New Thinking—with Joe Bartuah : Tiawan Saye Gongloe—A Steady Rise in Stature

In a very short period of time since declaring his desire to contest for the Executive Chair in the highly anticipated 2023 presidential election in Liberia, the already well-known stature of eminent human rights jurist, Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe has been steadily rising within and outside of Liberia. “There comes a time in life when a man or a woman must make a serious decision in the interest of his or her country”, Gongloe had told his throng of enthusiastic supporters and well-wishers who swarmed the United Methodist School gymnasium in Gompa City on that date, adding, “Today, December 4, 2021 is my time to make a very serious decision in the interest of our dear country, Liberia, the country that was meant to be a land of liberty for its citizens.”

With such a solemn declaration by a gentleman known for his steely will and integrity, Counselor Gongloe was essentially elevating his epic advocacy for the fundamental rights of the Liberian people to the most conspicuous apex of national politics, aiming to derive a holistic outcome for the betterment of his fellow compatriots and the entirety of the Liberian nation. In other words, having been in the vanguard of advocacy, mainly on behalf of indigent Liberians and foreign residents for more than three decades, Counselor Gongloe is now seeking to advocate for all Liberians at all times from the pivotal point of the Executive Chair.

The erudite lawyer considers occupying top government position as a privilege to serve, not an opportunity to steal taxpayers’ money, which is primarily intended for improving the livelihood of the citizenry. He believes that national leaders must exude an aura of honesty and integrity, because for him, those character traits are some of the indispensable assets that are chronically lacking in Liberia’s current governing paradigm. Another principle of good governance that Mr. Gongloe, the immediate past president of the Liberia National Bar Association—the umbrella organization of Liberian lawyers–espouses is that national leaders ought to be exemplary national role models. In other words, when a leader sets a good example, it tends to have an increasingly multiplying or contagious effect on whatever given organization or society that such a leader is heading or presiding over. On the other hand, when a leader comes to power and erroneously perceives national assets as his or her personal assets, brazenly squandering meager resources intended for the people, such a reckless behavior tends to eventually plunge an already struggling country like Liberia into abject poverty and acute deprivation for majority of the people.

Not so surprisingly, it’s becoming evident that Counselor Gongloe’s principle of putting his country’s interests above personal interests and his goal of formulating and instituting transformative national policies as a prudent strategy in laying a formidable foundation for comprehensive national development are now increasingly resonating with people from diverse backgrounds. In about seven months’ time since last December, Counselor Gongloe’s optimistic mantra—A BETTER LIBERIA IS POSSIBLE—is fast becoming a popular slogan inside and outside of Liberia. The economist-turned-lawyer’s assertions are resonating, because people from every segment of the socio-economic, political stratification, or people of varied backgrounds can readily relate to his principles.

Whether it’s ordinary Liberians—market women, teachers, nurses, doctors, yana boys, wheelbarrow boys, motorcyclists, intellectuals of all professional and political persuasions, street corner boys and girls, religious leaders or foreign diplomats, Counselor Gongloe’s message of economic regeneration anchored by an impartial application of the rule of law, without fear or favor is being well received.

As a result, more and more Liberians and even non-Liberians are now realizing that the Gongloe movement for A BETTER LIBERIA is not a fluke; that the topnotch lawyer actually means business, because he’s a man who says what he means and actually means what he says. The good news is that because people believe in the character, the credibility of this particular messenger, so well-meaning Liberians are increasingly gravitating towards the Team Gongloe movement. As a result, one can now make a strong case that Counselor Tiawan Saye Gongloe is probably the busiest Liberian political leader at this point in time, gallantly working for the betterment of the Liberian nation.

Because a lot of people are becoming receptive to his patriotic message of optimism, meticulously couched in a steely desire to holistically engender a culture of integrity within the Liberian society, his current two-month tour of the United States has been very hectic and exhilarating. Not only that Liberians of diverse backgrounds in various parts of this vast country are showing their eagerness to interact with the leading Liberian presidential aspirant, but also American business executives as well as key state and federal officials have shown no hesitation in engaging with the topnotch human rights lawyer and assistant professor of law. For example, in Pennsylvania, Counselor Gongloe was on May 25, 2022 a featured guest at a symposium commemorating the 200th anniversary of ties between the City of Philadelphia and the people of Liberia.

The tour, which began on May 14, 2022 with a fundraiser in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by Friends of Gongloe Global, one of the pivotal organizations here in the U.S. in support of the Gongloe for a BETTER LIBERIA movement, has also taken the leading presidential aspirant to several other parts of the country. Gongloe has visited the great state of Ohio twice: on his first trip, he spoke at the installation of officers-elect of the Liberian association in that state, and he subsequently attended the annual convocation of the United Nimba Citizens Council (UNICCO). Moreover, Counselor Gongloe has also met with some business leaders in Philadelphia as well as those in the petrol-belt state of North Dakota and the Midwestern hub of Minnesota, among others. Even though some seemingly skeptical talking heads have been labeling him as a “new comer” on the Liberian political landscape, coupled with the fact that he doesn’t have any lobbying group here in the U.S. to be maneuvering its way within the corridors of power on his behalf, it’s now indisputable that Gongloe’s transformative train for the betterment of Liberian is steadily cruising.

The presidential aspirant was in Washington, DC on May 27, 2022 where he met with the influential Mayor Muriel Bowser of the U.S. capital. Besides that, on June  2, 2022, he also met with some top officials of the Africa Bureau at the United States Department of State. Considering the fact that this particular presidential aspirant is an unassuming private citizen, who is not fond of excessively bragging about his achievements, one has sufficient reasons to posit that Counselor Gongloe is making some breakthroughs here in the United States, which have the propensity to yield some substantive socio-economic, political dividends for the Liberian people in the very near future.

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