By: Gonda Duo
Is he a chip off the old block? That’s what people are asking nowadays wherever politics is discussed and the name “TQ HARRIS” comes up. This name has become a household word.
But who is THOMAS QUELLEN HARRIS, JR.? And what sets him apart from the other politicians? In seeking answers to these questions, I decided to research this rising star who happens to be the son of a famous Nimba citizen – the late Hon. THOMAS Q. HARRIS, SR.
The elder HARRIS’ political career began as a paramount chief. As the leader of his people, he worked diligently to effect meaningful changes which brought development not only to Tappita District but the entire county and the nation as a whole.
At the time of Hon. HARRIS’ entry into politics, Nimba was part of a larger geographical area called the Western Province. He and the elders fought hard alongside other outstanding individuals such as the Twazamahs, Vokers, Twehs, Dahns and Farngalos (to name a few) in order to create the great County of Nimba. For his inspiring leadership the people of Nimba elected T.Q. HARRIS, SR. to the Liberian Senate with such large numbers of votes that he became the first Senior Senator.
The prominence Nimba County holds today among Liberia’s 15 political subdivisions is a result of the hard work, commitment and dedication of the great leaders of the past, amongst whom T.Q. HARRIS, SR. was an integral part.
In the dark days of Liberia’s checkered past oldman Dokhazeh – grandfather of presidential candidate T.Q. HARRIS, JR. – was captured, bound and sent off to Fernando Po to perform forced labor. However, he miraculously returned to his small village in what is now Nimba County where he died shortly thereafter.
Today, T.Q. HARRIS, JR. – the grandson of oldman Dokhazeh and son of the famous Nimba Lawmaker – is poised to become Liberia’s next Head of State. He brings to the table qualities that are uncommon in the current political setting; among these are, belief in hard work, honesty, commitment, patriotism, loyalty, sense of purpose, and genuine love for Liberia and its people. It must be noted this successful business man and inventor who has been pressed into politics is not named on the infamous TRC list – a rogue’s gallery of persons who killed, maimed, raped and tortured Liberians and also illegally peddled the country’s resources for little of nothing in order to advance their selfish ambitions.
T.Q. HARRIS in 1997 showed his true color in humbling himself in the spirit of unity and solidarity by giving in to Dr. Harry Fumba Moniba in an effort to defeat those responsible for the war and the carnage visited upon tens of thousands of unarmed civilians. Faced with mounting pressure to breakaway, he exhibited the same qualities that made his father and the men and women of that generation great. Mr. HARRIS during the 1997 Election resisted calls to split the Liberian National Union (LINU) Party; instead, he stood firmly with Dr. Moniba as a loyal partner and supported him to the end.
To conclude, T.Q. HARRIS is confident that his message of CHANGE will carry the day in the 2011 Presidential Election. He believes Liberians spoke loudly in their overwhelming response to the truth-telling approach to national healing. Therefore, the will of the people must be respected!
Says HARRIS: “The TRC’s recommendations must be acted upon in a timely manner and those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity are held accountable. Because there will be no peace in this country without justice!”
Like his father, the Presidential contender believes when you put the people’s interests first they in turn will honor you; in this light, T.Q. HARRIS, JR. is a chip off the old block. Watch Out!!