Says VP Jewel Howard Taylor
Vice President of Liberia Jewel Howard Taylor, on Thursday, December 12, 2019, described the later Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine as was a resilient spirit, a free thinker, a committed man and a respected jurist of renowned repute; and a giant above his peers.
VP Taylor said even though, Cllr. Brumskine experienced personal setbacks in the fulfillment of his dreams, he always wore a huge smile whenever people saw him.
“Despite his political setbacks, which could have made him broken or burdened — or to surrender to self-pity and resign from public life, he still stood tall,” she said.
The vice president made the statement at the program for the lying in a state of the late Brumskine, held at the Capitol, from where Cllr. Brumskine once served as a senator of Grand Bassa County and former president Pro-Tempore at the Liberian senate.
He was the founder and standard bearer of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) and, on its platform, contested for the nation’s highest seat in three different elections. In the first two presidential elections (2005 and 2011), he lost to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and later lost to President George Weah in 2017.
In the 2017 elections, Cllr. Brumskine obtained the total vote count of 144,353, representing 9.8 percent of the total votes. Citing gross irregularities during the election process, he led the Liberty Party in a joint litigation with the Unity Party and other collaborating political parties in demanded for a rerun election.
In the suit, Brumskine argued that the elections were faced with “gross irregularities and fraud that undercut the integrity of the process and denied voters their constitutional rights to vote.”
He challenged the case in court, but the Supreme Court ruled that though there were irregularities in the process, they were not “egregious” to warrant a rerun of the elections.
On Thursday, December 12, the late Brumskine’s casket was escorted from the Samuel Stryker funeral home by the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) band, family members including his widow and children, Liberty Partisans and later joined by both former and current lawmakers, led by the Sergeant-at-Arms into the Capitol Building.
Members of the opposition collaborating political parties headed by the Political leader of the Alternative National Congress, Alexander B. Cummings, and other political parties dressed in black as a sign of mourning and others in their LP t-shirts, were also present.
VP Taylor said, “Former Senator Brumskine was a true champion for Liberia, an executive member of the National Patriotic Party; the Vision Bearer and Soul of the Liberty Party; a true son of Grand Bassa County and a man of the people.”
“To those of us who knew him and loved him,” she said, “ache with his passing; many knew him to be a Father, Brother, Husband, Counselor, Stalwart; Colleague, Mentor, a Humanitarian and a true friend to many; including me. He was the patriarch of Grand Bassa and its hero. We have lost the light of our nation,” VP Taylor said.
Albert T. Chie, President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate, said for the fourth time the senate has had a very difficult task of welcoming people at the Rotunda of the Capitol to tarry over the remains of both current and former fallen senators.
Chie said all of their former colleagues whose remains were taken to the capitol died untimely deaths. He then called on the bereaved family to take solace in the Lord, adding that “death will always strike but will never conquer, because in the end death itself shall die.”
He said those senators who died had to leave Liberia and seek medical treatment abroad and did not return to the country alive. To this, he stress that, “as leaders of the country, we must commit ourselves to the improvement of the health system of the Republic of Liberia.”
Chie said Cllr. Brumskine has been called from labor to rest, indicating “that our collogue has returned to our creator who reminds us that we came from dust and we will return to dust.”
Grand Cape Mount County Senator Varney Sherman, delivering a tribute on behalf of the Senate, said the late Brumskine was a legal and seasoned lawyer and an outstanding politician, who was dedicated to his serving the Liberian people.
Sherman said as a close friend to Brumskine, he knew him to be a true patriot who sacrificed his career and all he had for Liberia and even had the desire to serve at the highest level of government (the presidency).
“Charlie believed that his greatest service to the people was in the presidency, which came from our experience as a people that so much change can be achieved within the shortest possible time in political office,” he said.
Sherman said even through Brumskine did not achieve his goal up to his death, he never gave up on the Liberian people.
He said Brumskine always wanted to serve at the top of every position he held, adding that it was unfortunate that President Charles Taylor did not understand that “Brumskine would one day want to be a President of Liberia.”
Sherman recalled that while arguing in session one day, a senator accused then Senator Brumskine of wanting to be a President of Liberia and Brumskine’s response was, “What’s wrong with that?” This, according to Sherman, caused Brumskine and the then President Taylor to have a falling out.