The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Celebrating 31 Years Of God’s Faithfulness
With Expressed Gratitude For A ‘Second Chance’

By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
Saturday, January 15, 2021 makes The INQUIRER Newspaper exactly 31 years of existence and it became thoughtful to take cue from an article first published by its Managing Editor, Philip N. Wesseh on Friday January 15, 2020.
This editorial judgment is stemmed from a known fact that the public will look out for his crafty articles that commemorate the paper’s anniversary from Mr. Wesseh commonly called the ‘GINA’ for his way of deriving news headlines as well as his ‘nose’ for news in writing features which usually ends with the indelible famous sentence “I REST MY CASE”.
He would then pen an article suitable for the observance of the institution’s 31st anniversary recounting the formation of this great institution as well as recognizing the team that had helped along the way to keep the paper on the newsstand to date.
Howbeit, it is from this background that the paper finds it fit to repeat this article previously written by Mr. Wesseh (PNW) eulogizing The Inquirer as the first independent newspaper in post-war Liberia that came to being in 1991 and recalling how together we have survived the tests of time, yet remains vibrant which is due to God’s FAITHFULNESS and not by anyone’s power, might or finances, lest any man should boast.
In our recollection, some of the original staffers of the Inquirer were our ailing Managing Editor, Philip N. Wesseh, Mr. S. Tobga Slewion; the late Sam Van Kesselly; J. Grody Dorbor; Amos Bryant; Stanley George; Mr. Doe S.K. Davis who now runs a printing press; Mr. Roger Seton; Gregory Stemn; D. Ignatius Roberts; the late Emmanuel Nah; Mr. Bana Sackey; Mr. J. Burgess Carter and Amos Justice Bryant, now a reverend; others who later joined the editorial staff were D. Yadeh Chea; Prof K. Moses Nagbe; the late Stanton B. Peabody; Massa Washington, who served as one of the commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Cllr. Mark Beldor-Wla Freeman who now heads the Independent Information Commission.
Also joining later to make the paper what it is today were J. Moses Gray, now Dr. Gray, who is now in the hierarchy at the University of Liberia; Jackson Seton, a Mathematics Instructor in the USA; Larkpor Boahndao; H. Wantue Mayor; the late Augustine Choloply; Dr. Kimmie Weeks; Bill Jarkloh; Attees Johnson; who had “nose for news,” Melissa Chea Annan, former vice president, Press Union of Liberia (PUL); Martin Benson; Isaac Yeah now in the foreign mission; Steve Jarvey, D. Sonpon Weah, the late Ephraim Johns, Edwin Fayiah, Simeon Reeves, J. Kaba Williams; Isaac Solo Kelgbeh now Presidential Press Secretary; Albert Pyne; Jarwinken Wiah; Timothy Seaklon now Managing Editor, Independent Inquirer; Matthew Wah; Atty Phil Dixon a candidate in the 2020 special senatorial election in Montserrado County; Emmanuel Cooper; Dr. Charles Ansumanah now a scientist; Alex Karvonzeah, Webster Cassell now with the Gender Ministry; Emmanuel Savice now heads a campaign for war crimes tribunal; the late Patrick K. Wrokpoh, Augustine Gebeh; C.Y. Kwanue; Jennie Fallah-Wounuah; Margaret Weagbe; Kennedy Zobah, James Kpargoi; Emmanuel Mondaye; Throble K. Suah, Folo-Glagle Korkokollie, Edwin Fayiah, the late Bobby Tapson; Welma Blaye-Sampson now assistant Minister, Ministry of Labor; Gibson Jerue; J. Wesley Washington; James Momoh who runs a diabetes center in Liberia; Sidiki Trawally now with the West African Power pool; Jacob Doe; Alva Wolokollie; Sebo Daniels; Heston Jackson; Rose Saulwas; Hassan Kiawu; the late Tanna Wolokollie, Helen Nah-Sammie owner of Women Voices Newspaper; the late M. Welemongar Ciapha; Jefferson Tweh; Gloria Voker; Boima J.V. Boima former Deputy Director General of Rural Broadcasting at the LBS; Roland Mulbah now with the independent Inquirer, Morrison Sayon, also with the Independent Inquirer; Michael Gebeh an Attorney at Law; Solomon Gaye, correspondent, Nimba County; Naomi Saydee now at the Stella Maris Polytechnic; Suku Shannon; the late Sarweh Doe; Lovettee Waynawhere now in the Netherlands; Antoinette Sendolo now studying in Europe; the late Edwin Wandah; Victor Hanson; Ferricks Dainsee, with the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS); Francis Pelenah also with LBS; Varney Sirleaf, now with the Liberian Institute for Public Administration (LIPA); Edwin Jackson, now with independent Inquirer; Gerald D. Yeakula now working with CENTAL; James Paye, Lincoln Barcon and Janjay F. Campbell now with the Independent Inquirer; Charles Yates, publisher of the Integrity Watch; Never Lomo, Caesar Siaplah, now with Postal Affairs; Rodella Karlay-Sylvester; Charles Crawford, who now holds a master’s degree from the US and runs an NGO; Andrew Johnson, James Fassukoi and Ralph Geeplay, both in the USA and C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy, now Acting as Managing Editor.
Though this institution has cut down in staff significantly, those who are currently holding the paper are Lakpor Boahndao, Frank A. Smart, Alex Yomah, Bill W. Pyne, Precious Freeman, Grace Bryant, Bill Win Cooper, Solomon Isaac, Lewis Weah, Richard Myers and Ignatius Sackor, Jennie Fallah-Wounuah; Margaret Weagbe; Kennedy Zobah, Throble K. Suah, Sam Siaffa Mulbah (cub-reporter), a recent graduate from the Peter Quaqua School of Journalism, Augustine Williams, Ben Foster, Joseph Weah, John Worway and Frederick Wilson and myself, C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy, the News Editor.
Indeed, 31 years of existence was never in fine fettle, as there had been many challenges ranging from dangerous assignments to serious health issues coupled with deaths of a good number of our employees, especially long-serving employees, while some are still battling illnesses and as an institution, as we pray for stability in their health, we must thank God for giving them a second chance as together we have all crossed over into 2022.
The fact that this paper started when the guns were around, gives us more reasons to exercise great deal of professionalism and high ethical standard.
The first newspaper that appeared on the market was the “TORCHLIGHT” on Bushrod Island under the guise of the then Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INPFL) then headed by now Nimba County, Senator Prince Y. Johnson.
The TORCHLIGHT at the time was headed by the late veteran and venerable journalist Rufus M. Darpoh. Other members were Madam Weade Kobbah-Boley, now at the University of Liberia, Pete “Quepee” Kahler, with the Liberian News Agency (LINA), the late J.N. Elliott, then an expert in crime reporting; the late T-Toe Slewion, Nyenati Allison, who later became a stringer for the BBC, S. Togba Slewion, the late Emmanuel Nah and PNW who later joined the staff after returning from areas then under the control of the Charles Taylor’s forces.
The Late Darpoh was arrested and incarcerated by INPFL forces because the paper reported at the time that some fighters of the INPFL forces were harassing some civilians at a food distribution center in New Kru Town and that story infuriated the leadership of the force.
Obviously this created fear, panic and apprehension in the reporters, making some of them to take a decision to establish their own newspaper that would not be under the control of the INPFL and The INQUIRER newspaper was formed with Mr. Gabriel I.H. Williams, a Liberian diplomat, as its first Managing Editor and the late T-Max Teah as the Chairperson of the Board.
Even though establishing The Inquirer on Carey Street in central Monrovia was still risky because INPFL was in control of the area, the team at the time took solace in the presence of the ECOMOG peacekeepers in case of any eventualities.
Notwithstanding, then Gen. Johnson, many times, uninvitingly paid visits to the office, mainly to express his displeasure harshly against the then Interim President Dr. Amos C. Sawyer’s monetary policy that his government took by changing the Liberian banknotes because it was out of the banking system as a result of massive looting.
And Mr. Wesseh would explain that at the time, it was generally believed that the INPFL and others in arms had huge banknotes on their bases as the INPFL was based at the Taylor Major Compound in Caldwell and because Gen. Johnson was very bitter with Dr. Sawyer, he usually made sarcastic and disparaging comments and added jokingly, “Something I cannot repeat because my late grandmother who taught me decency, modesty and civility would get angry with me in her grave.”
This paper has a story of withholding names of sources based on confidentiality; though that also landed the reporters at the time into serious problems but they survived it and those events are recorded today as part of The Inquirer’s history of its 31 years of existence.
The paper at some other time had to operate from its “BURNT OFFICE” on Carey Street and the paper also recounts when several of its editors were arrested and taken to the Executive Mansion by people loyal to then President Charles Taylor but were later released.
Also, God being God, another diabolical and wicked plan about three years ago was fetched that almost broke down the newspaper by some individuals in the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), but that did not materialize as well as other former employees were recalled and the paper survived the planned asphyxiation.
That plan was being executed at the time our boss, PNW was first hospitalized and was recovering from a leg surgery and this shocked him because as he would say, “I personally helped the CDC when it was in opposition and it was this paper that published the voluminous Manifesto of the party, without a cost. To this, I always vaingloriously say, “To God Be The Glory.”
As the paper marks three decades and one score we cannot but mention how God stepped into our situation and His goodness is all we can sing as again last year March, our boss, again fell ill this time, it was critical and the staff prayed for his recovery as usual but God had His own plan and timing in his healing process.
On March 4, 2021 to be exact, he was taken at the Benson Hospital where he remained for over three weeks and the institution along with the Publishers Association of Liberia did not feel pleased about his speedy recovery therefore agreed to have him transferred to the Fidelity Hospital in Sinkor since there was no physical improvement inspite of the medical attention he was receiving.
Paper works were sorted out and he was transferred and immediately placed under another doctor’s watch and his medical attention began. The doctors at both hospitals did their best, though big names can call attention and draw care to a patient, this patient himself had earned for himself a big name in the Liberian society therefore the situation was not based on lack of attention; we also express our profound GRATITUDE.
With time passing swiftly and his health was deteriorating and the news of Wesseh’s ailment had fast spread with many wondering how the paper would survive without its GINA and he too so desperately worried about his brainchild’s (The Inquirer) survivor , it was recommended that he goes to seek an advanced medical treatment anywhere of his choice.
The Lester Hospital and Fidelity Center was the choicest, a recommendation from PAL of course; therefore while arrangements were being made by them and help sought from anywhere within their contacts, President George Weah stepped in through his Foreign Minister Dee Maxwell Kemayah, a good friend of PNW, and a cash-lump sum of US$ 30, 000 was presented towards the footing of his medical bills and transportation while away; for this, the institution remains honestly GRATEFUL!
Six months away from The Inquirer was not an easy plan for Mr. Wesseh, whose life is stringed on the Inquirer Newspaper; but God kept him and the staff worked like never before to ensure that the report from the paper was good which according to us is a serious therapy for him.
PNW returned to Liberia on October 6, rejuvenated and spirited and today he is still supervising the work we do at the Inquirer though not in his capacity as the ‘GINA’ but the mere fact that he returned home alive, this gives us hope that our God is indeed a God of SECOND CHANCE.
This year, due to our many tests, we could not carry out our tradition like the usual vacation school programs where children from schools at all levels were given the opportunity to work which was purposely intended to inculcate in these future leaders the sense of leadership and good working habits, not necessarily to become journalists.
We were also unable to have a thanksgiving service at a church edifice and later planned our celebration activity or certificate our personalities of the year 2021 and as well honor our own employees who performed during the year in review.
Yet, as a small team, we continue to provide services to the Liberian society and the world which assurance to our many customers, readers, fans, critics and silent followers that we are indeed dedicated and committed as we remain ethical in the discharge of our professional duties as the oldest and only surviving post-war independent newspaper.

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