By: Douglas Farngalo, Daiqua Media Services Limited, UK E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org/
36 years ago, on a bright Tuesday morning of April 22nd, 1980, 13 former cabinet ministers of the defunct True Whig Party government were marched to their deaths, on a beach located behind the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia.
On the hot equatorial sands, stripped to their underpants, and tied to wooden lamp posts that had been buried in the sands, they were shot dead, by a squad of military men. Hundreds of Liberians stood watching, some in awe and some in celebration, as the condemned men, without blindfolds, were brutally executed. They had been found guilty, by a special military tribunal, for so-called crimes of rampant corruption, misuse of public office and nepotism.
The leader of the military junta, that ousted the government of the True Whig Party, was Liberia’s former president, Samuel K. Doe. One of the men who faced the muzzle of the firing squad was Liberia’s former Foreign Minister, the late C. Cecil Dennis Jr.
The 13 bullet-riddled bodies were scooped by bulldozers and buried in a mass grave, at the Palm Grove Cemetery on Center Street in Monrovia.
The son of former Liberian foreign Minister, executed days after the 1980 coup d’etat, has extended a hand of truce and reconciliation to the son of the late Liberian leader, who lead the coup that deposed the government served which lead to his father’s execution. Mr. C. Cecil Dennis III’s father C.Cecil Dennis Jr. was executed among 13 former ministers of the True Whig Party government on 22 April, 2016, after the overthrow of that government by enlisted men of the Armed Forces of Liberia led by then Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe.
In a open letter published on his facebook page, Mr. C. Cecil Dennis III said,“ many Liberians have asked me, “why are you not bitter for the manner in which your father was inhumanly assassinated April 22, 1980?” My answer to them has been, grief is a dirty weapon carried by many, enacted upon differently by most. The unquestionable attributes of love and peace I demonstrate today, is that graceful temperament we inherited from our humble father, who many of you affectionately called, C. C. Dennis.
Mr. Dennis, who resides in the US state of Iowa, continued, “I have wonderful, intelligent and enthusiastic siblings, who are exceptionally talented and pleasantly graceful.
We are humble Liberians as our magnificent and elegant father was; with extraordinary hearts of peace and forgiveness”. Second son of his father, Mr Dennis said, what he exhibits today is the true nature he inherited from his father.
“He was a Liberian who served his people with humility; this is the combination of our fathers’ fundamental psychological enthusiasm, his mental inclination, physical and emotional traits.
So no, I am not bitter. Yes my siblings and I, his entire family and the families of all those assassinated on firing squat have been hurt and grievously sore as bone….but so have many other Liberians lost loved ones during the civil war.”
Mr. Dennis recalls, “Thousands of Liberians were brutalized, families were raped, and murdered, our nation’s infrastructure and society principles were destroyed. But there’s yet room for reconciliation and reunification through reformation.
Therefore, today as the founder of Liberians Reformation Network, I, Charles Cecil Dennis III, take the first step towards lasting reconciliation, reunification and reintegration for our people”. He said the platform of the Liberian Reformation Network is transparent and has a simple goal; reconciliation through reformation. “I know we can restore our nation by healing our wounds through reconciliation. Our journey will not be easy but it will be fruitful”, Mr. Dennis assured.
He called on Mr. Samuel Kanyon Doe Jr., son of the late Liberian president, Samuel K. Doe, to join him on his mission of reconciliation adding, reconciliation and reformation of our people begin with us.
Mr Dennis extended an appeal to his friends and followers on facebook to find and inform Mr. Doe that “a hand of truce and reconciliation has been extended to him for the reformation of our nation, Liberia”.
After several commendations and likes from friends and followers of Mr. Dennis, a close friend of Mr. Doe, and managing director of Daiqua Media Services Limited, thanks Mr. Dennis for his exemplarary actions and assured him that his message would be delivered to Mr. Samuel Kanyon Doe Jr.
In a true spirit of reconciliation, the long anticipated response came from Mr. Samuel Kanyon Doe Jr.
The eldest of 13 children of the former chairman of the People’s Redemption Council who led the bloody coup d’etat that ousted the government of the True Whig Party, assassinated its leader, Dr. William R. Tolbert Jr which lead to the execution of 13 members of his cabinet by firing squad said, “ It is with great honor and pleasure that I have the opportunity to get in touch with you. I have just seen your magnificent post through a good friend of mine, Mr. Douglas Farngalo. Your level of humility and simplicity is a great inspiration for us all and I thank God that he has blessed you with wisdom and a forgiving heart. God will deeply bless you”.
Mr. Doe who currently serves as Executive Director of Concessions, Monitoring and Evaluation at the National Port Authority of Liberia and holds a LLB in Law from Leeds University in the United Kingdom continued, “You and I share exactly the same sentiments and views of my senior brother”, (Mr. Douglas Farngalo).
Mr. Doe, who was only a child when the coup deposed the Tolbert administration, pledged to support Mr. Dennis’ initiative and committed, “Please count me in on any initiative or endeavors you intend to embark on. You have my unflinching support.
We need to spread the message of peace, reconciliation and unity”. In conclusion, Mr. Samuel K Doe Jr. extended his greetings to the family of Mr. Dennis and looked forward to speaking to him soon.
In addition to Mr. Doe, Mr. C. Cecil Dennis III also extended a hand of truce and reconciliation to Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County, the wife of Thomas Quiwonkpa, the late Commanding General of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Mrs. Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa, and her children Kou, Dedded, Gonkama, Jeleth, and Yormi Quiwonkpa. He also extended a hand of reconciliation to the children of government officials assassinated 1980, which included – Hon. Cyril Bright, Hon. Joseph J. F. Chesson, Sr., Hon. C. Cecil Dennis Jr., Hon. Richard A. Henries, Hon. Charles D. B. King, Hon. D. Franklin Neal, Hon. P. Clarence Parker II, Hon. James T. Phillips, Hon. James A. A. Pierre, Hon. John W. F. Sherman, Hon. Frank J. Stewart, Sr., Hon. Frank E. Tolbert, Sr., Hon. E. Reginald Townsend.
By: Douglas Farngalo, Daiqua Media Services Limited, UK E-mail: email@example.com