“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 (NJJV).
The foregoing is Solomon’s advice to parents regarding their children. The Bible, as God-breathed is useful for teaching, “rebuking, correcting and training…” 2 Timothy 3:15 – 17 goes on to say, “teaching children the truths of Scripture will make them wise for salvation; and thoroughly equip them to do good works”. On the other hand, 1 Peter 3:15 climaxed the training of the child with: “Prepare them to give an answer to everyone who asks them the reason for their hope,” and prepare them to withstand the onslaught of cultures bent on indoctrinating young people with secular wear values.
The purpose of this article is to set straight the founding records of the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA), Inc. For our purpose, the word “children” in this verse refers to the new generation of former ULAA leaders such as Anthony V. Kesselly, Emmanuel S. Wettee and current ULAA leader Gaye D. Sleh, Jr. among others. The founding members are, metaphorically speaking, the parents of these leaders that came after us. As founding members, we thoughtfully crafted the objectives of the organization and put in place a standard training and mechanisms to achieve these objectives.
But it seems we have here a group of naughty children who think they know more than we who gave birth to the organization. Their collective behavior is indicative of the behavior of a child who believes his birth was not by his parents but by his own designs. Responsible parents must dispel this delusion and false belief. Such behavior was exactly one reason why the Council of Eminent persons was set up—to not only stamp out unruly behavior but to also give direction to young leaders who might drift away from the principles around which ULAA was established.
The issue here is the carelessness with which the current ULAA leaders who now call themselves “honorable”–Hon. Anthony V. Kesselly and Hon. Emmanuel S. Wettee—also casting themselves as physicians. Recently they came up with a diagnosis of my contagious illness, the symptoms being my critique of ULAA leadership. Their behavior reminds me of the statement by the American patriot, Thomas Paine who said: “He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent which will reach himself.” It is in this context that I stand obliged to respond to their diatribe.
As a liberal, I also affirm Senator Al Frankel’s statement: “When liberals look back on history, we see things we’re very proud of. And we also see some things, which might have seemed like good ideas at the time, but turned out to be mistakes. And some things we did, well, they were just bad. That doesn’t keep us from loving our country—it’s part of loving our country. It’s called honesty. What do you think is more important to a loving relationship: honesty or lies?”
Unfortunately, Senator Frankel’s assertion does not reflect the frame of mind of most Liberians! For most Liberians, honest people are inherent trouble makers. Their thinking is strikingly similar to that of the religious Jewish leaders who put Jesus Christ to death. To the Jewish leaders, Jesus was a mere “TROUBLE MAKER” for having spoken the truth about the behavior of political and church leaders alike. Today, that Devil and its angels are still at work!
As many of you are aware, in our beloved country, Liberia, critics are for the most part derided as ‘enemies.’ That is why Liberians rarely discuss issues amicably. Most often, compatriots who disagree with us tend to resort to name calling–spewing here and there unrelated issues that have nothing to do with a topic under discussion. That is how they participate in national discourse—at home and in the Diaspora. They make excuses for wrongs of friends and relatives who happen to be in power; and blaming those of us who have the guts to raise concerns about vexing issues of national interest.
In other words, Liberians put selfish interests over collective wellbeing, the common good. Their support of politicians is for the most part based on favors and what they can get from them—not on principles. That is why most elected officials in Liberia grossly violate public trust. To get the support of a Liberian, simply give him or her some handouts—a job he or she isn’t qualified for; ill-gotten ‘brown envelopes’ in the corner or at night. The individual does not care where these handouts come from. And as long as these things keep coming to his or her family, friends and relatives, there is no empathy for the rest of the people in Liberia.
An average Liberian who enjoys favors from a government is not only indifferent to the plight of ordinary Liberians, but is also dead scared to engage the government—even constructively. In his or her selfishness, a constructive engagement with the Government might get the person a favor. The individual rather lets these government officials go on misusing the people’s wealth and resources with impunity.
As a cheerleader, cheering supporter of these corrupt officials, the individual goes to any length to make ridiculous excuses for their corrupt practices.
Folks, let me make it clear here: I write not as the Chair of UCEP but as the individual who was attacked by Wettee and Kesselly. You see, there are certain issues that are worth responding to; especially issues that have nothing to do with issues on which one takes a position, either by speaking or writing against for which one is wrongly attacked.
Here is the reason Wettee and Kesselly personally attacked me. After several attempts to have President Gaye D. Sleh, Jr attend a UCEP teleconference, he failed to show up at an emergency teleconference held on March 30, 2015, to brief us on the issue of Diaspora representation to the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) meeting held in Gbarnga, Bong County.
Like he has done in the past, President Sleh refused our invitation. The meeting was held, and President Nee Allison of the Liberian Community Association of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area (LCA-DC) was recognized as the Diaspora Representative to the CRC.
The UCEP wrote President Sleh, asserting its displeasure with the way his administration has conducted the affairs of ULAA. We pointed out to him it was UCEP’s involvement that resolved the issue upon which he was elected. It was this communication that led to name-calling and a “medical diagnosis”. Our e-mails can be accessed in the Liberia Listserv on the Internet.
Provided below are excerpts of both Hon. Emmanuel S. Wettee and Hon. Anthony S. Kesselly’s e-mails:
“…no medical doctor will help treat your [Nyanseor] anti Kesselly trait (involve genes and characteristics of organisms) in your DNA. This situation is causing you some mental challenges (any disease or condition affecting the brain that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and/or relates to others). You need help.”
Hon. Wettee’s letter was followed by his Listserv co-physician Hon. Anthony V. Kesselly.
The so-called “Eminent of all Eminent” wrote:
Thank you (Doyen Wettee) for your comment on this useless letter from our old and bitter brother, Siahyonkron Nyanseor, and his cohort of less busy fellows. The Oldman does not even know that the CRC’s work, which will require representation, if already done. The letter speaks to the ignorance of the writers.
I am sure Counselor Scott knows what the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is and who its legitimately elected and duly inducted leaders are. She will get to know what this handful of former ULAA leaders are. I served the Union as National Board Chairman for two terms and then National President for similar term, more service that some of them in this group which they have now turned into an anti-Unity Party front to serve Nyanseor’s sinister purposes.
This group that is no organ of ULAA, does not report to it, and is not an oversight entity of it, deludes itself to be a replacement of ULAA now in articulating the views of Liberians in the Diaspora in the United States. Nyanseor will go nowhere with this.
…That’s why, as ULAA National President, I always treated the UCEP as independent of ULAA and ULAA independent of it. We do things that we mutually agree upon to undertake. UCEP is not some OVERSIGHT body over ULAA. That’s why I am ashamed of them officially GLOATING over their involvement in the ULAA problem resolutions process. I see such boasting as unfortunate.
If I were the ULAA President, I would simply ignore them and let Siahyonkron Nyenswah [Nyanseor] write as much as his itching fingers can stand.
Hon. Kesselly is suffering from ‘historical amnesia. Wasn’t UCEP’s intervention that shortened his tenure as President of ULAA and led to a ‘special election’ at which his Vice President, Gaye D. Sleh, Jr. was elected? Yet, he says, “UCEP is not some OVERSIGHT body over ULAA”. What a joke! The records will prove him WRONG. I should be the one having AMNESIA – since I am the old man.
Both Kesselly and his co-ULAA destroyer– the single-issue Dual Citizen Chair Wettee– are behaving like children who have had poor upbringing or have learned nothing from their parents and are therefore behaving recklessly. Fellow Diasporans, ULAA needs your help to be SAVED.
With my 30 plus years professional work experience (both as manager and instructor) in the field of MENTAL HEALTH/MENTALLY CHALLENGED, let me be of assistance in providing
these “Listserv physicians” who failed miserably in the process of coming up with a medical diagnosis.
Here’s how it is done!
Medical diagnosis (often abbreviated dx or Dx) is the process of determining which disease or condition explains a person’s symptoms and signs. It is simply called diagnosis when the medical context is implicit. The information required for diagnosis is typically collected from history and physical examination of the person seeking medical care. Often, one or more diagnostic procedures, such as diagnostic tests, are also done during the process.
To determine that a person has a mental illness, the diagnosis has to be based on evaluation done by a professional – either a psychologist or a psychiatrist. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_diagnosis)
Diagnosis is often challenging, because many signs and symptoms are nonspecific. For example, redness of the skin (erythema), by itself, is a sign of many disorders and thus doesn’t tell the physician what is wrong. Therefore, other examinations are performed in which several possible explanations are compared and contrasted. This involves the correlation of various pieces of information followed by the recognition and differentiation of patterns. Occasionally the process is made easy by a sign or symptom.
A physical examination, medical examination, or clinical examination (more popularly known as a check-up) is the process by which a medical professional investigates the body of a patient for signs of disease. It generally follows the taking of the medical history — an account of the symptoms as experienced by the patient. Together with the medical history, the physical examination aids in determining the correct diagnosis and devising the treatment plan. This data then becomes part of the medical record. (http://omicsonline.org/blog/2015/04/03/8362-Medical-diagnosis.html).
Both Listserv co-physicians played the role of either a psychologist or a psychiatrist without having the prerequisite of a physician. However, I am glad to be old; this is a blessing I owe no one but the Almighty God for his grace and mercy – this July 22nd, I will be 68 years old. Isn’t it great!
In the Foreword to Nelson: Conversations with Myself, President Barack Obama wrote: [Mandela’s] “example helped awaken me to the wider world, and the obligation that we all have to stand up for what is right. Through his choices, Mandala made it clear that we did not have to accept the world as it is – this we could do our part to seek the world as it should be”.
As a youth, I too was awaken by the injustices I saw and experienced in Liberia and I promised the Almighty God that up to my last breath, I will seek justice for those who are denied it, especially, the Liberian people by their leaders since the founding of the country. Therefore, no Wettee or Kesselly will ever persuade me from doing what is RIGHT.
Finally, I am reminded of the profound statement by the Pan-African patriot Frantz Fanon that reads: “Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it.” (The Wretched of the Earth) These are words I believe in! I do not possess the colorful vocabulary nor the rhetoric many of my contemporaries possess but this much I can say about myself, I hold NO ALLIANCE to anyone, except our Lord Jesus Christ and Almighty God. In addition, I am committed to seeking justice and a better standard of living for the Liberian people at home. This is the ground on which I stood yesterday, will stand today, and for the time the grace of God will allow me to remain on this earth. I plan to stand my ground to fight for the Liberian people; you can hold me to it! Regarding the two Liberian Listserv physicians, I will abide by the old Liberian adage that says, “If you run naked after a crazy person with your pants that contained your month’s pay; the people who see you running after him will say, ‘Look at that crazy man running after the man with the trousers.”’ So, as a ‘wise old man’, I refuse to run naked after crazy people.
In short, let me share with you a poem written by Dennis Chewlae Jah, which is titled: “And Still ULAA Did not Talk”. Also, I have listed titles of many articles I have written that are considered critical of ULAA and the Liberian government. Unlike my attackers, I call spade, a spade whenever I see it. My articles can be accessed on the Internet.
And Still ULAA Did not Talk
By Dennis Chewlae Jah
August 26, 2013
When Liberian journalists are languishing in jail both in Liberia and Guinea And still ULAA did not talk When county development funds become chopping spots for county officials And still ULAA did not talk When even government officials are resigning –choosing to be on the side of the downtrodden than to enjoy the pleasures of you-chop-I chop And still ULAA did not talk When the TRC report was tossed away And still ULAA did not talk When Liberia became notorious as the most corrupt country on earth And still ULAA did not talk When alleged corrupt officials getting away scarfree became a pattern And still ULAA did not talk When the President declared the school system is a mess And still ULAA did not talk When all 25000 students who sat the LU entrance failed And still ULAA did not talk When 63 out of 65 concessional agreements are bogus And still ULAA did not talk When book people feigned confusion over health ministry or health sector so that $13 million remains under the blanket And still ULAA did not talk
When media houses are being closed down or starved from getting advertisements and still ULAA did not talk, then one wonders: if not now, then when?
Articles by me:
1. “ULAA Puts All of Its Eggs in One Basket” by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
2. “Brief History of ULAA – 2010” (Revision) by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
3. “Constitution & By-laws of ULAA’s Council of Eminent Persons, Inc. (UCEP)”
4. “A Brief History of ULAA: 1974 – 1984”: August 31, 1985 by Siahyonkron
5. “Weighing in on the” Dual Nationality” Discussion in ULAA’s Constitution by
6. “ULAA Chapters’ Ratification of UCEP’s Findings”, May 9, 2011
7. “Conversation with Our Benefactors Regarding the Original Intent of the
Founders of ULAA”, Keynote Address by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
8. “ULAA Needs to get her Groove Back: A Critique” by Siahyonkron
9. “A Brief Assessment of the Union of Liberian Associations in the
Americas: 1974 – 1985 by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
10. “Can Sitting ULAA Officials Seek National Office In Liberia?” by
11. “A Covenant Betrayed: Partisanship within ULAA and its Chapters –
Parts I – V”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
12. “ULAA Abuses Her Own Constitution”, Commentary by the Liberian
Democratic Future (LDF), 1996
13. “ULAA Eminent Persons Council Proposed ULAA Mediation
14. “Poor No Friend: Life is All About ‘Good’ Relationship” by
15. “NPP & NDPL U-Turn: A Blessing in Disguise” by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
16. “Campaign, Money and Politics: Whose Buying Liberia’s Elections?” by
17. ULAA 101: The History of ULAA: April 21, 1974 – April 21, 2014, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
18. “Blind Faith in Man: Supporters of the Unity Party Government of Liberia”, by
19. “History makes strange bedfellows”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
20. “Our Past, Our Today and the Future Of The ULAA and
Our Country” July 1986 – July 1987; State of the Union Address delivered by Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr., President of ULAA – Newark, New Jersey, July 3 – 5, 1987
21. “You Can’t Fool all the People Time, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
22. “Thinking Outside of the Box”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
23. “The Sinking Liberia’s Divine Leadership”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
24. “The Myth of Our Once Peaceful Country”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
25. “God Can’t Sleep”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
26. “Everybody Blames Us, But Themselves”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
27. “Separating Myth From History”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
28. “Review of Our National Symbols”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
29. “Putting to Rest the Matilda Newport Myth, Parts I & II”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
30. “On the Wrong Side of History”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
31. “Let Me Sleep on It”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
32. “Me, Myself and I, and Everybody for Themselves”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
33. “Nothing Last Forever”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
34. “Never Trouble, Trouble, Until Trouble, Troubles You”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
35. “The Devil Made Me Do It”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
36. “You Got to Believe” (Poem), “You Got to Believe” (Poem), by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
37. “My God Able” (Poem), by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
38. “Nepotism 2 – Liberia is Run as Ellen Sirleaf Unlimited”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
39. “Continuing the Mistakes and Practices of the Past: Parts I & II”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
40. “The Man Called D. Twe”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
41. “Americo-Liberians, The 17th Tribe of Liberia”, by Siahyonkron Nyanseor
The “New ULAA” we are told has become a “SOCIAL SERVICE” organization and NOT the Advocacy organization it was organized to be. Up till now, we are not sure the type of social services ULAA is providing. GOD, PLEASE SAVE THE UNION!
Elder Siahyonkron Nyanseor is Chair of the ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc. He is the historian of ULAA; a founding member and the 11th President (1986-1988) of the organization. Elder Nyanseor is an ordained Minister of the Gospel. Also, he is poet, Griot, journalist, and a cultural and political activist. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org