The historical and political blunder by the political elites that propelled the revolution…, in my opinion


Remember that we are just in the first month of a 19-month long political process that took the country by storm and arguably still is.

I will get back to the detailed narrative of that historic, revolutionary journey we took between May 2004 and November 2005. But it is important to give some valuable ‘asides’ that put the revolution in context.

It has been my considered opinion that if certain members of the political elite, led by Cllr. Izetta Wesley, had not made every effort to prevent George Weah from contesting the presidency of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) in 2004, we might not have been able to get his attention and subsequently his acceptance of our petition for him to contest the 2005 elections. Snd who knows what would have happened thereafter?

The records show that in April 2004 Amb. Weah had declared to the world and the Liberian people that he was interested in contesting the presidency of the LFA. This is a man with a lot of passion for the game; a man who had contributed a lot to football in this country; and a man who wanted to serve the young people of the country in the area of football. This is what Amb. Weah knew best and loved the most.

But no! As usual, the political elites found every trick in and outside the book to disqualify Weah. And so on Friday, September 17, 2004, George Weah ended his bid for the LFA presidency. This actually made George Yuoh to pen an article on September 18, 2004 on The Perspective forcing him to ask “What’s Wrong With Us?” (

As soon as Weah gave up his LFA’s bid, Secretary General Jeror Cole Bangalu, on September 20, 2004 read the petition for Amb. Weah to contest the presidency on the platform of the Liberia National Congress (LNC). This petition was carried on BBC Sports. At that time, Ledgerhood Rennie (yes Ledgerhood) was the BBC Sports Anchor in Liberia and was the one who reported the story.

So, like I said, in my opinion, if Weah had been allowed to contest the LFA’s presidency, maybe he would not have had interest to run in 2005 and who knows…?

But the political elites made a political blunder of historic proportion and this blunder played well into what we planning.

I will come back to talk about the events leading to the petition of Weah by a group in Liberia which, by coincidence (or was it?), had the same name as our group in the US and was thinking the same way as we were: to approach Weah and talk about his political future.

… this was an aside but I still digging into the files

Confused but gaining momentum…


After the meeting at Dtweah’s apartment on August 1, 2004, one of our young comrades, Charles Dweh, decided that he would host the next meeting on Sunday, August 8 at his apartment in Crystal, Minnesota (Apt. 205).


Charles is a young man who left Liberia at a very tender age and had never engaged in Liberian politics but got excited about what he heard us discussing about the motherland and so he decided to get actively involved in what we were doing. All during those formative days and weeks, Charles believed in us and thought our cause was just. He is a young man that earned our respect during the process for his passion and energy.


And so at that meeting, since we had already agreed on the name during the last meeting, the focus was on adopting a Mission, Vision, Logo and Motto for the movement and also setting up committees. At this point, there was no head of the organization; our colleagues only allowed us (Dtweah and me) to moderate meetings and keep notes and do follow ups. We were honored by that.


While we were handling those normal organizational issues, there were still fundamental ideological and philosophical issues that were not yet settled. For example, was the movement organized around the idea of making Amb. Weah president or just supporting anything young person? If we were organized around making Amb. Weah president then what differentiated us from other political parties that had gone into oblivion since their founders disappeared? These were questions that remained still unanswered hitherto, and were fiercely debated at nearly every meeting. Even we were conflicted and didn’t have clear answers.


However, we knew that having Amb. Weah would be a valuable thing but organizing solely around him would be a dangerous thing. I remember on 6 August 2004, Andrew Telmeh (yes Andrew Telmeh) wrote, stating that we should “leave ourselves open to talking any potential, deserving and energetic young person and so Kofi Woods should definitely be one of our targets.” The group took Andrew’s comments under serious advisement and started making efforts to get in touch with Kofi Woods.


Also during this same period, I made contact with comrade F. Aagon Tingba (yes Aagon Tingba) and Adolphus Dupley. Comrade Tingba had, at that time, recently authored an article on and so I decided to get in touch with him to tell him about what we were thinking relative to politics in the motherland.


During this period, it was all about outreach and expanding our email group: trying to recruit whoever was willing to listen to our story. I must tell you, our storyline at that time was very confusing but folks could understand and appreciate that we were passionate about a “grassroot political revolution” in our dear country.


And so while the group worked on the paperwork, Dtweah and I were also charged with working the phones to bring many people on board. Most of the folks we were dealing with at the organizing levels were not people with deep rooted political connections in Liberia; many of them had left Liberia at the beginning of the war and so did not have connections with modern political happenings compared to Dtweah and me who had some recent student activism at the UL and Zion respectively.


In the days that followed, the group started to gain momentum and more and more people were invited to our meetings. Before the 4th meeting which Varney Kennedy had agreed to host on Sunday, August 15, 2004, the group had established contact with Atty. Samuel Kofi Woods and he agreed to meet with us at his apartment in St. Paul, Minnesota.


So on Saturday, August 14, 2004, a three (3) man delegation which included Dtweah, Varney Kennedy and myself drove to St. Paul to meet with the legendary Kofi Woods. Before that day, I had never met Kofi Woods in person. I had only read about him or heard his story and so I was honored to have the opportunity to interact with him especially to discuss issues relating our country for which he had either gone to jail or had to run for his life.


We met Kofi that day and gave him a draft brochure about our movement. We explained to him that a group of young people were excited about the impending political opportunity in which there will be general and presidential elections that an “incumbent” will not be participating. We informed him that we saw this an excellent opportunity to effect a mammoth political revolution if only the young people would come together in a reasoned fashion. At that time, we thought that the easiest way (not the only way) to effect political change was to take charge of the presidency since in fact the Liberian state had come close to been an “imperial presidency” and so change could come from the top down more easily. This was our fundamental belief then and we were not shying away from articulating that we wanted to see a young person become president. In fact, again, my radical idea was that we take state power and retire all the old folks by sending to the University to do only teaching (those were my strong views even colleagues from time to time reminded me that I too would get old).


During that meeting, we talked to Kofi about our desire to talk to many young persons and high on our list was him and Amb. Weah. We felt that the two of them were leaders in our generation though from very different walks of life. We informed him that we had reached out to Amb. Weah through one of his friends, Patrick Cheah (now deceased) and we hope to have a conversation with him too.


As usual, Kofi been as measured, polished and circumspect as he is, did a lot of listening and very limited talking. (Kofi usually let other people do the talking for him because I remember in Florida where he allowed James Verdier (yes James Verdier) to do some talking for him. I will get to that part of the story in short order). However, he informed us that he thought we were on the right path and that he was willing to work with us and provide us his support. The young man never shows emotion in anything he does. He narrated some of his struggles with past regimes and admonished us that our cause was just but it depended on how we conducted it. He also informed us that several other young people were organizing similar efforts and so it would be good to get in touch with them and see if we could join forces. We thought this was a good idea and agreed to begin making efforts to contact our colleagues on the East Coast of the US.   


My colleagues and I were then set to provide updates to our colleagues at our next meeting which was actually scheduled for the next day, Sunday, 15 August 2004 at Varney Kennedy’s house.


… we are searching the files for important notes. Get ready for lots of twists and turns in this journey. The group was growing exponentially and interests all around the US were being expressed.


And we soldiered on…

And so been true to our words and commitment to become active in the political process in our country, the group met at Dtweah’s apartment (Apt # 311) on 69th Ave N in Brooklyn Center, MN. This meeting which began around 6 PM turned out to be a very interesting meeting with consequential impact on the formation of the “generational movement.”

It was at that meeting that we agreed that the name of the movement would be the Liberia National Congress (LNC) and the purpose would be “Taking Liberia Back.” We arrived at this after much intense debate and exchanges. Some of the names that were tabled included: Liberia Youth Congress, Generational Young Congress, etc.

During the discussion about the name, certain group argued that we do not use the word “young” or “youth” because it was too restrictive and could hinder the organization from achieving its goals. I disagreed with them. I posited that in fact that the group should be restrictive. I argued that this was a “generational battle” and opening it up to just anyone especially folks from the older generation would then render us another Liberian political party. And since we were waging a battle against the older generation, allowing them to join the movement would defeat the purpose and dilute our resolve. (I still don’t know whether I was wrong but I felt strongly about that position then)

My position was that no one above the age of 45 should be allowed to join the movement. But then my colleagues reminded me that but JFK do you know that one day you would pass 45 years? Though true but I pushed further that it wasn’t about me and when that day came we would hold those discussions but I truly felt that allowing the old generation to join would defeat the purpose.

My colleagues Dtweah, Alex Kekula, Dixon Seboe and few others argued that we were not waging a “generational war” on every member of the older generation but rather on the political leaders of that generation who failed to provide adequate political leadership. They further argued that what if someone is over 45 years but have never participated in political activities before, do we exclude them from membership simply because they were born that time? Those were tough and reasonable questions to which I didn’t have sophisticated answers and we so we moved on.

However, we agreed to drop the words “youth” and “young” and decided on the name LNC because we agreed that it sounded similar to the African National Congress (ANC) and since we wanted to form the largest grassroot political movement, that name would truly represent our cause.

Beyond the selection of the name on that day, there were other contentious issues because there were lots of ideological and philosophical issues that occupied the discussions of the day.

For example, I had strongly argued (and I did so very forcefully) that we do not form a political party per se. That rather we organize a movement of young people who would influence the outcome of the elections and bring the much needed change that our people so dearly yearned. My thinking was that if we could bring about 100,000 or 200,000 young people together, raise the required financial resources, and had them vote for a particular candidate who represented their interest, that would be consequential in and of itself. That that movement did not need to be a party and that it could return to other things after the elections. In fact, without been a political party, it could be a very influential group that any serious politician would be compelled to listen to because of the power it wielded.

My colleagues, led by Dtweah, argued that it would be dangerous and counterproductive to have someone elected and then turn your back on them. That if we were successful in getting our candidate elected, it would serve the better interest of the movement to remain engage with that person to further guide the change we envision.

I was of the thinking that forming too many political parties was counterproductive to our democracy.

In fact that issue brought into further scrutiny our choice of George Weah especially since he was just one of many young Liberians that could lead the generation. With this presentation, the group decided that other young potential Liberians should be included on our list of people to talk to.

Leaving the meeting and the in the days that followed, we agreed that we will approach George Weah and seek his membership into the movement and we will contact Atty. Kofi Woods. I also remember that the name Brownie Samukai came up as well.

Dtweah would contact Patrick Cheah (now deceased) to help us contact George Weah. Patrick Cheah was the closest person to Amb. Weah that we knew and so thought to use him as a point of contact.

Calvin Dwuye had informed us that Kofi Woods was in US and would be around for about 2 months. In fact Atty. Woods was expected in Minnesota on Wednesday, August 11, 2004 and will be in St. Paul, MN. Varney Kennedy was charged with the responsibility of making contact.

We also agreed that we needed to start spreading the activities of the organization in Minnesota and other states in the US as quickly as possible. It was also advised that we seek to form alliances with other like-minded organizations. Dwuye had indicated that several other organizations on the East Coast of the US were engaged in similar thought process.

We also agreed that Dixon Sebeo be used as our point of contact in Liberia.

We left the meeting, agreeing to meet on Sunday, August 8, 2004 at 6930 54th Ave N (Apt 205), Crystal, MN 55429 (Charles Dweh’s apartment)

These were the committees that were established to begin working to carry out the work of the movement:

Finance Committee

Alex Kekula

Varney Taylor

James Kollie

Venue   Committee   (Ad   Hoc)–Responsible   to   secure   the   North   Hennepin   Technical College   facility   for   a   planned   end-of-month   Mass   Mobilization, and Information.

Recruitment Meeting

Elijah Simpson

John Tarr


Membership Committee

Charles Dweh

Sameul Tweah

Publicity Committee

Varney Kennedy

Samuel Tweah

Planning Committee

Alex Kekula

John Tarr

Elijah Simpson

James Kollie

Norris Tweah

Beyond that day, the activities started ramping up and moving very fast. We did the registration of the organization with the Secretary of State of MN; we planned a meeting with Kofi Woods; we contacted Patrick Cheah to establish contact with Amb. Weah; and we started raising money amongst ourselves to help our cause. We were serious about the political revolution…

And this was just the second meeting… a lot did happen as you can begin to see

The first meeting of the “generational movement for political change”

Once Dtweah and I had that initial meeting of the mind that it was necessary to begin the process of exploring the what we called the “humanitarian and political future” of Ambassador Weah, we began placing calls to friends and opening small debates at various gatherings in Minnesota. We wanted to hear what other colleagues thought about our idea.

 At that point, we weren’t clear about what we really wanted to do. At one point it was about opening a legal immigration clinic to help Liberians in the Diaspora with issues about immigration and then on another hand, it was about engaging the political space and entering the theatre full time.

After several confusing calls to many colleagues, we began fine tuning our ideas as Dtweah and I had more conversations. During these conversations, we started getting extremely excited about what we were embarking on. We used the month of June 2004 to touch base with friends and bounced our newly found passion off them. As most of these colleagues were not politically savvy but equally passionate change back home, we thought they could be of real value to this undertaking.

But something happened in July 2004 that made everything to change. We had gone to the home of Patrick Sawyer (P O, now deceased) in Champlin, Minnesota to hold discussions about some organization that Dtweah, P O Sawyer, Samuel Deputy and others were working on. Unfortunately, PO wasn’t home and we couldn’t get into his computer and so the meeting never took place but then we had the opportunity to witness the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award that had been taped but aired on Sunday, July 18, 2004.

As we sat and witnessed the world recognizing George Weah with this prestigious award and the manner and form in which he received the award: presenting two (2) Liberian children that he said represented tribes that fought in the Liberian civil war but that were now reconciled. This moved the entire audience and caused many TV land to reflect deeply as this Liberian son, mounted the world stage to make Liberia pride again.

This was the moment and the biggest selling point of our venture. This was what gave us the audacity to organize the first meeting and scheduled it for Sunday, 25 July 2004 at my Crystal residence. As we saw the expressions on the faces of Denzel Washington, Kelvin Garnett and other Hollywood stars, we thought that was it. Weah was our guy and that Liberia was ready for him if they truly wanted to break away from the past.

Immediately after that viewing Dtweah and I compared notes and thought the citations should go out. We called our friends and invited them to participate in this discussion. Dtweah was charged with talking to all the colleagues who worked with him at US Bank and I would place as much calls as I could and schedule the meeting for 6 pm that Sunday.

That was also historic as it was the eve of Liberia’s Independence (26 day) and so we thought we were crafting the nation’s real independence.  

And as planned, the comrades gathered and we introduced the topic: that it was time for all Liberians to get involved in the political process in back home. That it was no longer ok for us to sit and just witness events when we believe that we can do something. It was upon it backdrop that we thought to invite you our esteemed colleagues to begin to discuss the “humanitarian and political future” of Ambassador George Weah: A man we consider one of the greatest patriots of our time. We argued that to him, the country had given nothing but that in return he had given a lot more to our country. (that was our argument then…)

The true be told, at that meeting, we were not able to clearly communicate whether we were organizing a political movement to make George Weah president or we were organizing a political party that Weah could be part of. Frankly, a colleague by the name, Momoh Dudu did raise serious objection to organizing a political party for purpose of making George Weah president. He spoke strongly and passionately about his views and if he had carried the day, our movement was dead. Dtweah tried to engage in rhetorics (as usual) with Dudu but Dudu pushed back strongly. I felt we were losing the argument and I so I jumped in and became very blunt with Momoh and told him that we were taking the Weah path because we believed that he (Weah) had a lot to offer. We were not emphatical that he should be president but we were convinced that Weah had a critical role to play in our generation and so we were going that route.

Dudu lost the argument and never showed up to any of our other meetings again. (Maybe this was the first biggest mistake we made)

However, we took down the names and email addresses of those who attended, opened and email group, and then scheduled for next meeting for Sunday, 1 August 2004 at 6 PM to be held at Dtweah’s apartment: 1308 69th Ave N, Apt # 311, Brooklyn Center.

This next meeting turned out to be a very interesting meeting because in attendance were Norris Tweah (he was very passive and level headed), Dixon Seboe (he was visiting from Monrovia) and Calvin Dwuye (visiting from Massachusetts) who just popped. And at that meeting we decided on a name…  

        I am still checking the files…. Since that July 25, 2004, we met every Sunday, religiously, until sometime in February 2005. The details are in the files…

The History of the modern “grassroot political movement”: to the best of my recollection

It was on a Sunday, in May 2004 when Samuel D. Tweah (Dtweah) came to visit me at my home in Crystal, Minnesota (6500 34th Ave N) that we started a conversation about the “humanitarian and political future of Amb. George Manneh Weah” and then it was on Thursday, February 16, 2006 that I officially resigned from the CDC. In between those dates, a lot of things happened.

As I embark on another journey with the CLP, I am compelled to look deep into the files to review notes of our actions and inactions that led us to where we are and why I think we need to give the grassroot progressive revolution another shot.

It is no secret that in 2004 I was at the foundation of the Liberia National Congress (LNC) which later became the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) but also operated in the US as Liberians Aspiring Communal Esteem (LACE) due to NEC’s regulation that political parties cannot conduct political activities outside of Liberia.

Usually when folks ask me if I am a founding member of the CDC, I am quick to correct them by saying that I am not a “founding member”, I am a “founding ideologue” of the CDC. I say “a” because my colleague, Samuel D. Tweah (DTweah), is another “founding ideologue” of the movement.

So in order that my politics is clearly understood and that the purpose of the CLP’s formation is properly situated within the political history of Liberia, I have decided that I will narrate my involvement with the CDC “to the best of my recollection” by reviewing my notes on file.

My accounts can be corroborated and/or corrected by comrades DTweah, Alex Kerkula, Piso Saydee-Tarr, St. Tomalin George, and few others.

DTweah and I had not seen each other for several years before our meeting in May 2004. It is important to note that DTweah and I were team mates on the Tubman High Meet-the-Challenge team that won the championship in 1992 and we had remained very close ever since that time; always comparing notes on issues of mutual interests. I remember on the night I was preparing for my debate before my elections as student council president at Zion Community College in 1994, Dtweah visited with me on camp and again we compared notes. Our political and ideological relationship date several years before our May 2004 meeting and then the journey that began thereafter and continues to this date.

In the next few weeks, I will spend some time giving the full details of how we started; the mistakes we made; the challenges that confronted us; opportunities we missed; and the things we wish we could do over.