“Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Lacks the Credibility to Lead Liberia”, says Mrs. Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa


By Winsley S. Nanka, CPA


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 27, 2005


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Mrs. Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa, the widow of General Thomas Quiwonkpa says that “Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf needs to step up to the plate and level with the Liberian people about her role in the 1985 abortive coup” that left hundreds of Liberians dead including her husband. Mrs. Quiwonkpa made the statement recently in a telephone interview with The Perspective.

Speaking further, she said “leadership is about integrity and honesty”, therefore, she believes Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s failure to address the issues she raised in her open letter recently published by The Perspective, and the issues raised by the deposed Liberian dictator Charles Taylor’s former defense minister Mr. Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu’s open letter undermines Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s credibility. “Integrity and credibility are very important in leadership”, she said. She continued, “Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf lacks the credibility to lead Liberia” because of her failure to level with her past. She claims that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf owes the Liberian people a public explanation because Mr. Woewiyu’s open letter recently published in local newspapers in Liberia suggests that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf played a major role in supporting Charles Taylor’s war machine than she has previously acknowledged. If Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf truly believes that she has nothing to hide, why she is not responding to my open letter, she asked.

Continuing, Mrs. Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa said, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s recent statement that she has suffered a lot is “insensitive and egoistic”. “No politician that has seen what the Liberian people have gone through should have the audacity to stand before them and brag about his or her suffering”, she said. She claimed that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf‘s personal suffering is nothing compare to what the majority of the Liberian people have experienced given that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf contributed to the suffering of the Liberian people by supporting subversive activities in Liberia.

Asked if any of the people she named in her open letter has contacted her, she said, “except for Mr. Harry A. Greaves, Jr. who made a condescending reference to my open letter and Mr. Harry Yuan, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Dr. Amos Sawyer, Dr. Boima Fahnbulleh, and the others have not contacted me”. She said their failure to address her open letter will not resolve the issue. She indicated that she will persistently raise the issue of her husband’s death until Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf and others explain to the Liberian people “what they know and when they knew it”.

Continuing, Mrs. Quiwonkpa indicated that Mr. Woewiyu’s letter to Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf clearly validates her information, which shows that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf betrayed her husband, which resulted into his untimely death. Mrs. Quiwonkpa explained that she holds Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, Mr. Harry Yuan, and others responsible for her husband’s death because Mr. Yuan took her husband in 1985 to see Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, and others in the Washington, DC area when they were planning their invasion of Liberia. More so, “Mr. Woewiyu’s letter clearly establishes the link between the destabilization of Liberia and Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf “, she noted. She stated that “Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf has to take personal responsibility for the destruction of Liberia, and she has to also be held accountable”.

Asked if she has any political ambition or if she supports any of the presidential candidates, Mrs. Quiwonkpa said, “I am not a politician, I am a registered nurse and an artist, however, at a given point in time, as a citizen of Liberia, I will not hesitate to make my contribution to Liberia in whatever way possible”. She again reiterated that she does not support any of the presidential candidates and believes that the choice should be left to the Liberian people in Liberia. In conclusion, she said the Liberian people need to base the choice they make during the presidential election on the “issues of integrity and credibility” because leadership is based on trust. She challenged the Liberian press to do “fair and balance” reporting by holding the presidential candidates accountable.

However, speaking in defense of Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf via cell phone, Mr. Gayah Fahnbulleh, the Chairman of the Unity Party in the United States questioned why Mrs. Quiwonkpa is making her allegations against Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf “on the eve of a historic Liberian presidential election.” He wondered why Mrs. Quiwonkpa did not raise the issue of her husband’s death in the past. He questioned her explanation that Liberia was chaotic in the past and it did not have a credible government. Mr. Fahnbulleh claimed that Liberia’s first female head of government, former interim leader madam Ruth Perry, and human rights organizations such as the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Liberia Female Lawyers Association, among others, would have been sympathetic to probe her allegation of complicity in her husband’s death.

On the question of Mr. Woewiyu’s recent open letter which accused Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf of complicity in General Quiwonkpa’s death, Mr. Fahnbulleh said, “while I respect Mrs. Quiwonkpa and empathize with her, she is doing herself an injustice by relying on Mr. Woewiyu’s open letter to support her claims against Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf”. Mr. Fahnbulleh intimated that Mr. Woewiyu has serious credibility problem. He claimed that Mr. Woewiyu is “deceptive, hypocritical and a complete gangster” who robbed investors at the Ducor Hotel in Monrovia, therefore, he should not be taken seriously.

Asked if he thinks Mrs. Quiwonkpa and Mr. Woewiyu’s objective is to derail the presidential ambition of Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf, Mr. Fahnbulleh said, “they do not have the capacity, moral fortitude and national appeal“ to undermine Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s presidential bid”. He claimed that Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf’s candidacy is “a popular mandate from the Liberian people based on their desire to see Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf provide a credible and responsible government that would unleash the potential of the Liberian people”.