Professor Sawyer – A True Patriot We Mourn, Never to Forget

THE LIST OF LIBERIA’S ‘Men of Letters’ would be incomplete and termed deliberately unfair without mention of Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer. What would distinguish him from the list of the academics, intellectuals and progressives of Liberia is that he cut across the spectrum of ideologues and theoreticians of all classes, as he was given to deep pragmatism, tolerance and histrionics.

INDEED, LIBERIA HAS missed one of its prides in the academia. Whether it was at the University of Liberia as a lecturer or the Dean of the Liberia College or the President of the Interim Government of National Unity or at the Chairperson of the Governance Commission or at any public forum, students of Literature and Rhetoric found in Dr. Sawyer an inexhaustible reservoir of logic, and catchy terminologies and phrases. He was a delight to behold on the public rostrum, as he always kept his audience, both domestic and international, spellbound and on the edge of their seats, weaving thoughts and words that moved hearts and minds into the fountain of wisdom towards finding solutions to complex issues.

BUT BESIDES HIS credential as a consummate rhetorician and intellectual, Dr. Sawyer was a true patriot and statesman who touched and influenced many lives into transformational salvation. He was an unwavering fighter for social justice, human rights and freedom. He was a leading member of a group of Liberian progressives who vanguarded Liberia’s democratization in the 1970s and 1980s.

WHEN THE PROGRESSIVES wanted someone to use a “guinea pig” or so speak in their quest to test the political temperature and nature of the ruling oligarchy of the True Whig Party, it was Dr. Sawyer who put himself on the Golgotha. That was when he offered to be a candidate for the highly regime-persecuted opposition bloc in mayoral elections against the virulent TWP.

SAWYER WILL also long be remembered for heading a group of Liberians who drafted what came to be one of the best democracy-and-freedoms-laden constitutions of all time. That was during the days of the military junta that had seized power toppling a 133-year-old oligarchy. THOUGH THE MILITARY junta, in its desperate attempt to cling to power, manipulated the constitution, diluting its democracy-and-freedom features, the Liberian Constitution is still largely celebrated for upholding civil liberties and freedom of citizens of the country.

FURTHERMORE, IT WAS Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer who proved audacious amongst his peers and put himself forward to lead Liberia’s first wartime interim government to navigate a hotly beleaguered country in the labyrinth of uncertainties and insecurity. His shrewd political acumen and pragmatic leadership helped to ward off rather catastrophic events that could have befallen the country. He made it a quit where it was strategically necessary, saving complicated situations that were unfolding.

AS A YOUNG man who earned copious western knowledge and education, including obtaining a Doctorate Degree, he chose not to seek fortunes abroad but to return to native Liberia to make a contribution. That contribution included but not limited to taking to the classroom not merely to impart to valuable knowledge to young Liberians at the University of Liberia but also providing consciousness and enlightenment that spurred democratization and pluralism in Liberia.

OF ALL THINGS, Dr. Sawyer was a man of peace. He lived and interacted with all who knew him peacefully. He sermonized peace. He walked peace, and he worked for it with all his power. And peaceful he remained and conducted himself throughout his time on Earth.

SURELY, HE WILL be remembered lavishly forever!!

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