I KNOW WHAT HAPPEN TO JACKSON F. DOE
Patrick P. Tamba
November 4, 2005
Telling the story of what I know about the DEATH OF JACKSON F. DOE has been one of the most difficult things in my life. This has haunted me for so long that I could no longer continue to live with the guilty conscience. I could no longer hold back especially at a time when MADAM ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, is running to be president of Liberia, when she is the one who ordered the massacre of one of Liberia’s finest sons, former Minister of Education, former Secretary General of the True Whig Party, former Senator of Nimba County and former Standard-Bearer of the Liberia Action Party (LAP), the late Hon. Jackson F. Doe. Therefore, I have decided to come public with the true story so that the Liberian people will know what a DEVIOUS OLD-LADY they are dealing with.
During the devastating civil war, which as everybody now knows, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf initiated and financed, many Liberians sought refuge in places they believed would be safest. If one had a relative or friend in any part of Liberia, they did everything in their powers to get there. In March of 1990, my family and I were on our way to Harbel, Margibi County, where my brother lived and thought was safer than Monrovia, since he had joined the so-called freedom fighters to safeguard his family’s properties in the area and provide for his ailing mother and father.
While on our way, one of CIC Charles Taylor’s trusted confidant, General Jesus, a Gambian National, told my older sister with whom I was traveling that I look like his father. He then took me from my sister on grounds that he would adopt me as his son and I would stay with him. My sister was very afraid, but she had to choose between life, and rape and death. She agreed to his demand to allow me to stay with him.
Gen. Jesus asked me to get in his jeep. I hesitated and cried and cried, but I had to jump onboard for fear that he would rape my sister and kill me and my family if I refused to obey his orders. I left the rest of my family and went with Gen. Jesus. We later drove up to the NPFL headquarters based at the Central Agriculture Research Institute (CARI) campus, in Gbarnga, Bong County, where CIC Charles Taylor, he (Gen. Jesus), and some of NPFL’s top ranking officers lived. I was very afraid and worried about my family. But I decided to live life one day at the time. Gen. Jesus told me that he and Charles Taylor were going to overthrow the Gambian government and he would become the president of Gambia. He promised to take me with him to Gambia. Another confidant of Taylor, a Gambian national called General Domigo, used to like me too. He tried teaching me the Gambian language, Wolof.
Because of my close relationship with these two Generals, I found myself very close to the leadership of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), including Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Charles Taylor was the military leader and Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was the political leader of the NPFL.
In early August of 1990, the military leader of the NPFL, CIC Charles Taylor received information that Jackson F. Doe was located in Firestone, Margibi County. Taylor ordered his generals to collect Jackson Doe from Firestone and take him to Buchanan and put him under house arrest until further orders. Taylor told us that the leader of the revolution, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was on her way to the country from the United States.
In mid August of 1990, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf arrived at CARI for a meeting. She was escorted by Grace Minor. I was with Gen. Jesus at the time on Taylor’s executive grounds and it was my first time seeing the Liberian “Iron Lady”. I was in the meeting room and listened to the discussion and saw everything that went on. I remember that, Taylor, Tom Woewiyu, Grace Minor, Foday Sankor, Gen Jesus, Gen. Domigo, Gen. Cassius Jacobs and a few other top officers of the NPFL were present at the meeting.
Taylor opened the meeting with words of prayers. Ellen was first on the agenda. Ellen told Taylor to speed up the Sierra Leone and Gambia operations so as to have ECOWAS and the International community take their focus off Liberia. Taylor promised a speedy and successful take over of the two countries as Foday Sankor, Gen. Jesus and NPFL generals and fighters were ready for showdown. Ellen thanked Taylor and the Generals for their “hard, diligent and patriotic work for Liberia and Africa”.
Ellen asked Taylor about Jackson F. Doe – they had talked earlier about him (Doe) surfacing in Firestone. Taylor replied saying he (Doe) was in Buchanan under house arrest. Ellen asked to speak to the old man (Doe) before she departed for Libya. Gen. Jesus, Gen. Jacobs and other strong NPFL fighters including myself were ordered to bring Jackson Doe to CARI immediately.
By mid-night we arrived at CARI from Buchanan with Jackson Doe. Jackson Doe was wearing a blue Safari (higher heights) suit with a pair or regular slippers. Taylor and Ellen were on the Executive grounds in the MEDIUM ROOM when we arrived. You could sense fear in Jackson Doe’s eyes as we were over nine heavily armed men with two Generals present with Taylor and Ellen. Ellen asked Jackson Doe about his health, he replied, “I am fine Ellen”. Ellen asked Jackson Doe to join the movement because they all wanted Samuel Doe to be removed from power. Jackson Doe said he was not interested in a process that will kill Liberian people. Ellen insisted but Doe refused, he said the Liberian people knew him to be a very peaceful man. He was asked out of the room for a moment by Taylor.
Ellen told Taylor that the revolutionary fighters were made predominantly of people from Jackson Doe’s tribe from Nimba County; thus, he (Doe) was a threat to her political future as well as Taylor’s leadership of NPFL. She said the logical thing to do was to “get rid” of him.
Taylor ordered Gen. Jesus, in the presence of Ellen, to finished Jackson Doe before day light came and burn his dead body without trace. Gen. Cassius Jacobs pleaded for Jackson Doe to be given at least a week to decide. Ellen said it was too risky to keep Jackson Doe alive that long, so Taylor’s orders had to be followed.
Jackson Doe’s hands were tied behind his back (tabby style). His eyes were blinded with red clothes and he was taken behind Phebe hospital in Gbarnga and shot in the head by Gen. Jesus. Gen. Cassius Jacobs was sad and was not in favor of the killing of Jackson Doe.
Jackson Doe’s body was burned to ashes. We then returned to confirm the operation was carried out. However, Gen Jacob’s facial expression did not appear pleasing to Ellen. She (Ellen) told Taylor she was not satisfied with him (Jacobs) and told Taylor to keep a close watch on him (Jacobs).
Ellen left the country the next day through Ivory Coast. Later on, not satisfied with Gen. Jacobs, Taylor ordered his (Jacobs) execution, on ground that he was planning to overthrow the Taylor regime in Gbarnga.
Let me stop here for now because my soul is in pains. The story is too deep, long and painful to be told in totality right now. At least I have let out the facts to Liberians and I believe my soul can now rest. I just want Liberians to know how one of their trusted and true sons was murdered at the hands of the evil fraternal twins – Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Why now, some will ask? Because there can not be true reconciliation, peace and unity in the absence of the facts. I am prepared any day now to tell this story in totality to the War Crimes Tribunal, Truth and Reconciliation Commission and any other body and person.
I plea for forgiveness from God and Man, especially the family of Jackson F. Doe, the people of Nimba county and Liberians in general for my involvement in witnessing his killing without lifting a finger. I was only an instrument used by Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for their greed for power. Jackson F. Doe’s spirit haunted me for fifteen years, but I think I can now sleep in peace after this confession.
Patrick Tamba, like many fighters of the defunct NPFL who managed to seek and acquire political asylum from friendly nations, is now living in self imposed exile in a European country.