There have been mixed reactions in Monrovia concerning recent memorial
service held by the sons, daughters, relatives and sympathizers of the 13
executed officials of the Tolbert era coming from several quarters including
the University of Liberia.
For instance, an economic instructor (named withheld) has expressed his
sympathy for such public execution of Liberians in cold blood for an alleged
corruption of the Tolbert regime.
The UL lecturer argued that the 1980 execution of 13 officials of the Tolbert
administration was the outburst of the chronic political bitterness, which
the nation is confronted with today.
However, other Liberians have termed the move as an act of retracing the
root cause of chaos in the country parlayed by civil war.
According to those opposing the commemoration of the day, this has the propensity
to draw the attention of the families of victims of past massacres dated
as far back as the days of the natives’ rebellion against the settlers
as well as the 14 years conflict.
Mr. Joseph Farkollie, a citizen of Kolahum, Lofa County, opposed the move
over the weekend when he made remarks at the Kolahum Women Development Association(KOWODA)
launching program held on the University of Liberia Main campus.
Mr. Farkollie said in 1918 about seven opinion leaders including chiefs,
who vehemently resisted the Americo- Liberians were executed in Kolahum
and no one has ever given credence to such public execution of those people
by organizing a memorial service.
He opined that no particular group of Liberians can be more important than
another especially when it comes to the deaths of people through a political
According to him, the recent memorial service in honor of the 13 slain Americo-Liberians
in 1980 has the tendency to dig out old wounds thereby undermining the ongoing
reconciliation and reconstruction of post war Liberia.
It can be recalled that last Friday, 22 April 2005 witnessed memorial service
for the 13 officials of the William R. Tolbert regime who were publicly
executed by the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) a military junta
headed by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe shortly following the overthrow
of that era.