Retired Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Lieutenant General Kpenkpah Y. Konah, has expressed outrage with the government for what he described as “marginalization and neglect” of him from every day-to-day activity of the military.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Observer on Saturday, in Ganta, Nimba County, Gen. Konah said since his retirement from the army in 2004, he has been excluded from AFL events, particularly during military ceremonial activities, when former high profile military personnel are sometimes invited to and honored.
He said there is nowhere in this world, especially in the United States of America, where retired generals are excluded from a ceremony such as the formation of the army or the just-ended 59th Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Retired General Konah spent his Armed Forces Day attending the Lutheran Men’s Convention, February 10 to 14, in Ganta.
“Even though I am a member of the Lutheran Church in Liberia and a part of the Men’s Department, if I were to be invited to attend the Armed Forces Day celebration, I would not have come to Ganta for this convention,” he said.
According to him, every man is encouraged to start plaiting new mat by looking at the old one, adding, “If we the old forks are neglected because of other reasons, it does not in any way suggest that the government should forget about us, especially when we made significant contributions to the army during our day.”
The 80 year old retired general joined the army in 1962 and rose to the rank of general under the regime of the late President Samuel K. Doe. He served as Brigadier General for several years prior to the December 24, 1989 civil uprising that toppled Doe in 1990.
He was commissioned as a Major General in the position of Deputy Chief of Staff under the late General Prince C. Johnson during the regime of former President Charles G. Taylor.
Gen. Konah recalled that upon the death of Gen. Johnson, which was the result of a car accident, he succeeded him as Chief of Staff (COS) and later became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I don’t like to undermine anybody in my life and I live quietly by minding my own affairs. I’ve always told my children to follow my example,”said retired Gen. Konah.