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Sekou Damate Conneh Centre

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Sekou Damate Conneh Jr. was born on December 25, 1962, in the Liberian town of Gbarnga, into a Muslim family from the Mandingo ethnic group. He was born unto the blissful union of Mr. Sekou Damate Conneh Sr. and Mrs. Margaret (Makay) Conneh, in Bong County, where his father owned a rubber plantation and a farm. Young Sekou started his primary education at the St. Martin’s Cathedral School in 1966. Following the completion of his primary education in 1973, he matriculated to the William V.C. Tubman Methodist High School in Gbarnga, from where he obtained a high school diploma in 1979. Hence, Sekou Damate Conneh Jr. made up his mind to devote himself to the service of humanity at the early age of nineteen. He took the road of struggle, and in 1980, joined the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the party that lit the beacon-fire of political consciousness and, the restoration of constitutional democracy and social justice in Liberia. He was also a staunch member of the then Progressive Alliance of Liberia (PAL), the mother organization of the PPP of Gabriel Baccus Matthews. PPP was the first legal political opposition party in Liberia. It was banned and some of its leaders were arrested and charged with treason by the Tolbert government.

Sekou Damate Conneh Jr. served PPP as Senior Coordinator for the Kokoyah District in Bong County. He fled to Uganda, East Africa, in the aftermath of the crackdown on PPP members by the then administration of William R. Tolbert Jr. in early 1980. While in Uganda, Chairman Conneh was contributing to progressive activities in Liberia.

He returned home in 1985 in a bid to contest the parliamentary election on the ticket of the United People’s Party (PPP) of Honourable Gabriel Baccus Matthews. Unfortunately, the then Interim National Assembly (INA) government for possessing “foreign ideology” banned the party. In 1986, he enrolled at the University of Liberia in his desire to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration (BBA). However, in the same year, he secured an employment with the Ministry of Finance as a revenue agent assigned in Rivercess County. In 1988, he was transferred to Bentol, the provincial capital of Montserrado County where he remained until the collapse of the Samuel K. Doe administration. During the interim period, he founded and served as the Managing Director of the Damate Corporation, an import and export business entity, especially trading in second-hand cars imported from Europe. Following the 1997 elections in which Charles Taylor was declared the winner, he was reassigned to Bentol in the same capacity. However, he departed the country when the Taylor government security forces started to hunt the potentials of Krahn and Mandingo ethnic groups.

Early 2003, Sekou Damate Conneh Jr. became the second president of the national executive committee of the LURD. He was appointed to the top job despite the fact that he is not one of the 10 founding members of the movement. LURD became the only authentic, genuine and serious opposition in Liberia’s darkest days of national suffering, when even the mid-day sun and the full moon had lost their luster in the crucible of massive and blatant human rights abuses under the terrorist regime of Charles Taylor.

Moreover, when the oppressed people of our esteemed country were yearning for rescue from the shackles of Taylor’s brutally, barbarism and bloated dictatorship, and no one could be found, Sekou Damate Conneh Jr. marched majestically along the untrodden paths with revolutionary enthusiasm to the podium of national liberation to present to the Liberian people the gift of their hearts’ desire: FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. From 2001 till 2005 Damate was Chairman of Liberia United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).

As Party Standard Bearer/Businessman, since 2005 Damate leads PRODEM (PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATIC PARTY), studies Business Administration at the University of Monrovia and leads his for-profit-company ETAMAD. In 2005 he run for President and will do so again for the 2010 elections.

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