After Morkonmana, Who's Next to Fall From Grace
By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
October 9, 2001
Every revolution has its irony, and for most, it ends up being a paradox of its original intentions, or the antithesis of what it sets out to achieve. This was typical of the so-called "revolution," launched in 1980 by Samuel Kanyon Doe, together with 17 non-commissioned officers of the former People's Redemption Council (PRC), which supplanted the century-old True Whig Party oligarchy.
Internal conflicts, power struggles, distrust and disappointments made the original 17 - its own children victims of their own revolution. Now it appears history's about to repeat itself.
Charles Walker Brumskine, former President Pro Tempro of the Liberian Senate; Joe Mulbah, former Minister of Information; J. Milton Teahjay, former Deputy Minister of Information and Media Advisor to President Taylor; and Nyundueh Morkonmana, former Speaker of the House of Representatives all have one thing in common. They have repeated history.
They are also victims of the evil and oppressive government of Charles Taylor - a government they created and once supported over the years for what it's worth.
Because Charles Taylor and his government have been embarrassingly unworthy, many attempts have been made by the opposition for some of the individuals in question to join pro-democracy activists in their global campaign to topple the Taylor government and end the reign of terrorism in Liberia.
Some defected while others declined the offer to be part of any democracy movement, because many of them believed they were destined for power, fame, fortune and a glamorous lifestyle any parent would be proud of.
Many of the individuals, however, became unapologetic and brazenly deviant before their unceremonious fall from grace. At one time, some of the gentlemen believed they were invincible and dabbled into the unthinkable. Some were vitriolic in their utterances and masters in the art of manipulation. As defenders of oppression in their previous lives, they thrived on intimidation and character assassination to maintain their comfortable lifestyles and the status quo.
After all who would want to abandon power, fame and fortune in exchange for dissident politics as a career? Dissident politics, we have been reminded over and over is one particular line of work that hardly pays the bill, because of the culture of incarcerations and deaths that defines it. We have been reminded also that dissident politicians are troublemakers, agitators for that matter, who are known to "start trouble and run away." The political insurrection of the early 1980s is a common example that is frequently cited by critics.
Sadly, there are some who would prefer to stay away from progressive politics in order to earn their fortunes the easy way, no matter how corrupt, diabolical and self absorbed the president is. Those individuals would compromise their integrity and credibility in a heart beat for a piece of a "poison pie" that ends up running their stomachs.
And when things begin to fall apart - because of their recklessness and cunning maneuverings, they run to safer grounds, sympathetic ears and forums they believed would rehabilitate them. One of the individuals, according to sources has positioned himself for a possible presidential run in 2003.
A presidential bid in 2003 for any qualify Liberian is welcome indeed. Since Liberians are advocating democracy, the tenets of democracy have to be incorporated and practiced. Great statesmen - the revolutionary icons we read about in history books never reached greatness by compromising their convictions. They earned their place in history the hard way by making sacrifices against their own interest.
With a set of unbridled principles, courage, sheer determination and love for country, those revolutionary icons transformed history by turning hope into reality for their people.
Certainly, the credibility of these Liberians have been destroyed simply because they turned the other way for power, fame and fortune at a time their people needed them most. Charles Walker Brumskine, Joe Mulbah, J. Milton Teahjay, Nyundueh Morkonomana and perhaps others, deservedly so are now reaping the seeds the sowed.
It is beyond comprehension for anyone to even think pro-democracy activists are against qualify Liberians going home to help the Taylor government in nation-building. However, it is one thing to go home and lend ones expertise and genuinely contribute to rebuilding Liberia and impact lives, while it is another thing to go to Liberia and be part of the problem than a solution.
Charles Walker Brumskine; Joe Mulbah; J. Milton Teahjay fell from grace for different reasons. Nyundueh Morkonmana met his fate, we have been told for embezzlement of funds and the falsification of his college degree. Stay tuned.