By Socrates Kamara- (May 17th 2005)
"...To the Families of the Ministers and other Government Officials executed in the aftermath of the April 12 coup twenty five years ago, we cannot find any one group of Liberians that will offer an apology. We are all guilty of every thing that went wrong before that faithful day. We are still guilty of every thing that is wrong right now especially those of us who are educated and live outside of Liberia . I will simply recommend that to you that only the current very corrupt NTGL Officials who have not learned anything from the1980 coup, and the just ended civil war, apologize to you all. ...."
To All Liberians Above the age of 30:
Twenty five years ago, our dear Country ended its streak that only a hand full of nations in Modern History can boast of: The Longest Serving Peace Time in the world. April, 12 1980 plunged us not only into the whirlpool of political uncertainty, but a lost if our innocence as a nation.
There were several programs to commemorate that event in Liberia , and throughout the United States by family members and love ones of those who perished. The main theme of these gathering was, asking for apology, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation. Since my target audience was old enough to remember those terrible moments which I usually refer to as “the day the lights went out in Liberia .” I just want for all of us to take good look at ourselves and just ask this one simple question; do these people deserve to die the way they did for this country? Well, what ever you answer to this question may be, regardless of your background, or where you stand under the latest political spectrum it can never the less bare some overriding passions. The bottom line here is that we were all affected.
One hundred and thirty seven years before the 1980 invasion (please note that I used the word invasion and not a coup because I want to leave it for the balance sense of your judgment) our people were subjected to a style of Government that was very alien to indigenous mode of thought and comprehension. Major decisions governing our every day lives were dictated and handed over from Washington D.C. , which reflected absolutely nothing as to our best interest, future, and plight as an Independent Sovereign Nation. Our people had to endure and stomach these decisions for so long until they just could not take it and hold it any longer. Nothing as far as Government Policies was properly explained to us as a people. We were just kept in the dark because the Government that was receiving these “hand me down decisions” was them self kept in the same darkness, and did not even knows as to what was going on. It was not until the later years of the Tolbert Government, when we began to see a shadow of the grim reality of what was befalling our nation. Unfortunately it was just too late. Things were taking a turn for the worse. The cold war was ending, and Liberia was no longer considered a major player in the International Stage of puns.
Twenty five years ago Mr. Tolbert and his Administrators became victims of circumstances. They inherited a rotten spoiled country which for more than a century found itself in a whirlpool carribis. They also forgot to move quickly and throw a draw net that would have brought in a vast majority of the brightest and talented Liberians into the limelight of his government. Twenty five years after, we are still victims of the very song that we sang. Massive corruptions, looting of the National Economy, Political uncertainty, and senseless wars are all that we can see and forecast. Twenty years ago, a man by the name of Emmett Harmon, was given the task to change our nations history, and forge a path for the brightest future for our children’s children when he was appointed as the Chairman of the first real Election Commission in Liberia . Today he would have gone down in our nation’s History as one of the greatest Liberian that ever lived. Unfortunately, his stubbornness, selfish pride, and greed got in his way, and he chose the other path. He harassed, and ridiculed other Political Candidates just to give the election away to Samuel Doe. This move my fellow Liberians was the straw that broke the camels back as far as our people were concern. After years of being denied this glorious and sacred opportunity of freely electing their leaders, and finally choose the right path for this nation, then one group of very selfish Liberians will just come by, and wreck the whole thing just because, they had received enough bribes to come to America, buy homes, and send their children to school, and live comfortably? Hell no! So it was not surprising that due to this massive frustration, a criminal by the name of Charles Taylor decided to take advantage of them only for his own selfishness. The action of this one Emmett Harmon caused us to go into a full scale civil war that destroyed our country, and killed hundreds of thousands.
To Mrs. Morris and her Election Commissioners
It is true that only a few individuals through out history, and through out the world have been given this enormous task. The task to determine the course of a nation’s history by just one single event is all in your hands. This is a one in a life time situation for you to shine and bring back glory and credibility to Liberia . Regardless of who wins the race, it is you that we will remember. Unlike many of our fellow countrymen, who before you were appointed to chart the course of our nations history and have completely disappointed us, let you name go down in the annals of our time that not only did you do a very fair and honest job, but also a great job. We are all cheering you on to victory, and moreover GOD Almighty will be on your side.
A WARNING TO ALL LIBERIANS
Snake trap is not only for snake alone: The late Episcopal Bishop Daniel Brown during his address to the Liberian people gave the late Samuel Doe this story: Once there was a hunter who set a snake trap. After noticing the trap, Mr. Snake summoned all the other animals, and informed them about this trap. He went on to tell them that they need to warn the villagers about setting a trap for him because he may not be the only one to suffer. All of the other animals burst out into laughter, and started calling him names, some even went to the extent of telling Mr. Snake that it was because of his wicked ways that is why the villagers were trying to get rid of him. Weeks later, poor Mr. Snake went out for his daily hustle, and got caught in the trap. Early the following morning the Chief’s daughter went out to fetch water by the stream, not knowing that Mr. Snake was at its deadliest, happened to pass by and got bitten. She died shortly after. As a tradition, the town was invited to the burial feast. During the feast, they had to kill chicken, goats, sheep, deer, and a whole host of other animals. So as we all have seen Mr. Snake was not the only one that perishes because of snake trap. A word to the wise is quite sufficient
To the Families of the Ministers and other Government Officials executed in the aftermath of the April 12 coup twenty five years ago, we cannot find any one group of Liberians that will offer an apology. We are all guilty of every thing that went wrong before that faithful day. We are still guilty of every thing that is wrong right now especially those of us who are educated and live outside of Liberia . I will simply recommend that to you that only the current very corrupt NTGL Officials who have not learned anything from the1980 coup, and the just ended civil war, apologize to you all. They are just telling you all that the blood of your relatives and that of countless numbers of Liberians just don’t mean a thing to them. THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA NEEDS ALL OF THE APOLOGIES.
About the Author
Socrates Kamara resides in Texas, USA.