By Uche J. Uwahemu
Liberian presidential candidate attorney Tiawan Saye Gongloe is making a tour of the United States to gather support for his vision of a corruption-free Liberia.
Beginning May 12, Gongloe visited several cities across the U.S., touching base with centers of the Liberian Diaspora, including the Bay Area, where approximately 10,000 Liberians live.
Known as the ‘poor man’s lawyer’ because he has helped protect the rights of the poor and journalists, Gongloe has participated in several meet-and-greets, Town Halls and high-level meetings with government officials, business and community leaders from Atlanta, Ga., to Columbus, Ohio, to Fargo, N.D., and Minneapolis, Minn.
The Oakland Post publisher Paul Cobb, Nigerian natives Uche Uwahemu, and Kayode Gbadebo sat down with Gongloe and some of his supporters at the Post’s downtown headquarters to discuss his vision for Liberia on July 13, 2022.
Friends of Gongloe Global, a group formed and dedicated to electing Gongloe to president of Liberia organized his California visit, which included a stop in Antioch. Group member and long-time Liberian civil rights activist Lovetta Tugbe could not contain her enthusiasm and support for Gongloe. “Attorney Gongloe exemplifies what a true public servant is about. He has for decades fought for all Liberians and has on many occasions almost paid with his life. He is the candidate for any Liberian that believes in freedom.”
For decades, Liberia has been plagued by corruption and insecurity. Gongloe sees no end to the suffering and lack of opportunities for the majority of the population. So, he was compelled to run for president.
Now 65, Gongloe has served the Liberian people in other official capacities, among them Minister of Labor and Solicitor General, resigning from his post in 2010.
According to Front Page Africa, “Gongloe has helped in drafting legislation for civil service reform, local government reform, forestry reform law, jury reform, anti-press laws, code of conduct for public officials, land authority act, whistle-blower and witness protection act.”
As a civil rights lawyer, he has devoted most of career to fighting for freedom of speech and equal rights for Liberian people. He has fought to bring to justice the politicians and their supporters that engaged in human rights violations in Liberia.
In addition, he has represented victims of human rights abuses.
Challenging the status quo comes at a high cost and Gongloe has the battle scars to prove it. He has been arrested and imprisoned many times. The civil rights icon has worked with many international organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. In 2003, Gongloe was awarded the prestigious John Humphrey Freedom Award by the Canadian government.
As the next president of Liberia, Gongloe has unveiled a 10-point plan for “A Better Liberia Agenda” and a 12-point strategy to fight corruption in Liberia, which is chief among his plans. He believes fighting corruption in Liberia will be his biggest challenge due to the characters that he wants to purge.
He carries a tightly wrapped broom that represents his unwavering commitment to fight and sweep corruption out of Liberia. “From top to bottom, we must respect and abide by our Constitution. The president should not have the power to change the Constitution whenever she/he feels threatened or uncomfortable with the letter of the law.”
After corruption, Gongloe wants to address education. “Access to quality education is a right, not a privilege,” he said.
In order for Liberian youth and the nation to compete in the global market, Gongloe will make both primary and secondary education free. As a nation, he wants to create economic opportunities for all Liberian and he is using this U.S. tour to meet with business leaders to discuss bilateral synergies.
Gongloe wants to re-establish a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States. He urged all Liberians across the globe to get involve and retake their country from corrupt politicians.
To learn more or support Gongloe’s presidential campaign and to learn more, contact Dr. Tuwe Mehn and Shad Mongrue (209) 242-1974.
Front Page Africa reports contributed to this story.
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