Exclusive Interview with Nancy Doe
ND: Good morning Madam, you called us and we have come. What is happening?
Nancy Doe: I called you today to tell you that something is really paining my heart. I have been back in the country since five years now. I visited the president on several occasions. She just promised, promised, promised.., to pay my benefits. I went there over and over, she kept promising, until now she has not done anything to pay my benefits. I served this country for 10 good years. Country woman like me, you can see the development I did. Government is benefiting from infrastructures Nancy Doe built in this country. But today no one has my time, because I am Samuel Doe's wife, because I am a Country Woman. She refused to give my benefit, I did not say anything because, before dog's ear got cut fly was living. So, I cannot force her, my benefit is in the budget, she knows it, but she does not want to give it to me.
ND: Why don't you go to the President and tell her how you feel?
Nancy Doe: The last time I went to her, I explained to her how my children did not go to school. I am sleeping in the dark, no security, and she is the one who asked me in Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire) to come back home. She promised to be giving me my benefits. I came back and now I am being ill-treated. When I went to her she asked me first where my husband's money is. I told her that it is Jackson Doe who took my husband's money. He has the document for the money. When the thing happened (Doe's death) he went to his house for the documents. I was not here. When I came, he said he was going to give me the documents but until now he has not done it. But the president told me that it was family issue and she cannot do anything. Me, I don't have money to go to court. I have been talking to Jackson Doe. He has it and he will give it.
ND: You say you have been going to the President on and on to remind her about what she promised to do when she went to you in Ivory Coast. Why do you think is the reason why she does not want to do what she promised?
Nancy Doe: May be she does not want to give my benefit because she brought the war to take my husband from power. She may be saying to herself that my husband was a dictator, a killer, that's why she will not give me my benefits. I am saying this because in her Independence Day speech in Gbarnga, she referred to my husband as a killer and a dictator. I leave my own with God.
ND: Is that all you called us for?
Nancy Doe: The main thing why I called you here today is that the war is finished, all of us have come back home, we made peace, we have gone through the peace process, but why should they put my husband's dead body picture in the newspaper at any time? Why? Why… teardrops… It hurts me. I don't like, it is hurting me, it is hurting the family and the children, please stop it, please. I am asking the government to put stop to it. The man was a president, if you want to put his name in the newspaper he has so many pictures you can use. Why should you hurt my heart, why? Samuel is gone now. Please leave him. This is the first time I am talking to the press. I am country woman but everybody will understand my country English. So I will keep talking to the press. Nobody see Tolbert dead body picture on newspaper because he is not country man. Samuel is native man that is the reason why they are doing it.
ND: Is it true that people are trying to take your properties from you because you cannot read and write?
Nancy: Yes oh, my son. You see Varmoma House, Alvin Jones who was with my husband, he was working for him, the man is not living today, and he wants to take his property. We are in court now for that place. Me, I am country woman, but God is for everybody. God will fight my battle. I don't have money to fight them in court for longtime, but God is there for me. The house where the Traditional Council is, that place is for me too. But Kadiatou says is for her. I am preparing all the documents for my lawyer. I don't know what I have done to them my son.
Nancy Doe is a name that everybody knows in Liberia. You did so many things for this country when you were First Lady, and people like you for that. Why can't you solicit a seat in the parliament?
Nancy Doe: (…Smile…). That one is true but now I don't have money. I really want to go out there to sit and talk with people but I don't have money. I will start one day, you know…, people know what I can do in this country. I may not speak the English the way they want it but I know how to develop a place, and I believe that is the important one.