Togba-Nah Tipoteh

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Togba-Nah Tipoteh (born 1941 in Monrovia, Liberia) is an economist, educator and politician, having been a presidential candidate in three elections. For more than three decades, he has been actively involved with democratic activities in promotion of human rights, liberties, constitutional rule and growth with development in Liberia and throughout Africa. He is President of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA); was founding Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), an alliance of Liberian political parties; was founder and Director-General of Susukuu Incorporated (1971- ), Liberia's oldest non-governmental development organization, which was credited by the West Africa Peacekeeping Force (ECOMOG) as helping to disarm over 10,000 combatants and child soldiers in Liberia during the 1997 disarmament program through a school for gun program; and was former Chairman of the Interest Groups of Liberia, a consortium of 32 national organizations with a collective membership of well over one million persons. He has worked in international development in the United States, the Netherlands, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa and other countries, as well as for the United Nations system: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Economic Community (ECA) and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), among others.

Early Life[edit]

Togba-Nah Tipoteh was born in Monrovia in 1941 to Rev. and Mrs. Samuel Togba Roberts of Grand Kru County. He was educated at the College of West Africa (high school) and at the University of Liberia. He earned bachelors and masters degrees in economics from Ohio University (Athens) and Ohio State University in Columbus, USA in June 1963 and 1964 respectively. In 1969, he earned a doctorate degree in economics while studying as a Harvard University/United Nations Special Fund Fellow in Economic Development at the University of Nebraska. In the early 1970s, Dr. Tipoteh was Associate Professor of Economics, Chair of the Economics Department and Director of the Management Research Institute at the University of Liberia (1971-1974). He was Liberia's national Tennis Champion for 30 unbroken years (1964-1994)

Political Activity[edit]

In 1973 Dr. Tipoteh founded the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), a leftist pan-African political organization which played a pivotal role in the struggle for social justice and democracy in Liberia in the 1970s. He served as a Budget Advisor to Liberian President William R. Tolbert, in which position he expressed concerns about government waste and advocated public management reforms.

He was the first Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs (1980-1981)[1] under the regime of Samuel K. Doe which overthrew President Tolbert, but resigned after 15 months in office, citing human rights abuses by the government as his reason for leaving.

In 1983 the Liberian People's Party (LPP) was formed as the electoral wing of MOJA. In Liberia's 1997 elections Tipoteh ran as the presidential candidate of the LPP, winning 1.61% of the vote. In Liberia's 2005 elections, Tipoteh was the candidate for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy, an alliance of the LPP and another veteran opposition movement, the United People's Party (UPP), winning 2.3%. In Liberia's 2011 elections, he was the candidate of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia (FAPL).

Dr. Tipoteh is also a businessman, and serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kukatornon Reconstruction Corporation. Through his scholarship program, he mentors and sends hundreds of students (mainly children) from all counties of Liberia to schools and colleges in Liberia. He married the former Ms. Fatu Kanneh of Lofa County and they have an adopted son, a former child soldier from war lord Charles Taylor's NPFL.[2] To his admirers he is known as "the only man on the ground" - the only presidential candidate to remain in Liberia after the 1997 election victory of Taylor. Tipoteh, wearing an Obama t-shirt the last weekend of the US Presidential election, endorsed Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, predicting that Obama would win the election.

Education[edit]

Publications[edit]

  • Democracy: The Call of the Liberian People (1981)
  • More than 600 artcles on economic growth and development

Awards[edit]

For Courage: by the National Internally Displaced People Association (NIDPA), a Liberian Civil society organization with membership from nine displaced camps; For work on Justice, Democracy and Peace: The Golden Image Award of Liberia; Member, Omicron Delta Epsilon, Economics Honor Society of the United States of America; Inaugural Lecturer of the African Academy of Sciences Lecture Series; Inducted into the Order of African Redemption with the Rank of Grand Band; Man of the Year,as selected by media entities; Politician of the Year,as selected by media entities Honored as Undefeated Retired Tennis Champion of Liberia for thirty consecutive years (1964-1994),

2005 Presidential elections[edit]

e • d Summary of the 11 October and 8 November 2005 Liberian presidential election results
Candidate Party 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Votes %
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Unity Party 192,326 19.8% 478,526 59.4%
George Weah Congress for Democratic Change 275,265 28.3% 327,046 40.6%
Charles Brumskine Liberty Party 135,093 13.9%  
Winston Tubman National Democratic Party of Liberia 89,623 9.2%
Varney Sherman Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia 76,403 7.8%
Roland Massaquoi National Patriotic Party 40,361 4.1%
Joseph Korto Liberia Equal Rights Party 31,814 3.3%
Alhaji G.V. Kromah All Liberia Coalition Party 27,141 2.8%
Togba-Nah Tipoteh Alliance for Peace and Democracy 22,766 2.3%
William V.S. Tubman, Jr. Reformed United Liberia Party 15,115 1.6%
John Morlu United Democratic Alliance 12,068 1.2%
Nathaniel Barnes Liberian Destiny Party 9,325 1.0%
Margaret Tor-Thompson Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia 8,418 0.9%
Joseph Woah-Tee Labor Party of Liberia 5,948 0.6%
Sekou Conneh Progressive Democratic Party 5,499 0.6%
David Farhat Free Democratic Party 4,497 0.5%
George Klay Kieh New Deal Movement 4,476 0.5%
Armah Jallah National Party of Liberia 3,837 0.4%
Robert Kpoto Union of Liberian Democrats 3,825 0.4%
George Kiadii National Vision Party of Liberia 3,646 0.4%
Samuel Raymond Divine Independent 3,188 0.3%
Alfred Reeves National Reformation Party 3,156 0.3%
Invalid or blank votes 38,883 3.8% 20,144 2.4%
Totals 1,012,673 100% 825,716 100%
More info (including other candidates): Liberia elections, 2005

2011 Presidential elections[edit]

e • d Summary of the 11 October 2011 Liberian presidential election results
Candidate Party 1st round 2nd round
Votes % Votes %
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Unity Party 530,020 43.9 607,618 90.7
Winston Tubman Congress for Democratic Change 394,370 32.7 62,207 9.3
Prince Yormie Johnson National Union for Democratic Progress 139,786 11.6  
Charles Brumskine Liberty Party 65,800 5.5
Kennedy Sandy Liberia Transformation Party 13,612 1.1
Gladys Beyan Grassroot Democratic Party of Liberia 12,740 1.1
Togba-Nah Tipoteh Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia 7,659 0.6
Dew Mayson National Democratic Coalition 5,819 0.5
Manjerngie Ndebe Liberia Reconstruction Party 5,746 0.5
Simeon Freeman Movement for Progressive Change 5,559 0.5
Marcus Roland Jones Victory for Change Party 5,305 0.4
James Guseh Citizens Unification Party 5,025 0.4
Hananiah Zoe Liberia Empowerment Party 4,463 0.4
Chea Cheapoo Progressive People's Party 4,085 0.3
James Chelley Original Congress Party of Liberia 4,008 0.3
Jonathan A. Mason Union of Liberian Democrats 2,645 0.2
Invalid or blank votes 82,074 6.4 24,587 3.5
Totals 1,288,716 100 669,825 100
Turnout 71.6% 38.6%
More info (including other candidates): Liberian general election, 2011

Dr. Tipoteh endorsed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for the second-round election, saying in a statement that his party’s decision followed observation and evaluation of the two parties in the run-off, based on the issue of societal transparency. The FAPL Standard Bearer, and renowned Liberian politician, said their evaluation showed that the ruling Unity Party has a better record for transparency, and noted that the high level of transparency under UP’s leadership provides the opportunity for the FAPL and other parties to freely critique government’s performance. Dr. Tipoteh stressed that the choice was made freely, as the FAPL places the highest value on freedom in the process of rebuilding Liberia.

In response, the Unity Party Standard Bearer said she was accepting the endorsement with pleasure and pride. According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson said the endorsement was a sign that the Unity Party has reached a place where it can be dedicated to peace, transparency and integrity for the development of Liberia, as it comes from a person who has demonstrated integrity and consistence in principles. “Dr. Tipoteh never wavers in what he believes in. He has spoken out; he has criticized; he has praised; he has taken issues. But in all of those, it was because of the belief that he has. Very few people can show this kind of consistency over the period of forty years,” said the President, in appreciation of the work of the FAPL Standard Bearer. Madam Johnson Sirleaf said she believes that Dr. Tipoteh and the FAPL would not have endorsed the Unity Party if they did not believe that the party shares the same ideals and can deliver. She described the endorsement as a partnership that will be carried forward with the aim of trying to unite the people, to reconcile the Liberian people in order to keep Liberia on the right course for peace and development. The Unity Party Standard Bearer urged partisans and supporters of the Freedom Alliance Party of Liberia to reach out to their friends and associates to ensure victory in the second round and for a lasting partnership. “Our first challenge is to win the election, so we will work with you and you will work with us in that regard to bring all under this umbrella toward the achievement of that goal” the President concluded.

The endorsement ceremony took place at the FAPL headquarters in Sinkor. Endorsements of President Sirleaf and her Unity Party have also come from other parties that contested the October 11 Presidential Elections, most prominent among them being the National Union for Democratic Progress (NUDP) party of Senator Prince Y. Johnson. Following the program in which she received the FAPL endorsement, President Sirleaf resumed campaigning by visiting several communities in Montserrado County, interacting with residents in the run-up to the November 8 run-off election.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Liebenow, J. Gus (1987). Liberia: the quest for democracy. Indiana University Press. p. 275. ISBN 978-0-253-33436-7. 
  2. ^ "Dr. Togba nah Tipoteh". Liberia People Party. Retrieved 18 November 2014.