Dr. Nyan Receives Walser Award -Calls on Liberians to be courageous 

By: Stephen G. Fellajuah

MONROVIA – A prominent infectious diseases expert, Dr. Dougbeh Chris Nyan, M.D, on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, was honored with the Emma Shannon Walser Medal for Rule of Law, Good Governance and Patriotism organized by the Liberian Institute of Growing Patriotism at an impressive program held at the Bella Casa Hotel in Monrovia as Dr. Nyan called on Liberians to be courageous, steadfast and focused on what they wish to achieve.

In her introductory statement, the Board Chair and Executive Director of the Liberian Institute of Growing Patriotism, Mrs. Olubanke King-Akerele said the ceremony was taking place following the 8th anniversary of the organization, adding that in January this year the Liberian Institute of Growing Patriotism launched the first group of beneficiaries as well as focusing on women and recognizing their efforts  at another program held in March, 2022.

She said this year’s edition is the fourth and her organization deemed it expedient to bestow on Dr. Nyan the Emma Shannon Walser Medal for Rule of Law, Good Governance & Patriotism for his enormous patriotic contribution to the Republic of Liberia.

Also speaking at the occasion, a long time democracy activist and now Senator of River Gee, Mr. Conmany Wesseh eulogized the late Judge Emma Shannon Walser, who died last year at 91, the first female judge at the Circuit Court, was also a daughter of a former Chief Justice of Liberia.

Senator Wesseh narrated that she was among the first group of people to join the Movement for Africa Justice (MOJA) and described her as a progressive woman who had an open mind of the Liberian Judiciary system and made significant judgment by holding firm to the Liberian law.

He however indicated that the government in power then was not happy with Judge Walser on the role she played, saying, “Progressive means you are going for the change for the better and you have to stand up for something, and Emma was the woman, progressive change for a better country.”

Giving the rationale for the award given to Dr. Nyan, Cllr. Yvette Chesson- Wureh expressed extreme pleasure to honor him and described as an outstanding Liberian, adding that the late judge was an open minded genius who believed in the laws of Liberia. 

“This award  goes to a patriotic front runner Dr. Nyan”, she stated and clarified that “you don’t have to be in government, just any patriotic Liberian can get this award.” She further mentioned that  Dr. Nyan has a second patent for his invention of a rapid diagnostic test that detects multiple infections. 

The honoree, Dr. Nyan expressed excitement to be chosen among several Liberians to receive the award, adding that he had no thought of receiving such that his little work was observed and appreciated.

He paid homage to several past social justice and academic fighters and said that he was motivated to do more when the late President Tolbert referred to him and many as precious jewels.

“This award is dedicated and given to my high school Biology instructor at the Monrovia College to the memory of the late Dr. Katurah York-Cooper. She was the major driving force behind my dream after I was expelled for advocating for the justice and future of my fellow students” he said.

The infectious diseases expert indicated that his destiny was also shaped by Senator Conmany Wesseh who helped him to get quality education outside the country when he was taken to exile due to fear of death.

“My parents, family and Children, we want to say thank you for this award. However, I want to use this occasion to call on all Liberians to be courageous, steadfast and focus on what they want to achieve. The society is watching and with focus they can achieve” he urged.

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