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RESPONSE: “We Decry Tribalism in Democracy.”

(By an unknown author of Forum, published and distributed through Emails in the States of America and elsewhere BY THE PERSPECTIVE., Atlanta , Georgia and posted on October 18, 2005)

By Harold G. Tarr ~ (October 25th 2005)  

"...What this unknown author of Forum has written has a smell of bias. A journalist should be neutral and objective. I am sure, that every tribe in Liberia participated in Samuel K. Doe’s Government one way or the other. ...."


The unknown of Forum stated and I quote, “WE AGREE THAT the will of the majority regarding the unfolding electoral events is holding water in the process that is internationally endorsed as free, fair and transparent.”

“WE AGREE THAT when the final results come out, the will of the people would have emerged triumphant and those so endowed with the leadership responsibility would be expected to secure the people’s will like hens would do to their eggs during the period of maternity.”

“HOWEVER, WE FEAR what may possibly pollute the decent will of the people and the progression of the democratic ship of state.” “And that is tribalism.” “Tribalism seems rearing its early head given tribal sentiments that permeate across the corridor of the electoral process.”

“BY THAT WE mean greedy tribal men are throwing their weight behind a candidate of their tribe taking not into consideration the social, political and economic interest of the state.”

“WHEN TRIBALISM BECOMES adopted upon a democratic platform, there is hardly growth and development of nationalism.”

THE SAMUEL DOE regime whose policy was chiefly watering the seeds of tribalism at all government institutions especially in the army is a typical example.” The unknown author of Forum continues, “NOT ONLY WAS the government realistic, it was equally tyrannical to the point where it led Liberia into war.” Well, Mr. unknown author of Forum, thank God that since Samuel K. Doe left the political scene on September 9, 1990, Liberia has ushered in non tribalistic, non dictatorial and non tyrannical government but a pluralistic peaceful democratic government in 1997 and there has not been a single drop of bloodshed in Liberia .

However, I found the unknown author of Forum's statement to be false, unfounded, misleading, fabricated, and a calculated act to alienate and incite the voting public. Such an unknown author of Forum does not hold Liberia at heart.

During Samuel K. Doe’s regime, the heads of the Liberian Legislative Branch of the Liberian Government were from Bomi and Lofa Counties respectively. No Krahn man had ever become a Chief Justice nor an Associate Justice.

When Samuel K. Doe was the head of the Executive Branch, Krahn man has never ever become a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Commerce, Labor, National Security, Information, Planning & Economic Affairs, Health & Social Welfare, Transportation, Postal Affairs, Public Works, Internal Affairs, Rural Development, Agriculture, just to name a few.

Because of what the unknown author of Forum wrote, published and distributed has a taste of creating insurrection and violence during this election period, I would like to give him a little history of the Liberian Army which used to be called “Liberian Frontier Force (LFF) and later, Liberian National Guard (LNG).” Those who used to frown upon the Liberian Army used to call it, “Liberian First Fool or Nooko.”

Before Samuel K. Doe came to power on April 12, 1980, there were very few tribes in Liberia that were willing to join the Liberian Army. They are: Loma, Kissi, Kpelle, Gio and Krahn. These were the tribes that were willing and ready to defend Liberia ’s statehood. Instead, these soldiers were deployed in the homes of those who considered themselves to be the Liberian elites. Those soldiers used to sleep outdoors, feeding mosquitoes with their blood guarding the Liberian elites while, the Liberian elites were enjoying the air-conditioning.

Those soldiers were paid little or nothing. The Liberian Army was a job that other tribes never want to engage in, except if they could become an officer. It was a job left for the poor and the destitute. It was a job for those who were willing to sleep in those dilapidated housing in Liberia , using their wives lappers as window cottons. Sir, did you want to join the Liberian Army before Samuel Doe stopped you? Or do you think that what you have written will move Krahns and Gios to come at each other throats at this time? I think Grand Gedeans and Nimbains learned a lot from the civil war.

What this unknown author of Forum has written has a smell of bias. A journalist should be neutral and objective. I am sure, that every tribe in Liberia participated in Samuel K. Doe’s Government one way or the other. I am sure, instead of helping your favorite candidate you will hurt him/her.

About the author:

Harold G. Tarr is a former Liberian Ambassador assigned to the Republics of Burkina Faso, the Ivory Coast and Niger from 1984 to 1990. He holds three academic degrees. BA, Bachelor of Arts, Management, St. Thomas University, St. Paul, Minnesota, MBA, Masters of Business Administration, Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas and BSC, Bachelor of Science, DeVry Institute of Technology, Addison, Illinois. He was a Deputy Minister of Labor for Administration from 1981 to 1983. Five years in the Registrar’s Office at the University of Liberia . He was employed as a Clerk/Typist and rose to become an Administrative Assistant to the Registrar. He was also employed as a Krahn Broadcaster from 1967 to 1972.

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