Tough-talking Liberian Lawyer, Cllr. TiawonGongloe has blamed the deposed True Whig Party (TWP) for what he calls bad governance system in the country. Serving as Keynote Speaker at the thirty-fifth National Convention of the True Whig Party held in Bentol City, Montserrado County, Cllr. Gongloe said one hundred and forty-six (146) ago TWP was formed on the promise of making Liberia a land of liberty for all and opening the political space for the participation of all Liberians without distinction.
“The question is; did the True Whig Party keep the promise? Did every Liberian who wanted to participate in politics during the rule of the True Whig Party have an opportunity to do so? The answer is, certainly, a big, “NO”! The True Whig Party achieved many things for Liberia; but opening the political space for all and making Liberia a true land of liberty for all, cannot be counted among its achievements.”
Gongloe said it is the systematic effort by the True Whig Party to close the political space for all, except for True Whig partisans, something that led to the virtual creation of a one party state in Liberia, followed by violent political eruptions in resistance to such rule and the eventual failure of the Liberian state.
The Liberian lawyer furthered, “No one can take the credit from the True Whig Party for beginning the process of the infrastructural development of Liberia. It was under the True Whig Party that motor roads, railways, airstrips, and seaports, amongst others were built for the first time in Liberia. No one can also take from the True Whig Party the credit for the introduction of telecommunication, radio, television broadcasting, electricity and pipe borne water.”
He added that these are great achievements for which the Grand Old True Whig Party must be applauded. However, Cllr. Gongloe noted that the True Whig Party cannot run away from taking the blame for introducing a governing approach that stimulated violent reactions that hindered the progressive development of Liberia and the conflict that destroyed the very infrastructure built by the True Whig Party and caused the near collapse of the Liberian state.
Giving the history of the Grand Old True Whig Party from its formation in 1869 to the fall of its rule in 1980, Cllr. Gongloe said the party was formed to challenge the Republican Party because that party held onto power exclusively from 1847 to 1869, a period of twenty-two (22) years and that the Republican Party was largely composed of lighter skinned Americo-Liberians and excluded other Liberians, largely darker skinned Americo-Liberians and recaptured slaves from the Congo Basin and indigenous who had become “Christianized and civilized.”
He said TWP at its formation was seen as a revolutionary party ready for change because it stood against the control of power by one group of people adding, “It was expected, therefore, that the party would open the political space for all Liberians, consistent with the dream upon which Liberia was established and that dream was that Liberia would be a land of liberty for all Liberians without distinction.”
Among other things, Gongloe concluded that the Liberian voters in 1869 believed in the True Whig Party’s promise that it would be a mass-based political party, not a party of the elite and opened the political space for all to participate in the politics and governance of Liberia, on an equal basis and voted the True Whig Party to power. “But in just two years, the True Whig Party lost power in a violent coup, based on the suspicion of corruption and political manipulation to stay in power longer than provided by the Constitution of Liberia at the time.