Friday, July 9, 2010

Nothing Like Sammy Doe: Son of Late Liberian Prez Far From Father's Shoes



07/08/2010 - Danesius Marteh



Source: FrontPageAfrica

ON FILLING FATHERS' SHOES: “No, no, no. I am not even thinking that way. I don’t even want to be a politician or soldier in the first place because not everybody is going to be a politician. I was born to become a star and I am going to be a footballer so other people can follow my footstep to develop the game.”

CARECA DOE, Son of the late Samuel Doe

Monrovia - Samuel Kanyon Doe (May 6, 1951 – September 9, 1990) was the 21st Liberian president from 1980 to 1990. His regime was characterized by ethnically-based dictatorship and the suppression of political opposition.

As a soldier, Doe led a military coup on April 12, 1980 that killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr. in the Executive Mansion, thus ending 133 years of Americo-Liberian political domination. As a politician, Doe had a new constitution approved by referendum in 1984 and went on to stage a presidential election on October 15, 1985, giving himself 51-percent of the vote.

FORGETTING HISTORY

“….My mother never told me all the story but I have decided not to be bothered with it. I am not even willing to hear any story about my dad. For me, that is past. I am thinking about peace, reconciliation and rebuilding the country and concentrating on the game [football] so that Liberia can be like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

CARECA DOE, Son of the late Samuel Doe
The election was heavily rigged, as he took the ballots to a secret location and had 50 of his own handpicked staff count them, and prior to the election he had murdered more than 50 of his opponents.

It is also thought that Doe changed his official birth date from 1951 to 1950 in order to meet the new constitution's requirement that the president be at least 35 years old, some traits of politicians.

With that brief biography of the late president, one would be thinking that his children (particularly his sons) would be following his footstep by either joining the military or entering into politics.

But Careca Laryee Doe, the 20-year old son of Doe, wouldn’t dare to wear the shoes formerly worn by his father.

“No, no, no. I am not even thinking that way. I don’t even want to be a politician or soldier in the first place because not everybody is going to be a politician. I was born to become a star and I am going to be a footballer so other people can follow my footstep to develop the game,” Careca rejected emulating the simile ‘like father, like son’.

Doe may have prophesized the career of his son. According to Maime S. Cole (mother of Careca), the name “Careca” was given to her son by the late Doe, who wanted the boy to be like the former Brazilian international footballer.

Born on July 8, 1990, Careca grew-up in Gardnerville where he played for Club Africa Football Association for two years before relocating to the dusty Caldwell suburb of Monrovia.

There he plays for Caldwell United Sports Association but, he says his mother is a “pain in the neck to his career”.

“Actually, my mom doesn’t like to see me playing football because of the series of injuries [that I sustained]. So she decided to put stop to my football career but you know I love the game so I decided to do everything possible to convince my mom so that I can become a good player for the country,” Careca says.

And Maime’s decision to stop Careca intensified when he lost a tooth after an opponent elbowed him during a friendly match on July 6, 2007 in Gardnerville.

“We were playing against 3rd division side Manchester United and while trying to take the ball away from me, my opponent elbowed me in the mouth and I lost my tooth. She got so angry because the team could not do anything for me. She then sent me to Ghana for treatment,” Careca recalled.

Careca’s father was a president but his upbringing has been challenging to say the least.

As a son of a president, whether dead or alive, means being born with the silver spoon in your mouth but Careca was only two months and a day old when his father was captured by ex-INPFL faction leader Prince Johnson (now senior senator of Nimba County) in Monrovia on September 9, 1990 and tortured before being killed.

The spectacle, which was videotaped and seen on news reports around the world, shows Johnson sipping a Budweiser beer as Doe's ear is cut off.

NO SILVER SPOON
As a son of a president, whether dead or alive, means being born with the silver spoon in your mouth but Careca was only two months and a day old when his father was captured by ex-INPFL faction leader Prince Johnson (now senior senator of Nimba County) in Monrovia on September 9, 1990 and tortured before being killed.

Just like Senator Johnson, who vowed in a 2010 New Year resolution, never to talk about Doe’s death, so too, is Careca. And for him, the dead should bury the dead.

“….My mother never told me all the story but I have decided not to be bothered with it. I am not even willing to hear any story about my dad. For me, that is past. I am thinking about peace, reconciliation and rebuilding the country and concentrating on the game [football] so that Liberia can be like Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon,” Careca said in a rather soft tone, apparently, trying to hold back his tears.

Like many aspiring professionals would do, Careca has chosen Varmah Kpoto (who formerly played for the Lone Star) as his role model. This could be described as “perfect coincidence” since the duo (Careca & Kpoto) are defenders, playing mainly the right back position.

But that has not taken away his love for other past and present Lone Star players.

“I admired James Debbah, George Weah and Joe Nagbe. But there are other young guys like Chris Gbandi, Theo Weeks, Murphy Nagbe and Melvin King, who if given the chance, can make a difference,” he continued

Locally, Careca is a fan of IE and he believes he will one-day wear their blue and yellow colors.

“…I am a fan of Invincible Eleven (IE). From the day I heard the name IE, although my father was a [Mighty] Barrolle fan, but I really love IE. [I love] the way they play; IE is my dream team and I will one day play for them,” Careca concluded.

As a 10th-grader of the Caldwell Assembly of God Mission, the late president’s son can’t wait to complete high school studies so that he can fully concentrate on his football career.

With some helping hands from Robert Sirleaf (President’s Sirleaf son), Careca can focus on his studies as he also wants to play for Manchester United in England.

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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