Harry F. Moniba, a Liberian educator, diplomat and politician, served as the 26th Vice President of Liberia from January 6, 1986 to September 9, 1990 under President Samuel K. Doe. Moniba’s vice presidency came to an end after Prince Johnson, rebel leader of the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia, captured and killed Doe on September 9, 1990.
Born on October 22, 1937 in Ngihema, Kolahun District, Lofa County, Moniba was educated at the Episcopal Holy Cross Mission schools in Vahun, Foya Dundu and Molahun; Cuttington College and Divinity School; State University of New York at New Paltz, where he obtained an M.S. in secondary education/European studies in 196 and Michigan State University where he matriculated with a Ph.D in African history and Internation Relations in 1975. Before embarking on a public career, Moniba worked as a classroom teacher and educator.
Moniba’s public career included positions as first secretary and consul at the Liberian Embassy in Washington, D.C. from 1976 to 1979; assistant minister of foreign affairs for European affairs from 1979 to 1981; ambassador of Liberia to Great Britain and the Holy See from 1981 to 1984; and vice president of the Interim National Assembly government established by Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe following the dissolution of the People’s Redemption Council in 1984. Moniba was later selected by Doe as the vice presidential candidate on the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) in the 1985 presidential election, in which Doe was declared the winner. Harry F. Moniba.
While serving as vice president, he was captured by dissident forces in 1985 and, at gun point, was told to turn in the resignation of the government on national radio. Refusing to do so, he gave one of the speeches that he is most famous for, imploring all Liberians never to resort to violence to settle disputes.
In 1997, Moniba contested the general elections as a presidential candidate, which he lost. He published a manuscript Liberian Politics Today, Some Personal Observations in 1992. He later published a book titled, A Vision of the Future, in which he advised Liberians about what needed to be done in postwar Liberia in order to ensure national unity, political stability in governance, and socio-economic development.
Moniba was killed in a 2-car accident on November 24, 2004 in Michigan.
(Sources: Historical Dictionary of Liberia, Wikipedia)