Tom Woewiyu's Memo: A Plot to overthrow the Liberian Government by Force of Arms


The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
July 23, 2007


To : Cllr. Frances Johnson-Morris

Minister of Justice, Republic of Liberia

: The Department of State

Washington, D. C.

: Ambassador Donald E. Booth

United States Embassy, Republic of Liberia

: Head of Mission
United Nations Mission to Liberia

Re : A Plot to overthrow the Liberian Government by Force of Arms

Date : July 12, 2007


It is with a heart laden with unbridled grief and deepest regrets that I inform the Government of Liberia and other interested stakeholders about a ‘plot’ to overthrow the Government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf by force of arms. I am acutely aware of the danger this revelation will place on my life. However, a conscientious senior citizen of the Republic; a stakeholder in the peace, security and stability of the country; a Christian and a believer in the sanctity of life; and driven by the conviction that the country and its people must be spared another round of bloodletting, I cannot but draw attention to, discourage, dissuade and disclaim every design, plan and or actual attempt to destabilize the Government of Liberia and overturn the gains of our fledgling democracy.

Let it be known that by this effort, I seek no special favors from the Government nor should this be interpreted to mean a repudiation of my civic responsibility to ensure that the Government fulfills its promises to the people of Liberia. In fact, I would wish that this revelation be investigated and viewed in lieu of my civic responsibilities and avowal as a decent and peace-loving citizen committed to reconciling the entire country through democratic means of dialogue and other forms of constructive engagements without a resort to violence whose antecedents merely intensify the sufferings, frustrations and destitution of our people. For me, enough is enough!

On Saturday, June 23, 2007, I received the following coded email allegedly from Mr. George Koukou, Former Speaker of the National Transitional Legislative Assembly.

Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2007 07:28:16 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Goerge Koukou" <> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

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Subject: Mayor concert to take place soon with the international partners participating


Big guy,

Re-Octopus 2002.

Due to the failure of Delialah’s government to perform as expected by her partners, people have become disgrutled and people will be having a dancing contest soon. All Liberians including the forign partners will be supporing this concert. We are bushing the farm and are planting enough peanuts and cassava sticks are in aboundance for the concert.

We want to know since it appears that you might not be here, where would want to belong:- United Nations. Foreign Ministry, or Ambassador where you are? We need to know these as we go along. As we progress, I will continue to inform as to where we are and the actual date of the concert.

Big Guy

For reasons which I will faithfully divulge later, I offered no direct response to Mr. Koukou’s email. Rather, I sent him the web-based pictures of my recent wedding being careful to avoid any reference to the contents of his email. On June 29, Mr. Koukou emailed me the following:

Date: Fri, 29 Jun 2007 08:33:36 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Goerge Koukou" <> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

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Subject: A follow up to my first note


Big Guy,

I was unable to get the wedding document phot sent but I want to inform you that we are ready to the agriculture projects around Gbarnga. Could please provide information on the farming tools or impliments that you are aware around Gbarnga. We are in urgent need of them. Do let me know where they are so that we can take delivery of them for urgent use.

Besides, Big Guy, you need to assist me with some money to assist as I am almost alone doing most ot the spending on the work that has over 2000 workers. You can imagine the cost.Also could you provide me the posible answer to my last questions in my email.

I wait to hear from you urgently.

Big Guy

Now, George really had my attention. Minus the typographical errors which I expected, a number of inconsistencies and references enjoin to confound me and impress me toward a deeper reflection on both the consequences and the circumstances of this plot. To begin to understand my quandary, one needs to understand the context of the two emails. Permit me to elucidate.

Any Liberian who participated in the civil war can decode the emails. It suggests that Liberians and foreign partners of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Delilah) Government have become disgruntled because of her failure to meet their expectations and would support a war (dancing contest) to have her removed. It suggests further that the preparations (brushing the farm) are in advance stages with the assurances and acquisitions of arms and ammunition (cassava and peanuts) which are in abundance.

Interestingly, while concluding that it would be impossible for me to physically participate in the ‘dancing contest’, and without requesting anything of me proceeded to offer me a job in the ‘new government’ when the current Government was ousted. All that was required of me was an indication of my preference.

‘Big guy’ is a nick name that was started between Cllr. Laveli Supuwood and me. Its popularity has peaked with a number of our mutual friends and acquaintances sensing the liberty to refer to either of us as ‘big guy’ more often than not, without a firm grasps of the history of the nickname. That history is undoubtedly immaterial here. What is important is that friends of ours have grown to refer to either of us as ‘big guy’ and we have not hesitated to return the favor. However, this exchange should not be construed as a function of the depth of the friendship with anyone who chooses to adapt the nickname ‘big guy’. Honorable Koukou and I became more acquainted during our tenure in the Liberian House of Senate where he represented Nimba County and I had the privilege to represent the people of Grand Bassa. Our acquaintance would gain currency and prominence during the transitional period when I believe we shared a common interest in working together to correct some of the legislative lapses, irregularities and Acts promulgated against the national interest. In the emails, I noticed that George had misspelled his first name.

Anyway, Octopus 2002 refers to one of the many phases of the violent frenzy that engulfed the country when the erstwhile National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) attempted to retake the nation’s capital. At the time, the country was tragically divided under two interim administrations and Octopus nearly strangulated the administration in Monrovia. Consequently, the administration in Monrovia and those who were trapped therein have failingly referred to that unfortunate episode as the Infamous Octopus Attack. Whatever, the history, I was rudely awakened to the undeniable reality communicated by the email - something dangerous is afoot.

I pondered the contours of the impending danger to the country for a few days. Two possibilities loomed. The first was that the contents of the email were true and that Honorable Koukou, beholden to whatever motivations was colluding with others to reverse the tenuous democratic gains of the country. Extending this line of reasoning further, perhaps Honorable Koukou believes me to be capable of providing assistance (moral and financial) in the successful aftermath of their military escapade. This possibility was bad for the country.

The second possibility was equally frightening. Quite recently, the Liberian Government accused the opposition of planning to overthrow it. The Government averred that its investigations were continuing and that it was not prepared to offer the names of the alleged coup plotters. Could this be an extension of those investigations? The fact was not lost on me that I had been maneuvered into the epicenter of the national elections when I provided less than flattering accounts of some of the events attending the planning and implementation of the civil war. Some ranking elements of the Government were aggrieved and did very little to conceal their anger. Obviously, I would not be considered their most favored citizen. Was I being setup for a payback? These chicaneries and machinations could hardly pass as strange occurrences in Liberia.

Notwithstanding my rage and disappointment, I mustered the courage to acquire more information without letting down my guard. I sent an email to Honorable Koukou offering my wedding pictures which had already been published on the web, and making no apparent reference to his email of the 23rd.

The second email (June 29) did little to persuade me either in favor of or against any of the possibilities. It however raised new questions. While the first email suggested the abundance of arms and ammunition (cassava and peanuts), the second was now suggesting that I am aware of arms and ammunition (farming tools and implements) buried around Gbarnga and that they needed me to disclose the locations of those buried arms and ammunition so that they can commence their attack (agricultural project). It is still unclear whether or not they intend to attack the Government from Gbarnga.

Notwithstanding, anyone who wishes to know is aware that I effectively parted revolutionary company with Mr. Charles Taylor and Gbarnga back in 1994, prior to any disarmament and demobilization exercises. I am effectively unaware of and have no reasons to believe that arms and ammunition are buried around Gbarnga. Just for the heck of it, why would Mr. Taylor and the NPFL trust me with information on the whereabouts of their arms and ammunition? If they were not buried by the NPFL, who buried them; for what purpose, and why would they need me to know? Assuming that they were there, why would you need old and rusty arms and ammunition when you earlier boasted of the abundance of arms and ammunition? Even more importantly, Honorable George Koukou knows of my disengagement and severing of military objectives with Mr. Taylor. So, why is Mr. Koukou asking me for that which he is aware that I do not have?

Mr. Koukou then proceeded to do the obvious. He requested my financial assistance to aid in taking care of his army which he claimed to be two thousand strong. Why was Mr. Koukou singularly struggling to provide for such a large contingent when he had earlier claimed support from foreign and local sources? Was there really a plan to overthrow the Liberian Government or was the Government feeling out its perceived ‘enemies’? In either scenario, how involved is Honorable Koukou?

Choosing to still be undecided but deeply troubled, on Wednesday, July 4, I again disguised by emotions (I hope that I did) and sent Honorable Koukou the following email:

Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2007 19:16:37 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Jucontee Woewiyu" <> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

Subject: Re: A follow up to my first note

To: "Goerge Koukou" <>

Big Guy,

I am sorry for the delay in answering your emails. first, my wife was sick and hospitalzed for a few days and I was kind of disoriented. Second, I had a bit of problem with my computer and could not access my mail for some time. I have read all your mails. They are freightening but interesting. Before I react to any of the topics raised in your communication, please give me some more information. You said you are almost alone which means you have some people with you at the top. who are some of them? which international organizations are supporting the program as you mentioned? You say you have two thousand workers in the projects. Who are some of the group leaders? What time frame you have in mind? Let me hear from you soon.

As for the wedding pictures, I will resend them if you have not received them by the time you reply this mail.

Big Guy

On July 6, he replied my email by sending the following, the last exchange of communication prior to this writing:

Date: Fri, 6 Jul 2007 06:03:54 -0700 (PDT)

From: "Goerge Koukou" <> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert

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Subject: r e: the.otherside


Big Guy:

Thanks for the note but as you are aware we operate compartmentively. But your people and the British and some of the people on the ground are working with us and the dare will be known in about a week. Most political personalities are well informed. Names are not very important for now. We have different people doing different things without you knowing what the other group is doing.But you should not worry, it is going to be a success story cause your people are deeply involved in the planning and execution.

By the way, the former AFL will only execute with civilians taking over the leadorship. This is why we do not want to leave you out. Please tell us where you stand as regarding the 3 questions I posted in the first.WE how important you are when it comes to leadership and your role when it comes to US policies. Also please address the issue of the farming tools around Gbarnga. Lastly when you make up your mind, do not forget to extend any assistance.

We would have loved were you here to travel with us to see some regional past leaders, including Kadaffi. Let me here from you soon.

Again, this email, although less ‘coded’ does very little to clear up the two possibilities. I could not avoid the similarity between the accusations of the Government that some politicians were colluding with former elements of the Armed Forces of Liberia to destabilize the Liberian Government and the claims of Mr. Koukou that most political personalities and the former Armed Forces of Liberia are involved in this devilish plot.

Let it be known that irrespective of political disagreements, I desire no part in nor would I support the ousting of the democratically elected Government of Liberia. What I participated in and sacrificed for was the right of every Liberian to vote into office a government of their choice in a peaceful manner, and that their wishes will be duly interpreted and respected. The decisions of 1989 were imposed by a wanton denial of the right of the people to self-governance, and an intransigence and entrenchment that bespoke of both the unwillingness and the strangulation of any democratic precept. The recent elections coupled with the growing influence and involvement of the people in the affairs of the State provides our cause sufficient vindications. This was why I fought and was prepared to die.

I desire and am fully committed to the peace, security, stability and prosperity of our people. Everyone remotely associated with me knows that I am a proud stakeholder in the Liberian democratic process and intend to commit the last energies of my waning years to its continued fertilization and growth. No one – not even the Government can roll back the hands of time.

Consequently and aware of the danger to which I may now be exposed by this revelation, I demand an immediate investigation of this matter and that the findings be made public. If a real plot exists to overthrow the Liberian Government, I embark upon this danger knowing that I have fulfilled my duties as a lawful citizen to report the nefarious plans as I know them. No one should expect me to do less than that. However, if this is a revisit of the past, it is equally wrong, wicked and mischievous and should not only be discouraged but those elements of the Government involved be exposed and brought to book.

Finally, it is my ardent hope that this document will be treated with the care, diligence and respect that it deserves.


© 2007 by The Perspective

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