Press Releases

Bishop Kulah Departs from the TRC

Resignation speech from Bishop Arthur F. Kulah

Members of the Fourth Estate, Mr. Nathaniel Kwabo, Executive Secretary, our partners in progress, fellow Liberians, my wife Voilet M. Kulah, and our children join me in bringing you greetings and peace in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I want to commence this press conference with words of thanks and praise to the Almighty God who has given us the strength, the power, and the grace to sustain us not only for today but also for the days to come.

Additionally, I want to express my deep and abiding gratitude to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and the Liberian People for appointing and inducting me into office along with eight (8) other persons as Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia.

Indeed, it was in October 2005, when the Honorable Charles Gyude Bryant, then Interim Head of State appointed nine of us; four women, five men, namely; Cllr. Jerome J. Verdier, Madam Dede A. Dolopei, Madam Oumu K. Syllah, Cllr. Pearl Brown-Bull, Madam Massa A. Washington, Mr. John H. Stewart, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, Rev. Gerald B. Coleman and myself Bishop Arthur F. Kulah as Commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. In February 2006, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf inducted us into office and our mandate then, as now, according to the Act establishing the Truth and Reconciliation of Liberia, is as quoted, "to promote national peace, security, unity, and reconciliation". Since that time, all of us have been working diligently for the peace and unity of this country.

Quite recently, most, if not all Liberians witnessed and listened to the Public Hearings conducted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia.
It was with joy and a deep sense of satisfaction to have been called upon, appointed and commissioned to serve the Liberian People. While being involved with the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, I was informed by Bishop Janice Huie, President of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church, worldwide that the Bishop of Nigeria Kafas Mavula had died suddenly.

Bishop Huie, Chairperson of The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, also informed me that the Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church has overwhelmingly elected and assigned me to serve in Nigeria as the interim bishop as of March 1st this year, until the substantive bishop for that country is elected to the office.

Accordingly, I painfully made the decision to be relieved of my responsibilities as Commissioner in order to accept the assignment. Based upon this decision, on the 4th of this month, I sent in my letter of resignation to the President of Liberia, Her Excellency, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who accepted same with regrets.
It is my earnest apprehension that my departure from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is not viewed or interpreted as a deliberate and conscious attempt on my part to desert the Liberian people, or as an abandonment of the task of helping to restore peace, stability and reconciliation to Liberians; rather it should be regarded in the context of the First Cause- God, and obedience to His call, which all of us must consider as First in all things. My call this time to Nigeria is to help provide experienced Episcopal Leadership to your Brothers and Sisters there, who have just lost their bishop, the late Bishop Kafas Mavula, a call to which I am committed to ever respond to at anytime and in any place.

I must remind you that during my tenure of office as Commissioner, I had always executed my duties with diligence and total commitment for the sake of the Liberian people. Secondly, the rationale behind my departure should be judged in accordance with retrospective recognition of my preparedness in the past, when the Liberian people were in a state of travail, to be beside them and a voice for the voiceless.

My deepest words of thanks and appreciation go out to my colleagues at the Commission, the other members of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, for their understanding, patience, care, love and cooperation during our tenure of service.

I will be remiss in my task of recognizing significant personalities, such as Madam Mama Tumah, Madam Seeta Saah, Hon.Chief John Bunday, Hon. Chief Samuel G. Tuah, Amb. Julie Endie, Rev, Anthony Dioh, Rev. Christopher Toe, who labored with me as we engaged in the Commission's business of the Institutional review as a Sub-Committee on "The Role of Religious and Traditional Institutions during the conflict and in Peace-Building". Also, to Mr and Mrs Ben and Mary Flowers, Mr Peewee Flomoku and others of The Carter Center for working with me day and night to consult with our religious and traditional leaders throughout the country.

To the Liberian Council of Churches and the Inter-Religious Council for their prayers and advice, the traditional and religious (both Muslims and Christians) leaders for their wise counsel and for their profound recommendations to inform the work of the Commission. To the children and young people and the men and women of our beloved country, as we continue to work toward bringing reconciliation to our people and to our land. Let us remember that reconciliation could happen ONLY between persons who asserted their own personhood and respected that of others.

Marcus Tullius Cicero might have had the Liberian nation in mind when he surmised:

"The thing which is most outstanding and the most desirable to all healthy and good and well-off persons, is a peaceful life with honor." I concur with Marcus Cicero, and wish, with all my being that you appropriate such an esteemed state of being.

Finally, I close with the words of John Wesley, father of Methodism worldwide, to you my brothers and sisters that form the nation Liberia:

"Do all the good you can.
In all the places you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as you ever can."

I pray God that this year and the ensuing years will be fruitful for all of us as individuals in this nation and to our nation as a whole.

Thanks for your attention, and may the Lord bless us all.

Bishop Arthur F. Kulah

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This had been the official website of the Liberian TRC. The Commission ended operation
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