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A Personal Testimony From Kenneth y. Best on the Daily Observer Families

Kenneth Y. Best, Founder of Liberia and Gambia Daily Observer

The first thing I would like to do in this brief statement on the 40-year History of Liberia’s Daily Observer Newspaper is to give thanks to Almighty God for giving Mae Gene and me, in January 1977, as we were coming to the close of our careers in Nairobi, Kenya, the idea of returning home to start Liberia’s first independent daily newspaper.

I remember vividly when we first started dating in 1970 that we conceived the idea of publishing a magazine in Liberia.  We were not sure as to whether it would be one on politics or fashion—or both.  God blessed our relationship with consummation in marriage, on July 17, 1971.  July 17 this year will make us 50 years married.  To God Be the Glory!  And thank you, Mae Gene!

We recall with grateful thanks to the involvement of our parents—the Reverend Byron Zolu Traub, his wife Mrs. Margaret Stewart Traub, our uncle, Frank James Stewart—all of whom gave Mae Gene to me— and my beloved mother, Mrs. Lilian Best, in the successful planning and execution of that great and long-lasting event—our marriage, held at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church at 14th Street and Tubman Boulevard, Sinkor, Monrovia and the Ducor Intercontinental Hotel.  Let me remember and thank also my big brother, the Rev. Canon Burgess Carr, who served as Best man in our wedding—a role I played in his when in 1962 he married Ms. Francisca Verdier Carr.  Burgess has always given us support in our newspaper endeavors, and, from his post as a senior executive of The Episcopal Church, New York, visited us both in Monrovia and in Banjul, The Gambia.

I can never forget my dear friend, the distinguished British journalist, John C. Gordon, who became one of my best friends when he served as Reuter Correspondent in Monrovia in the 1960s.  John became our chief Agent in London, and became our chief source for all the printing materials and equipment we needed both for the Liberian and the Gambian Observer newspapers.

Before he died in London in 2005 John called me from his home at Prince Edward Mansions, London, to inform me of his impending death—which made me cry and Mae Gene was there to comfort me.  John informed me at the time that he was willing to me all the Liberian papers he had collected over many decades—a most valuable collection—which his family dutifully sent to me in Silver Spring, Maryland.

We thank God for blessing our marriage with many children and grandchildren and two great newspapers in two countries—the Daily Observer in our own dear Republic of Liberia, launched February 16, 1981 and the Daily Observer in another country, the Republic of The Gambia, May 11, 1992.

It is appropriate, I think, to mention the Liberian Daily Observer’s two grandchildren—The InquirerNewspaper in Liberia and the Daily Observer in The Gambia.  I also should mention the Liberian Daily Observer’s two great-grandchildren, FrontPageAfricain Monrovia, Liberia and The Standard Newspaper in Banjul, The Gambia.

But before getting into the matter of offspring, we can never forget the challenging, critical and costly pains we endured during our formative years—pains, yea crises we suffered beginning with the very second month of our founding—March 1981, when the erratic, powerful and tyrannical Justice Minister, Chea Cheapoo, summoned me to his office one Monday morning and with loaded guns pointed at me from every direction and blasted me for one and a half hours because we had published a story about him to which he did not like.  He also threatened to “hunt   you down from door to door and shoot you.”  He sent for me the following Wednesday and demanded that I bring to his office “all those foreigners you got working for you.”  He immediately imprisoned them, without due process of law, demanded that I feed them three meals a day for the two weeks he held them in prison; that I pay the fines of US$500 each for working without work permits (which I told the Minister were in process); and that I buy airline tickets for them to be deported back to their countries—two to Ghana and one to Nigeria.

Cheapoo was determined that I, too, would sleep in jail that weekend.  He sent Immigration officers to the Daily Observer office at around six o’clock that Friday evening, when all the banks were closed, demanding that I pay the US$1,500 fines immediately or go to jail.

But if you see us standing here today celebrating 40 years of publishing this newspaper, started during the brutal and cruel regime of military dictator Samuel K. Doe, then you can guess that Kenneth and Mae Gene Best must truly have been blessed by God Almighty Himself, with all His divine love and protection!  Just as those Immigration officers were eagerly about to whisk me off to jail, my brother-in-law, J. Mamadee Dorbor, husband of my younger sister Genevieve Best-Dorbor, suddenly showed up!  He had that same afternoon withdrawn nearly US$3000 from the bank to buy building materials to continue work the following day, Saturday, on the home he and his wife were building.  Mamadee accompanied me to the Immigration office and paid the US$1,500 fines they demanded cash down!  Cheapoo was still in his office at the Justice Ministry at 6:30 that Friday evening, waiting to order me imprisoned for the weekend in the event I did not pay the fines.  I remain eternally grateful to Mamadee for that miraculous rescue.

Believe it or not, that was only the beginning of our troubles.  Three months later, on June 29, 1981, most of the staff, including my wife Mae Gene, my Secretary, Mrs. Frances Crusoe, our female reporter, Ms. Cynthia Greaves, and our Advertising lady, Ms. Bindu Fahnbulleh, were whisked off to jail!  Also imprisoned were seven of our reporters and editors, including the Daily Observer publisher himself, Kenneth Y. Best.  What had happened?  Those imprisoned along with me were Sando Moore, Kloh Hinneh, T. Max Teah, Sam Van Kesselly, Isaac Thompson and. . .

That morning we had published three Letters to the Editor from elementary students of the Monrovia Central High, appealing to Liberia’s military dictator, Head of State Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe, to lift the ban he had imposed on Conmany Wesseh, president of the Liberia National Students Union (LINSU).  Very early that same morning  the Head of State and his delegation had departed the country Nairobi, Kenya to attend the summit conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU—now African Union).

We were in prison for 10 days.  But guess what!  Head of State Doe did not know that Kenneth Y. Best and his wife Mae Gene had worked in Nairobi for six and a half years—from 1973-1980—and were very well known and respected in Kenya.  Thanks to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and other world media, the news of our imprisonment had spread throughout the world.  We later learned that Head of State Doe and his delegation could go nowhere in the conference building—the Kenyatta Conference Center—or anywhere else in Nairobi without being confronted every hour by the press and by OAU officials with the issue of the Daily Observer people’s imprisonment, most especially Kenneth Y. Best and his wife.  The Bests had worked in Nairobi for six and a half years—from 1973 to 1980—Kenneth as Information Director of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), the powerful pan-African church body headquarter there.  The Bests were, therefore, well known and respected in Kenya.  But Samuel Doe did not know that.

The issue of the imprisonment of the Daily Observer staff, therefore, soon became, from the time the Liberian delegation landed in Nairobi, the chief preoccupation of Head of State Doe and his delegation at the OAU Summit.  Everywhere they went they were hounded with the issue of our imprisonment.  Head of State Doe had no choice but to order our release.

A few days later the Vice Head of State, Thomas Weh Syen, sent for us and released us from the Post Stockade.

In November of that same year, 1981, we published a story on a teacher from the neighboring Republic of Guinea, Sheik Mohammed Kone, calling on President Sekou Toure to release all of the hundreds of political prisoners he had jailed and open up the country to democracy so that the thousands of Guinean intellectuals and technocrats all over the world could return and help develop their country.

We had withheld this story from publication because we needed to contact the Guinean envoy to Liberia, Ambassador Cisse, for his government’s reaction, which I did in person.  But I warned this Guinean teacher that he would get into big trouble with President Toure if the story were published.  After several such warnings and withholding the story from publication for nearly two months, the teacher told me one day, “Mr. Best, there comes a time in the life of a man when he should be prepared to die for his country. If my time has come, I am ready to go.”

I had no reason any longer to hold to hold the story.  The following day we carried it on the front page.  On the back page of that same edition our Chief Photographer, Sando Moore, carried a composite photograph showing the worst dumpsites in Monrovia under the caption, “Monrovia Stinks”.

At 20 minutes past eight that morning the Minister of Justice, Isaac Nyeplu, called me.  “What kind of major embarrassment have you caused our government today?, he asked.

What embarrassment? I enquired. “Don’t you see today’s headline?  Anyway, you will hear from me.” Ten minutes later a busload of red capped, strapping police entered our office.  “Get out, get out!” they shouted.  “We are closing this damned place down.”  I, too, was arrested and taken to the office of the Justice Minister.

There I met the Guinean Ambassador, Mr. Cisse, seated in Minister Nyeplu’s office.  But as I explained myself, how I had first contacted the Guinean ambassador and given him two weeks to contact his government in Conakry for its reaction to the teacher’s letter, Ambassador Cisse told Justice Minister Nyeplu that he, the ambassador, “had never seen this man (Mr. Best) before!

I was immediately imprisoned at the Post Stockade, the maximum security prison at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) and later at the National Security Agency (NSA).  The Daily Observer newspaper was again closed down.

One evening while seated at NSA a car brought in the Guinean teacher.  They sat him next to me.  As soon as he saw me, Teacher Konneh came over and hugged me apologizing profusely “for all this trouble I have caused you and your newspaper.”  I told him not to worry about us, for we felt we had done our professional duty by telling his story to the world.  I was now more concerned about him, but was satisfied that I had forewarned him about the grave danger of getting into trouble with his President, Ahmed Sekou Toure.

While at the NSA Head of State Doe sent me a three-page letter calling me a “counter-revolutionary”.  On the back page caption story headlined “Monrovia Stinks,” Head of State Doe told me I was “unpatriotic.”  I replied the letter the following day, saying we thought we were doing President Toure a favor by letting him know what his people were thinking of him and his government.  On the back page caption, I told Master Sergeant Doe it was intended to alert the Ministries of Health and of Public Works to do something urgently to clean up the capital city and save the population from an epidemic.

In all we were closed down five times, the fifth time for nearly two years.  And once Head of State Doe and his Defense Minister, Gray D. Allison, who also held the other powerful position of Chairman of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), ordered the electricity at our newspaper office and printing press disconnected!  Our lights were restored three weeks later, in time for the Daily Observer to cover the state visit of the Nigerian Head of State, Ibrihima Babangida, to Liberia.

After the presidential election of 1985 when Doe was declared the winner by the notoriously corrupt Elections Commissioner, Emmet Harmon, we gave the new democratic government two months to make good their pledge to “uphold, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia.”

But the government did not reopen the newspaper, despite the democratic Constitution that had brought them to power.  So in mid-March 1986 the Board of Directors of the Liberian Observer Corporation decided that in the exercise of our constitutional rights, we would reopen the Daily Observer newspaper, since the new Constitution said nothing about closing down newspapers.

We reopened the office on Friday morning, March 16 and held a press conference in which we told the world why we had reopened our newspaper.  Our Statement was drafted by our Legal Counsel, Counselor Phillip A.Z. Banks.  At around five o’clock p.m. we closed the office and went home, hoping to return for work the following morning.

But early the next day we got news that the Daily Observer office had been set afire the night before!  Our office suffered two more arson attacks perpetrated by the Samuel Doe government and several other imprisonments of the publisher, Mr. Best. The last vicious attack on our premises occurred in September 1990, when forces loyal to Samuel Doe, now deceased, threw hand grenades into our building and this time completely destroyed it. We lost everything.  By that time the Best family had departed for Banjul, The Gambia to plan the launch that country’s first modern and first daily newspaper.

The Gambian Daily Observer newspaper was launched on May 11, 1992.  Despite the fact that all of the journalists in that country told us The Gambia was not ready for a daily newspaper, our newspaper became an instant success!  The United States’ new Ambassador to The Gambia, Andrew Winter, appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, invited me to his office one morning and thanked me for the good work we were doing in The Gambia.  He said most of his colleagues in the West Africa sub-region were jealous of him because his reports to the State Department in Washington, DC were full and rich, in contrast to theirs because there was a scarcity of information in the countries where they were serving.

There were hardly any independent and professional newspapers in most of those countries.  Ambassador Winter stood behind his desk and leafed through some of his reports to the State Department, demonstrating how rich and comprehensive his reports were.  And then Ambassador Winter told me, “Mr. Best, most of my reports are based on stories from the Daily Observer newspaper!

Not long thereafter a military coup d’état occurred in The Gambia, overthrowing the 29-year rule of President Sir Dawda Jawara.  Our story the following morning was full and comprehensive, with interviews with the new Head of State, Yahya Jammeh, and several of his fellow lieutenants who had joined him in staging the coup.  The Daily Observer sold nearly 30,000 copies of that single issue, which appeared on Monday, July 25, 1994.

We enjoyed a two-month honeymoon with the new military regime; but when we started producing critical and forthright reports on the performance of the regime, we immediately got into trouble.  This culminated in several arrests of Mr. Best and his reporters, and eventually with something far more dramatic—the deportation, on October 30, 1994, of Kenneth Y. Best back to war-torn Liberia!

Observer Grand and Great Grandchildren

By the grace of God, several other new newspapers appeared on the Liberian and Gambian markets, published by various former staff of the Daily Observer. Upon the departure of the Kenneth Y. and Mae Gene Best family to Banjul, The Gambia in 1990,   following the outbreak of the Liberia Civil War on December 24, 1989, the Daily Observer’s first grandchild appeared. Several former Liberian Daily Observer reporters and editors in 1990 started The Inquirer newspaper in Monrovia.  Last week that newspaper, The Inquirer, edited and published by the Observer’s former News Editor, Phillip N. Wesseh, marked its 30th anniversary.

The second grandchild of the Liberian Daily Observer was that which the Best family launched in Banjul, The Gambia on May 11, 1992.  They called it the Gambian Daily Observer.

The Daily Observer’s first great grandchild, Front Page Africa, was started in the early 2000ds by our nephew, Rodney Sieh, who had accompanied his ailing mother, our elder sister, Mrs. Sybil Best Sieh, to us in The Gambia.  We empowered Rodney to bring our Sister Sybil, his mom, out of war-torn Liberia in 1992 to join the Best family who had sought exile in Banjul, The Gambia. Her son and our nephew

Rodney, immediately upon arrival in Banjul, started working for our new newspaper, the Gambian Daily Observer and soon became one of our leading members of staff.  He also became, upon my recommendation, one of the British Broadcasting Corporation—BBC’s leading international correspondents, covering The Gambia and other parts of Africa.  Rodney later started Front Page as an online newspaper and later the printed edition in Monrovia.

The Standard newspaper, the Liberian Daily Observer’s second grandchild, was started in Banjul, The Gambia in 2011 by a young man named Sheriff Bojang, whose father had brought him to Mr. Best in Banjul, following the launching of the Gambian Daily Observer on May 11, 1992.  The father told Mr. Best, “My son says he wants to become a journalist like you; so I came to ask you to please make my son a journalist.”

I welcomed young Sheriff Bojang as a cub reporter, and soon the serious young fellow started producing stories, on a freelance and later a full time basis.

Following the deportation of Mr. Best from The Gambia back to Liberia by President Yahya Jammeh on October 30, 1994, President Jammeh took over the Gambian Daily Observer, made a lot of money from it, enabling the company even to build their own office complex.  The company soon bought cars for senior staff.  But following his overthrow in early 2017, due to his tyrannical rule, Jammeh was forced into exile, and the fiscal assets of the Gambian Daily Observer went with him.  And having not paid Gambian taxes for several years, the Gambian Daily Observer immediately became a target of the new government, which seized the newspaper and closed it down for taxes.

While the Gambian Daily Observer remained closed, the old Gambian Observer reporter, Sheriff Bojang, started his own daily, which he named The Standard.  That became the Liberian Daily Observer’s second grandchild.  That newspaper is still being published in Banjul, The Gambia, and has become a new daily in the Gambian capital.

Today, as we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Liberian Daily Observer, we strongly believe that we have a lot to be grateful for.  First and foremost are the many, many young people whom we have touched, some of whom have remained in and faithful to the Journalism profession, and gone on to establish their own newspapers.  Among these, even before Sherrif Bojang and Rodney Sieh, is Phillip Wesseh, the second graduate of the New Kru Town, Monrovia’s D. Twe High School, who came to us immediately following his graduation. Phillip grew to become News Editor of the Daily Observer.

Few years ago the Liberian Daily Observer became the oldest surviving newspaper in Liberian history.  The first was Liberia’s very first newspaper, The Liberia Herald, started in 1826 by J.J. Russwurm, a Methodist missionary, shortly following his arrival in Liberia.  It lasted until 1862 when it folded.

The first D. Twe High graduate to join the Daily Observer staff was Gabriel Williams, whose class sponsor, Ms. Sally Grabb, a Ghanaian teacher, brought him to me in 1982 and told me her student wanted to be a journalist.  We immediately took on Gabriel, and not long thereafter the Minister of Defense, Gray D. Allison, became enraged by a story Gabriel had written on the Defense Ministry.  Minister Allison called Gabriel to his office, blasted him and told him, “If I carry you into the open street and give you a hundred lashes, no one would say anything!

Following that alarming and frightening threat, Gabriel soon left the country and became a senior reporter at the Sacramento Observer newspaper in California.  Gabriel later returned to Liberia and became Deputy Minister of Information and later Press Attaché at Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

The first young fellow whose father brought him to Mr. Best in the mid-1980s and told me, “My son says he wants to become a journalist.  I came to ask you to please make my son a journalist” was John F. Lloyd, son of the Rev. Edwin Lloyd, a prominent Liberian Baptist prelate.  We took on young John and soon he started producing front page lead stories.  Today John, who and his wife are parents of several children, most of whom hold Master’s degrees in America, is a senior employee of a major US Information agency.

Two of our Gambian Observer staff, Baba Galleh Jallow and Ebrima Ceesay, now hold doctorate degrees, Baba from University in California at Irving, and Ebrima from Birmingham University in Britain.  Upon receiving his doctorate in the early 2000ds, Ebrima traveled all the way from Britain to Silver Spring, Maryland, USA to present his Doctorate to me.  He told me all of his friends in England, African, English and others, had told him this degree did not belong to him, but to Mr. Kenneth Y. Best because, they told him, “If Mr. Best had not found you in Banjul, The Gambia and trained you in Journalism, you would not have been able to find your way to UK to earn this degreeI agreed with them, Mr. Best, and that is why I have come to present this degree to you.  It is yours, not mine.”

I quickly reassured Dr. Ceesay that the degree is every bit his, definitely not mine, because it is he, not I, who had worked for it. I thanked him for coming all the way from UK to America to show me his doctorate degree and congratulated him on this major achievement.   Dr. Ebrima Ceesay shortly thereafter returned to UK, where he is gainfully employed.

A third Liberian Daily Observer former staff who earned a PhD was Isaac Thompson, our first Copy Editor in 1981.   Isaac took the PhD in Development Economics from Columbia University, New York, and currently works for a major NGO in Accra, Ghana.

Another of our Gambian Daily Observer employees, Alieu Badara Sheriff, a Sierra Leonean, entered my alma mater, the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, and took the Master’s in Journalism.

Two of our own children, Mrs. Lindiwe Boto Lindani, and Bai Sama Gwenning Best, followed me in Journalism.  Lindiwe took the Master’s degree in Journalism from the University College of Maryland, College Park, USA.  Upon her return home she was immediately appointed Business Strategist at the Observer.  She was responsible for preparing the Feasibility Study for the second Loan we acquired from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) to purchase our own premises, situated on over an acre of land here in Paynesville, Montserrado County, Liberia, now the new headquarters of the Daily Observer and its parent body, the Liberian Observer Corporation (LOC).  She also spearheaded the renovation of the property on the premises, which is now the modern headquarters of the Daily Observer.

Our first son, Bai Sama Gwening Best, took the Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. Bai returned to Liberia in 1995 to work, too, with the family business, the LOC, where he succeeded his father as Managing Director of the Corporation and its newspaper, the Daily Observer.

Another daughter, Mrs. Dumalo Dennis, a wife and mother of two professional sons, is a senior Nursing professional in Minnesota, while another, Mrs. Kona Walker, holds the same position in Maryland.  A third daughter, Mrs. Facia Yandia Best, a mother of three—a son and two daughters—is a teacher in Minnesota.  Our foster son, B.J. Goodlin, and his wife, Mrs. Casselia Major Goodlin, are parents of identical triplet sons, all of whom are now out of college.

I close this 40th Anniversary Message by saying a big Thank You first, to Almighty God, who made all of this possible; to Mae Gene, who joined me in the establishment of both the Liberian and Gambian Observer newspapers; our sisters, Muriel Best, Mrs. B. Inez Best Brewer and Mrs. Juanita Traub Mitchell, who assisted us on the staffs of both the Liberian and Gambian Observer newspapers.

I would like to say a special word of gratitude to our Big Sister, Ms. Muriel Best, who in 1980 gave us her first and then only dwelling home at Voker Mission, Paynesville, to be used by our Bankers, the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI).  Thank you, Sis Muriel, for your love and for your confidence reposed in Mae Gene and me, by sacrificially entrusting us with your only house in 1980, to be used as collateral for the first Loan awarded us by LBDI to start the Daily Observer.  We are eternally grateful to you for this.

We also say a word of immense thanks and appreciation to our sainted Uncle, Albert Porte, the legendary Liberian constitutional analyst, crusader with the pen and pamphleteer, who served as our first Chairman of the LOC Board of Directors, Mr. C.T.O. King, who succeeded Mr. Porte as Chairman following Mr. Porte’s demise in March 1986, and all the other Board members, including Bishop Roland Jigi Payne, Mr. G. Flama Sherman and Counsellor Stephen B.  Dunbar.

We remember fondly at this time our sainted parents, George and Lilian Best and Byron and Margaret Traub who in their own vocations set the pace for us.  George Standfield Best and his wife Lilian, parents of Muriel, Sybil, Beryl, Kenneth and Genevieve, Byron Z. and Margaret Stewart Traub, set the stage for us to embark on this noble endeavor, the founding of two daily newspapers in West Africa.  George Stanfield was one of the leading writers of our great and esteemed Pioneer, the Crozierville Observer, a monthly newspaper which he and our Uncle Albert Porte founded and published in the Township of Crozierville in the year 1930.  That newspaper became the leading Liberian periodical the closely covered the Fernando Po Crisis of 1930—the shipping, by President Charles D.B. King, his Vice President Allen Yancy and others  of forced labor to the Spanish island of Fernando Po (now Equatorial Guinea).  It was that crisis that led to the forced resignation of President King and Vice President Yancy.  We are fortunate to have retrieved the complete set of the Crozierville Observer, thanks to my former classmate and friend, the eminent Liberian historian and scholar, Dr. D. Elwood Dunn, from Cuttington College and Divinity School (now Cuttington University).  The complete set of the Crozierville Observer is on display in the Library of our newspaper, the Daily Observer, at our headquarters at ELWA Junction in Paynesville, near Monrovia.

We thank all our children—Mrs. Dumalo Dennis, Mrs. Kona Walker, Mrs. Facia Y. Best, Mrs. Lindiwe Lindani, Mr. Bai Sama Gwenning Best and his wife, Mrs. Beryl Allen Best, Mr. Kenneth Y. Best, Jr. and Ms. Lilian Leneh Best, who have all stood by us through it all.

Our thanks go also to all our Staffs, including the late Rufus Darpoh and the late Stanton Peabody, our first two Editors-in-Chief; to Mike James and the late T. Max Teah, our first News Editors, our first Grand Bassa Correspondent, Willis Crayton, our first Art Editor, Mr. Asiedoo, Isaac Thompson, our first Copy Editor, Ms. Comfort Appiah, our first Chief Typesetter, Sando Moore, our first Chief Photographer and Head of the Photo Division, our invaluable Telecommunications engineer, Ike Wesley, who consistently kept our Compugraphic photo typesetting machines running, by which we typed the Daily Observer; Harrison Jidueh (commonly called Black Baby), our second Art Editor, the late Sam Van Kesselly and Jonathan Neah, our Typesetters; James Seitua, our second News Editor, the late Mlah Ju Reeves, our first Foreign News Editor, who unfortunately died recently in London, and my Secretaries, the first being Mrs. Frances Crusoe and the second, from 1986s until early 1990, Mrs. Rose  Martin King, who has worked for the United Nations since the early 1990s when the Daily Observer folded after the Liberian Civil War began. We also remember at this time our other female reporter, Annie Broderick, who later became Miss Liberia, Kanty Roberts and Weweh Debah, earlier reporters.

Upon our return from exile in 2005 to resume publication of the Liberian Daily Observer newspaper, Stanton Peabody was still around  to join me again; and so were many other old Observer staff members, including Abdullah Dukuly, our Court Reporter in the 1980s, who became Editor-in-Chief in 1995; Burgess Carter, currently our Liberian Senate Correspondent; Sando Moore, our Chief Photographer in the 1980s to the 2000ds, John Forkpa, C.Y. Kwannue, Ms. Fatoumata Fofanah, and our layout staff, Kendwin Hunder and… We thank all of them.

We express gratitude also to our current Editorial team, headed by the new Managing Director, Bai Sama G. Best, our Senior Opinion Writer, John Stewart, our Legislative Correspondents, J. Burgess Carter and Leroy Sonpon, Senior Editors Joachim Sendolo and Robin Dopoe, our Court Reporter, Abednego Davis, Reporters William Q. Harmon, Ms. Hannah Gerterminah, David Yates, our Nimba Correspondent Ishmael Menkor, David Menjor, Alvin Worzi, our Farm Correspondent Judoemue Kollie, and Reporters Simeon Wiakanty,… and Saa Millimino…

We say thanks also to Prince Sekor, head of… Security Firm and his able team of Security Officers at the Daily Observer headquarters at ELWA Junction and at the home of the   Publisher and Mrs. Kenneth Y. Best.

Today, Sando Moore has started a glittering and highly successful third Daily Observer grandchild, a monthly magazine called Images.

Another of the former Observer editors from the 1980s who joined the effort of the Liberian Daily Observerrevival in 2005 is Joe Kappia,  who served from the 80s as our first Educational Correspondent.  Joe later traveled to the USA, where he is currently teaching high school in California.  He continued to write for us following our return in 2005.

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