Skimming Through President Sirleaf Subtle Reconciliation Effort


Addressing the 53rd National Legislature, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf President recognized challenges faced by her administration regarding reconciliation.

Notwithstanding, the Liberian leader seemed upbeat when the Independent National Commission on Human Rights (INCHR) submitted a comprehensive report of a chain of activities undertaken by the Commission.

While there could be diverse analysts of contrasting thoughts on reconciliation in the country, we cannot ignore a significant progress that beats at the heart of genuine reconciliation.

Whether critics honestly agree or not – this government is the most all-inclusive administration in addition to its democratic credentials than all previous governments combined. Avid followers of our history would admit the surfacing of bad blood between the 1980 Junta leader – Samuel K. Doe and his Commanding General, Thomas Quiwonkpa coupled with the attendant consequences.

Beyond the Anthony Quiwonkpa cum Samuel K. Doe, Jr. break with the past in dawning a new day – President Sirleaf’s Cabinet has since 2006 constituted a rainbow administration. Every facet of our country is fully represented in this government never as before.

The make-up of the Cabinet cuts across Cape Mount to Cape Palmas; Mount Gedeh to Wologissi; Mount Nimba to Kpatawee Falls; from St. John to Lofa River; as well as from Gbi Mountain to Bomi Hills. Self-evident of the President’s Office is a cross-section of the 16 cultural groupings of Liberia. The Supreme Court bears testimony to regional balance in content.

Today, it is truly amazing that the sons of the two deceased arch-enemies – would seize every strategic opportunity in the full glare of the recent Two-Day Cabinet Retreat to walk hand-in-hand in Julijuah, Bomi County. The pair was visibly seen featuring memorable snapshots preferably for their respective Facebook pages.

Anthony Quiwonkpa, a son of the late Thomas Quiwonkpa works in the Office of the President while Samuel K. Doe, Jr. is Deputy Managing Director for Operations at the National Port Authority (NPA).

The world ought to be convinced that despite the soul-searching critics anticipate – the unsuspected subtle show of reconciliation between two bitter enemies cannot go unnoticed. There is no gainsaying that – as a matter of policy, the government favors restorative justice over retributive justice.

Surely, while the pursuit of the active presence of justice might resonate in some quarters – the open symbolism and practical demonstration of joy-joy despite the harsh realities of the past speaks volume.

With the presence of Jackson F. Doe Memorial Hospital situated in Tappita, Nimba County – where the sick from Grand Gedeh and other parts of the country attend medical attention irrespective of our bitter history marks a new day for all.

There are indeed lessons we all can learn from the historic manifestation of the sons of leading deceased actors during the era of the country’s military intervention. Although elected on the ballot of the Unity Party (UP), President Sirleaf will go down in history as forming the best all-encompassing administration that reflects every section, segment and interest in this country.

It is incumbent upon the Independent National Commission on Human Rights to critically dissect and analyze the scientific human-face construct as exemplified by Anthony Quiwonkpa and Samuel Kanyon Doe, Jr. in the wake of its ongoing “Palaver Hut” engagement for replication.

Liberia, like many a nation that experienced horrendous past has to move on. We can achieve that by building the kind of bridges and establishing practicable connect that borders on the greater good.

The examples of Rwanda, Ethiopia or if you like Nigeria should inundate our psyche as we hope for a better and prosperous nation for our children and children’s children.

We salute Anthony and Samuel for blazing the trail as patriotic torchbearers of this subtle reconciliation. 

Ekena Wesley, Contributing Writer