A lecture series in honor of one of Liberia’s legal luminaries and politicians, Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, is expected to be launched on the 27th instant of the month on the theme, “Building a nation-state on the Platform of the Rule of Law and Good Governance.”
A statement issued in Monrovia said the event tagged “CHARLES WALKER BRUMSKINE LECTURE SERIES” will set the foundation for a continuous intellectual debates to remember the leader of the Friends of Brumskine (FOB), a legal scholar, and the Vision Bearer of Liberty Party (LP).
The brains behind the launch of the CWB Lecture Series comprised of an Organizing committee of the Friends of Brumskine which includes Mr. Debar W. Allen, Advisor-Liberia; Mr. Jacob J. Smith, Chairman of the CWB Memorial Lecture Series – Liberia; Mr. Aruna Fallah – Nigeria; Mr. Romeo Gbartea – Nigeria; Mr. Lemuel Gbadyu – USA; Mr. Sampson Dolo – England, Among others.
The statement by the Organizing Committee indicates that the persistent presentations of the lecture series will always be facilitated by the Friends of Brumskine (FOB) as the civil society institution that brought complete intellectualism into the political discourse of Liberian politics.
Accordingly, presentations and panel discussions will be the hallmark for the lecture series with presenters coming from Liberia and other parts of the world on legal, social, demographic, political issues.
According to the statement, the objectives of this continuous forum encompass setting the basis for good governance in Liberia and other parts of the world through intellectualism especially through a jurisprudence approach; enhance constructive thoughts in party politics; create a research base for students and intellectuals to understand the nature of Charles W. Brumskine, reducing political tension and set the stage for non-violence approach and set the framework to promote integrity systems in public and private governance.
The statement of the FOB said the venue of the forum should not be held on the grounds of any political party, even the Liberty Party because the intent of it is to promote civil engagements that will be educative and void of party politics.
“This is so because the presenters will come from different perspectives of the society. This forum should be done with the approach of good governance ignoring ethnicity, sectionalism and those ills that have brought conflict in our country,” the statement said.
The Friends of Brumskine said in its statement that it is ready to take different approaches in the country, especially through the Charles W. Brumskine Lecture series and its civil society initiatives. “The CWB Lecture series will give enlightenment to our country and the global society,” the group said.
The FOB also said it will set up a library for Charles Walker Brumskine so as to promote his role in Liberian society as the result of the lecture series. In the short term, the presentations will be well documented and placed in other libraries in the world.
A website for FOB will be developed to enable readers in the global community to have easy access to the various presentations, the group said and added, “Anybody who attempts to use this critical and innovative decisions of the FOB should be sued in the court of competent jurisdiction,” the FOB statement urged.
The FOB started with a group of University students, specifically from the University of Liberia and other spectrum of the society organized a civil society organization referred to as Friends of Brumskine (FOB), to help put into perspective a democratic order into the governance structure of the country.
The group’s foundation is against the background that the long civil war and its actors created problems for participatory governance which created the livelihood of the Liberian people to be in an imbalanced manner. Many lives were lost and the destruction of every infrastructure was unimaginable. The governance process impeded the efforts of political stability until the President Pro-tempore of Grand Bassa County, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine had to run out of the country based on his stance to improve the lives of the people through his legislative advocacy.
To this end, the leadership of FOB did an integrity check of well-schooled personalities in the country to ensure participatory governance is realized through advocacy in the country. The reality of this dream brought into existence Counselor Charles W. Brumskine as the leader for the FOB. The FOB leader, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine was a notable and well known legal expert with distinct political skills.
The entity then begun to institutionalize its programs in every sector of the country, taking the risk under the bad governance of the national leadership then, with one of its engagements being a significant program which had to do with the provisions of scholarships for students in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, and the providing civic education for governance and enlightening the society in the provision of basic social services.
The FOB, the statement indicated, gives rise to the Liberty Party, a party which has always been democratic respecting participation of members into decision making and consensus building. “The party introduced what is now considered “Political Leader”, in the party politics in Liberia.
The Liberty Party participated in many presidential elections but it has not succeeded to lead the country as the head of the Executive branch of Liberia. Through these elections, CWB served as the political leader, Standard Bearer and Vision Bearer for Liberty Party.
In essence, The Liberty Party and its leader, Counselor Charles W. Brumskine completely intellectualized the Liberian political scene. It is true that he did not realize the dream of heading the Liberian state but his impact has been positive in Liberia and other parts of the world. For instance, the rule of law was the cardinal objective for his advocacy.
He displayed his extreme jurisprudence skills in the 2017 election, when the presidential election was marked with massive fraud and a member on the Supreme Court bench differed with other members. Another display of his legal skills was taking the government of Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to task for the appointment of a city mayor, when it was institutionalized in the constitution that it was an elected position.
Interestingly, when the FOB as a civil society institution evolved in the 2000s, most Liberians jubilated that there was a need for political change but the popularity came to an easy end due to known and unknown variables.
The political wing of the FOB, the Liberty Party, has been the victim in the political dispensation in the country. The Liberty Party, which had the characteristics of critical thinkers, developed different variables for every election and planning sections but there have been setbacks for victory.
The FOB said as a productive critical thinking group, it has deemed it expedient to launch a Charles W. Brumskine Lecture Series for its immediate past leader, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine, on his birthday, April 27. He was born April 27, 1951 in Grand Bassa County, unto the union of Mr. Hannibal L. Brumskine and Mrs. Ethel Grove Brumskine and died November 20, 2020. As a young productive man, he worshipped at the Charles Aaron White United Methodist Church (UMC), upper Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. He started his primary school at the Demonstration Elementary School in lower Buchanan. He did his High School in Grand Bassa and graduated as a valedictorian in 1969.
Cllr. Brumskine matriculated at the University of Liberia and earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics in 1973; and later graduated from the law school in 1981 and obtained his Master’s in Law from the Dedman School of law at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, 1982.
He served as President Pro-Tempore in 1997. He fled the country as the result of threat to his life for advocating for good governance under the poor leadership of President Charles G. Taylor. He returned in 2003, through the encouragement of the “Friends of Brumskine”.
The FOB leader and the Liberty Party have participated in three presidential elections. In 2005, Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine paired with Amelia Ward and the party had 13.87%. In 2011, the FOB leader and Franklin Sackor had 5.5% and in 2017, the legal scholar and Harrison Karnwaye had 9.62% of the election result.
From the basic statistics illustrated, the party did not win any of the elections but most of the election results were marked with fraud and challenged in the court. Apart from these presidential election results, the country learned from Cllr. Brumskine that violence was not the order of governance, therefore the rule of law should be institutionalized at all times.