The Personality Traits Of Contestants For The Liberian Transitional Presidency

The Liberian Youth Leadership Forum (LYLF) Presents The Personality Traits Of Contestants For The Transitional Presidency. Don’t Wait To Be Told. Know Them Now To Avoid Repeating Past Mistakes As You Decide Our Nation’s Future!

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

August 18, 2003

Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
Considered to be Liberia’s foremost opposition figure, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf might have seemed to be the best choice for the Transitional leadership. Yet, fears and suspicions among Liberian politicos for her strong appetite for genuine reforms explains why she was dissuaded earlier to abandon her towering ambition in a basically masculine struggle. Nevertheless, Mrs Sirleaf still possesses the basic qualities for good leadership that are conspicuously lacking in many Liberian politicians. She is one of the few strong voices in the vanguard of the struggle for genuine transformations in Liberia, and could therefore be the one to help restore all the years that the locusts have eaten. Since the problems in Liberia are linked to poor management and the urgent need for redistributing the country’s vast wealth among its fairly manageable population, many observers believe that Mrs. Sirleaf could help set the pace for such leap.

Theresa Leigh-Sherman
Women are becoming a formidable force in Liberia’s political life. Mrs. Theresa Leigh-Sherman, another independent Liberian woman, has been a known figure in Liberia since the 1980s. Now estranged from her equally ambitious husband, Cllr. Rudolph Sherman, Mrs. Sherman could play a meaningful role during the Transitional period were it not for her own inexperience in state craft. Completely ignorant about the rudiments of modern government, she falls far below the minimum standards as far as conflict management is concerned. Although soft spoken compared to Mrs. Sirleaf, Mrs. Sherman cannot be a reconciler in a conflict that pivots around widening social disparities because she has never hidden her sympathy for Liberia’s corrupt Old Order.

Gyude Bryant
Effective crisis management requires caution and tactfulness. On the periphery, Gyude Bryant possesses both qualities and may therefore seem to be the alternative name. Unfortunately, his poor human relations and Cllr. Charles Brumskine’s growing influence on him undermine his chances. In conflict situations such as Liberia, where a leader is required to be constructively decisive and independent in thoughts and actions, Mr. Bryant, who owes much of what he has accumulated over the years to Libya, cannot be a compromise name.


Former Warlord Alhaji Kromah
Alhaji Kromah
Alhaji G. V. Kromah
If Charles McArthur Taylor, George Boley, Roosevelt Johnson, Prince Johnson, Sekou Darmate Konneh, etc, cannot be eligible for consideration in any transitional government, then to think of the name Alhaji G. V. Kromah would be the most unimaginable thing for anyone to consider in Liberia now. Mr. Kromah’s role in the Liberian conflict is one of the most outrageous memories. In the last Transitional arrangement, most of those he nominated to serve in government came from his Mandingo tribe, which is therefore why he definitely cannot be a unifier or reconciler. His stubbornness and over-ambition sometimes becloud his ability to reason well.

Marcus R. Jones
Since the bulk of Liberia’s problems can be blamed on lawlessness, one may be tempted to conclude that the best choice for the Transitional leadership would be a lawyer. In this case, the name Marcus R. Jones might as well appeal to everyone. But time has unveiled the true nature of Cllr. Jones, as his partisan role has become more glaring in recent times. His insistence that the indictment on President Taylor be dropped before peace can be restored to Liberia and his growing appetite for women have brought him into disrepute. Such outrageous omens are frightening and are therefore compelling reasons why he cannot be entrusted with the eternal fate of a whole nation.

George Toe-Washington
George Toe-Washington is a renowned Liberian diplomat and politician. Dr. Washington was only thirty-five years old when he became head of Liberia’s army. Now a very old man, however, he lacks the vigor a leader needs in a country torn apart by conflict. A few weeks ago he felt prey to a group of hungry Liberian refugees who had deceptively impressed him that he could make it to the Transitional leadership with their support. He is even said to have been involved in a fist fight with Cllr. Chea Cheapo. Many observers believe that while General Washington has no evil inclinations, his age has largely been responsible for his susceptibility to bad influences. Therefore, it would be a risky venture to consider him for the Transitional Leadership.

Augustus Marwieh
Bishop Augustus B. Marwieh
Liberia is a sanctity that has been abused by its past and present leaders. Spiritually, something has gone terribly wrong in Liberia: Evidence of moral decadence pervades the government machinery. Divine intervention is therefore required to rescue our Nation from the hands of evil forces. Can Bishop Marwieh be the one to restore “This Sweet Land of Liberty by God’s Command” to its sanctity? ...Aged and without the slightest knowledge of state craft, the Bishop cannot be the one that God has anointed for this Herculean task because as evidence shows, he has joined those who are using money to influence decisions in their favour.


Togba-Nah Tipoteh
Togba Nah-Tipoteh
More than thirty years in the vanguard as a political activist seems to have given Dr. Tipoteh a distinction that many of the other aspirants do not enjoy. Yet, this long experience has not done much to change his attitude towards power. He has been head of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) since its formation in the 1970s. His critics accuse him of manipulating the Movement in order to remain its head perpetually. But this is inadequate to explain why Dr. Tipoteh who, together with many of his compatriots, has been championing the cause of reforms cannot be given the chance to head the Transitional Government. His impeccable records as an anti-corruption crusader stands out in the Liberian political arena. If chosen, he could no doubt be the one to excite the seed of socio-economic reforms that he and others had planted for the last thirty years or so.

Wesley Johnson
When the full accounts of the struggle for democracy in Liberia are written, the United People’s Party (UPP) will come out clean as an institution. The man trying to patch up the UPP after the Baccus Matthews debacle is no doubt Mr. Wesley Johnson, who has also thrown his hat into the race for the Executive Mansion. Innocent in outlook, Mr. Johnson may almost suddenly appeal to the less critical mind. Yet, he is a slow political poison. When chosen to head the Transitional Government, he will not be the real one to exercise that power. The people to use that power will be individuals like Fred Bass-Golokei, Blamo Nelson and his few close associates who are mostly remnants of the Taylor era. Moreover, speaking practically of the Liberian dilemma, Mr. Johnson lacks the credentials to deliver Liberia from its current quagmire.

Roosevelt Quiah
Roosevelt Quiah
Relatively unknown in the political arena, Roosevelt Quiah is a novice in modern state craft. His first entry into politics was in 1996/’97, when through the influence of his brother he became Ambassador-At-Large, a position he exploited to trade in the sale of Liberian passports to foreigners. Not adequately educated, Mr. Quiah is a client for Russian financial mafias who are already here in Accra to support their client's bid for Liberia's top job. Indeed, he is another Charles McArthur Taylor in the making.

Harry F. Moniba
Harry Fumba Moniba
Where partisan politics is considered, Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba, a former vice president and by far the most experienced of all the contestants, cannot be blameless. His unsurpassed level of tolerance, his patience, his emotionally stable state of mind even under the most tormenting circumstances, his willingness to listen to even the least member of society, and his readily strong appeals to people of all social strata, are just a few of the attributes that strike out almost instantly. On November 12, 1985, while being held captive by General Thomas Quiwonkpa and his forces, Dr. Moniba warned: “Liberia is too small for its people to fight among themselves”. Such comment from a man whose life and position were under threat could not have been made by many of the characters here if they were faced with such dilemma. No wonder then why only Dr. Moniba stands out from the rest of the candidates.

Rudolph Sherman
The most monumental error that any people can make is when they fail to understand that genuine transformations are only possible if those who undermine positive change are kept as far away from decision-making as necessary. If this holds, then the man Rudolph Sherman, whose name is synonymous to corruption and hypocrisy, would be the slightest to consider. While this Survey was being compiled, Mr.Sherman was in a tight telephone conversation with his mentor, Mr. Charles McArthur Taylor. Sherman has been the brain behind the establishment of the nine (9) surrogate political parties that were brought to Accra primarily to convey what Mr. Taylor sneezes into their nostrils. If in spite of this Liberians still decide to choose Rudolph Sherman to head the Transitional Government (TG), then the fallacy that they voted for peace in 1997 instead of for Taylor would be exposed for the world to see.

Published This 4th Day Of August 2003 By The Public Affairs Department Of The Liberian Youth Leadership Forum (LYLF) In Accra, Ghana, West Africa.