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Monday, July 22, 2024

A POLITICALLY PUZZLING TIAWON GONGLOE’S FACTOR AMID 2023 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS…

Date:

A Patriot’s Diary

With Ekena Nyankun Juagbe-Droh Wesley

The politics in the small West African nation has always been characterized by unpredictability. Why so? Historically, we have not been cultured along the fringes of vibrantly sustainable political institutions. We have instead built personality cults. Once outside of power, the so-called political parties become fizzled!

The grand old True Whig Party (TWP); was an oligarchy that set no vision and mission for Africa’s oldest independent nation as it were. The imposition or perhaps emergence of the military was unprecedented but inevitable. Its cunning transition from khaki to civilian authority was ill-conceived. The end proved untenable!

A senseless and ideologically debatable war to was similarly a miscalculation. Wars, like rain, cannot distinguish targets. Our fratricidal self-destructive sadly failed to unbundle the trappings of our missteps amid our human complexity. Out of a war machine emerged a quasi-political machinery with absolutely no clear agenda. Transforming from a belligerent instrument into a genuine political tool proved anti-clockwise.

Among all the actors in the wilderness to advance the course of a better Liberia – were progressive elements, who to date are being called all sorts of names because of lack of understanding. The progressives embarked on mass political education that would inform self-consciousness among the masses. The progressives neither carry guns nor did they teach they indoctrinate our people into a culture of violence. They have simply been in the business of heralding equality, access, respect for the rule of law, voice, and visibility for the entire population especially the vast majority of our people.

Casting our minds back to the 1985 rigged elections; free but typically unfair special elections of 1997 owing to lack of equal access on the part of all the candidates; the 2005 polls that became a turning point following self-destruction and subsequent elections, Liberians would be at it again in October this year to make that ultimate decision.

In the lineup for the presidency, this year is internationally acclaimed Human Rights icon, Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP). Liberians aren’t stupid! They surely know what is good and precisely what they want. They crave a leadership that would emerge out of free, fair, and transparent elections that will guarantee, the rule of law, accountability, probity, and accountability will frantically fight impunity.

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe comes with that history, resume, and credentials. He has been in the struggle ever since his days as a student activist. He protested against President Tolbert and demanded the right thing be done. Cllr. Gongloe paid the price for standing up to Samuel Doe’s military brutality. He was arrested, tortured, and incarcerated under the claws of Charles Taylor’s tyranny. Cllr. Gongloe has remained unbending and consistent in his advocacy for the rights of Liberians.

His critics, for whatever their reasons, say the time is not right. That he does not have the ability to raise campaign funds. Perplexingly, they are now heralding the so-called ‘unknown quantity factory.’ While his rivals are holding endless press conferences and issuing media advisories in the capital, Cllr. Gongloe is painstakingly reaching out to every nook and cranny of rural Liberia. Intriguingly, the people in Liberia’s inaccessible rural parts are telling the perceived ‘unknown quantity’ since independence you are the first to venture along such tumultuous journeys.

Our people seem to know what they want. They are telling Cllr. Gongloe, the risk he takes to reach inaccessible communities would be rewarded. Our people are saying they can no longer vote for politicians that only send campaign flyers to their hamlets, villages, and towns. Cllr. Gongloe has gone beyond campaign stickers.

As a patriot, who has lived the trenches and has a firm appreciation of the socioeconomic and political realities of the small West African nation, Cllr Tiawon Gongloe is no stranger to the politics of Liberia. He has passionately meandered his way through the lifeblood of Liberia through thick and thin. From student activist to human rights advocate. He elevated the status of Public Defenders across the country during the regime of Madam Sirleaf. He is on record as one of the most accountable and corruption-free public officials in the history of Liberia. He left a legacy of accountability as the former President of the Bar Association. He is the man of the people.

For those who unknowingly brag about patriotism, Cllr. Tiawon Saye Gongloe says, Liberia is bigger than this political ambition and has expressed his willingness to team up with opposition elements whose agenda run parallel to his party’s 10-count Agenda for A Better Liberia.

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