Bai M. Gbala, Fallen Astute Public Servant -Noted Liberal Democrat Lays To Rest Next Week

MONROVIA: One of Liberia’s gems, Bai M. Gbala, Sr. a great reservoir of political thoughts, passed away Tuesday, January 23, 2024. He wrote profusely, given to much savvy on politics and history, though he did not once mention the exact date of birth. That’s characteristic of many native educated elite hailing from the hinterland in the 1930s and before then.

Facing the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Public Hearing June 12, 2008 at the Hamline University, St. Paul Minnesota, he introduced himself as being born “many, many rice farms ago in a small town of Meajay Town, Grand Gedeh County.”

But Bai M. Gbala was a walking encyclopedia on Liberian and world history, politics and scholarship, always referring to himself a liberal democrat.  He proved from his adolescent years to adulthood to be a radical progressive.

He had an ultra-patriotic flair even as a student, more so studying political science, economics and management at the University of St Thomas in the University States.

The Union of Liberian Associations in the Americas (ULAA) was, perhaps still is, the bastion of progressive struggle, and deservingly Bai M. Gbala became its vice president in 1977 to 1979.

Like most of his diaspora peers, Mr. Gbala returned to the country and became absorbed into national politics, joining his compatriots to co-found the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL).

He was one of The Analyst Newspaper’s prolific columnists, writing on a wide-range of issues particularly during the heavy-fisted Charles G. Taylor administration.

His nature as a radical progressive did not cause him to cow to the trappings of power, as he spoke and wrote extensively on societal ills, advocated for peace, justice, good governance and national unity without fear and favor.

He served three major Liberian government administrations, beginning with the People’s Redemption Council, a military government, and later the government of Dr. Samuel Kanyon Doe, the interim government of Dr. Amos Sawyer, playing advisory rule—international political advisors—in the succeeding Council of State Chairpersons of Professor David Kpomakpor, Professor Sankawulo, Mrs. Ruth Sando Perry and, of course, Mr. Charles Ghankay McArthur Taylor as president.

Even in his apparent ripe age, this Liberian patriot was still speaking out through his writings, principally in The Analyst newspaper. As a man of valor, lionhearted, his literal thoughts were engaging, challenging and robust that he at times sparked controversy.

And he never shied away from intellectual exchanges, no matter who was involved. His pen power provoked many people, even younger intellectuals, and he would back out.

The Analyst is deeply saddened by the passing of this very astute Liberian intellectual, public servant and political thinker.

The family has been announcing his funeral arrangements, including the date of burial put at the weekend of next week.

In a statement, a copy obtained by The Analyst, the Gbala Family painfully informed the public about his passing on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at the home of his son, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala in Morrison Farm, Paynesville.

There will be a Night of Wake-keeping to be held at the home of Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala in Morrison Farm, Paynesville on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 from 7pm-11pm where acquaintances, friends and colleagues of the deceased and the bereaved family are welcome to attend and pay tributes.

On Thursday, February 8, at 8 am, according to the family’s announcement, the Body of the deceased will be removed from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Parlors in Sinkor and there will subsequently be a Memorial Service at the First Assemblies of God (AG) Church on Buchanan Street at 10am on Thursday, February 8, 2024.

Professional and National organizations, the Government of Liberia and other Eminent Citizens associated with the deceased and the bereaved family are welcome to attend and offer tributes.

Burial Rites and other funeral formalities will follow subsequently in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and the deceased will be laid to rest at his birthplace in Menjay Town, Grand Gedeh County.

Members of the public wishing to contact the family can do so by calling or texting ORANGE number 0770-528619 or MTN number 0886-528619.

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