Independence Day Orator Rebukes Proponents of Divisive Politics

This flyer was posted on social media by the Unity Party communications director, Mo Ali. From the moment Mr. Boakai became standard bearer of the party his campaign platform has been dominated not by competence, but by tribal sentiments, saying often that "it is time for a native man to become President of Liberia."

The national orator of Liberia’s 170th Independence Day celebration, Dr. Herman Browne, has called on Liberians not to give in to politicians who are trending on dangerous ground by dividing the citizenry or preaching divisive politics—a trend that is gradually overwhelming the 2017 electoral process.

The age-old recurring divisive politics Congau vs Native debate appears to be eclipsing the most important issues of corruption, the economy and post-war reconciliation in Liberia’s upcoming presidential elections.

Like in the words of former United Nations Secretary General, Koffi Annan, good public policy (how to fight corruption, distribution of national wealth and others) is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked but policies based on common assumptions and popular sentiments (Congau vs Native and the Christian state proposition) can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions.

Delivering his oration on Wednesday at the Centennial Pavilion Dr. Browne indicated that Liberians must elevate the discourse, especially during this election which has about 20 presidential candidates and discussions surrounding issues oriented and not be swayed by rhetorical politicians who are only in it for personal interests.

Download Full text of Dr. Browne’s speech

“I encourage you to ask not what your candidate will do for this country if he wins, ask instead what he plans to do if he fails in his bid,” he said, speaking on the theme, “Sustaining the gains.”

It is not obvious—in fact statically absolute, Dr. Browne noted, that there will be more in the latter category than in the former. “Should the hope that one will be a part of the victorious 5% preclude a discussion of what the defeated 95% plan for our country?” he asked rather rhetorically.

While growing up, the national orator said he was taught that politics was about seeking the common good through the aligning of common interest. “Our personal interest must be aligned to the common good or else your personal interest will eventually become our national liability,” he said.

He blasted politicians who are dividing Liberians because of personal interests. “Far too often, some Liberians have allowed their personal interest in getting elected to supersede our common interest or goal of keeping our country united.”

“Let me be clearer, I do not vote for you because you are my father’s kin. I do not vote you because you come from my mother’s clan. Do you know why? Because I know many of my father’s kin that are downright dishonest, some irresponsible and others incompetent. I know many from my mother’s clan who are disloyal, some inexperienced and show no regard for the principles of transparency and accountability.”

Therefore, Dr. Browne said, one ethnic connection to him lays no greater claim to his support than someone without ethnic affiliation with him, but in whom he finds the ethical standards, competence and commitment to public service that “I wish to see in a leader of this country.”

He noted that rhetoric by politicians of ethnicizing their support base in order to gain support and leverage over their opponents is well-known short-sighted tactics that undermine “our unity as a people—the very oneness on which they (politicians) will depend once they are elected.”

“Don’t fall for it and they must be stopped. I do not further our country’s cause, our search for a united, peaceful and reconciled people.”

Many members of the UP and sympathizers are known proponents of the Congau-Native divide, with some publicly stating that it is the time that a native rules the country. UP candidate, Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, is a preferred choice of these proponents who feel that it is now time that indigenous Liberians rule the country after being marginalized for many years by their Americo-Liberians colleagues, who only made up five percent of the population.

The UP presidential candidate, VP Boakai, has received a lot of endorsements across the country, for what many believe, he is the most outstanding indigenous candidate in the presidential race.

Over 90% of the combined members of the national legislature, many of whom are the proponent of the native politics, have endorsed the VP. The issue of native gaining state power has been highlighted at many of the endorsement ceremonies of the VP across the country.

Nimba County District #8 Representative, Larry P. Yonquoi, who read an endorsement speech when over 35 Representatives endorsed the VP a little over a month ago, noted on state radio that he has no apology to anyone for his stance that it is time for a native to rule. “We have been marginalized for too long and we feel it is time for the native to rule. And VP Boakai is the right man to lead us,” he said.

Many also believe that VP Boakai’s choice of Speaker Emmanuel Nurquay, who is an outsider, is also believed to be as a result of the hierarchy’s resolved to have a native ticket.
UP Assistant Secretary for Media and Publicity, Mo Ali, got on the nerves of social media followers when early Tuesday he posted what he termed as an “Indigenous Ticket,” and though Ali denied ever posting it, claiming that his account was hacked.

Liberty Party Standard Bearer, Charles Walker Brumskine, is also accused of preaching divisive politics. He is quoted as saying that it is time for a Bassa native to be president.
However, it is everyone’s expectation that imminent new leaders come 2018 will have the opportunity to transform Liberia by using good public policy that must be what Mr. Annan describes as, “best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked.”

Dr. Browne said, “We should not constantly speak of wanting reconciliation and at such moments, for personal gains, take concrete steps to undermine it.” He indicated that when Liberians elevate the discourse during this electioneering period and allow it to degenerate into exclusionary, tribalistic rhetoric, “that means we engage unwillingly in a deliberate practice of forgetting. Forgetting that the person who is not one of us is part of us; that the one that the word ‘VAI’ exclude is included in a Liberia that includes us all.”

He added that the deep social practice of “forgetting” has such egregious political consequences that it might rightly be met with an organized “remembering,” in the writing of the common history of the country. “Liberians have had a bitter past, made mistakes that reaped bitter consequences for them. A friend, two days ago, conveyed to me what dangers we face in repeating past mistakes.”

He said if Liberians are not careful, languages that are commonly used will misshape the country’s reality. “We are all citizens of Liberia and only residents of counties,” he said, adding, “The force of this distinction should remind us that wherever we reside in Liberia (some of us for our entire lives) we are one people of one nation.”

He added “My destiny depends on your success; for the intention of our forefathers was that on the DEED of this Republic should be written the name of every child born of Liberian parents.

“And know this, no resident in any part of this country or anywhere else, whether in high office or low comes anywhere near the right to strike out the name of our sons and daughters.”

The National Orator also pleaded with leaders of faith and religion to take a much clearer stand to never be spectators of unfairness or cruelty, “for the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.”

For this reason, it is crucial for Liberian voters and Liberians to know the visions, platforms, qualifications, and experiences as well as the characters of the candidates that are running for public office so that when elected, their policies will not be based on what Mr. Annan termed as “common assumptions and popular sentiments” which, according to him, “can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions,” perhaps in their attempts to solving Liberia’s numerous problems.


  1. So why did Daily observer have the portrait of the Unity Party standard bearer and vice standard bearer on this story? The symbol of native ticket is not divisive, but the truth. These are two indigenous sons on the soil. Shame on you, William Q. Harmon for portraying the UP ticket as being divisive.

  2. Dr. Brown may call it whatever he wants. For me, with forebears in both Bong and Lofa Counties, it’s truth DEMOCRACY. Is it DIVISIVENESS; when the U.S.A makes it clear to Liberia’s Settler Elements, that the U.S prefer INDIGENOUS LEADERSHIP in Liberia? Is it DIVISIVENESS; Now that a Black Man is President of South Africa? Was it DIVISIVENESS when the British advised the Black-Englishmen or Creoles to relinquish the Political leadership of Sierra Leone to Indigenous Sierra Leoneans? I believe not. I believe our beloved Liberia will be even more homogeneous and peaceful if/when INDEGENOUS PEOPLE who make up 95% of Liberia’s People are in charge of Liberia’s Political Leadership. Where was Dr. Brown when the Liberian Political scene was dominated by the Settler Elements, who make up a mere 5% of the population? Where was Dr.Brown when Liberia’s Settler Elements Voluntarily separated themselves from the vast majority of Liberia’s Peoples, the INDIGENOUS? I believe Dr. Brown was very mature then. He should have spoken; just as he is speaking now. Dr. Brown; how about that? My Regards! God Bless…

    • Multi-party democracy is divisive… Are you not aware? In fact, your tribesmen are your strongest constituency. What do you expect? Are you telling us to abandon our point of advantage? You are joking.

  3. Tribalism has no room for Liberia development neither will it help the fair distribution of the nation’s natural resources. Only honest leadership will develop Liberia and sustain the peace that gradually holding. Liberians will regret if those to be elected during the October general elections are elected based on tribal qualifications rather than love for country. I’ve been pleading with fellow Liberians to discourage people/friends championing this direction in Mama Liberia by not voting for such individuals or political party because such group or political party/parties are dangerous to Liberia development and peace.

    • MFK; In this case, it’s not TRIBALISM It’s truth DEMOCRACY in the MAKING. We are talking about the 95% of Liberia’s Population; the majority of Liberians. That’s what matters…

    • Massa Forkpayea Kollie, Hailing the ticket as indigenous is not divisive politicking and the word indigenous simply means what according to the Webster dictionary: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment •indigenous plants •the indigenous culture. Stop the ignorant and be educated with words.

  4. Call it what you like, but we are resolved to elect an indigenous candidate.If democracy is about the will of the majority, then we are determined to abide by this principle, by electing someone who represents the aspiration of the majority. Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai is my choice, and there is no way, Dr. Browne or anybody (especially those with settler background), can stop me from casting my ballot for him. These settlers ruled this country for about 140 years, and there was nothing wrong with it, so why are they attempting to discourage us from pursuing an opportunity to contribute our quota to this dear country of ours? Dr. Browne, please leave us alone, because no matter what you and your protegees say or do, we will not listen to you. Thanks for your beautiful oration, but I am sorry that you are wasting your time. Good day Doc.

  5. For those who do not see the danger that Dr. Browne early elucidated will join those who will repeat the mistakes of the past in Liberian politics. I consider myself as indigenous Liberian, but I am also aware that we did have an indigenous president for many years. He and those who took over did well for few years until the ugly head of tribalism showed up and ruined what looked so promising. So this thing about “INDIGENOUS TICKET” should be erased from Liberia’s political map, especially this coming election.

    You know, I hear a lot about how bad things were when the Americo-Liberians ruled. And indeed there were lot of mistakes and unfairness that brought about April 12th. But I have been thinking about the contributions made by the Americo-Liberians when they dominated power political power VS the now dominating indigenous. One difference I have observed time and time again is this, and please correct me if I am wrong: Whenever the Congau people returned home with their degrees, they produced jobs that improved communities. For example, Parker Paint Factory in WoodCamp brought life to that community. Baker Farms brought jobs and was a place for students to earn money during breaks from school; Sophie ICe Scream, and I could go on and on. Now, I may be wrong here, but most of our indigenous men and women who traveled outside of the country and studied abroad have not produced or established any renounced entities that help the communities. All I see is expensive cars with Masonic license plates riding all around town. One person I give credit to is James Davis who started a building materials business at the ELWA Junction some years ago that challenged the Lebanese and Indian businesses to move into the suburban areas from Clara Town and Camp Johnson Road.

    I am saying the above to support the advice of Dr. Browne that we should not vote based on tribal line or continue to perpetuate the Congau/native divide. We all have erred and now is the time to correct the wrong by coming together and electing people based on their love for Mama Liberia, and their plans of how to improve the livelihood of ALL Liberians

    • Hailing the ticket is indigenous is not divisive politicking and the word indigenous simply means what according to the Webster dictionary:produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment •indigenous plants •the indigenous culture. Stop the ignorant and be educated with words.

    • WBJ; You tell me, where did the MONEY come from to establish those BUSINESSES? How/Where did Liberia generate MONEY? You bet! Most of Liberia’s WEALTH came/comes from such places as Nimba, Bong, Minor River Bomi Mines… it all ended up in Monrovia. In the hands of who? You tell me. Did Liberia’s Indigenous People have access to Liberia’s financial institutions to secure BUSINESS LOANS? You tell me. This is only the beginning of our RENAISSANCE, the rebirth of our Nation; Liberia. Put POLITICS aside, it is getting/will get better; a lot BETTER. My thank you, to all the Congoes/Americo Liberian FEMALES who have decided to date a Kollie, Kerkula, Flomo, Tampa, Yarkpawolo… You’re contributing a lot; to Liberia’s UNITY. God bless you ladies; for your love will keep us together peacefully. When President Tubman introduced us to his UNIFICATION POLICY, he did the RIGHT THING. However, for the most part, it was a one way street, in favor of Congoes/Americo Liberian Men. Now, that’s no longer the case. Better late than never. “We will overall PREVAIL”.

  6. That is why we will remain i the mud and backward. I will never vote for someone just because he speaks my ethnic tongue. We ned to see one Liberia and how we can move forward. Nobody talks about tribe but when election is coming, everybody start speaking dialect. If we are not careful we will have another war. We better look at other countries like Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, the Biafra war in Nigeria between the Ibos and the Yorubas and learn something. The people in government killing us and we talking about he speaks my dialect.

    Our own native people in the government steal worse than any Americo Liberian or Congau.

    • Comfort, Hailing the ticket is indigenous is not divisive politicking and the word indigenous simply means what according to the Webster dictionary: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment •indigenous plants •the indigenous culture. Stop the ignorant and be educated with words.

  7. Well said Dr. Brown for a reminder of our past. Lets not forget the past. I am not a Historian but I was present and eyewitness to a Liberian revolution with 17 enlisted soldiers from many tribes in Liberia. Each was killed one after the other until the dominant tribe succeeded to rule Liberia. With the Native/Congau divide, few greedy politicians are promoting Native/Congau politics which Liberia has had enough off. The Native/Congau politics will eventually lead to tribal/Congau politics and Liberia will again be plunged into another civil war. The largest tribes will kill the rest of the tribes.Lets not go down that slippery slope. Liberians will never accept one tribe ruling Liberia. We have experienced this in the Civil War. All able body men and women in Liberia took up arms to end tribal rule. Liberia is better than this. The dark history and wrong of the Congau rule does not make it right to repeat the same. Where are our historians to record what we have been through as a nation; when 250,000 innocent Liberians and foreigners lost the precious lives. We need to have this experience taught in grade schools so we do not make the same mistakes.

  8. Well said Dr. Brown for a reminder of our past. I am not a Historian but I was present and eyewitness to a Liberian Revolution with 17 enlisted soldiers from many tribes in Liberia. Each was killed one after the other until the dominant tribe succeeded to rule Liberia. With the Native/Congau divide, few greedy politicians are promoting Native/Congau politics which Liberia has had enough off. The Native/Congau politics will eventually lead to tribal/Congau politics and Liberia will again be plunged into another civil war. The largest tribes will kill the rest of the tribes.Lets not go down that slippery slope. Liberians will never accept one tribe ruling Liberia. We have experienced this in the Civil War. All able body men and women in Liberia took up arms to end tribal rule. Liberia is better than this. The dark history and wrong of the Congau rule does not make it right to repeat the same. Where are our historians to record what we have been through as a nation; when 250,000 innocent Liberians and foreigners lost the precious lives. We need to have this experience taught in grade schools so we do not make the same mistakes.

    • Cofrancesco, Anthony PW, stop the ignorance and the confusion of using words to manipulate our people. The word “indigenous” in its context doesn’t means divisiveness. How would you also classify the word “Native?” Is that divisive too? Stop the nonsense and educate our people of what’s important in this election. Both Boakai and Nuquay aren’t passing around preaching the politics of division. In fact, Boakai is the most inclusive candidate in this race and to have a poster of his campaign associated with an ill conceived orator’s message that was neither inspiration nor address the issues the nation has confronted over the years link to a campaign on a front page of a major newspaper is very appalling to say the least.

      Do you know what’s divisive and you people has over 170 years failed to acknowledge? When Americo_Liberians, their children and great grand children subjugated the native or indigenous to subjective treatment in their own country, that’s divisive. When a native son with the name Flomo, Mulbah, Nuquay, Gayflor, Lumbeh, Tamba, Boakai, etc. couldn’t be admitted to the University of Liberia because they didn’t carried names as: Tolbert, Johnson, Karper, Cheapo, Scott, Tipoteh, Matthews, etc., that’s divisive and not a campaign poster with the word “Indigenous.” Stop spewing lies and manipulating words to confuse the ordinary Liberian that these people care about the 95% of the population that’s native.

  9. Dr. Herman Browne, call it whatever you decide to call and Mr. William Q. Harmon you can take the biggest poster of Boakai, Nuquay and place it in front the office of the Daily Observer, we sons and daughters of the indigenous will never denied what we are as a people. You can call it whatever name, but the word “INDIGENOUS” is certainly not divisive as you may think. In fact the Webster Dictionary define the word as: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment; indigenous plants, the indigenous culture. Stop the ignorant and be educated with words. You claimed to be a PhD holder and you and the writer of this article are the one trying to spewing division in Liberia.

    Where has all those who ignore the truth about Liberia been over the past Century and half when Americo-Liberians, their children and their lineage has subjugated our people by dominating every sector of the government with superiority. Certainly, Boakai is not passing around and preaching division and in fact, he’s the most inclusive candidate in this race. Listen to the words coming from other camps before writing and posting nonsense and having the image of statesmen linked to an orator’s speech that was dead on arrival and failed to inspire anyone. Where has Dr. Browne been all these years when these people denied their fellow compatriots entry even at the public Institution University of Liberia because they weren’t carrying names like Browne, Tolbert, Brumskine, Johnson, etc.? This is their tactics, to act like they care for the indigenous people. The National Oratory for the Independence Day celebration instead highlighting the struggle that country has gone through over the 170 years of its existence with the marginalization of the indigenous people and the failures of governments after governments to address the root cause of why corruption, nepotism and other devices hasn’t only made our governments ineffective, but its failure to deliver any meaningful agenda that will impact the lives of most citizens.

    Kenneth Best and the Liberian Daily Observer should know better to be the one propagating and spewing division by portraying the image of a campaign and national figures because there’s a poster with the inscription “Indigenous Ticket” as politics of division or divisiveness. There’s nothing on that campaign poster that dictates tribalism, nepotism and elitism. It is simply the indigenous people showcasing and being proud of who they’re and identifying with their national figures. The word “INDIGENOUS” in its context has no labeling of divisiveness anywhere in its meaning and educated people manipulate words like what Judge Philip Banks ruling in the case Liberty Party Vice Standard bearer, Harrison Karnwea and National Election Commission (NEC). Banks injected the word “egregious” to confuse the ordinary Liberians that violating a law has classification. According to Banks, you violate the law in class one and be disbarred automatically from contesting an elections and another classification of violation cannot disbarred you. The word INDIGENOUS according to the Webster English Dictionary simply means: produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment, indigenous plants, the indigenous culture. This simply means that people born of a certain region, period. Stop using words to confuse ordinary Liberians.

  10. This was by all standards a well written and well delivered oration. It carried a message that is needed for these times. The whole indigenous issue is an argument that can only come from a candidate who has nothing else to offer. How can you say its time for an indigenous leader when the sitting failed president herself is indigenous? Yes, both her mother (KRU) and father (GOLA). Is it because she’s too civilized or light skinned? This is funny. Besides the president, the VP, Speaker, Protemp, 99% of the legislature, and the cabinet, and even the Supreme Court are all indigenous. Yet we are crying its time for native. We have arrived and still cannot come to grips because we have not arrived in our own minds.
    No. Its, not time for a indigenous leader. Its time for a good leader with vision.

    • Sayku T. Kromah, speak to the context of that poster and tell whether the word “Indigenous” in anyway indicate divisive politicking. The word indigenous doesn’t in anyway spew division, but this is what these so called educated people will do to confuse the ordinary Liberian and start manipulating them. Listen to the Banks ruling in the recent case at the SC when he used the word “egregious” to confuse people. The word indigenous simply means native and also means “produced, growing, living, or occurring naturally in a particular region or environment •indigenous plants •the indigenous culture.”

      Have you ask yourself as a native man when these educated people have stood and confronted the class system that has dominated the body politics of Liberia to stop their behavior of superiority to the native people? What’s it about saying Indigenous Ticket that look divisive or portrays division in politics? Also, remember that politics is local and anything within the context of the locality that resonate with the people is important. By emphasizing indigenous is to arise the consciousness of the native people to support their leaders who will seek their interest. Liberians has failed over and again of confronting issues heads on and that’s why our country remain behind (being politically correct). Relate the system of governance that has ruled this country, Liberia from its inception and compare it with the South African apartheid system. The minority of Americo-Liberians has dominated the politics of this country using our half educated brethren to confuse our people while they denied them opportunities. The word indigenous is exclusivity by any means unless other vices are deployed.

    • All Liberians are indigenous after 170 years with mix genes of many ethnic groups and many generations. The crap of Americo/Liberians and Indigenous Liberians is balcony. Our sympathy goes out to all whose mind set is in the past beyond 170 years. I am compel to also add, there is no Liberian more Liberian than the other. Our concern should be about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor.

      • You can be politically correct or say whatever you want, I’m a native son born in the hinterland of Liberia. I have gone to school and acquired myself good education to compete with anyone white, black, Asian, etc. However, not all Liberians are privilege like me because of the foundation our parents struggled in the face or enormously discrimination to see me and my siblings achieved. However, a class system has existed in Liberia for generations and our people has been denied many opportunity because to who they’re. It time they identify someone who look like them, understand their plight and will speak for them. If this annoyed anyone and that person think that divisiveness, then I’m sorry, but the native people will vote for their own. If the Bassa people feel and think that Brumskine is Bassa enough and they want to vote for him because he look like them, I’ve no problem with that.

        If the people of Nimba County feel they want to support Prince Johnson, Harrison Karnwea or Moses Dupu, Jr. because he look like them, I’m sure that’s not divisiveness. The Independence Day Orator missed an opportunity to seize the movement in light of the Supreme controversial ruling, but instead he missed the mark and became a partisan orator. I’m not in Liberia, but I’ll ask all my friends, relatives to vote for Joseph Boakai more than because he’s qualified, he has the integrity and will be a great transformational leader; most importantly, I can relate to him than Brumskine, Cummings or Urey. If this annoyed you, gain I’m sorry.

  11. Murphy. The reference THE indigenous in context implies that the other candidates are not indigenous. What if a candidate call himself the “white” candidate”, what would you infer? According to your literal definition of Indigenous, all of the candidates are fully indigenous. so why the reference? People are not stupid. I attended LU on scholarship from a congau after a native Kpelle official denied me because he held the scholarships for only people of his tribe. Should I hate that whole tribe till eternity after 38 years? Murphy, did anyone deny you or anyone you from entering LU or JFK or any facility because you were native? All these comparisons to apartheid are meant to incite unnecessary hatred. History is true, and we must use it as lessons learned to make better laws for an improved society. Let the 99.9% native legislature do that instead of stealing. But exclusion is the narrow minded path. Read the history of all nations and you will find the legacy of tribal and class struggles. Look my friend, the congau rule was ended nearly 40 years and almost all of our leaders since then including now have been of indigenous background. We even took the so called congau leaders and shot them on the poles and rejoiced in the public. What more? Right now an indigenous leader and 99% of the entire leadership is native and what baffles me is that we are still crying hatred against congaus. We cannot reinvent discrimination.

    • Sayku T. Kromah, I am glad you promptly responded to my comments. There’s nothing wrong with partisans of Boakai indicating on a poster this is an “Indigenous Ticket.” That’s certainly not divisive as the orator and Daily Observer wrote. Are you honestly saying that people like Urey, Sirleaf, Brumskine, etc. don’t identify themselves as congau? They may want to change in the face of rebuke, but these people considered themselves elite in society not because of their wealth, but because of the class system that has existed in Liberia for generations. I personally wasn’t affected with going to LU or kick-out of JFK because of my ethnicity, but there are many Liberians older than me who experienced such treatments late in the seventies or earlier simply because they didn’t have that connection. Why do you think the late Lorma boy changed his name to Jenkins KZB Scott? Do you know Tipoteh’s native name? There are many other Liberians who were denied even employment or promotion because they weren’t related to a Tolbert, Abraham, Jones, Johnson, Sirleaf, Humphrey, etc. Are you denying this never existed in Liberia and is probably still practice?

      There’s no one passing around campaigning, not even the Vice President and his Standard bearer are proposing that this elections should be about congau versus native election, but there’s nothing wrong with identity politics. Politics is local and politicians discuss issues with their constituencies that are local and paramount to them. If some people feel to arise the consciousness of native people, there’s nothing wrong with that. If Urey or Cummings think they’re natives enough and want to write an emblem or election poster that highlight their identity, this is democracy and free speech. Because someone said something and you don’t like it doesn’t mean it is divisive. Trump said illegal immigration was bad for America and everyone condemned him, but he was saying the truth.

      Remember that in the United States, a bulk of blacks voted for Obama because he’s black and there’s nothing wrong with that; similarly so in South Africa, blacks voted for Nelson Mandela because he was black. What’s divisive in politics is if a candidate go on record and say that do not vote for candidate A, B & C because they weren’t born here or they don’t look like you, then you’ve a point. We always want to be politically correct to intimidate the native people with words that says one thing, but means absolutely something else. Those who were executed after the 1980 coup d’état were killed because of corruption, nepotism, abused or misused of power and the other charges. Don’t confused that with this poster and they orator’s message which was basically partisan.

      Corruption has existed in Liberia for many generations and it is now only coming to light because there’s freedom of speech where citizens can speak freely of matters of national concern without taking a beat. There’s corruption because our institutions of governance are week. The people are perhaps corrupt because pays/salaries for civil servants is low and their earnings aren’t living wages. Corruption is a Liberian issue not tied to one particular group or government in office past or present. Liberians have the habit of not following through on anything using the proper channels. We think we’re smarter and we use that influence to circumvent channels. Until we realize that we all are one people created equally by God irrespective of how much education you acquired, wealth you’ve and position you hold need to treat each other as one people with one common patrimony, Liberia.

      Sayku, you were extremely luck or blessed that you didn’t experienced any of these vices in Liberia growing up. I attended school in Monrovia and I’ll tell you that children of congau people were treated different even when we violated a school rule. Our punishments as native people were hasher because we didn’t have that connection.

  12. Do you all remember where tribalism led Samuel Doe….and the Americo-Liberians?

    We can’t have a tribalist government.

    • So Doe died because of tribalism according to your assessment and how many tribes was he in conflict with? More or less, Doe was killed because he was ill advised. He went against the people of Nimba because of struggle for power. The war degenerated into tribal conflict and all the groups; Mano, Gio, Krahn, Mandingo, etc. fought to protect their lineage. Ignorance set in and even people who worked in past in government positions, private sector were targeted by drugged ignoramus who were used by people for their own selfish interest including Charles Taylor.

  13. When Dr. Herman Browne, President of Cuttington University College, delivered the 2017 Independence Day Oration on Wednesday, he had a great opportunity to leave a lasting message with the Liberian nation. Instead, Dr. Browne chose to make a partisan speech in support of a position that has been adopted by the Congua Presidential candidates, Brumskine, Jones, Cummings, Cooper, and Urey.
    Like the Congo Presidential Candidates, Dr. Browne praised the Supreme Court ruling, although the overwhelming majority of the Liberian people have condemned it as a continuation of the usual habit of sacrificing whatever is good for Liberia to protect the narrow economic and political interests of the Congo minority.
    But making Dr. Browne’s speech a shameless Congo partisan attack is his repetition of the phrase Divisive Politics, a favorite line of Jones and others. The speaker warned candidates not to divide the Liberian people.
    Interestingly, right at the front of the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street, stand the statutes of two women. The statues were erected in commemoration of Liberia’s 100th Independence anniversary.
    The statute of the woman on the right is fully dressed. She represents the Congo people. The statute of the woman on the left is virtually nude except for the small piece of cloth around her waist. She represents Native Liberians.
    But who erected these monuments? They were erected in 1947 by the Tubman administration to eternalize the division between the descendants of the ex-slaves repatriated to the shores of West Africa, and the Natives.
    The Congo people, or the descendants of the ex-slaves, constitute, only 3% of the population of Liberia but have produced 22 of Liberia’s 24 Presidents; whereas, Native Liberians, constituting 95% of the population have produced only 2 Presidents. So, my question to Dr. Browne is: What is Divisive about urging Native Liberians to start closing the nation’s leadership gap by electing VP Boakai as the next President of Liberia? VP Boakai is qualified and he is a Native Liberian. Is it not then fair for us to say give him the chance since only 2 Native Liberians have served?
    Why should Native Liberian children grow up only to realize that because they are Native Liberians, they cannot be Present? Why is no one condemning Brumskine for having called VP Boakai “country man”? Why is no one condemning Brumskine for having called the late Senator Bedel Fahn a ” Country fool”?
    In fact, in the vocabulary of politics, there is nothing called “Divisive Politics.” There is only “Identity Politics,” which is the inclination by most people to support their own kind for position of leadership. It was due to Identity Politics that the overwhelming majority of African-Americans voted in two elections for Barack Obama, an African-American. And for the same reason, Africans in South Africa in 1994 overwhelmingly voted for Nelson Mandela.
    Therefore, the charge of “Divisive Politics” being thrown around by people like Dr. Browne is nothing else but a blatant attempt by the Congua to intimidate Native Liberians and keep them away from supporting VP Boakai for President. Let us ignore them. It was Congo people who divided Liberia into Congo and Country. So, it is fair that we nationalists are using it to try to empower the Native majority by electing electing VP Boakai as the nation’s next President.
    Long Live Native solidarity! Victory to Boakai & Nuquay!

  14. Liberian Daily Observer, why did you post UP poster on this article? was the independence day orator speaking about UP? or was he addressing Liberians? In my opinion, when it is to do with journalism is appropriate to place the photo of the orator to the article. Observer, what you have just done is called plagiarism and I will advise you update this article by placing the orator’s photo.

    What you have done also suggest that Liberian Daily Observer, is one of the media institutions that the VP called their CEO and bribe them to do everything they can to promote him. Please, don’t allow your institution to be used, be an independent media house, As you may know, everyone and the international community is monitoring and analyzing every article you place online. Be warned!!!!

  15. Yarkpajuwur N. Mator
    is an Engineer (30+ Years Experience of HighEnd Engineering), the best Candidate for President to move Liberia forward. Look out!


    ” When I was growing up I was taught that politics is about seeking the common good through the aligning of the common interest.”

    How can anyone BORN in the 60s as Browne BORN in 1965 say “politics was about the common good and the common interest”?

    If that is what politics was in Liberia when he was growing up then he should be decent enough to be truthful and say “the common good and common interest” was strictly for and about the ELITIST 5% settlers and their decendants in which he grew up, AND NOT ABOUT THE 95% MARGINALIZED MAJORITY!


  17. Few Conguas and Natives have been given the wealth of the nation by a Congua – Native president while many Conguas and natives are suffering from poverty. The question is, how then did a Congua and Country issue come to the fore in these elections? Of course, the answer is simple. Lack of responsive, responsible, ethical, and accountable political leadership; a failure of governance, if you ask me.

    But it can’t be solved this year. Conguas and Natives should stop the name – calling, courageously conduct free, fair, credible, and transparent elections as the UN Security Council counselled, and then put together a government of national unity. It is through the agency of inclusive good governance we as a people can prevent the occurrence of new polarizing quarrels, and fanning of old antagonisms in the realization of mutual prosperity and interdependence.

    This means in providing equality of opportunities, equality of justice and equal rights for all, we’re making everyone shareholder in the gain and pain of the nation. It isn’t a vision of utopia; equality of opportunities doesn’t translate to equality of outcomes. Those with better training, skills, and hence produce more as a result of these qualities will obviously be better compensated. Let’s meritocracy or performance rather than nepotism or ethnicity be the yardstick for success.

    It will galvanize individualism, creativity, and innovation – united we stand, divided we fall. Not a choice, one would suppose.

  18. Again, virtually all the leaders in the past 37 years including Ellen Sirleaf and Boakai have been native, and still we remain backwards and crying congau vs country. That’s the kind of narrow-mindedness that keeps us backwards.You are right Sylvester Moses. The pain has been caused by all of us. Name calling is a cop out and an easy excuse for not having a meaningful vision.


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