Renowned Liberian human rights lawyer Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe has begun pressuring President Joseph Nyumah Boakai over the establishment of war and economic crimes courts.
The former presidential candidate of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP) said what was wrong yesterday, is still wrong today.
Cllr. Gongloe’s call for war and economic crimes court came Wednesday, 7 February 2024 during an official opening of the All Africa Students Union (AASU) president’s office in Monrovia.
The LPP is one of several political parties that endorsed the presidential bid of Amb. Boakai during the second round of the elections involving former President George Manneh Weah and now President Boakai.
Cllr. Gongloe said many times, some people are inspired to progressive great ideas but when they take leadership, they change and replace the oppressor, corrupt official, and the very things that they advocated against.
Cllr. Gongloe called on his president and the Unity Party government whom he supported to give life to certain values that will change the direction of this country forever.
He added that there should be no adjustment to the fundamental thing that will change Liberia to make a few powerful people happy.
“The war and the economic crimes court must be established,” he said.
“If we don’t want to put closure to our conflict, maybe we can take the Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) document and throw it in the sea or burn it,” he noted.
“I tell you young men and women, what was wrong yesterday is still wrong today. Time does not change morality.”
The Liberian lawyer stated that people adjust their argument when it faces them, saying this is wrong.
“We must not change our ideas, attitude, and way of life when we come close to power. Persistency and consistency [are] what give value to the struggle,” Cllr. Gongloe noted.
He believes that if Liberia refuses to put a closure, those who suffered the war and their relatives will consider or collectively hold them responsible for their suffering.
Gongloe said ten and fifty years from now, they and their grandchildren might decide to rise and revenge and it may be a conflict that might be very difficult to prevent and stop.
The Liberian lawyer lamented that Liberia must face the truth because there are eyewitnesses and perpetrators alive, and there are victims alive also.
“You can’t say you will fight corruption when you can’t fight anything about life. Life is the number one right that we protect,” said Gongloe.
“It’s the foundation of all the rights. I am calling on President Boakai again because the thing we must do is to address the issues about suspicious deaths that have been around the country,” he noted.
Cllr. Gongloe reminded President Boakai that there must be a closure to the Liberia war and conflict.
He disagreed with those who argued that the war and economic crimes court should not be established and Liberians should forget and forgive.
“I can’t plan to forget Cllr. Arthur Johnson’s name, it happens by itself. Therefore, to tell us to forget is scientifically wrong,” he said.
“You may forget about the name of somebody which is a natural occurrence, but you can’t tell the person that tomorrow you will forget again, it’s not possible.”