‘It is Always Good to Have Change, But…’

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Outgoing Grand Kru County Senior Senator Cletus S. Wotorson, says it is always good to have change and he welcomes change advocated especially by the younger generation, but warned that change must be thoroughly planned and purposely directed.

“This country has been going through a number of changes, from the days when my fathers had to fight for acceptance during the period of marginalization of our people, to the extent that my father had to go to jail,” he disclosed.

The outgoing Senator, a geophysicist, was speaking yesterday when the leadership of the G. Baccus Matthew Lecture Series presented him with a certificate of appreciation for services rendered to his county and the country.

He said he was overwhelmed and surprised to be singled out for the certificate by the intellectual group, noting that “not many young people around our country are aware of the contributions their fathers, big brothers and sisters must have made to this country.”

He described the late Baccus Matthew whom the lecture series is named in honor of as a dear friend.  The senator recalled that he knew him as far back as the time when Matthew worked at the Liberian Embassy in the United States, and how he convened a group of like-minded individuals, himself included, to sensitize the country to its problems in terms of governance, during the era when multi-party pluralism was sweeping over Africa.

Sen. Wotorson told the lecture attendees that Mr. Matthew’s initiative complemented the efforts of the pan-African group known as the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA) launched by several Liberians, including Togba-Nah Tipoteh, Amos Sawyer, Dew Mayson, Henry Fahnbulleh and others.

He maintained that the yearning for freedom started with some of the forefathers of the country who were chiefs, and that the only thing the chiefs wanted during all of the provincial councils that were held was for their sons and daughters to be a part of government politics.

“Thank God we have come a long way, and the country has catapulted itself beyond the apartheid days of our country; now we are enjoying the universal freedoms with hope that we will equitably participate to enjoy the fruits of this country in terms of the realities of the natural resources of this country,” declared Sen. Wotorson.

Recalling what he described as the difficult days of his humble upbringing when he arrived in Monrovia from then Grandcess, now Grand Kru, with jiggers in his toes, the former President Pro Tempore of the 52nd Senate expressed happiness when “I see young people like you gather to celebrate those things that we started long time ago; some of you might believe that we were born with silver spoons in our mouths.”

He informed the young intellectuals that he has been able to translate “our struggle through me in a book I am writing, and I hope when it comes out, it will give a historical retrospect of ourselves so that young people like you, who although might not be from the same locality where I am from, but might have suffered the same lashes that I suffered before.

 “It is not where you come from; it is where you are going and where you have gone. The individual who prospers is the individual that has failed several times and has gotten himself up to do what he has to do; I always encourage young people, try to educate them, and challenged them to always count on my support in whatever they are doing either moral or otherwise.

“Incidentally I am not retiring from Liberia, but from the Liberian Senate. I will still be here interfering in the affairs of governance, and hopefully, I will soon establish a consultancy firm to give the benefit of my knowledge and experience based on 62 years of government service advocating for change in areas that need change,” Sen. Wotorson proffered.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the G. Baccus Matthew Lecture Series, Darlington Johnson, said his group decided to honor Senator Wotorson for ably serving Grand Kru and Liberia. The G. Baccus Matthew Lecture Series was established in 2009.

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