Retiring Grand Kru Senior Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson has challenged Liberians, especially the youth, not to cast their votes based on personality or popularity.
“If you are to vote in this election, vote for the right person. Don’t vote on personality; vote on issues; how people respond to issues. Some people are good speakers, some are bad speakers, but whatever it is, you can get some substance from what the people say and you can deduce what that person will do.”
The former Senate Pro Tempore in the 52nd Senate was speaking recently at his Capitol Building office, when the leadership of the G. Baccus Matthew Lecture Series presented him a certificate in recognition of his laudable performance to both his county and country for his over 62 years as a public servant.
Speaking specifically about the election in Montserrado County, Senator Wotorson, whose Unity Party candidate withdrew from the race, warned that “whatever happens in Monrovia (Montserrado) will affect all of us one way or the other.”
A onetime presidential aspirant in the 1997 specially-arranged elections, Senator Wotorson warned the youthful gathering that most of those going to the Legislature are not trained to be Legislators. “They have no clue what the job is about; they will be on the learning curve, but it depends whether you will learn fast, learn slow or you are a ‘bobo’ (deaf and dumb).”
“So you young people; as you lecture and debate in your various areas of intellectual discourse, make sure this country is the one you are looking at – the future of Liberia – and cast your vote for yourself and the future of your children.”
The Senator then went on to pay tribute to some of his colleagues who are contesting for re-election, with specific reference to Lofa County Senator Sumo Kupee, whom he described as an astute professor and economist upon whom he said the Senate depended when it came to critical issues. Because of his analytical mentality, he has been most helpful in the Senate. “If I were a citizen of Lofa, I would vote for him.”
In the Grand Bassa County contest, the former President Pro Tempore of the Senate threw his weight in favor of the incumbent, Pro Tempore Gbehzohngar Findley, whom Wotorson described as a young man of distinction, who and was learning fast. “And I will think that the people of Grand Bassa will give him a chance to continue what he has started.” The Pro Tempore already has the blessings of the Unity Party which did not put up candidate in Bassa.
In Bomi County where the UP has a candidate, the incumbent, Senator Lahai G. Lansanah, is a better candidate, said Senator Wotorson. “Senator Lansanah is not part of the culture of political betrayal that is prevalent in Liberian politics.”
With regards to vacating his own senatorial seat in Grand Kru, the county of his birth, Senator Wotorson said he has been looking around to make sure of somebody who has the interest of the youth in terms of education, somebody who has been there all the time helping them with their school fees to acquire their education here in Monrovia, as Senator Wotorson himself did. He said he will support independent candidate Professor Albert Chea of the Geology Department of the University of Liberia. Senator Wotorson is himself a geophysicist and former Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy.
He averred that in recent Legislative politics, Grand Kru has been the envy of most people, due to the caliber of individuals he said have represented that leeward county, including Prof. Blamo Nelson, current Senator (Dr.) Peter Coleman and himself, the country’s only geophysicist.
Saying he prefers to wait and observe candidates from other counties and see how their campaigns go on before making further decisions, Senator Wotorson cautioned the youth that for them to believe the messenger, they must find out what message he or she is bringing. “If you find out that he is consistent in telling half truths, that is not your man or woman.”
He expressed hope and prayer that the election will be done in the spirit and love for the country and that violence will be on the back-burner. Somebody has to win one way or the other, he said. “This is something we should all acknowledge.”
Reflecting on the Biblical story when Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem and was welcomed by thousands of residents, but few days later he was crucified, Senator Wotorson admonished the electorate not to worry about the noise in the market. “Watch your target as a young man; that is my message to you all.”