AGAIN ANOTHER supposedly educated Liberian has stooped so low trying to drive a wedge among his fellow Liberians bearing different names whether from the seaside and those of the hinterlands.
THIS LIBERIAN, the new Central Bank of Liberia Executive Governor, Mr. J. Alloysius Tarlue, who brings some form of experience to the nation’s premiere bank, preached the divide and rule to his fellow kinsmen and women from Grand Gedeh County when he attended a weekend program organized by his ethnic Krahn associates to honor President George Weah for his preferment as Executive Governor of the CBL.
HE TOLD HIS fellow Grand Gedeans: “With all the support you’re giving me, I see the war on Facebook. My name is Tarlue, I’m not [a] Cooper, I’m not [a] Dennis… so I see the war but I think sometimes God makes us strong for the fight and we’ll work so hard for that.”
“WHEN I WAS in America, the people of Grand Gedeh fought from 2005 to today for this President and because of what they have done, that’s why I stand on their shoulders today. So, my presence here today is not because of anything I know, it’s because of the struggle my people have done, the incarceration my people went through – I appreciate that, I know that and I’ll work hard to make sure that I make Grand Gedeh proud so that another son of Grand Gedeh can occupy that space tomorrow,” he said.
“SINCE I CAME from the States, I’ve never met Grand Gedeans in this kind of gathering… My fellow Grand Gedeans, I’m talking to you now, the perception about us out there [is] we’re war mongers. We’re not. We are peace-loving people, we’re good people, we want to see the best of every Liberian, so I thank you all for the struggle but the struggle continues, the struggle doesn’t stop.
THIS MAY SOUND simple and harmless at the moment but every well-read Liberian adult knows too well what this thing about “name” has caused Liberia and its people. Its ramifications are far reaching and deadly for Liberia and useless politicians have always used it to divide Liberians along the country-congau divide.
SUCH MEPHISTOPHELIAN comments should not be coming from a man like Tarlue, who is inarguably one of the educated few Liberians and who now heads one of the most significant institutions in the country.
THIS THING about using name to divide Liberians really shows up during the national electioneering period when politicians try to play on the gullibility of ordinary Liberians to divide and rule them by hiding behind certain kinds of names or only trying to buy into names from the hinterlands.
IN DOING SO, they invoke bad memories of yesteryears and instead of preaching messages of peace, unity and reconciliation, they fuel hatred and drive a wedge of disunity among the already polarized population.
IT WAS NOT TOO long ago that thousands of our people fell prey all because of their names, tribes and/or religion.
THIS WAS A measure used to render judgement on innocent Liberians. We, at FPA wonder how well Mr. Tarlue knows the number of innocent Liberians, who lost their lives during the senseless civil war because of their names?
TARLUE IS NOT alone on this divide and rule hatred sermon of tribalism over other Liberians.
RECENTLY PRESIDENT WEAH, preaching at Bishop Isaac Winkler’s Dominion Christian Fellowship Church in Congotown, also used similar language that he of all Liberians shouldn’t be using, especially openly among other Liberians.
PRESIDENT WEAH insinuated
that he is being allegedly singled out by some Liberians because he came from
Clara Town and Gibralta; adding: “But the Presidents that came from Louisville,
Charlesville and other villes, you can never insult them because they are
THESE PLACES that the President named are places that the names that the CBL Executive Governor mentioned, hailed from, predominantly.
IN ALL FAIRNESS, Mr. President and Mr. CBL Governor, you are among the group of Liberians, who should not be playing the tribal card.
SINCE INDEPENDENCE IN 1847, Liberia, which is Africa’s oldest republic, has been struggling to wrestle the cloud of division between the indigenous or country people and the descendants of settlers, dubbed, Americo-Liberians, or Congau people.
IN NEXT DOOR, SIERRA LEONE, the sister ethnic group of Americo-Liberians are called the Creole who share similar ancestry and related culture.
AMERICO-LIBERIANS trace their ancestry to free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans who emigrated in the 19th century to become the founders of Liberia and identified themselves in the new-found territory as Americo-Liberians.
FOR MORE THAN A CENTURY, Americo-Liberians although in the minority, controlled and dominated the socio-economic and political life of Liberia.
ALL THAT CHANGED on April 12, 1980, when Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe, of the Krahn ethnic group, along with 16 low-ranked military officers, led a violent military coup that brought an end to 133 years of the Americo-Liberian oligarchy.
DOE AND HIS BAND of coup leaders accused the Tolbert government of corruption and established a tribunal. On April 22, 1980, exactly 10 days after the coup, finding 13 officials of government guilty and placing them on the poles at South Beach for execution.
THE COUP OF 1980 was a liberation for those who branded themselves as the indigenous or country people. In tribute to the liberation, some chanted: “Native woman born soldier and Congau [settler’s] woman born rogue…”
With the hard lesson learned, it is about time that Liberians, especially leaders desist from all vices, including utterances that continually divide Liberians and we think, given Mr. Tarlue educational level, he SHOULD know better.