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A Covenant Betrayed: Partisanship within ULAA and its Chapters — Part IV

By Siahyonkron Nyanseor     

 

Part III of this series ended with the example of the proverbial snake.

It is the way many of us—Liberians behaved. These snakes do not move in unison, but fall prey to the hunter’s stick. It is the same with many of us—we do not address vexing problems with a united front, but are always cutting corners. I truly believe that if Liberians face their problem with honesty, they will be able to find a lasting solution to those problems. However, our greatest obstacle to achieving this goal continues to be sidestepped by many people in our society, who for the sake of “What is in it for me syndrome” engages in all sorts of DEDEEBY.

Part IV will continue to address the impact the division has made, and Part V will recommend how ULAA can move beyond the impasse.

We will begin this part of the series with the communication from Mr. Arthur K. Watson, then a presidential candidate. The letter was addressed to the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Mr. Willie Kamara. It reads:

The Committee to Elect Arthur Watson & Team

 

For ULAA Leadership in 1999

P. O. Box 8513

Newark, New Jersey 07112

Tel.: (908) 354-0035 ~ (973) 923-0483

Email: akw@ieee.org

                                                                                               May 27, 1999

Mr. Willie Kamara

Chairman, ULAA Elections Commission

1610 Radio Road

Dayton, OH 45403

 

Dear Mr. Kamara:

 

Although we have not received an official copy of the just modified Elections Guidelines for the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) 1999 elections, we have learned from several credible sources (and confirmed by you during a telephone conversation of 5/22/99) that the major change in the guidelines is the decision that voting will be done on a delegate basis. THIS HAS NEVER BEEN DONE IN THE HISTORY OF ULAA. Based on the information we’ve received, the new guidelines are somewhat silent on several issues and this concerns us greatly. Below is a listing of our concerns:

1.      First, our central position is that the Liberian people must decide the leadership of the Union. Also, on the basis of the current ULAA Constitution of July 4, 1997 (Article 2 which states: “The jurisdiction of the Union shall encompass and involve the active participation of all Liberians and their communities and organizations based across the length breadth of the United States of America, in particular, and the continents of North and South Americas, in general. The Union shall be the umbrella national association of the above mentioned constituencies”) which opens membership to all Liberians and Liberian organizations in the Americas, we believe that maximum efforts should be directed at ensuring that a major portion of the Liberian population and organizations will be a part of the coming conference and elections.

We have learned that the      current decision limits participation in the electoral process to only      “ULAA chapters that are currently active and financial with      ULAA”. This, we feel is also a violation of the current constitution.      As stated in item 1 above, the constitution calls for all Liberian      organizations, communities, etc., who meet membership requirement by the      time of the conference to be allowed to participate fully.

If the major goal of ULAA,      and evident by the letter and spirit of the current constitution, is to      ensure mass participation by the Liberian people, this conference and      election should be open to all as an invitation for membership into the      union. To limit participation on a delegate basis gives no incentive to      other Liberians to attend the conference. Thus, attendance at the      conference will be very poor. Let me also remind you that one of the      reasons given for the postponement of the conference from July to August      of this year was in order to assure a greater participation of the      Liberian people since the date would not conflict with other conferences      or reunions.

While we welcome all good      faith efforts to ensure a fair environment and a transparent process for      the 1999 elections, we are very concerned that this decision is taken at      the eleventh hour without input from many Liberian organizations or      individuals. There are many schools of thought in the community regarding      how best to conduct the Union elections. We feel that some of these ideas      should have been considered prior to the decision. One idea is that      elections should be held directly within the various Liberian communities      in the Americas to ensure that even our elders, who may not necessarily      attend conferences but are very active on the local level, will also have      a say as to who their leaders should be.

Even if we went along with      the decision of the delegate system, the major question is, who determines      the delegates and on what basis? Having seen how delegates are selected in      this country and by other organizations, the best and fairest is to have      direct elections within the communities and on the basis of the election      results, the delegates are selected on a percentage based on the vote      counts. Unless this is done, we are afraid that ULAA will be face with the      very credibility issues that has always plagued her. THIS ELECTION MUST BE      FREE AND FAIR and based on the letter and spirit of the CURRENT      CONSTITUTION.

6.       We are prepared to work with      the Elections Commission and the Union Leadership to arrive at an approach      that is workable and fair to all. As much as we seek the leadership of      this Union, we are not prepared to be a part of any electoral process that      is flawed and a sham. We therefore recommend that a meeting with      representatives of the major candidates be held to address these issues      immediately. We must demonstrate to the Liberian people that the Union is      truly prepared for a change in the right direction.

 

  1. The restructuring of the      Union must be done with the full participation of all Liberians. We cannot      expect to exclude other organizations and individuals from the leadership      decision and then later ask those organizations to join in and to work      under the elected leadership that they were excluded from decided.      Moreover, many of these organizations have been actively involved with the      current Union efforts to get HR919 and S656 approved. How dare we say to      these organizations and individuals that it is ok for you to work with us      on some issues but you cannot be a part of the major debate regarding      Liberians in the Americas nor can you be a part of the process to      determine the new leadership of the Union.

 

We expect to receive a response to the above concerns by June 6, 1999. We need to have a clear understanding of the rules of the elections in order to guide our campaign strategy accordingly.

 

Thank you,

 

Arthur K. Watson

For the Team

 

Cc: Mr. Augustus Majors, Chairman, ULAA Board of Directors

Dr. Joseph Z. Korto, President of ULAA

Mr. Emmanuel Elsar, President, Liberian Community of North Jersey

Mr. Emmanuel Wehtee, General Secretary, FOLIO & ULAA Conference Host

Watson & Team Election Committee File

On July 13, 1999, I received the e-mail provided below from Mr. Watson and e-mails from the listserv regarding the pending election:

Date: 7/13/99 12:27:03 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From: a1kw@yahoo.com (Arthur K. WATSON)

To: snyanseor@aol.com (S. Nyanseor)

Nyanseor,

I am sorry for the delay in getting this to you. But I thought you

should see what is beginning to take shape in the ULAA campaign.

I had an opportunity to have a brief debate with Madea on Staten

Island, NY on 7/11/99 at the Staten Island community meeting. It was

very interesting. I understand there is a forum scheduled for Atlanta,

GA on 7/23/99. I will do my very best to be in spite of the short

notice. If I cannot make it, I will ask the Secretarial Candidate to

represent us.

I’ll speak with you soon.

Art

Note: forwarded message attached.

 

Art Watson

(973)923-0483 H

(973)742-4800 x7133 W

 

_________________________________________________________

 

Art.

I wouldn’t worry about that foolish posting…whoever did this is aware that

he or she is a coward that’s why they are not using their right name. This is the

way those who claimed to be supporting the Taylor regime behave. They don’t have the guts to identify themselves. But I will see what I can do to identify whosoever it is. I think everyone should do so.

That posting is a reflection of your pending victory, and the Taylor regime

supporters are getting very nervous. I understand the “Election” Commission has

changed the rule on who is qualified to vote. If what I am hearing is true,

there could be trouble at the conference. The Taylor regime and its supporters

are loosing the propaganda war, they lacked the conviction to discuss the

issues..Keep us posted.

 

Tuon

AWatson382@aol.com wrote:

Guys,

I have forwarded this email so that you may be aware of what is possibly

beginning to happen. I have not seen the actual statement on the web. But if

this is in fact true; it appears that someone is beginning the gutter

politics.

I and the members of my team are committed to maintaining the high road. We

will do our best to stick to the issues. But let there be no mistakes, that

we will defend our characters by any means necessary.

 

I expect that those of you who know me and what I have stood for all these

years will rise up and begin to set the record strict.

 

Thanks.

 

Art

 

————————————————————————

 

Subject: From the Liberian Connection Chatroom

Date: Fri, 9 Jul 1999 15:54:59 -0400

From: “Wotorson, Michael” <WotorsonM@aascu.org>

To: “‘awatson382@aol.com'” <awatson382@aol.com>

Art,

Someone just posted this in the “chatroom” about your candidacy.  I thought you should know. Maybe you can do some kind of identity search and find out who this person is.  I’ve included their IP address.

 

Michael

 

************************************************************************

From spider-te024.proxy.aol.com: Fri Jul 9 15:30:50 1999

 

George Boley is financially supporting a boy from Tchien, Grand Gedeh County to be the next president of the Union of Liberian Association in the Americas (ULAA) on August 21, 1999 in Columbus, Ohio. This young man is Arthur K. Watson.

He was born in Harbel, Liberia, but with serious ties to Grand Gedeh County. Not that anything is wrong with that. However, the thing that is wrong has to do with the intent.

Watson and his crew are looking for a fight with the Taylor government in Liberia. They feel that the administration of Joseph Korto, and Gus Majors, president and chairman of the board of ULAA respectively, has been an ass-kissing administration to Charles Taylor. Watson and crew want to stand up to Charles Taylor, and confront him at all cost.

Arthur Watson and crew plan to project this ethnic thing into the national debate, and put on the Krahn armor to do battle with Charles Taylor. This will break the back of ULAA when it happens.

ULAA must help to find answer to the problems of Liberia and cooperate with the government to ensure that plans and projects in the interest of the people are implemented. ULAA Must come out with plans and become less confrontational with the government.

Arthur Watson and crew with the backing of former General Glay, war lord George Boley, and other angry men and women from Grand Gedeh County who want to put the Liberian people through another hardtime by organizing a hardline ULAA to support opposition group to overthrow the Liberian government, will not be accepted.

Liberians out to say NO to those who will do nothing except to start another war in Liberia.

ULAA ought to stand for peace, and cooperation, and national unity, not war, etc.

In the e-mail above, the author inserted in the debate, tribal and the county cards; something the framers avoided when they founded ULAA as a community association as opposed to ULAA being a county organization. Despite the tribal and county cards, and all of the concerns expressed regarding the Elections Guidelines for the 1999 election, the issues raised were not resolved; instead, elections went on anyway. Mrs. Mydea Reeves-Karpeh won the presidency that year. However, the honeymoon between President Karpeh and Chairman Majors did not last too long.

On July 5, 2000, President Karpeh sent the letter below to Chairman Majors; the letter detailed the problems between the Administration and the National Board of Directors. It reads:

MEMORANDUM

TO: ULAA Board of Directors
Thru:  Augustus E. Majors, Chairman of the Board
FROM: Mydea Reeves-Karpeh, ULAA National President
SUBJECT: PENDING MATTERS

DATE: July 5, 2000

On August 22, 1999 we were elected to serve as President of this Union. We thought that this was a glorious opportunity to serve our fellow Liberians by initiating programs to help improve the quality of life for Liberians here as well as undertake actions to foster democracy and development at home. I had previously served on the Interim Advisory Council, which laid out strategies for the Restructuring Plan. I had great plans to see how we could make this Union an inclusive organization and how we could advance the mission and activities of ULAA. I thought this was a new day in ULAA and that with my skills as a public administrator, I would be able to put into place systems and procedures that would improve how our internal and external business was conducted. I had big dreams and I thought I brought to the table the requisite professional skills and leadership experiences to transform this organization, having previously provided leadership in regional, Alumni, social, church and other special interest organizations.

Unfortunately, my first year in office has been one of paralysis, frustration and shattered dreams. The constant and unnecessary interventions of the Board officers undermined the basic principles of organization efficiency and leadership professionalism. The organization seemed poised to accomplish little. For eight months, my Administration was held hostage by the Korto Administration with the Board sitting supinely by and doing nothing to resolve the transition stalemate. The Board Chairman and Dr. Korto could not come to grips with the fact that a change had taken place. Our Administration was left to go chasing around looking for non-existent documents from August 22, 1999 to April 22, 2000. Even when the report was presented by Dr. Korto, there were no supporting documents to authenticate the facts presented therein. We were told that we should be happy to receive the report since previous Administrations had not submitted any reports. We were caught up in a brawl and the Board gave the Korto Administration accolades while insisting that he should be placed in charge of the National Immigration Commission and the ill-conceived Immigration video project. Meanwhile, we were told that we could obtain records from the Board Chairman and Vice Chairman if we wanted to have documentation to conduct the people’s business.

To complicate matters further, we experienced the resignation of the General Secretary, Mr. Michael Wotorson, much of which was primarily due to his personal conflict with the Board and its Chairman. This caused a great challenge for the small Administrative Team. We were left to rely on volunteers who were not paid and could only work when time from their busy schedules permitted. Much was expected from the Administration but there were few people willing to give some time for this Union we all claim to love and wanted to see do all these great things. Some people claimed they were willing to work but when called upon they had their own family and professional duties that forced them not to participate. There were lots of lip-service because I know that even when I was no official of the Union, Mr. Majors asked me several times to assist and I gladly did so. Of course, the President of a Liberian organization is the Secretary, Treasurer, Chaplain, cook, maid etc. But these are the challenges that go with the territory.

In spite of the aforementioned challenges, we made modest strides to accomplish many things including building an enhanced public awareness of the role of ULAA; bringing in people from diverse backgrounds irrespective of gender and geographic location;  a well attended Inauguration; a National Conference on Liberia’s Past, Present and Future; actualization of the National Leadership Council; formulation of the National Presidential Advisory Council composing of former Presidents and Chairmen of the Board who provided insights and counsel on how best to conduct the affairs of our now very diverse Union; membership outreach with contacts established with Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina (Charlotte), Delaware, and Texas; a National Immigration Strategy Conference; obtaining items for shipment to Liberia, planning a consultative mission to Liberia as well as efforts to put a Liberian Higher Education Scholarship Program into place. ULAA’s promotional items such as brochure, pins, and clocks were highly commended. In addition, we tried to be accessible to our constituents by being their servants and reaching out to include everyone. Women leaders began to spring up serve as strong pillars for the Union. People began to regard the Administration as their friend and were willing to assist in cash, kind or suggestions.

In December, 1999 we submitted our Program of Action, Budget and Financial Management Controls Procedures to the Board for approval. This program of action contained a broad sketch of activities for the 2-year period of our tenure aimed at raising the quality of life of Liberians here in the United States and at home. We also submitted our social development programs and our desire to move this organization to another stage. Up to this writing, no action has been taken by the Board on any of these well-intentioned plans. We sent reminder notes on January 30, 2000 detailing what areas we thought the Board could assist the Administration in expediting for the smooth functioning of our Administration. Again on April 22, 2000 we presented an oral report to the officials of the Board since there was no quorum. I have been disrespected and disregarded by the Board’s Leadership who only sends ultimatum and threats rather than addressing the critical issues that affect the organization. Sadly, the vast majority of the well-meaning Board Members are not adequately informed by the Board officials on what we are trying to accomplish.

Permit me to reiterate in this memo the areas that require the Board’s action for the smooth functioning of the Union.

CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT POLICY

At the Ohio General Conference, Former President Korto proclaimed his much-heralded and undefined Constructive Engagement Policy with the Government of Liberia. Since we took over we have consistently asked for a clearly defined policy documents whereby the Administration would be authorized to engage the Taylor Government. Where are the programmatic elements and mandates of the Policy? Is this Policy only to have the Union write letters or issue statements on problems in Liberia without response from the Government of Liberia? We have written over 5 letters to President Taylor and the only response was to appoint Blamo Nelson to be the Liaison with ULAA. In practical terms, this situation makes the Union a “toothless bulldog”. When and how should the Administration respond to situations and conditions that affect Liberians at home? Is it only when the Board Chairman sees something on the internet that we should get an ultimatum to respond within 12 hours? The Board has neglected its role in formulating and defining this policy. The inaction of the Board spells confusion and adds flame to the vexing problems at home.

INTERNAL STRUCTURE

The Board Chairman usually writes an e-letter directing the Administration to do something at his will and pleasure. There are 26 Board Members but what are their roles and responsibilities? What is the internal structure of the Board? Are there Committees of the Board? What are those Committees that the Administration must relate to in order to implement specific policies of the Board and who head them? Why isn’t the Board able to conduct a meeting with a quorum? Most Board Members are not on the internet. What happens to those who are not? Have you received and reacted to the Administration’s Programs and Projects? Do Board Members consult their Chapters on the Union’s agenda and make reports to their organizations when they return from Union’s activities?

REGISTRY OF BOARD MEMBERS

Who are the 26 members of the Board? Do we have 2 Board Members actively involved from each Chapter? There is a need for a full registry of the Board to be made available to the Administration to facilitate open communication, invite them to Union affairs and contact them on other matters. So far usually we only see responses from 4 or 5 Board members who have internet addresses. Where are the others?

INTERNAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

What are the rules and regulations that govern the Board’s operation? Are these unwritten rules subject to the oral interpretation of the Chairman only? I have asked for rules of the Board but was told it was being revised. Is this a secret document that we cannot be privy to see? The Administration needs a copy of the written Rules and Regulations of the Board so as to properly engage the thoughts and actions of this Governing Body of the Union.
ISSSUES OF THE PAST ADMINISTRATION

Where are the resolutions of the Board on the Korto Transition Report which includes physical records? Why does one make it seem like the request for records is a personal attack on Dr. Korto because we hate him? At the April 22 Baltimore Board Meeting which I was invited to attend, there wasn’t a quorum. Notwithstanding, Mr. Majors decided that it would be an Emergency Meeting and some critical decisions were made. Is the financials of the report considered conclusive even though the report was never audited? What are the Board’s findings and review of the report? What does the Administration have to pay those that the Union owes from the Korto Administration liabilities?
ELECTIONS LAWS

When will the Board develop and pass resolutions introducing Elections Laws for this Union as required by the Constitution? Will we wait for another election before the Union receives threats of law-suit for introducing bits and pieces of election regulations? The Constitution was developed as a key instrument of the Restructuring Plan. When will the Board ever act on those issues in the Constitution that mandated the Board to work on to complete the Restructuring process? Where are the BY-LAWS?

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

The Administration submitted procedures for the disbursement and accountability of funds in the Union. Will the Finance Committee of the Board ever send us their comments on the recommended procedures?

ULAA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION/ TAX EXEMPT STATUS

Draft articles of organization for the ULAA Development Corporation, was sent to the Chairman of the Board for his input before submission to the full Board for the establishment of the Corporation and application for tax exempt status. No input has been received up to this writing. Where is the level of commitment and seriousness to mobilize financial resources for ULAA? This is a legal way of generating funds for the Union other than writing our friends solicitation letters, dances and selling t-shirts. We have no doubt that the Board is aware that this will be one way of generating income through tax deductible contributions.

BENEVOLENT POLICY

The Board has been a proponent of assisting our members in times of death, illness and other catastrophic events. Will the Board send the Administration a resolution to work with local Chapters to come up with ways and means for addressing these issues on an equitable basis?

GRIEVANCE POLICY

Will the Board send the Administration a resolution on the Grievance Policy in this Union so that matters can be resolved in a more amicable manner?

BOARD’S BUDGET

Where is the Board’s Budget? The Board was to submit their Budget to be included in the Union’s Budget. This was never submitted to the Administration but now the Board is preparing the Union’s Budget.

In this 21st Century the Board of ULAA must be more than people with titles and taking credit for little accomplishments. The Board needs to do more than mete out disciplinary actions and vote to ask for letters of apology or impeachment. The Board needs men and women of action who attend meetings and let those 26 voices known on issues that affect our Union and Liberia. We are servants of the people and we need to realize that we are not greater than the people who elected us. Both the Board and the Administration must forge a partnership and consult each other for the good of the people we serve. The challenge is to put away those archaic political games and work to make this Union a viable entity.
IN UNION STRONG SUCCESS IS SURE!  
In response to President Karpeh’s communication, the Chairman wrote the letter dated, September 10, 2001. It reads:

The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas


The Office of the Chairman of the Board of Directors
C/o PO Box 4916
Brockton, MA 02303

September 10, 2001

 

Mrs. Mydea Reeves Karpeh
President of the U.L.A.A.
1317 Sherwood Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21239

 

Dear Mrs. Karpeh:

During its quarterly meeting, held in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 8, 2001, the Board of Directors deliberated and resolved several matters of the Union. I have been directed by the Board to submit these decisions to you for your information and immediate action.

 

1.     STATUS OF YOUR ADMINISTRATION: Due to the fact that the two- year term of office of your administration expired on August 21, 2001, the Board opted not to extend the term until the General Conference and Elections scheduled for November 16-18, 2001 in Columbus, Ohio. This decision was also taken based on the rapidly deteriorating relationship between the Board and your Administration, despite several noble efforts to reverse it. Because of this and other reasons, the Union has failed to operate effectively and efficiently for the past two years. It is also in the best interest of the Union that appropriate measures be taken to address the present financial management problems of the Union immediately. An interim administration has duly been established to carry out the affairs of the Union until general elections are held.

2.     AUTHORIZATION OF AUDIT: Based on information submitted to the Board, the Board has determined that an audit of your administration is warranted and has therefore ordered one. This process will be conducted in full compliance with the ULAA Constitution. It will be in your best interest to fully comply and cooperate with the audit process to facilitate a speedy, fair and unbiased completion.

3.     ULAA’s Funds, documents and other properties: It is the Constitutional duty and responsibility of the Board of Directors to safeguard and protect the Union and its assets. Therefore, effective immediately, you are not to conduct any financial or other matters on behalf of the Union. No funds from the Union should be disbursed and you are requested to also turn over all Union’s documents (bank statements, reports, communications, etc.) to Ms. Hawa Kpakah, Secretary of the Board of Directors, within forty-eight hours. This document is being forwarded to you by e-mail, fax and regular mail services.

On behalf of the Liberian people and the Union, the Board wishes to extend its thanks and appreciation for your services.

Yours,
Augustus E. Majors
Augustus E. Majors
Chairman of the Board

Cc. Members of the Board
Members of the National Leadership Council
File

The letter above was followed by an e-mail dated September 21, 2001, and it reads:

 

 

Subj:   Re: NO STAY!

Date:   09/21/2001 10:44:51 PM Eastern Daylight Time

From:  Chetwet14

To:      Tuanndea
ULAA
The Office of the Board of Directors.

Mrs. Karpeh,

This just a reminder that you are still no longer president of ULAA, effective as of the date specified in the letter from the Board of Directors. Also, the NLC has no authority over the Board, neither do you. The member chapters of the Union and the general public have been officially notified about this. No matter how long you cling on to this notion, the decision has been made. This Union will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Thanks,

Gus E. Majors

Chairman of the Board

 What mistakes of the past is he referring to? Chairman Majors failed to specify this claim against those of us who accused him of his True Whig Party behavior. Yet, the infighting between Korto/Majors on the one side and Karpeh on the other side, had much to do with Korto/Majors’ attempts to use the Union to support the Taylor Administration policies through Korto’s so-called “Constructive Engagement” policy in dealing with the government.
 I salute President Karpeh for taking the position that kept partisanship out of ULAA. Her stance reinforced my belief in what the late Albert Porte said:
 …A people must never lose hope in God; that they should generate confidence in themselves; and that they should always act in their own interest as a people, relentlessly protesting social injustice, stamping out individual and collective indifference and apathy and defying political tyranny.
 He added:
        I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. (“The Porte-Tubman Combat,” The LIBERIAN ORBIT, Minneapolis, June 12, 2001).

President Taylor was aware of the strength of ULAA; therefore, he was working through ULAA officials to neutralize the organization. He referenced it as the once glorious heritage of ULAA when he participated. On May 21, 1998, Taylor mentioned ULAA’s glorious heritage in the statement submitted to the United Nations fact-finding Mission to Liberia regarding the September 18 – 19, 1998 Camp Johnson Road incident. Excerpt of the statement reads:

 … (My) entire adult life has been dedicated to fight for freedom and human dignity. Towards this end, he participated in the formation and leadership of an organization known as the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) whose aims and objectives were to promote democracy, justice and equality in Liberia.

This commitment was concretely expressed when he, inter alia, spearheaded a demonstration against President William Tolbert at the United Nations (New York) to draw the world attention to the necessity and urgency for political reforms in Liberia. This resulted in an invitation from the Tolbert government to the Union for a dialogue on political change. He headed the delegation and while home, the coup d’état occurred in April 1980, which overthrew the Tolbert government.

First, let’s set the record straight. Based on the Constitution of ULAA, the chairman of the board is not the spokesperson of ULAA. Therefore, Taylor could not have spearheaded a demonstration against President William R. Tolbert at the United Nations. The board acts upon the recommendation of the Administration of which the president is the head. What Taylor should have said is he participated in the planning of the demonstration that was held at the U.N.

The fact is the president of ULAA has the authority to designate the chairman if he/she is not going to be present at a given program. But this rarely happened, because this function belongs to the president, the executive and administrative vice presidents.  Mr. Bai M. Gbala (1978-1980) who was the president of ULAA at the time, was on the trip to which Mr. Taylor referred. Therefore, Taylor could not have been the head of the delegation. This distortion and manipulation of facts became the trademark of Taylor’s presidency.

It is sad to say that during this period when Taylor was ‘trying hard’ to neutralize ULAA, he had in his government former ULAA members and officials, some of whom were: Nyudueh Monorkomana, Blamoh Nelson, Jucontee T. Woewiyu, Tambakai A. Jangaba, Thomas Bodio Collins, Wellington Tehniwehti Toe, Joe B. Tate, Jr., and others. However, they did not succeed in having ULAA to promote Taylor’s government. On the other hand, the chairmanship of Patrick Roques (1990-1994) started the conflict that let to power struggle in ULAA. The power struggle continued during the chairmanship of Mathu H. Gibson (1994-1996), and it reached its zenith during the chairmanship of Augustus E. Majors (1997-2002).

The conflict as we know it today intensified during Chairman Augustus E. Majors’ tenure. From there on, every illegal and unconstitutional practices that ULAA fought against in Liberia that was the hallmark of its glorious days as indicated in Taylor’s prepared statement, which are—honor, democracy, respect for human, civil and constitutional rights of the Liberian people, were replaced with a “No Engagement Policy.” A major activity of this policy is taking pictures with visiting government officials, and having them disseminated on the World Wide Web (Internet). This practice became contagious in 2008 and beyond.

Stay tuned for Part V!

Mr. Siahyonkron Nyanseor is publisher of both ThePerspective.org and ThePanAfricanAgenda.org, Internet web magazines. His research and writing interests fall largely within Africa, with particular emphasis on the history, economics, politics, sociology, ethics, and theology of people of African-origin living in Africa and its Diaspora.  He is a poet, journalist, and cultural and political activist. He can be reached at: siah1947@gmail.com.

 

 

 

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