Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has assured the former Head of State of Liberia, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, that she is committing herself to ensure his long-time dream of holding the Edward Wilmot Blyden Chair of Public Affairs at the University of Liberia, comes to fruition. According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader made the remarks at an international symposium held at the Monrovia City Hall on Thursday, July 2, 2015 to celebrate the 70th birthday anniversary of Dr. Sawyer, who also served as interim president of Liberia during the civil conflict. Sawyer is currently Chairman of Liberia’s Governance Commission.
Earlier, whilst thanking his local and international guests for gracing his birthday celebrations, the honoree, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer first thanked President Sirleaf and all the others including his special guests like Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary General in West Africa for them all taking time of their busy schedule to form part of celebrations marking his 70th Birth Anniversary.
He then, in a special announcement, said over the years even throughout the time he was Liberia’s Interim President, he had dreamed about holding the Edward Wilmot Blyden Chair of Public Affairs at the University of Liberia, but lamented that he has not been able to achieve that dream.
|President Sirleaf flanked by Amos Sawyerr & SRSG Chambas
“I will dedicate myself in part to establishing such a chair at the University so that future Liberian scholars can have such at the University,” he said; inviting other Liberians to join him in establishing this for future Liberian scholars in memory of Edward Wilmot Blyden.
President Sirleaf, in response, said she will make him achieve his dream. It can be recalled that President Sirleaf who is herself an ardent admirer of the teachings of Dr. Edward Wilmot Blyden, has on several occasions stated that the greatest compliment ever paid to her in her life was when she was one time described in Nigeria as the reincarnation of Dr. Edward Blyden in Africa.
She told Dr. Amos Sawyer that though she did not know the legal implications or the educational requirements of establishing the Blyden Chair but she will ensure his dream happens.
“Dr. Sawyer, we commit to you; you will sit in that Chair,” President Sirleaf promised.
She described Sawyer as a consistent diplomat and a patriot of good governance. She said his consistency in Liberian politics and his willingness to serve his compatriots in any capacity should be emulated by all Liberians as the nation strives to solidify its democratic credentials.
President Sirleaf observed that Dr. Sawyer in his political quest has not only been able to display exemplary leadership, but was also able to serve as a motivator and a leader who was able to simplify the most complex situations during his term as interim leader.
The Liberian Chief Executive pointed out that the former interim president has over the years also been able to demonstrate a spirit of humility as well as exhibit carefulness of thought, rationality and good reasoning.
“He is an outstanding thinker; promoting peace, security and democracy has always been his interest,” President Sirleaf noted.
For his part, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas who delivered the keynote address, said Liberia lost a responsible leader when Dr. Amos C. Sawyer stepped down as interim president and added, “No politician can provide such leadership as Dr. Sawyer did especially during those difficult days in the history of Liberia”.
Dr. Chambas, who was deeply involved in resolving the Liberian civil war while serving as ECOWAS mediator, described Dr. Sawyer as a sound politician of ‘sound mind’, consistent with principled. He added that under his leadership as interim president, Dr Amos C. Sawyer signed 13 peace agreements and kept the peace of Liberia.
The event itself which took the form of an auspicious International Symposium held under the theme: “The State of Democratic Governance and Development in West Africa and Challenges of the Future,” was organized by well-wishers of Amos Claudius Sawyer (WACS).
The program brought together an array of individuals from government, academic institutions, civil society and the private sector making presentations pertinent to Africa and its challenges. Also in attendance were opinion leaders in the public and private spheres and individuals who at various times worked with or have otherwise associated with Dr. Sawyer.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.