Liberia’s forward march to Democratic Governance, and total independence has been a herculean, and gigantic uphill task from the era of 1816, and up to the present. To reach the level we are currently; though not where we ought to be, it took the sweat, blood, tears, and precious lives of thousands of our kiths, kins, and compatriots who struggled unceasingly in the vanguard of political turmoil; stood unwavering test of time, amid insurmountable challenges, and including incessant wars, famine, and slavery, amongst other hostilities.
At the highest level, three of our presidents paid the ultimate price of their lives through violent assassinations. They include E.J. Roye, 1871; William R. Tolbert, 1980, and Samuel K. Doe,1990. On the other hand, CDB King and Charles Taylor resigned amid allegations that bordered on crimes against humanity. King was later pardoned, while Taylor was tried and found guilty. He is currently serving a 50-year sentence in a maximum prison in UK.
In the midst of all the aforementioned, one group of people whose contributions would never be left out, per their roles play(ed) towards the forward march I earlier alluded to, are those Liberians who are commonly referred to as the “PROGRESSIVES.” Whether we loathe, or love them; and whether we condemn or commend them; rightly or wrongly, depending on one’s own individual perspective(s), they form a major block of Liberia’s intelligentsia, and their contributions both in and out of government circles have helped to play an integral part where Liberia’s politics has become all encompassing; thus creating an avenue for a complete departure from the traditional “caucus” politicking.
This is why undoubtedly, after the bloody military takeover in 1980, the coup makers, most of whom were semi literate, reposed explicit confidence by appointing them in strategic positions of trust; as they were seen, and view as those with the foremost abilities, competence, and wherewithal to steer the affairs of State comparable to, or beyond that of the TWP Oligarchs.
Whether they performed to expectations, or not, it is left with public conjectures.
However on July 26,1981, during the 134th Independence Celebration, and a year three months after the 1st anniversary of the PRC, Head of State Doe used that occasion to induct officials of his Government into the AFL, with ranks ranging from CAPTAIN to MAJOR, as the case may be to commiserate with their positions.
—–Archie P. Williams
Main Photo: Togbah Na Tipoteh