A Child Who Doesn’t Listen Will Learn the Lessons the Hardest Way”:
UCEP’s Advice to Pres. J. Shiwoh Kamara’s Administration Episode: No. 6
By Eminent Elder Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr.Hampton, Georgia
November 12, 2021
Episode 6 – “A Child Who Doesn’t Listen, Will Learn the Lessons the Hardest Way” is the final Series of my Exposé. I started it with: “You Pull Rope, Rope Pull Bush:” The Rush to Replace Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr. (1)”; continue with “Hurry, Hurry, Burst Trouser: You Shall Reap What You Sew (2)”; “Never, Trouble, Trouble, Until Trouble, Troubles You”: Kind Heart Gives Nanny Goat Short Tail (3)”; “Conversation with Our Benefactors: The Original Intent of the Founders of ULAA (4)” and “Reliving the Vision & Spirit of ULAA’s Founders: Unity and Advocacy (5)”.
Summaries of three Episodes are presented below:
Episode No. 1 (October 13, 2021): “The Rush to Replace EP Dr. Cooper”. I directed the questions below to Eminent David K. Flomo, Vice Chair and Eminent Arthur K. Watson. I requested a response to the questions below by Thursday, October 14, 2021:
1. First, on what ULAA Constitutional grounds the aggrieved vice presidential candidates protest was dismissed? To say their protest was dismissed on Constitution grounds is meaningless; please cite the provision in ULAA’s Constitution the decision was based.
2. Since the poorly written “Press Release” has been made public, kindly provide the names of the Eminent Persons who unanimously voted on October 8th, 2021 to remove Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr. from his position as Chair of the Council. In addition, let us know the provision(s) of UCEP, Inc.’s Constitution, By-Laws and Code of Conducts that were applied in the deliberations. Finally, kindly make these requested items available by Thursday, October 14, 2021.
I waited, and waited, and I did not receive any response. So I proceeded to write Episode No. 2 (October 19, 2021): “Hurry, Hurry, Burst Trouser: You Shall Reap What You Sew” which reminds me of the story of the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon thrown into the fiery furnace because of their faithfulness to the true living God and not to him.
According to the story, the people were jealous of them. Due to their jealousy, they approached the king and said, “Sir, you have appointed three men to high positions in Babylon Province, but they have disobeyed you. Those Jews, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to worship your gods and the statue you have set up.” King Nebuchadnezzar was furious and confronted the three boys. These young men believed in and worshiped the true God, and they would not bow down to him or his idol.
There is a similarity with what the people of Babylon and the “good for nothing dry fuss picking” gang led by Eminent David K. Flomo, Vice Chairman picked with Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr., the legitimate Chairman of UCEP, Inc. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, we the officers and members of the legitimate UCEP, Inc. fight against the misinformation that Vice Chairman Flomo and those that were using him as “Yo, Yo” to take control of UCEP, Inc. Like King Nebuchadnezzar and his faithful subjects, officers and members UCEP, Inc. CANNOT bow down to individuals posing to be the legitimate officers and members of UCEP, Inc.
Unlike Vice Chairman David K. Flomo and his partners, the officers and members of UCEP, Inc., refused to compromise their principles and commitments to the ULAA. Therefore, for individuals to suggest that we should not wash our dirty clothes in the public are not only wrong, but foolish.
Sometime in life, it is better to wash some of your dirty clothes in public so that the house will not be contaminated with filth. In these circumstances, you do not have the choice but to wash your dirty clothes in public so that the public will know the person who is clean and the one that is dirty. In ULAA, there are some individuals who considered themselves ‘kingmakers’… and are working very hard to destroy our once revered organization; and we cannot let that happen! Honestly, these individuals do not have the best interest of this great Union at heart. They are individuals whom President Abraham Lincoln’s statement: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the times” described correctly.
Finally, Episode No. 3 (October 19, 2021): “Never, Trouble, Trouble, Until Trouble, Troubles You:” Kind Heart Gives Nanny Goat Short Tail is an appropriate adage in response to Hon. Roberta Rashid and the Racking Crew of which she is the leading Cheerleader when she wrote: “What is done, is done” – “This is a new dawn in ULAA. Watch out for Chang (sic).” She got these phrases out of the playbook of a former president whom many of you know.
Hon. Rashid’s statements remind me of this Latin phrase I am fond of: “Amicus Plato, sed magis amica veritas“, which translate as “Plato is my friend, but the truth is a better friend.” Literally, Plato is my friend, but the truth is more of a friend to me than Plato or “I love you Plato, but I love the truth more.”
As you shall see, my passion for seeking truth and justice led me into socio-cultural, economic and political activism. I have not regretted, since!
More importantly, there comes a time in one’s life when he/she has to make decisions that involve family members, friends and to a larger extent – the government; and when faced with issues of great magnitude that involve friendship and justice, you have to make the right choice between friendship and truth, and . . . if you were me, you would select truth over friendship. This was the situation in which I found myself dealing with many of my friends and associates in the 70s and 80s during the struggle for justice and democracy in the Diaspora and Liberia.
This brings to mind the profound statement Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune made, and it reads: “When justice hangs in the balance, the silent people can be the most dangerous.” I chose not to be among the silent people; I’d rather continue to say or write the truth about Liberians’ “false pride” and “corrupt practices”. The suggestion to remain silent or join the chorus of opportunists in defense of the government, especially, a corrupt government is not ‘my cup of tea’. I honestly believe it is not the way to go. It is not that I dislike those who govern our country, but it is my patriotic obligation to tell the TRUE for the public to decide which side is believable.
When covenant is betrayed, the right thing to do is for justice to take its course. However, most Liberians in the Diaspora prefer friendship to doing what is right. As a matter of fact, we are where we find ourselves today because most of our people were too afraid to ‘rock the boat’ or did not have the guts to look the truth squarely in the face to say, “Enough is enough”; they rather engage in deceptive and hypocritical practices. Some religious leaders in our country too, are guilty of this kind of behavior. Instead of condemning wrongs, as Jesus did, they let the opportunities for change slip by, and they continue to tell the Liberian people how good it is to forgive and forget, yet, they prefer to remain silent on many of these vexed and nagging issues. Our organizations in the Diaspora, too, are not exempt. ￼
I was not surprise of the mess that took place in Columbus, Ohio at the 47th Annual National General Conference. Why? Because the NEW ULAA leadership is used to violating the Constitution they swore to uphold. But what an elderly person see sitting down, a child cannot see even if he climbs the tallest tree. This proverb is very common among mothers. They never fail to let this African (Nigerian) proverb roll off their tongues. The wise use proverbs for that matter – is for fools to learn not to repeat WRONGS; and wise man who knows proverbs can use it reconcile difficult matters.
“The ULAA we all deserve”, says Hon. Kamara
“The ULAA we all deserve”. Can it be the ULAA we all deserve when the organization refused to honor legitimate protest filed – reconcile and settle the dispute amicably … like the dispute that occurred during the 47th National General Assembly which involved both the Northern and Eastern vice presidential candidates? Despite the protest that was issued, ULAA leadership went ahead with the induction of the two positions that were in dispute. It was a wrong start for the Kamara Administration.
It is not too late to reconcile. I will recommend for the National Board and the National Administration make it one of their priorities to resolve the vexed issue regarding the election in the next three months. Not to do so, “The ULAA we all deserve” as Kamara’s Administration profess will be an empty slogan.
The Rust to Dissolve ULAA’s Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc.
Not too long ago, the ULAA Council of Eminent Person (UCEP), Inc. invited some former National Presidents and National Chairmen of the Board of Directors of ULAA to join our organization; they demanded that we should make changes to our Constitution as well as do away with our Code of Conducts before they will become members. Can you imagine telling your parents not to have rules and regulations in their house! What a display of disrespect! What are they afraid of?
If one does not have a hidden agenda, why would he/she engage in illegal activities to not only dissolve a legitimate organization, but to remove its Constitution, legitimate leader from office? The only reason I arrived at, is – the NEW ULAA leadership considered UCEP, Inc. a threat that will unearth their unethical practices. These guys and their one lady are pathetic! Instead of being concern about all the unexplained deaths and rapes going on in Liberia, all they care about is their selfish interests.
Let me say this! I took my inspiration to write these exposes about ULAA’s corrupt leaders in the Diaspora and Liberia from an American slave who wrote an appeal to his brethrens in 1891 regarding the inhuman bondage – to take a stance to gain their freedom and liberation. Today, all over Africa and the African Diaspora, our leaders have not gotten the message; instead, they are subjecting their people to similar treatments their slave masters gave them on the plantations in North America.
Enough is enough! In order to be relevant in a society, you must first make yourself relevant. But these NEW ULAA leaders failed to hold our corrupt and abusive leaders accountable for their actions, and when they come to the United States, they showed up for photo-ups, fail to confront these government officials on serious matters at home. This one of the reasons, these government officials pay more attention to their supporters in the States than to pay attention them.
From here on, this practice has to stop. The NEW ULAA leadership must treat them as we of the OLD ULAA dealt with the Grand Ole True Whig Party (TWP), the People Redemption Council (PRC), and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) government leaders. We need to make their visits to the United States very unpleasant, and hold those ULAA leaders seen with them as betrayal of the Covenant Liberians in the Diaspora established with our people at home in 1972 (see the ULAA’s Constitution approved at its General National Conference on July 4-5, 1975 – I [Eminent Nyanseor] have one of the original copies).
Another Serious Affront
While critical issues were being discussed and debated regarding the role of UCEP, Inc., ULAA’s so-called kingmakers amended ULAA’s Constitution – did not consult UCEP, Inc., instead, included UCEP, Inc. in their Constitution as a Committee responsible for mediating. “Wonder shall never cease!” Who do they think we are? Charlie Buggers! It is said that “Common sense is common, but not too many them have it.”
UCEP, Inc. has been in existence for over eleven years. These guys and their one lady do not understand history, especially the ULAA they are now a part of. ULAA is different from other Liberian organizations because of its longevity, and secondly, due to its diversity. By diversity I mean, ULAA represents all Liberians, regardless of religion, beliefs or ethnicity. And ULAA is unique because it has a track record of being on the side of the ordinary people of Liberia; while most Liberian organizations’ goals and objectives are somewhat limited in scope, i.e., education and regional associations. ULAA goes beyond “Special Interest.” Since its inception, it has served as an advocacy group for our people at home. We are proud of this tradition. Therefore, ULAA’s new leaders should guide and protect this cherished tradition.
ULAA serves as a point of departure from the way our political leaders ran the country. Therefore, we the Founders knew what we were giving birth to – a new idea, culture, behavior and personality. We made ULAA was neither a political party nor a county association. We decided on being a Community association with the goals and objectives to serve as an advocacy organization for Liberians in the Diaspora and our people at home.
We recognized the importance and contributions of special interest organizations, such a county, alumni, and other relevant Liberian social clubs. The Founders were not naïve when they made the distinction. For example, it was a conscious decision not to refer ourselves as HONORABLE – since the Honorables that were heading the government were not honorable in dealing with the citizens. Therefore, we chose not to call ourselves all those impressive titles; instead, we prefer to be called Patriot, Compatriot or Comrade.
However, today the NEW ULAA leadership is accustomed to conferring titles such as Honorable, Doyen, Eminent of All Eminents, and Eminent Emeritus. Based on the History of ULAA, there is ONLY 1 female elected National President; she is: Eminent Mydea Reeves-Karpeh, who is also the 1st Eminent Emeritus; Eminent Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr. is the 2nd Eminent Emeritus; Eminent Arthur K. Watson is the 3rd Eminent Emeritus, and when Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr. term is over, he will become the 4th Eminent Emeritus. As far as ULAA’s History is concern, every other person calling themselves Eminent Emeritus in ULAA should NOT be recognized.
“Knowledge is like a garden, if not cultivated, it cannot be harvested”. It must be used to unite instead of creating divisions among the members in an organization. Therefore, conferring these titles on select individuals serve no useful purpose other than to make these individuals grow wings among their peers. This practice is dangerous! A classic example is the conflict going on in the Liberian Community of Central New Jersey.
This practice makes mockery of ULAA. Why call a person who has over-stayed her tenure as Doyen; a title conferred on the longest serving ambassador of a Diplomatic Corps? Moreover, why refer to Hon. Tarloh Miller of the Liberian Community of Central New Jersey as Doyen of ULAA when there is an ongoing conflict in the Community? This is total disregard to how the members of Community feel. Since her length of stay in the position is in dispute, the responsible position for ULAA to take is to find solution to the problem. Therefore, it is my suggestion that President J. Shiwoh Kamara’s Administration make solving this conflict one of their priorities to restore Peace and Unity.
Brethren, bear with me to repeat the warning by some individual that we should not wash our dirty linen in public; but when you are attacked by the likes of Wettee and Kesselly, you have to wash your dirty linen in public; if not the foul smell will make you sick and eventually die. You see, there are certain issues that are worth responding to; especially when they have nothing to do with the discussion being debated in which one takes a position, either by speaking or writing against them – when you are wrongly attacked.
Find the example provided below:
Here is the reason Wettee and Kesselly personally attacked me. After several attempts to have President Gaye D. Sleh, Jr. attend a UCEP teleconference; he failed to show up at an emergency teleconference held on March 30, 2015 to brief us on the issue of Diaspora representation to the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) that was meeting in Gbarnga, Bong County. Like he has done in the past, President Sleh refused our invitation. The meeting was held, and President Nee Allison of the Liberian Community Association of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area (LCA-DC) was recognized as the Diaspora Representative to the CRC. UCEP, Inc. wrote President Sleh, asserting its displeasure with the way his administration conduct the affairs of ULAA. We pointed out to him it was UCEP’s involvement that resolved the issue upon which he was elected. It was this communication that led to name calling and their “medical diagnosis” of me. Our e-mails can be accessed in the Liberia Listserv on the Internet.
Provided below are excerpts of both Hon. Emmanuel S. Wettee and Hon. Anthony S. Kesselly’s e-mails:
“…no medical doctor will help treat your [Nyanseor] anti Kesselly trait (involve genes and characteristics of organisms) in your DNA. This situation is causing you some mental challenges (any disease or condition affecting the brain that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and/or relates to others). You need help.”
Hon. Wettee’s letter was followed by his Listserv co-physician Hon. Anthony V. Kesselly. The so-called “Eminent of all Eminent” wrote:
Thank you (Doyen Wettee) for your comment on this useless letter from our old and bitter brother, Siahyonkron Nyanseor, and his cohort of less busy fellows. The Oldman does not even know that the CRC’s work, which will require representation, if already done. The letter speaks to the ignorance of the writers.
I am sure Counselor Scott knows what the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) is and who its (sic) legitimately elected and duly inducted leaders are. She will get to know what this handful of former ULAA leaders are. I served the Union as National Board Chairman for two terms and then National President for similar term, more service that some of them in this group which they have now turned into an anti-Unity Party front to serve Nyanseor’s sinister purposes. This group that is no organ of ULAA, does not report to it, and is not an oversight entity of it, deludes itself to be a replacement of ULAA now in articulating the views of Liberians in the Diaspora in the United States. Nyanseor will go nowhere with this.
…That’s why, as ULAA National President, I always treated the UCEP as independent of ULAA and ULAA independent of it. We do things that we mutually agree upon to undertake. UCEP is not some OVERSIGHT body over ULAA. That’s why I am ashamed of them officially GLOATING over their involvement in the ULAA problem resolutions process. I see such boasting as unfortunate.
If I were the ULAA President, I would simply ignore them and let Siahyonkron Nyenswah [Nyanseor] write as much as his itching fingers can stand.
How soon people forget! It is Hon. Kesselly who is suffering from ‘historical amnesia. Wasn’t UCEP’s intervention that shortened his tenure as President of ULAA and led to a ‘special election’ at which his Vice President, Gaye D. Sleh, Jr. was elected? Yet, he says, “UCEP is not some OVERSIGHT body over ULAA”. What a joke! The records will prove him WRONG. I should be the one having AMNESIA – since I am the old man.
Both Kesselly and his co-ULAA destroyer– the single-issue Dual Citizen Chair Wettee– are behaving like children who have had poor upbringing or have learned nothing from their parents and are therefore behaving recklessly. Fellow Diasporans, ULAA needs your help to be SAVED.
In our beloved country, Liberia, critics are for the most part derided as enemies. That is why Liberians rarely discuss issues amicably. Most often, compatriots who disagree with us tend to resort to name calling–spewing here and there unrelated issues that have nothing to do with the topic under discussion. That is how they participate in national discourse—at home and in the Diaspora. They make excuses for the wrongs of friends and relatives who happen to be in power; blamed those of us who have the guts to raise concerns about vexed issues of national interest.
In other words, Liberians put selfish interests over collective wellbeing, and the common good of our people. Their support for politicians is for the most part based on favors and what they can get from them—not on principles. That is why most elected officials in Liberia grossly violate public trust. To get the support of a Liberian, simply give him some handouts—a job that he isn’t qualified for, ill-gotten ‘brown envelopes’ in the corner or at night. He does not care where these handouts come from! As long as they keep coming to him, his family, friends and relatives, there is no empathy for the rest of the people in Liberia.
An average Liberian who enjoys favors from a government is not only indifferent to the plight of ordinary Liberians, but he is also dead scared to engage the government—even constructively. In his selfishness, a constructive engagement with the Government might get him out of favor. He rather let these government officials go on misusing the people’s wealth and resources with impunity. He is therefore a cheerleader, cheering supporter of these corrupt officials. He goes to any length to make ridiculous excuses for their corrupt practices.
I was accused of using my itching fingers to write about wrong and injustice in the Diaspora and Liberia. I promise as long as I am alive, I will use my itching fingers to expose these selfish individuals portraying themselves as some kind leaders in Diaspora.
These guys and their one lady should be ashamed to engage in ‘Dog Whistling’ in order to have their way. I am prepared to respond to any one of them who have the gut to challenge what I have written in these Exposés. Furthermore, let me make it clear; I DO NOT write nor speak as spokesperson of UCEP, Inc., but rather as a CONCERNED LIBERIAN who is a ‘GOOD TROUBLEMAKER’ for INALENABLE JUSTICE. In addition, Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr., the legitimate Chairman of UCEP, Inc. has my support against all of you – Cherry Pickers who said they unseated him and had him replaced with Vice Chairman Eminent David Flomo who dance to the beats of your drum.
On this note, it was be to the advantage of Hon. J. Shiwoh Kamara, National President of ULAA to deal with us – the legal and legitimate ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc. that is headed by Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr. The ULAA-UCEP’s Ad-Hoc Elections Committee was temporary; its tasks and responsibilities ended after the elections, and has since been dissolved.
As of November 11th, 2021 of the 6th Series of my Exposé, the legal and legitimate officers and members of ULAA Council of Eminent Persons (UCEP), Inc. are:
- Eminent Dr. Jesse M. Cooper, Sr., Chairman
- Honorary Eminent Dr. Felicia Lamptey, Secretary/Treasurer
- Eminent Rev. J. Dekpah Gueh, Chaplain
- Eminent Elder Siahyonkron J. K. Nyanseor, Sr., Member
- Eminent Mydea Reeves-Karpeh, Member
- Eminent Sam Mohammad Kromah, Member
- Eminent Attorney J. Nicholas Reffell, Member
- Honorary Eminent G. Andrew Mowenn, Member
The Membership of those Listed below is Questionable due to their Violation of UCEP, Inc.’s Constitution and Code of Conducts:
- Eminent Arthur K. Watson
- Eminent David K. Flomo
- Eminent Anthony V. Kesselly
- Eminent Rennie B. Jackson
- Eminent Emmanuel S. Wettee
- Eminent Wilmot W. Kunney
- Eminent Gaye D. Sleh, Jr.
- Eminent George Toto
- Eminent Roberta Davis-Rashid
- Honorary Eminent John Lloyd
In conclusion, let me reiterate ULAA’s decline of which Prof. Kili Moses Nagbe reported in his book: “My Compatriot Your Compatriot: Surveying Forces and Voices That Inspired the Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas”. I believe ULAA can be resuscitated with new energy. It can be made possible by “cultivating a sense of integrity, communal conscience, mutual respectability, all couched in priceless sportsmanship… to reclaim that one powerful voice for Diaspora Liberians in the Americas,” as stated by Prof. Nagbe.
Also, let me revisit the plan I proposed on August 31, 1985 in Charlotte, North Carolina at ULAA’s National Board of Directors’ meeting. An excerpt of it reads:
The agenda for the future calls for the Union to become even more aggressive and program-oriented. The Union in the last year or two [it was then] has begun returning to those progressive principles for which it was established. The Union has further stretched its arms to reach out to all Liberians all across the United States. It has provided such a direction that continues to make every Liberian feel part of this body polity.
However, the Union cannot be satisfied with these present efforts or strides. The future agenda demands that the Union makes itself accessible and become more aggressive internally and externally. By internal, I mean, the Union must pursue more active and progressive-oriented policies that will bring further growth and development to the organization and its membership. The local chapters must organize in such a way that will enable those chapters to engage in concrete programs that will attract and motivate the interest of their base. Externally, the Union must broaden its relationship; cultivate ties and friendship with other Liberians and non-Liberian organizations.
Above all else, the Union must continue to remain steadfast and even more vocal in its campaign for democracy and genuine social change in Liberia. This indeed should be the organization’s road ahead and the way forward into the future as the Union goes through the mid 80’s and enters the early 90’s.
I believe it today!
The Poem, “ULAA Gone AWOL” tells the story:
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