“A Man of Peace, Rest in Peace Our Father” -Pres. Weah Praises Dr. Sawyer; As Book of Condolence Opens

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

The President of the Republic of Liberia, Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Tuesday March 29, 2022 led an array of government officials for the signing of the Book of condolence of the late Interim President Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer, at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion in Monrovia, eulogizing him as a man of peace who contributed so much to the development of the country and will be so missed by all.

President Weah in sober mood arrived at the new look Centennial Pavilion which has gone through a vigorous renovation befitting a public structure of such status and walked up to the bereaved family led by the widow, Mrs. Comfort Thelma Sawyer and offered words of consolation before making his way to the designated place to sign the Book of Condolence.

President Weah was joined by members of his cabinet led by the Dean, Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayah, followed by Speaker Bhofal Chambers and Chief Justice Francis Korkpor who represented the National Legislature and the Judiciary respectively.

Shortly before his departure, President Weah briefly spoke to the press to express his grief and how much Dr. Sawyer will be missed by the Liberian people, mentioning the role he played during the early days of his administration when Dr. Sawyer represented the country at an ECOWAS meeting.

“He was a man of peace, father of the nation. We will miss him so dearly. “We are his children, all of us who are peaceful children of Liberia.

“It’s our prayers that his soul will find rest .We all are going to miss him, I am sad because of the loss. We are all sad to see what happened, but only God knows and we pray that his soul rests in perfect peace.

“When I asked him to represent our Country to ECOWAS, he said yes and he did”, the President said.

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor arrived to perform her own part as soon as the President departed in keeping with protocols. Also signing the Book of Condolence after the Vice President had left  were members of the Diplomatic Corps, other dignitaries, religious leaders, politicians , civil society groups, well wishers, among others.

The funeral arrangement enters the second day today, Wednesday, March 30, 2022 with the GOVERNANCE DAY slated to be held at the Monrovia City Hall which will be devoted to celebrating the legacy of Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer spanning the days of his advocacy leading other activists in the 70’s , as lecturer of political science at the University of Liberia, his leadership role as Interim President during the civil war period, and when he served as Chairman of the Governance Commission where he brought to the table the introduction of reforms , crafted programs and policies and injected innovation in the governance system in the country.

The release further said that there will be a Day of Honor at the Main Campus of the University of Liberia on Capitol Hill, Monrovia on Thursday, March 31, 2022 where the late renowned sage and educator for many years taught, mentored and molded the minds of young college students who are today contributing their quotas in various fields of human endeavors to the country and humanity, and using the arena to lead most of his advocacies along with other colleagues like Dr. Togba Nah Tippoteh, Dr. Henry Boima Fahnbulleh, Dr. George Klay Kieh, among others, against bad governance and the call for participatory democracy in Liberia

The last position he held at the University was Dean of Liberia College until his dismissal in 1984 when he was accused of plotting to overthrow the leadership of the then military leader Samuel Kanyon Doe. He was later on released without trial and fled the country to launch a series of campaigns against the government.

The release also said that on Friday, April 1, 2022, at 12 noon, the body will be conveyed under appropriate military escort from the Samuel Stryker Funeral Home to the St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, on 10th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia for Home Final Visitation from 2 pm to 4pm. At 4 pm, the body will be conveyed to the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street, where wake keeping will be held from 5pm to 9 pm.

The State Funeral which will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at 10: am is expected to be attended by an array of government officials expected to be led by President George Manneh Weah, including Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Speaker Bhofal Chambers, President Pro Tempore Senator Albert Chie and members of the national legislature, the Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court, Cabinet Ministers, members of the Diplomatic Corps, international development partners, other dignitaries, civil society organizations, religious leaders, student groups, family members, well-wishers, among others.

The internment will follow at the Kaiser Memorial Lawn, Brewerville, Montserrado County.

Dr. Sawyer had a mixed fortune of his long career both as a politician and statesman, starting with his involvement with the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), a civil society group that championed the cause for multiparty democracy in the country, his tenure as a lecturer of political science at the University of Liberia and later on as President of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU) and upon his exit from the presidency became the Chairman of the Governance Commission.

After departing from public service, he returned to the United States and briefly taught at Universities as well as contributed to the promotion of peace and governance studies.

He is survived by his wife Mrs. Comfort Thelma Sawyer, a number of children and hosts of other family members and relatives.

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