer was Interim President of Liberia after President Doe was assassinated and, now, Chairman of the most powerful Governance Commission for Public Policy development, presentation and Advisor to Government.
But after the banning of his (Dr. Sawyer’s) LAP, the political party incarnate of the dreaded, deposed True Whig Party (TWP) and the historic collapse of the Grand Coalition, Dr. Sawyer fled the country and teamed up with Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the US in the founding and administration of the Association for Constitutional Democracy in Liberia (ACDL), the premier organization that conceived, planned, financed, recruited operation agents, the late AFL Commanding General Tom Quiwonkpa, Mr. Charles Taylor, and led the overthrow, by force of arms, of the Government of Liberia. Thus, the ACDL, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dr. Sawyer, and a host of other members of the deposed TWP 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.
While serving as Interim President, Dr. Sawyer came under attack from several credible sources for what was described as “President Sawyer’s wartime castle”. In Washington, D. C., on May 17, 2000, the late Tarty Teh wrote “I sat one weekend . . . and listened to five Liberians who were debating how Interim President Amos Claudius Sawyer bought a house in the United States. Someone said his wife bought the house while she was employed with a credit union . . . in the U.S. It was not all speculation because one of the participants in the debate was the Liberian reporter who had traveled to the U.S., photographed the house, and obtained a copy of the deed to the property”. “Back in the Liberia, the reporter confronted President Sawyer with the proof of the purchase. President Sawyer is said to have defiantly suggested that the information “about his purchase of a house be published in ‘The Washington Post’ just to show how little he cared about what anyone thought of the purchase and how badly it smelled while Liberia was at war with itself . . . One of the debaters said the deed was actually in the name of Sawyer's wife, and President Sawyer was listed as one of the occupants of the house”.
“Dr. Sawyer had a right to buy a house in the United States once he met the requirements of a borrower for the money with which to buy the house. That led to the question of how Sawyer or his wife qualified for the loan that would put them in debt to the tone of one hundred thirty thousand dollars”.
“Sawyer was neither a resident nor an employee in the United States to qualify for a loan. His wife, who once worked for a credit union . . . was, at the time of the 1994 purchase, a full time first lady of Liberia . . . That left very few possibilities for qualifying for a loan, and so the likelihood of outright purchase of the house with cash grew prominent. That, in turn, begged the question of how much money Mr. Sawyer was earning as President of Liberia and how he could legally budget to maintain the mortgage (payments) on the house, let alone pay for the dwelling with cash. The latter was possible only with . . . theft and stupidity”.
“If Sawyer stole . . . he had to have robbed dead people of Liberia . . . It was criminally calculated. Theft is one thing, but recruiting thieves for national leadership is quite another. But if we let the current trend continue, people who fit Sawyer's profile are in line to assume the national leadership, and elections - democratic and all - are not much help without the people's determined will”.
Dr. Sawyer, now in 2017 and as the powerful Chairman of the Governance Commission (GC), in real terms, does not live in Liberia, but in the USA, where he has a home and his family lives. Like Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dr. Sawyer is, often, on the go. He is, perhaps, American citizen. As Chairman of the GC, it was Dr. Sawyer who crafted the Code of Conduct, apparently, designed to eliminate all possible, formidable candidates for President and give retiring Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf 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 kingmaker status attempt 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 GC.
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 it 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.
Mr. D. Elwood Dunn
Mr. Dunn, also, earned and holds the “doctor” of Philosophy 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, the one-party state, for 133 years. In fact, Dr. Dunn was the Presidential Minister of State (the last) at the time of the time of the military coup d’état on April 12, 1980.
A US citizen, Dr. Dunn, the retired Professor of Political Science & History of a US University and part-time counsel to the Liberian Government of Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during its 12-year tenure, lives in the United States. His most recent, major part-time service to the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Government included the 2012 Independence Day Oration and Advisor to the National Symbols Review Board.
Regarding the Oration, Young 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. Every Independence celebration presents an opportunity for Liberians to reflect upon their accomplishments and failures . . . motivate Liberians to . . . assess the tragedies of their past. Dr. Dunn’s oration leaves too much to be desired in interpreting our past. Dr. Dunn 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 he 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: 1, bring more territories under the control of Liberian governing or political authority and 2, exclude indigenous peoples from the echelons of power, since they clearly avowed hostility to Americo-Liberian pretentions and interests. 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”. Highlights mine.
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, the former Minister of State for Presidential Affairs under the last TWP government, the retired Professor of Political Science, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, “urged Liberians to introspect “What, Why and How to Reconcile”.
Dr. Dunn 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”.
In conclusion, Professor Dunn intoned, “what I am suggesting . . . is that we (Liberians) take home two lessons as we celebrate the passing of this great African freedom fighter and champion of reconciliation: “1, (Not only that) the imperative of liberation from oppression (and) our country’s historic role in the African liberation struggle, but also our own historic engagement . . . from oppressive governance and armed insurgency; and 2, closely related lesson is what we do with ourselves as a people once liberated. Remember that once liberated, South Africa reconciled (New Democrat, December 12, 2013)”.
“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 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, the ‘lessons of history’ – of compromise, give-and-take, negotiated settlement and, indeed, reconciliation, “once liberated”, have been lost on or to us”.
“Therefore, that Liberian National Reconciliation for healing and unity continues to elude us is a reasonable expectation, and that Dr. Dunn’s analogy or premise/conclusion of the South African and Liberian struggles for freedom is not supported by the relevant facts of history and far off target”, we wrote in a comprehensive challenge, with detailed comparative analysis of critical issues regarding African Continental Nationalism; Local, Nationalism of “Love of Country”; Socio-cultural Tradition, Racial (Apartheid system); and the peculiar Liberian political experience (Analyst Liberia, December 17, 2013 and the Perspective, October 19, 2016).
Mr. Abdulaye Dukule
Mr. Dukulaye, the former workmate and very intelligent individual, claims the Doctor of Philosophy degree and 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 level, depth, 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 Honorables with characteristic impunity, 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 or address of the Liberian High School from which he graduated.