Grand Kru Representation Issue: What A Shame to the Kru People

By Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted June 22, 2004

One Monday morning in this month, I was awakened to a BBC program about the history of high-life music. As I listened to the program, the producer said that the ever popular “high-life” music of Ghana was carried there by Kru sailors and fishermen from the Southeastern region of Liberia. The music was then referred to as “Palm Wine music”, and was played by the Kru sailors and fishermen to entertain themselves as they went through their sea exploits. The BBC producer said, having accepted this brand of music from its exponents, the Krus, Ghanaians went on to develop and popularize it to high-life. Actually, I was not surprised over this piece of invaluable information, because as you look around today, you realize that most of the tunes of songs being sang around here originated from the Kru people, but they had failed to get them recorded. As a result, others get the credit today

As I continued listening to that BBC program, I began to ponder why the Kru people did not develop this kind of music. Furthermore, I got reminded of some of the things my late grandmother told me as a child in New Kru Town. And I still remember the granny telling me about some of the great things and achievements made by the Kru people, some of which have gone into oblivion. She told me boasting about how the Kru people have produced very brilliant scholars among the lot in the country. One of the educated Krus she heralded to me was the late P.G. Wolloh, affectionately called by them as “Gbe”-Wolo. The word “Gbe” as an adjective, modifies the subject and describes such person as a genius. And so, for his remembrance a high school in Grand Kru is named in his honor.

Anyhow, this article is not intended to dwell on the greatness of the Kru people, however, it is only to indicate how they, as a tribal group, have produced many educated people. What tends to border me is that, some members of this tribe are yet to realize the important role many of their past kinsmen have played in the building of this nation, and the potentials they themselves have, and therefore continue to play lackadaisical attitudes and take back seat-role as they continue fussing over wee, wee issues.

A case in point is the absence of a representative for Grand Kru County, an area that has produced many Ph.D’s in this country, but has remained backward. Presently in the transitional political dispensation in the country, except for Grand Kru County, all other counties which somehow had problems in selecting their representative to the National Transitional Legislative Assembly, have overcome such by being solved theirs, and are now represented. But the people of Grand Kru are yet to resolve whatever matter surrounding their process of selecting their representative.

What is the Issue?

The Comprehensive Accra Accord(CPA) allots one seat in the assembly for each county. Again, the accord said elections should be held in Monrovia because of the security situation at the time. Accordingly, various counties have, in a democratic fashion, elected representatives for their respective counties. But as the process was ending, the two warring factions, MODEL and LURD, raised contention, saying they have already elected representatives for counties under their control, something that sparked off controversy. Again, for the sake of peace, it was suggested that the people from each county should meet to amicably resolve this matter.

Subsequently, the various counties began meeting to “take one out of two.” As I indite this article, except for Grand Kru, all of the counties have resolved the impasse and their representatives have since taken seat. Disappointingly, the people of Grand Kru are yet to decide between Koffa Nagbe who was elected in line with the accord and Mr. Sawoloh Doe, who MODEL said was elected by the people residing in the county. Frankly, I do not want to go into the merit or demerit of this issue. My concern has to do with the people, especially their leaders finding a way out of this situation. My observation is that this thing is being prolonged because of selfish interest and not that of the county. The fact of the matter is that all the counties had similar problem’s, but today, they have put that behind and are moving ahead while Grand Kru is still on the backseat. What a shame to a county that has produce d so-called “book people?” What really is the problem that the county continues to be deprived of representation? Are there hidden hands? I ask because I still do not understand why such is happening as it continues to make the Kru people a laughing stock. The county cannot continue to be deprived of representation because of some “personal interests” instead of the people’s interest. Worst of all, even the young people who should take the lead when their leaders fail, are seemingly divided on th issue. And so, the unnecessary controversy drags on to the detriment of the county.

I am not suggesting that there would not be disagreement. Obviously given our idiosyncrasies as human beings, we will at times differ on issues, but at the end of the day, the unity of the group or society as well as the interest of the group must prevail.

In fact, where are some of the great men from the county? Where is Dr. Tipoteh? Where is Blamo Nelson? Where is former Speaker Nyundueh? Where is Dr. Seo? Where is Minikon? Where are the Tarpehs. Just to name a few.

Let it be known that these are not normal times, therefore, we have to swallow bitter pills for the sake of the people. Some people who have worked with institutions were dishonorably removed from their posts for the sake of peace. Can’t the people of Grand Kru decide for the sake of peace. I write this article because I feel that my grandmother’s bones in her graves are not at peace because of this wrangling. Grand Kru, stop disgracing the Kru people. Find a solution now!

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.