Sunday, 1 May 2011


Former Minister of National Defense, Founder of Unity Party Reburied Near his Grandfather

Mamkamadu, Quardu Gboni, Lofa County –

he last time Binyah Kesselly spoke with his father was on March 25, 1993. Eighteen years later, the Kesselly family fulfilled the wish of a dying father, son, grandfather and one of the founders of the ruling Unity Party, former defense minister Dr. Edward Kesselly, who was reburied in on the left side of his grandfather in a colorful ceremony in the Mamkamadu, Quardu Gboni, Lofa County last Saturday.
For the younger Kesselly, the burial was a fulfillment of a long quest to fulfill his father’s final wish before his death. “We talked about a whole range of things but one thing  but one thing that stuck in my mind was his parting words before he hung off the phone. He said if I were ever to leave this earth, please bury me near my grandfather.”
On Saturday, the wish was granted and the younger Kesselly, now Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime Affairs was glad that a quest has been fulfilled. “It has been 18 years, I brought you home. I feel like my job is done. I hope you are proud. I am proud of the legacy you left in Liberia is one that we should all aspire .To those of you who did not know, my father, I hope I can set an example that is miniscule in comparison  to what he has done and what he left on this earth.”
The late Kesselly was the first standard bearer of the Unity Party, founded in 1984. The Unity Party participated the first post-1980 coup elections, running against then-President Samuel Doe in October 1985. The Party has remained active in Liberian politics since, and is now the ruling party in the Republic.
The party finally tasted victory in 2005 when its candidate Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf won the presidential elections after defeating football legend George Weah of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) in a run-off. The party also won three seats in the Senate and eight seats in the House of Representatives.
In the previous elections, held on July 19, 1997, the UP presidential candidate Johnson Sirleaf won 9.58% of the vote. The party won seven of 64 seats in the House of Representatives and three of 26 in the Senate.
During the reburial of the late Kesselly Saturday, Sirleaf paid homage to the party’s founder as she urged partisans to help the ruling party continue the dream and vision of its founder.
Said Sirleaf: “When the trumpet sounded and the casket was being brought forward for the loss of a son of the nation, who have done so much. I wanted to cry in gladness for a wife who too have done so much for the nation and I wanted to cry for the sons in gladness for them to have walked in their father country and in carrying out his last wish. We remember him as one of those who contributed to the democracy which we enjoy today.”
Continued Sirleaf: “We remember him as one of those who joined the men and women in arms to protect the safety and security of this country. But most of all, we remember him as a partisan and a friend. One who you could talk to with the highest of intellectualism but also with the lowest of the street talk. I join others to celebrate his life and I join the partisan in inheriting his legacy that we will take on. And so as we bring your son back to you, we have enabled us to carry on his work.”
Varney Sherman, Chairman of the ruling party described the ceremony as a celebration of the life of a great man as he urge partisans of the party to
For us from the Unity Party, to all Liberians who are here, we are not here to bury Edward B. Kesselly. We believe that was done in 1993. We are here to celebrate his life and to infuse the people of Quardu Gboni and Lofa that we are near the moment. You give Liberia a son who distinguish himself and you know what? We are closed to the moment. That day we want 100 percent.
The reburial, organized by the Quardu Development Association/FASO  and coincided with the association’s annual homecoming or Faso. Faso in the Mandingo language means home coming.
The late Kesselly’s mortal remains were previously buried at the Duport Road Cemetery in Paynesville in 1993.
He was the son of General Binyah Kesselly, who became Commanding General of the Armed Forces of Liberia (A FL)
The late Dr. Kesselly was educated at St. Patrick’s Elementary and High Schools in Monrovia. Following completion of his secondary education, he entered Xavier University in Ohio, United States of America, where in 1962 he took the Bachelor’s in Political Science. He then entered the University of Chicago, where in 1965 he earned the Master’s degree in International Relations. He then traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, and entered the Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales of the University of Geneva, where he received a diploma in 1967.
He later matriculated to the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, where in 1971 he took the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Political Science. His doctoral thesis was on The Organization of African Unity.
In 1972 President William R. Tolbert appointed Dr. Kesselly Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The following year Kesselly was transferred to the Ministry of Information, where he was appointed Minister, becoming for the first time a member of the President’s Cabinet. In 1978 President Tolbert appointed Kesselly Miniser of Post and Telecommunications; and in 1979 Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Urban Reconstruction.
Shortly after the 1980 coup, the late Kesselly was detained briefly and following his release, was appointed vice president of the Mesurado Group of Companies. In 1983 he was elected Chairman of the Constitutional Advisory Assembly, which revised the Draft Constitution prepared by the Amos Sawyer-led National Constitutional Commission. The document became Liberia’s new Constitution of 1986, which took effect in January of that year, when the newly elected President of Liberia, Samuel K. Doe, was inaugurated.
Dr. Kesselly served as Minister of Defense during the Interim Government of National Unity(IGNU). He died in Geneva, Switzerland on March 29, 1993, following a brief illness. His wife, Mrs. Linnie Dunn Kesselly, and their four sons survived him.



Opposition CDC Executives Spotted in Tears at National Convention In Margibi County, As  Football  Legend George Weah ‘Sacrifices’ Party to Winston Tubman as Standard Bearer, while he Becomes Vice Standard Bearer  
David B. Kolleh,, (231 631 0032)
Kakata, Margibi County - 

Elevated from “government bone” to standard bearer of  the self-proclaimed party with the numerical edge, Winston Tubman finally saw a communiqué signed between him and Weah become a reality Saturday as the grassroots Congress for Democratic Change unveiled Tubman as its standard bearer  with Weah officially relegating his status as his vice presidential candidate.
The mood following the official pronouncement drew tears from senior party stalwarts, Chairwoman Geraldine Doe-Sheriff and Secretary General Acarous Gray. Even Weah himself could not hold back his emotions as he made what Gray would later tell FrontPageAfrica was the “Greatest personal sacrifice” ever made by a Liberian politician in recent memory.
Asked later whether he was crying out of joy or frustration that Weah was abandoning his presidential quest to Tubman, Gray said: “Those were tears of a true patriot.”
For Gray, Weah’s sacrifice was a bitter pill to swallow but something which was necessary for the sake of Liberia. The CDC Kakata convention ended with Ambassador Winston Tubman wining 118 votes, while Ambassador Weah won 111 of the total votes cast, thereby making Tubman the winner of the position of standard bearer. 
 Absent CDC Lawmakers
 The convention though colorful, conspicuously saw the absence of many Members of the 52nd National Legislature who were elected on the party’s ticket 2005, a situation that has even made Weah to express some frustration, warning that there will be no free ride for anyone on the party’s ticket. The CDC following the last elections was the single opposition party with the highest number in Liberian Legislature.
The Former UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador began his address with a quote from Psalm 27:1-3: “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear; the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid, if the wicked even my enemies and foes come up to eat up my flesh they’ll stumble and fall. Though the enemies will encamp round about me, in this will I be confident, because the Lord is my strength.”
Weah was apparently declaring an appreciation for God for allowing him to head a Party whose officials including some Lawmakers that came to Politics for the first time had betrayed the cause for which the CDC was established five years ago. Only a few out of the 14 Representatives and the two Senators elected back in 2011 were seen at the Party’s convention six months to this year’s polls.
 Tarnue Cooper of Bomi County, Alomiza Ennos of Montserrado district #1, Kai Failey of Grand Gedeh, Victoria Lynch of Montserrado district 13, Regina Sokan Teah of District #10 and Dave Koomey also of Montserrado. Senator Doe-Sheriff who still maintains her post as Chairman of the Party, Deputy Speaker Togba Mulbah were in attendance.  Representative Thomas Fallah of District #7 and Moses Tandapolie graced their second postwar convention. These Lawmakers attending the convention constitute the last batch of opposition members in the Legislature that have not openly given their support to the incumbent leadership; yet, party officials at the Executive level have expressed skepticism about their loyalty to their party.
Acknowledging this, Weah said: “the evolution of our relationship and party is crucial if we must lead this country! It compels us to look at ourselves objectively; it puts us in the realm of realism and above all it increases our desire and resolve to push to achieve great things.” 
For Rufus Neufville, whom party officials have hinted is on his way to the ruling party; there wasn’t any trace of him at the convention. Titus Barclay of Montserrado and Kollie Sorsor Jallah of Margibi County in whose Town the convention was held never attended the convention.
 For Jallah, he only surfaced at night when the convention had ended.  According to Rufus Neufville, he could not attend the Party’s convention, because according to him the current leadership of the Party Geraldine Doe Sheriff and Acarous Gray would never have his blessing.
 Others rather think, the lawmaker is afraid of Mr. Gray who thinks he Neufville has not done enough over the last five years in the interest of the party and the district he represents, declaring that he will be contesting against Neufville in District two.

The need to embrace Tubman
Again Ambassador Weah in his message acknowledging the multiple problems the party is faced with in terms of leadership struggle and why there are more than enough reasons why the party needed to embrace the coming of Cllr. Winston Tubman said “We must all claim the responsibility for the direction of our party, and we must all sacrifice to make CDC victorious in 2011.”
Weah said his action of putting to the grave his personal ambitions; for the survival of the party by accepting to run second to Cllr. Tubman who is an experienced Politician, Diplomat and with similar vision as his, demonstrates his resolve to invoke the spirit of change in the Liberian body polity.
Continued Weah “My ambition to wipe every tear from every eye may be beyond me, but as long as there are tears in the eyes of my people, my work is not over! We must give reality to our dreams, because those dreams are for Liberians, ‘CDCians’, and our nation in general. The struggle of the people is a national one. It is a struggle of the Liberian people. To the people of Liberia, whose representatives we are; we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great struggle, because it is no time for petty and destructive criticisms, no time for ill-will or blaming others, but instead a noble palace of a free Liberia where all her children may dwell!”
Weah’s History Making
Tubman in response to the call by the CDC to lead the party to this year’s general and Presidential elections after the results of the elections of a standard bearer was announced in Kakata Saturday said: “Therefore with such blessed assurance, I accept the nomination of the CDC as its 2011 Candidate for President of Liberia.”     
 Ambassador Winston Tubman, the man who is now in charge of the grass rooters and those many say are the neglected class of the country’s population, he believes Weah has made another enviable history in his political sojourn, such history; the Liberian Lawyer said has never been made for more than six decades since 1944.  
“Today, not for the first time, thinking not of himself but Liberia, Ambassador George Weah, said Yes when  almost everyone predicted that he would say no. he didn’t have the to do it, but he did! By so doing, Weah fosters national unity and brings Liberians together more meaningfully than at any time since the national unification policy began in 1944.” Amb. Tubman said of Weah.
Tubman believes Liberia’s transformation cannot be achieved unless Liberians are ready to emulate George Weah by sacrificing something they value, for the greater good of Liberia. “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country!’ By responding to Kennedy’s immortal words today, George Weah and CDCians have started the fire that will transform Africa’s oldest Republic and the illumination from that light will shortly light the world,” he said.
Continued Cllr. Tubman: “Come and see what the Lord has done! Because George Weah has done well for Liberia again and because I believe that together we shall transform our country and lead it into true and lasting peace, development and national unity; it is now my honor, pleasure and patriotic duty to offer this globally loved Liberian icon, the Vice Presidential Candidacy of the CDC for the 2011 Presidential election” The former UN envoy to Somalia said.
Weah would not have done it
It may be recalled that the former political leader of the CDC now a running-mate to Ambassador Tubman had forsaken a previous negotiation with Cllr. Charles Brumskine and his now cherished running-mate Winston Tubman. Weah had said he was not ready to sacrifice his presidential bid for anyone.
CDCians believe that there is little need to talk about political or leadership experience when discussing Winston Tubman. They claimed he is an embodiment of experience, education and great character, triune qualities that qualifies him a running-mate to the man who conquered everything there is in his profession, and has just moved up to politics creating incessant waves dashing against the hurdles of impunity.
Anyone who is familiar with the tasks of Tubman, they accentuated, in Somalia , where there were more than fourteen warring factions in Mogadishu alone will understand how thick-skinned the man has evolved out of that once volatile republic.
 In the final analysis, the growing constituent electorates of the CDC and some independent political observers appear very supportive of a collaborative framework bringing Ambassador Weah and Counselor Tubman to contest as single slate of candidates in the resultant democratic challenge for the upcoming elections. 


DONE DEAL: Cllr. Winston Tubman Takes Over CDC As Standard Bearer At Convention; Weah Goes As Vice

The Convention of the 'Mighty' Congress of Democratic Change held in Kakata today, April 30, 2011 left many partisans with wide eyes when Cllr. Winston Tubman conquered Football Legend and Former Standard Bearer George Weah In a amazing 118 to 111 votes. See Details later.