President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
Liberians Saddled With Difficulty To Right Past Wrongs
MONROVIA, April 23 (LINA) - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says “it was with the spirit and values of Christianity of the forefathers that Liberia was born to right the wrongs of the past and build a great nation.”
However, she added, “but we still continue with the wrongs of hatred, injustice, lies, undermining, discrimination and wickedness as a nation.”
The Liberian leader also reminded Liberians that God, in his bountiful mercies and love, has given the people the chance over and over to right the wrongs of the past.”
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion at the 35th Anniversary Memorial Service for former officials of the William Richard Tolbert Government killed on April 22, 1980.
The Memorial Service was held at the First Presbyterian Church on Broad and Johnson Streets in Monrovia.
William R. Tolbert, Jr., the 20th President of Liberia from 1971 until 1980, was killed in a violent coup d’état in the early hours of April 12, 1980 by 17 non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the Armed Forces of Liberia led by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe.
The release indicated that by the end of the month, most of the cabinet ministers and senior officials of the administration had been put on trial and later sentenced to death.
Many of them were publicly executed on April 22 at a beach near the Barclay Training Center.
The 13 officials executed on April 22, 1980 included Cyril A. Bright, Joseph J.F. Chesson, Sr., C. Cecil Dennis, Jr., Richard A. Henries, Sr., Charles D. B. King and D. Franklin Neal, Sr.
Others were P. Clarence Parker III, James T. Philips, Jr., James A.A. Pierre, John W. F. Sherman, Frank J. Stewart, Sr., Frank E. Tolbert, Sr., and E. Reginald Townsend.
Only four of Tolbert’s cabinet ministers survived the coup and its aftermath; including the Minister of Finance, now President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the release said.