When President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf delivers her annual message to the nation in the Joint Chamber of the Legislature in January, 2015, one of her strong lieutenants in the Senate will be a mere guest of honor, Grand Kru County Senior Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson.
This is because after serving the country in several government and private capacities spanning over 40 years, Sen. Wotorson on Wednesday, (Christmas Day) told this paper that he has decided to retire from active political life.
He spoke under the canopy of his splendor green-roof residence in Blamasee, outside Monrovia, and disclosed that he was recently in Grand Kru where he chaired an executive council development meeting that reviewed the county’s budget law.
‘After the meeting I thanked my people for electing me as their senator, and informed them that because of my condition I cannot stand the rigors that the campaign trail demand; and at my age, 76, I will retire when my term ends and allow a younger person to succeed me. Some people were sorry and came to tears; others were happy, and a few, ambivalent; I took a few drinks with them and we stayed together late into the night.’
The decision by Senator Wotorson, to retire comes after he returned from the United States where he said he underwent very serious operations that he said most people do not survive, and the Christmas gathering at his home with the ordinary people that help him daily is another way of thanking the Lord for His blessings
Sen. Wotorson, who is the country’s only geophysicist said he already has someone in mind as his replacement; however, the time was not right to come out with a name.
The former Senate Pro Tempore, however, did not say which party his replacement will come from, but was quick to add that his replacement was selected based on his competence to represent the county and can perform the task that he (Wortorson) believes he “has performed for my people.”
Despite his retirement, the Senate Committee’s chair on Lands, Mines and Energy promised to remain extremely active in politics though not in an official capacity.
He described his nine years representing his people as a success story, recalling his campaign theme of ‘unity’ which he said helped to bring about the conscientization about unity to his county, comprised of 12 sections and populated with various tribal elements.
Then known as a walking county, outgoing Senator Wotorson said he had personally helped with the construction of road network connectivity after he sought intervention from a personal friend at the World Bank who provided funding for work on the major roads, while government did the principal secondary roads.
He said a part of the county that has not seen ‘car road’ for 165 years is now undergoing road construction through Atlantis Resources.
Through his involvement with other county officials, he said Grand Kru became the first county to introduce government workers being paid in their county of assignment/employment.
He said the county Legislative Caucus has been cooperating with the nursing school for some nurses to be sent at the county’s referral Rally Time Hospital to make sure that it is fully operational; he has been assured that two doctors will be assigned to the Rally Time Hospital.
Besides, Sen. Wotorson said, three boxes that contain surgical equipment purchased in the United States by his wife are being delivered to the hospital through the involvement of Senator, Dr. Peter Coleman. One of his final tasks he said will be to resubmit the Bill for a community college in the county which was earlier vetoed by President Sirleaf.
Speaking briefly on the indicted former Robert International Airport (RIA) Managing Director Ellen Corkrum’s secret recordings of government officials, recalled that a legal caution to people not to discuss the case, has been floated.
“However, I am not so concerned about the tape as I am with the security breach, I am very concerned about the security breach around our Head of State; that is a very serious threat .For someone to have breached that security veil around our President is very troubling and I am going to push in the Senate for an investigation into the security network in our country, as to how this happen. Such security breach is almost unheard of: our president being secretly recorded.”
In a rather somber mood on a festive day, Sen. Wotorson whose county is represented on the Senate Committee on Defense, Intelligence, Security & Veteran Affairs by Sen. Coleman, continued: “And it involves our Police and our Ministry of Defense: important sectors of the joint security of this country, that I depend on to sleep. I am frightened that I cannot sleep. I am very troubled.”
“Something happened that should not have happened and we need to correct it immediately, if it means that we have to make a special budgetary allotment to make sure that our security people are properly trained and properly equipped to detect any kind of bug 100 feet away from the president, that should be done, and Liberians should be warned that the security of the President is paramount.”
He, however, differed with those who believe the President is slow to take action, saying the President will eventually make decisions based on informed investigations. The process of investigating those guys involved in the secret recording he said, is a different matter. “But for now, let our people know that they can feel comfortable—that they can sleep peacefully at night.”