Cllr. Varney Sherman, one of Liberia’s acclaimed lawyers has revealed “mother tongue” as the key factor behind his victory to the Senate.
The Unity Party Chairman contested and won the Special Senatorial Election in Grand Cape Mount County, ending the over 12 years of representation of the region by Abel Massaley of the National Patriotic Party (NPP).
Out of the 22,127 valid votes, Sherman received 13,651 amounting to 61.7% with his nearest rival Dr. Fodee Kromah, obtaining 3,431 votes.
The Cape Mount lawmaker divulged to the Daily Observer that his success in the senatorial race was due to how well he speaks and understands the local languages of his constituents, particularly Vai.
According to him, winning the senate election does not really make him feel different as a person, but he is grateful that he speaks Vai and could communicate with his people directly.
“In many of the places where I went to campaign I had to speak Vai because I needed to talk to the people. When I arrived in Gola or Mende dominated areas, I was compelled to speak English. Even with that, the people still forced me to speak Vai and the reason is that they wanted to hear me speak my mother tongue.
“Most of the Mende and Gola speaking people of Cape Mount can speak Vai very well.
“Let Senator Morris Saytumah walk in here; he will never greet me in English. We will speak Vai although he comes from the Dei speaking tribe,” Senator Sherman explained.
“Many people didn’t know that I could speak Vai. There are people from Cape Mount that are very surprised about this. Many of them didn’t know about me. They didn’t care to know about me and many just packaged me like someone that came from Korea and just came to Liberia. In fact, I learned Vai before learning English. My grandmother who I lived with at the time did not speak English,” said Sen. Sherman.