“He who forgets the past is bound to  repeat it.”

The second most tragic event that took place in Liberia after the 1980 military upheaval, was the 1985 fraudulent elections which put the nation directly onto a warpath.

This, Liberians will, and can, never forget.

Under the watchful eyes of the National Elections Commission (NEC) headed by (the now late) Cllr. Emmet Harmon, the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL)  of President Samuel Kanyon Doe’s  was declared the winner in those polls, an anomaly which never should have occurred.

“Unity Conference Center in the spotlight!”

Everyone knew we were headed for trouble when those results were shamelessly announced from the Unity Conference Center in Virginia, under a heavy military escort.

Armoured personnel carriers were all over the place including war tanks, and soldiers armed to the tooth who were imposing threats and intimidation upon everything and everyone. To say the least, the atmosphere itself was charged with terror!

“The immortalization of  Charles Gbeyon”

Fearless journalists approached the NEC Chair in the wake of the 12 November alleged abortive invasion (coup) of General Thomas Quionkpa’s, to ascertain whether the results  announced were “credible” (i.e., accurate, true and correct, as to the official count); and Charles Gbeyon of “ELTV Action News” got another story, contrary to, and at variance with, the official version.

We all know what happened to him: he was murdered!

“Storming the citadel”

The election took place in October, and in November there was an invasion by a group calling themselves the “patriotic forces,” headed by General Quionkpa, a former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia.

Liberia stood still; there was blood everywhere; Liberians had come face to face with another bloodbath.

Quionkpa was killed and allegedly cannibalized (i.e.,eaten). I personally witnessed a man carrying a human hand who disgustingly said, “I gwin to cook pepe soup!” That, my fellow Liberians, was the height of my disappointment and dismay and sorrow for my country.

I saw another soldier with the private parts of another man (his penis), stuck in the nuzzle of an M16 assault rifle.

It was terrible. It was terrible,  my brothers and sisters. Monrovia was upsidedown.

“Journalism: a dirty business not for the faint-hearted”

I was an intern at the Ministry of Information from amongst the first mass communication class of the University of Liberia. So, I followed events very closely. But if you want to know the truth, I had more than enough of my fill in journalism on that day. And the events that would follow.

As far back as 1984, there was already dissatisfaction in the country. The elections and their ramifications only made matters worse for Liberians. Remember the 1984 (August 22) incursion of armed soldiers and other security personnel on to the University of Liberia (Capitol Hill Campus) on orders of the President Samuel K. Doe and Defense Minister Gray D. Allison’s? This followed in the wake of what had already taken place, and people were upset.

Grand Gedeh vs Nimba County

 BY: Atty. George K. Saah 


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