TWP Petitions Legislature To Remove Mass Grave From Center Street

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The National Executive Committee of the True Whig Party (TWP) has filed a petition to the National Legislature to enact a legislation for the removal of the mass grave at the Palm Grove Cemetery, located on Center Street.

   In a release dated October 26, 2021, the TWP said, “The mass grave bears the remains of the late President William R. Tolbert, Jr., other stalwarts of the TWP and dozens of Liberians who were victims of the April 12, 1980 military coup d’etat, and the subsequent April 22, 1980 executions.”

   In separate communications to the leadership of the Liberian Senate and the House of Representatives, Reginald Goodridge, National Chairman, True Whig Party (TWP), said the party is seeking the support of the government and the international community to exhume the mass grave on Center Street, conduct the appropriate DNA and forensic procedures to identify the remains of those buried in the mass grave, in order to give them a respectable burial that they deserve.

   Goodridge recalled that the late President Tolbert and all those who were executed in April 1980 were stalwart statesmen of national and international standing. He said the late President Tolbert was the first person of African descent to serve as President of the World Baptist Alliance. He added that Tolbert was Vice President of Liberia when the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Unity (AU), was founded in Sanniquellie, Nimba County, in 1959, and was the reigning Chairman of the group when he was assassinated in 1980.

   “The TWP is also proposing that a National Memorial Park be established at an appropriate location, to be identified, for the remains of past, present and future presidents of Liberia can be interred. The National Memorial Park should include a Presidential Library and Museum, which could serve as a center for study and research in Liberian history, culture, politics, science and technology,” the TWP release stated.

   According to Chairman Goodridge, exhuming the mass grave on Center Street is only the first step toward total national reconciliation; the second step, he said, is to locate and exhume all mass graves throughout Liberia bearing the remains of ordinary Liberians whose families deserve to have their lost relatives receive a decent burial. “Too many Liberians are still grieving for their lost relatives and they deserve to know where their remains are, so that they can pay their last respect and put their minds to rest,” Chairman Goodridge noted in the press release.

   “Meanwhile, the TWP is undertaking these efforts on the 200th anniversary of the founding of Liberia, during which time dignitaries from all over the world will be visiting the country in observance of the occasion. It is important that the Liberian nation begins to heal itself after a long period of distress.

   “Bringing closure to a dark chapter in our history will enhance peace, reconciliation, unity and integration, which are indispensable to the development and prosperity of our nation,” the TWP release, signed by the party’s Vice Chairman for Operation, Z. Kwaque Coleman, noted.

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