Ahead Of 2017 Elections: Country-Congo Divide Dr. Dahn Fears Reemergence Of “Old Order”

By T. Michael Johnny 0886571899/0775820581

“Progressives endured bitter pains and humiliation and physical beating at the hands of the True Wing Party government officials due to their advocacy for multi-party system that everyone is enjoying in the country today”.

Glowing political divide between individuals who preferred themselves as Americo-Liberians (Congo) and their indigenous (Country) counterparts is gradually feuding, with the “presidency” placed at premium.

While President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is expected to climax her final term in January 2018, currently, top list of Americo-Liberians to include ‘wealthy’ Businessman Benoni Urey and Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor J. Mills Jones are expected to contest the presidency.

As the 2018 presidential quest lingers, there are recorded pronouncements from influential Americo-Liberians in “caucus” at their gatherings that the next president should come from the rank of the “Masons.”

On the flip side of the political divide, influential indigenous citizens mainly occupying lucrative seats at the Capitol Building are muzzling their political strings to end years of Americo-Liberian dominance in politics especially the presidency.

In his expressed opinion, Dr. Marcus Dahn visioned that he fears an ‘imminent’ rift between the two groups due to the pace of political development currently unfolding and shocking pronouncements from prominent individuals ahead of the 2017 presidential and Legislative elections.

Dr. Dahn, a member of the progressives told the In Profile Daily that he foresees the reemergence of Americo-Liberians and native tussle owing to pronouncements emanating from prominent Lawyer in person of Cllr. George Henries, son of the late Richard Henries Sr., executed in 1980.

Dr. Dahn’s shocking reaction was prompted by claims made by renowned legal practitioner Cllr. Henries that Progressives drew out the list of thirteen executed officials of the True Whig Party (TWP) by the late President Samuel K. Doe.

Dr. Dahn: “I wonder why Cllr. George Henries, a respected lawyer could be making these accusations at this time after 35 years; I really want to know why he decided to speak about it now.”

The former Planning and Economic Affairs Acting Minister sternly defended that his colleagues could not have authored the purported list of 13 executed officials while they were being detained by the True Wing Party officials.

“Progressives endured bitter pains and humiliation and physical beating at the hands of the True Wing Party government officials due to their advocacy for multi-party system that everyone is enjoying in the country today”.

“Some of us (Progressives) paid dearly for the freedom all of us are enjoying today; some people were beaten, jailed and prosecuted and today there are several political parties in the country and every citizen has the right to contest for elected post,” said Dr. Dahn.

He continued: “Today, there are proliferations of radio stations, televisions, newspapers and internet systems around the country where citizens can freely express themselves without fear or favor; this is what we fought for as progressives,” said Dr. Dahn.

He succinctly clarified that he was not in the country when the 1980 coup took place, while some of his colleagues including the late Chairman Baccus Matthews was in detention.

He reiterated that members of the progressives were not with the People’s Redemption Council (PRC) that overthrew the True Whig Party government, noting that it was impossible for them to have authored the list as claimed by Cllr. George Henries Jr.

He said the allegation made by Cllr. Henries against the progressives did not only cast aspersion on the struggles they faced, but has the propensity to risk their lives and cast aspersion on the pains endured. “Progressives championed participatory democracy that everyone is enjoying; today every citizen has the right to contest for whatever position of their choice; we laid the foundation for freedom of speech and association,” said Dr. Dahn.

Dejectedly, he said progressives have been scorned by some segments of the society for perceived reasons, stating “We fought for what the nation is enjoying today”.

Dr. Dahn, presently offering free educational services at the University of Liberia (UL) graduate program stressed that the vision of the progressives in national development, participatory democracy, rule of law, unity and economic emancipation remains the fulcrum of their national struggle.

Dr. Dahn paid heartfelt tribute to the late Gabriel Baccus Matthews, Chairman and mentor of the progressives whose early death in the struggle to attain equal right justice still lingers.

He concluded by stating that clarification and observation are highly important because posterity will judge individuals based on their commitment to national duty.

In 1975, the Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL) became the first legally recognized opposition party in Liberia in living memory.

The party was initially formed among the Liberians in the United States and was led by Gabriel Baccus Matthews who espoused an ideology of militant African nationalism.