Liberia: The Legacy of Gratefulness and the avoidance of conflict: Reduce the tension in Liberty Party

ignored based on ego, ethnocentric or wrong behavioral pattern associated with their character. Others respect the value of gratefulness and ensured those characteristics are well attained in their lives. Conflict is not the means to resolve any scenario in the world. It set apart the humankind and brings about long hatred that goes through generations. In most cases, the generations that never had any physical part to play in the conflict(s), sometimes becomes worst in its reprisal application. Today, I don’t know how the problem of Indigenous and settlers or Americo-Liberians will ever be solved. Too much hard feelings. Sad! But, whatever it is, we must be peaceful in Liberia and forgive the wrong past.

By Romeo D.N. Gbartea, Contributing Writer

However, in the context of the Liberty Party, which was organized by us during the dangerous governance of President Charles Taylor, many nights my family did not see me because I could not come home due to the risk it posed on our lives. Sometimes, we will have meetings to places and there was no way to return home. Prior to the 2005 elections, Romeo D.N. Gbartea, James Innis, Milton F. Quaye, and Jerome Walker (late) were assigned to ensure every citizen in Grand Bassa County understands the philosophy of Liberty Party. We went to every part of the county and ensured the message of Liberty Party resonated to the people. We slept in towns and villages just for our people to get the ideology of Liberty Party. We were always in contact with the local leaders in the county especially George Gaybueh, traditional leaders and prominent citisens.

In 2005, I was working with the National Transitional Government of Liberia as Senior Research Analyst, Advisor and served as Acting Vice Chair for two hours (2003-2005). I had to take some leave of absence to work for the FOB. In fact, I served as one of the authors for the Result Focused Transitional Framework, the policy of the NTGL. My work in the NTGL was on course. I was multi-tasking. However, I had to achieve the objective of Friends of Brumskine (FOB). FOB  conceptualized that Gabriel Kpolleh was a teacher and we underscored that to develop the Liberian society, every generation must  be educated, therefore we wanted to work with his party but it failed. During a visit to Gabriel Kpolleh Town in 2005, after we slept to the Seminary in Gbarnga, Bong County, Milton F. Quaye and I, drove in my car in the escort with our leader, Counselor Brumskine and we had a terrible accident but only God rescued us. We left the car in the forest and went to Gabriel Kpolleh home. We took the car to Gbarnga and slept in the car until the next morning, then we drove to Monrovia. We would had died and today, the legacy of gratefulness would have been ignored by the leaders in Liberty Party. We must reduce the tension in Liberty Party and prepare for a better future.  

In 2008, when the politics was at its peak in Liberia and we wanted to maintain the representative seat of district number three for Byron Browne, Counselor Charles W. Brumskine and Byron Browne felt over the bridge in the river in Klein’s Town. Counselor Brumskine had to rescue Byron Browne from the big and running river. Milton F. Quaye and I crawled on the log to reach Klein’s Town. Counselor Brumskine had to wear his wet clothes to address the people in Klein’s Town, District number three, Grand Bassa County. The FBO/Liberty Party story is pathetic and the leaders in the party must help to reduce the tension for a productive way forward. They must be grateful to the Friends of Brumskine (FOB).

Furthermore, when we knew that the other parts of the country needed to be mobilized, the Friends of Brumskine used its skills to disseminate the message by riding canoes and other means of transportation that was not too normal. Comrades Nathaniel Toe, Murphy Dennis, Isaac Jackson went in the south-east to ensure the people understand the advocacy of Liberty Party. Abel Voker, who was recruited by the first Chairman of FOB, Atty. Jerome Walker (late) ensured Nimba County understood the ideology of Liberty Party. The founding members always worked with the indigenous in the areas they disseminated the information. The legacy of gratefulness must be enhanced and the tension in Liberty Party must reduce. 

In the 2017 elections, many political variables were interplaying, therefore I used my progressive skills to advice the political leader Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine on how a party can follow its ideology. Therefore, I recommended Comrade Milton F. Quaye , a student of economics understood the foundation of the FOB movement. Therefore it was good for him to serve. He could even checked “chicken soup” one at a time when there was distribution of foods by Liberty Party in other parts of the country. Life! While Mr. Israel Akinsaya was supporting Ben Sanvee based on his known and unknown variables. I narrated to Counselor Brumskine that Ben Sanvee didn’t have the experience and didn’t understand the ideology of good governance based on his young advisory role with Pres. Charles G. Taylor. Therefore, Mr. Milton F. Quaye was suitable for the position of Chairman of Liberty Party. Counselor Brumskine escorted Milton to see the renovation of the party’s office and was prepared to make the announcement for him to serve when Israel Akinsanya persuaded Mr. Quaye. Life!

Unfortunately, based on my stance, for Milton F. Quaye to be Chairman, Mr. Israel Akinsanya instructed group of men in the party’s office to throw me out. This rivalry created serious problem for the party, however I refused to publicize it because it would have created problem for the 2017 campaign. However, little did I know that some of my best friends in the world got the information? The Liberian Government intervened and the police wanted to keep Akinsanya in prison, I didn’t want the news to go in the public so I took the pains and agony internally. The legacy of gratefulness must be enhanced. We have suffered for too long for good governance and the rule of law.

Most times when you trust God in everything you do with sincerity, life becomes empirical in the real world. To justify my claims, in few months, Mr. Ben Sanvee was listed as one of the debtors of the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning loan scheme. The information came out during the course of the Liberty Party Nimba Convention. Counselor Brumskine was shocked and ensured that Ben Sanvee resigned to settle the issue. Ben Sanvee resigned to solve his corrupt issue and he was reinstated based on some fundamental agreement. The legacy of gratefulness must be established at all times.

There are people who are still asking whether Counselor J. Fonati Kofa resigned from the party based on his challenge in the United States of America. Indeed, Cllr. Kofa resigned as Chairman of the party. We were strict on the rule of law. What was interesting is that we were telling the truth to our friends and laughing about it. The movement was joyous based on our intellectual skills there were no malice against anybody for decision we took which was right.

Today, the founding members of Liberty Party, the Friends of Brumskine (FOB) continues to make history. Romeo D.N. Gbartea, Vice Chairman for two hours, National Transitional Government of Liberia, We have Kamara Abdullah Kamara (KAK) Act of Press Freedom, Aruna Fallah, works for a major international organization in the world etc. There was nothing like Ethnicity in the ideology of the entity and there will never be. Our common objective was to do the right thing in the context of the governance and the rule of law especially to build a fragile country that will promote sustainable development and good governance.

Education is viable tool to build any society. That’s why all the founding members of Liberty Party are well schooled. The entity provided scholarships to every Liberian despite of ethnic group religion, race etc. Please permit me to outline academic backgrounds of some of the FOB members: Romeo D.N. Gbartea, Ph.D Candidate (abstract level), Aruna Fallah Master, Bus. Adm., Lamin Kpargo, Master, Law, Isaac Jackson, Master, Law, J. Fonati Kofa, Deputy Speaker, Master, Law, Powo C. Hilton, Master, MBA, Milton F. Quaye, Economist, Telecommunication expert, Ben Wymon, Master, Peace & Conflict, Jacob Smith, Master, Int’l relations, etc. These comrades suffered for Liberia to experience good governance, that’s why they are advocating for the Chairman to resign. They have no hatred against him but they are grateful to the legacy of FOB.

When Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine recommended Nyonblee Karngar to serve as the political leader of Liberty Party, it was endorsed by me as an advisor to Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine. I want to remain grateful with my decision but it is our responsibility to solve the conflict in a more peaceful internal manner. I am convinced by God’s Grace the Chairman of Liberty Party, Musa Bility will step aside for a moment to resolve his “awkward challenges” that have the tendency to break down governance and the rule of law in Liberia.

Conclusively, the Government of Liberia and the International community spent intensive resources to ensure the Vision 2030 document that have the goals of decentralisation, good governance, sustainable development the rule of law and integrity was structured. The funding from the International Community and the Government of Liberia come from the tax payers of their countries and Liberia. We must respect the people that continues to pay their taxes and do them justice.

We must be guided by the principle of transparency. It will enhance a “Developmental State” in Liberia. Corruption has destroyed the image of this land of Liberty. When people are corrupt, they use an entire ethnic group to protect their poor character. They intend to breed conflict. Nobody is against Mr. Musa Bility based on his ethnic group. We all didn’t choose our ethnic identity. It was a natural variable. I am calling on all the concern Liberty Party members to resolve the issue internally. When Israel Akinsanya, Ben Sanvee etc resigned to solve their corruption case, it was done internally in the party. When conflict is resolved internally in good style and manner, it helps unity.

This internal conflict has the propensity to make Liberty Party to lose the opportunity to govern the country.  This opportunity could go away if ego and arrogance persist. Good Governance and a stable Liberian society matter most. Liberty Party must solve their problem and be grateful to the legacy of governance and the rule of law. The Legacy of Gratefulness and the avoidance of conflict in Liberty Party will be good. Conflict in organization can breed out the wrong people to lead the country.

Liberia First!

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