Liberia: Pouncing on Gongloe’s issues with Arcelor Mittal

Written on:August 9, 2016
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Liberian Human rights lawyer Tiawon Gongloe

Cllr. Tiawon Gongloe

By: Chorphie Charlie

The tendency for our intellectual discourse to direct its energies on the irrational rather than the issue, subdues our quest for understanding.

The rejection of criticism against Tiawon Gongloe’s silence while in government, regarding actions of government against the interest of citizens, does not lend credence to an attack on democracy. What else could Gongloe have done as a public servant, serving at the will and pleasure of the president? This is the query that must find justice in our examination of this matter.

Whether we seek the democratic overthrow of the Ellen’s presidency, as Liberians, especially those in the opposition; we must understand the historical trend that plunged our nation into one of humans’ bloodiest bath. Liberia’s history of recent years proves that public advocacy and the channels and the location have simply been the transient tools for building the very altar of dictatorship that continue to suffer our national journey. So speaking publicly against government should not license one as a champion of the people’s interest. We must judge the merits and demerits of public advocacy before granting credibility to our so called enlightened class. Therefore, if Gongloe while in government, as a political appointee, had exploited his access to government information and spoken against government’s policies or the interest of the president; then Gongloe would have been acting as a rouge element within the government, he could be consider a mole and acting in gross insubordination to the authority of the president. Liberians MUST learn to respect institutional norms and mores.

We do not know whether Gongloe used the internal channels inside government to express dissent concerning his recent public angst. Our pursuit should focus on gathering confirmation whether Gongloe used the internal structures of government to offer critical views about these issues he is now raising. If he did, then what were the responses? If he did not, then we can challenge his recent outburst as pleasure seeking for personal glory having lost faith with the establishment.

This is where the intercourse of contradictions lightens and makes President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf a genius that “Liberia is a conundrum wrapped in complexity and stuffed inside a paradox.” Truly, public advocacy like the pursuit of Gongloe may articulate change sociology in Liberia but the effects is simply a revival of the oldest and the worst tyranny where liberty is hope on the antagonism of government, not in the respect for constitutional limitation. It then becomes difficult to separate real advocacy from cacophony advocacy. Thus, the query against Gongloe’s silence in government does not follow the logic of public service; at the same time, the query against Gongloe being outspoken outside government does not represent a government based upon the consent of the governed. Again, Ellen proved to be ahead of her hard core and blind loyalists by politically embracing and acknowledging Gongloe’s right to peaceful dissent.

So the question before us is not a union for real advocacy and cacophony advocacy; rather is the liberty of ordinary Liberians, self-respecting men and women to exercise their guarantee constitutional and natural freedom to protect their human dignity from oppression. It is this unholy alliance against bad governance that compels us to aid Gongloe’s defense, to stifle pelf and plantation democracy by Mittal Steel. Liberia’s future and security greatly depend on a Gongloe who respect his public service obligation to the president while serving in government but lashes out once outside of government to provide the critical knowledge needed by citizens.

On the altar of Jehovah I pledge undying resistance to cacophony advocacy. “Excuse me while I throw out.”

The writer of this article, Chorphie Charlie, is a social and political commentator who resides in Philadelphia. He can be reached at

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