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In Defense of the Moniba Family


POSITION STATEMENT

In Defense of the late Dr. Harry F. Moniba: A reaction to John Morlu Campaign's scathing assaults on the legacy of Dr. Moniba and the honor of his family (Part II).

June 13, 2005


Background

On May 20, 2005, the John Morlu Campaign issued a statement announcing Morlu's defeat of Edwin Selee, for the Standard Bearership of the Liberian National Union (LINU). What hit home the hardest was not the victory of Morlu, but rather the venomous outpouring coming like a bombshell from the John Morlu Campaign that, "Anyone who stands in the way of John Morlu will be crushed. You and your family (Dr. Moniba) tried to do that and you are history. Get used to it. This is politics. You are mad because John Morlu beat your man Edwin Selee 42 to 1. John Morlu will take LINU to a place that you and your entire family would never had done".

The John Morlu Campaign's attacks

In their May 20 statement titled:" John Morlu Defeats Selee 42 to 1 and becomes Standard Bearer of LINU", the John Morlu Campaign deliberately, maliciously and recklessly castigated the founding father of LINU (Dr. Harry F. Moniba) for allegedly failing to accomplish what they claimed John Morlu has achieved in a short period of time. They claimed: "John Sembe Morlu has accomplished in three months what has taken some 3 years to do; Today LINU is a household name in Liberia, a party that was barely known three months ago."

Whatever the goal, the John Morlu Campaign disregarded basic human decency in its mean-spirited attacks on the Monibas. The Campaign wrote: "You guys are a nobody. Moniba [Harry Moniba] was lucky to have been selected to be VP [Vice-President] over qualified people…" It continued:" You are jealous because your father could not make it so you hate everyone…"
The John Morlu Campaign further falsely accused the widow and children of Dr. Moniba of allegedly supporting Edwin Selee, Morlu's opponent during the LINU Standard-bearer race. In an e-mail exchange with Gladys Moniba, the youngest daughter of the late Vice President who questioned their claims about LINU and her family, the John Morlu Campaign said, "The Moniba's family support for Edwin Selee over John Sembe Morlu did not work."

Understandably, it is not possible, at least for now, to publish, "the John Morlu Campaign's attacks" in its entirety because of space, despite the overwhelming demands.

Our Position/Reaction

We, the supporters, friends, and admirers of the late Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba, former Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia, are outraged, disturbed, and disappointed with the John Morlu Campaign's heartless, insensitive and unconscionable assaults on the cherished legacy of Dr. Moniba and the honor of his family.

We condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the reckless bluster, hateful venoms and unwarranted insults unleashed on the Monibas by the John Morlu Campaign.

We strongly believe that these malicious castigations deserve denunciation from all Liberians, especially those who bear ample testimony to the selfless, invaluable and sacrificial services the late Vice-President rendered to Liberia throughout his memorable life.
For the record, our goal is not to elicit guilt in a campaign tangled in a complex web of lies, denials and distortions, because the verdict is resounding and unanimous, but rather to jealously defend the proud legacy of Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba, a great Liberian statesman.
Significantly, we are saddened by the realization that presidential aspirant John Morlu has not personally called Mrs. Moniba to apologize or publicly express disapproval for the reckless attacks on the Monibas.

We, however, take solace in our people's disappointment and disgust with the John Morlu Campaign. It is now evidently clear that Lofians and Liberians in general are troubled by the Morlu Campaign's heartless display of hatred and resentment towards the Monibas, so much so that they are now demanding answers to the serious and hard questions--- Does John Morlu Campaign understand that speaking ills of a dead person is nothing less than committing a sacrilege in the Liberian tradition? Why has John Morlu given silent approval to the unprovoked onslaught on the Monibas for the past three weeks?

LINU and the Monibas

Indeed, the childish lies and malicious distortions the John Morlu Campaign spewed can only amuse those who know the history of LINU and the roles of the two men (Dr. Moniba and John Morlu). LINU was established in 1997 by a group of Liberians headed by the late Moniba who became the party's first standard-bearer in the 1997 elections. As its first torch-bearer during the 1997 elections, he, along with the hardworking partisans of LINU, tirelessly toiled and profusely sweated to sustain and expand the presence and message of the party throughout Liberia, albeit the mounting economic challenges. As always, Dr. Moniba's mission was to use LINU as a bridge to national reconciliation, reconstruction, and reunification. From the formation of the party to his recent death, Dr. Moniba walked and drove on dangerous roads and in inclement weather conditions to preach the party's philosophy to Liberians everywhere, both in Liberia and abroad. He gave his all, including his life, to the struggle for a bigger LINU and a better Liberia. He died traveling on the snow-filled highways of America, for a meeting to discuss the future of Liberia for which he cared so dearly.

LINU and John Morlu

Interestingly, in all of the struggles Dr. Moniba, his family, and other patriotic Liberians mounted to build, sustain and promote LINU, John Morlu was nowhere to be found. He was, in the words of a widely-acclaimed political observer," busy working very hard for foreigners who pillage Liberia's maritime coffers". Thus, we are treated to a tragic circus when the Morlu Campaign brags about Morlu's wealth against his opponents, without disclosing the sources of his wealth. But this is something for an elected Liberian government to worry about!

Incensed at John Morlu's heartless silence, two disgruntled officials of the John Morlu Campaign revealed: "Morlu knew he would go nowhere near the presidency, but his strategy was to buy the standard bearership of a political party as a bargaining chip for an alliance with a serious candidate in another party who may want a Lofa running mate that also headed a legalized political party. In the end, even if he missed the presidency and vice presidency, some government of inclusion would lend him back to his maritime job." Now we know!

All along, even when Dr. Moniba was alive, Morlu did not see LINU as a viable political entity into which he would invest any time and money. Surprisingly, he surfaced in LINU as lately as April of 2005 when his fishing net failed to catch the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL).

Morlu Campaign's Motives

It does not require a stretch of imagination to unmask the motives behind the malicious and vicious campaign launched against the Monibas by the John Morlu Campaign. Their motives are clear and simple: (1) To minimize the legacy of Dr. Moniba and humiliate his family in order to create the false impression that Morlu is the most powerful political force in the history of LINU; to raise the profile of Morlu from an unknown, untried, and questionable foundation; (2) To settle scores with the Moniba family for its assumed support for Selee, Morlu's opponent at the LINU convention; 3) To unleash an entrenched animosity on the memory of Dr. Moniba and the honor of his Family.

We challenge the John Morlu Campaign to prove otherwise! We Challenge the John Morlu Campaign to summon the decency and say what the Monibas have done for anyone, let alone a beneficiary of Dr. Moniba's sweat and looming leadership shadow, to subject them to hatred, resentment, humiliation, and mental torture!

In defense of the Monibas

Comparing the imaginary achievements of John Morlu with the admirable accomplishments of Dr. Moniba at LINU in three weeks, months, or years, is as ridiculous as weighing a mosquito against an elephant and judging the mosquito heavier or larger. Morlu's victory over Sele might have blinded the wiseacres hanging around John Morlu to the hard fact that John Morlu has yet to go beyond the perimeter of Monrovia to the rest of Liberia, where Dr. Moniba had already taken the party.

Contrary to the false and misleading allegations of the Morlu Campaign, the Moniba family has not supported any candidate of LINU or any other political party in Liberia. Prior to the LINU Convention, Mrs. Moniba publicly announced that she and her family are not supporting any candidate, because they were still mourning the irreplaceable loss of Dr. Moniba.

The Morlu Campaign's claim that their candidate "helped Liberians, Lofians and Gbandi people more than Dr. Moniba" is stupid since their myopic political lenses failed, as always, to see a wider prism of the help that this exemplary public servant gave to all Liberians. Dr. Moniba was a leader of integrity, committed to putting the national interest above individual interest, and the only thing he refused to do for people, including his own family, was to engage in nepotism and corrupt practices in order to help them. As Vice-President, he resisted the temptation of accepting bribes and turned down an offer by a government agency to furnish his residence in Monrovia.

Dr. Moniba, they need to know, helped Liberians write their first homemade constitution that guarantees greater liberties and rights for all of our people. Dr. Moniba also helped our country put in place the multiparty system that broadened the base for citizen participation in the political process today, a system that guarantees even a John Morlu the right to run for president.
Highlights of Dr. Moniba's Contributions to Liberia

It might interest the John Morlu Campaign to look at the highlights of the public service credential of Dr. Moniba. In 1975 Dr. Moniba was appointed as Director of Research at the Ministry of Education. From 1976 to 1980, he served as the First Secretary & Consul of the Embassy of Liberia in Washington D.C and Ottawa, Canada. From 1980 to 1981, he functioned as the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Monrovia, Liberia. From 1981 to 1984, Dr. Moniba served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Liberia to the Court of St. James, London, England, the Holy See (Vatican) and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Rome, Italy, with residence in London. In 1984, he was appointed as the Vice President of the Interim National Assembly Government of Liberia. In October 1985, he was elected Vice President of the Republic of Liberia on the ticket of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL).

As Vice President, he served with distinction and consistency of character and integrity, as he never allowed himself to be mired by corruption or civil or human rights violations. His dream was to make Liberia a peaceful nation while helping to build freedom and prosperity for its people. Throughout his lifetime, Dr. Moniba received numerous honors, recognitions and awards. However, the Human Rights Award he received from the Liberian Human Rights Chapter in 1994 was held closest to his heart, for it highlighted his tireless efforts and unwavering dedication to the protection of human life and dignity.

In addition to his selfless and outstanding works for Liberia, he was also an accomplished writer completing two books. The first, written in 1992, was "Liberian Politics Today: Some Personal Observations." Dr. Moniba stated: "In this work, I attempted to tell my fellow Liberians some problems in national leadership from my vantage point as Vice President of Liberia from 1984 to 1990, and how Liberians can avoid future conflicts and dangerous pitfalls of blind partisanship and ethnicity in good governance. In "A Vision of the Future," an unpublished manuscript which was written in 1994, Dr. Moniba stressed: "In this second work, I, again, tried to advice Liberians about what we need to do in postwar Liberia in order to ensure national unity, political stability in governance, and socio-economic development. I further emphasized the need for every Liberian to have a new vision of a Liberia based on social justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law. I also admonished my countrymen to remember that what had happened to us during the civil war should be a lesson for everyone to learn from in our arduous task for national reconstruction and reconciliation."

During his lifetime, Dr. Moniba generously donated to several charities including the Group of 77 (handicapped Liberians). He sponsored two schools-a Junior and Senior High School, named in his honor, to which he continually donated and assisted during Liberia's civil war. Additionally, he was a strong supporter of youth development, sports and recreational activities, not to mention his passionate affliction with soccer.

Dr. Moniba's overarching goals were working to encourage fellow Liberians to bring reconciliation, peace, stability, and national unity. With the passing of Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba, we have lost a great husband, father, brother, uncle, friend, political icon, and patriot. He can never be replaced and will be sorely missed. With his unwavering and relentless dedication to the Liberian society, we have truly lost an exemplary leader.

Conclusion

We are humbled to pay glowing tributes to the officials and partisans of LINU for their dedication to the cause of a stronger LINU and a prosperous Liberia. We are also proud to express the sentiments of our highest regards to the distinguished partisans who were elected as officers of the party, at the recent LINU convention. We are of the strongest conviction that they would courageously respond to the call of history and catapult LINU and Liberia to a higher, better and nobler height.

It is only befitting that we conclude by issuing a strong warning to the John Morlu Campaign: Leave the Monibas alone as they go through the agony and pain of an irreplaceable loss. After all, this is not a contest between a John Morlu and the late Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba.


Signed: ____________
Kamaty L. Diahn
Spokesman
Friends of Moniba (Friends, Supporters and Admirers of the late Dr.
Harry F. Moniba)--FOM


Attested: ________
Paul A. Wie
Senior Advisor
Friends of Moniba (FOM)

(952)-261-8628(716) 886-8042(952) 412-2379 Email: friendsofharrymoniba@yahoo.com