MOJA CLOCKS 49 -Celebrates Dr. Sawyer’s legacy

The Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA), one of Liberia’s foremost progressive political institutions that pioneered the agitation for participatory democracy in the 70’s, marked its 49th anniversary yesterday, Monday, March 21, 2022 and was dedicated to the celebration of the legacy of the late Dr. Amos Claudius Sawyer, one of its founding fathers and former President of the Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU).

“Monday, 21 March, is the forty ninth Birth Anniversary of the Movement for Justice in Africa (MOJA). As we celebrate the Birth Anniversary of MOJA, we celebrate the Legacy of Comrade Amos Claudius Sawyer, who passed away on Wednesday, 16 February, 2022. Comrade Sawyer has passed away but his Legacy will not pass away because it is the Mandate of MOJA”, a release issued by the National Secretariat of the organization in its introductory note heralding the celebration.

The release which prided MOJA of a mandate to speak out that unless there is justice for all, there will be justice for none, also acknowledged the role of Dr. Sawyer who served as Chairperson of the National Constitution Commission that drafted the 1986 constitution and enshrined in the sacred document the fundamental rights granted to the citizens of the country.

“As everybody, male and female, is equal, everybody has the same Rights. These Rights, as found in the Constitution of Liberia include the Right to Life, the Right to Health, the Right to Education and the Right to Freedom of Speech”, the release said.

The release also dwelled on MOJA’s being a catalyst of change in the narratives of altering age long symbol that excludes gender sensitivity and political pluralism when she raised awareness for the symbol of Justice at the Temple of Justice which read “Let Justice Be Done To All Men to be changed to now read “Let Justice Be Done To All”.

While taking a prospective look towards 2023 when MOJA will be celebrating half century of existence, it called on its members to remain steadfast in the pursuance of the MOJA work of raising awareness in ways that motivate the People of Liberia to work together through the Rule of Law to transform Liberia from a poverty generating society to a poverty alleviation society.

Chronicling the outcome of some of the awareness outreach of MOJA, the release named few achievements beginning with the celebration of the International Women’s Day where awareness was raised about the Equality of Men and Women and within the context of the celebration,  celebrated the 93rd Birth Anniversary and Fifth Passing Away of Dr. Mary Nema Brownell, Founding Chairperson of the Liberian Women Initiative (LWI), a strong supporter of MOJA, the late Dr. Mary Antoinette Brown Sherman, first female President of the University of Liberia, and the late Madam Emma Walser, first female judge of Liberia,  the awareness by MOJA to have the International Labor Organization Convention 100 approved by the National Legislature of Liberia as well as awareness raising that led to the passage into Law of the Decent Work Bill that stayed on the floor of the National Legislature of Liberia for five years, immediately prior to the entry of the current Government of Liberia (GOL).

Founded in 1973 by then young firebrand activists mainly from the indigenous educated class such as Dr. Togba Nah Tippoteh, the late Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Dr. Henry Boima Fahnbulleh, Dew Tuan Wleh Mayson, etc, MOJA worked assiduously with workers, labor unions, student groups, market women, and other mass based groups to agitate for the enthrone of democracy, constitutional development and rule of law and made impacts on the then ruling True Whig Party (TWP) government.

It drew its biggest support base on the campuses of higher institutions of learning, mainly the University of Liberia where most of its founders were lecturers and their leadership and followers alike referred to each other as “Comrades” and “Progressives”. Most of the recruits among the students later on grew up to be prominent national leaders and actors in various fields of human existence such as Senator Conmany Wesseh of River Gee, James Fromoyan, former head of the National Elections Commission,  activists, George Clay Kieh, Ezekiel Pajibo, Cllr. Tiawan Gongloe, Scientist Chris Dougbeh Nyan, etc.

In 1979, the late Dr. Sawyer, using its platform, declared his intention to contest the mayoral election against the True Whig Party but the election was postponed for time indefinitely. The entry of Dr. Sawyer helped to expose the unpopularity of the government and proved that the then ruling establishment was vulnerable to defeat in a popular democratic election.

As a way of alleviating poverty and promoting self-reliance among rural communities, MOJA through its Suusukuu Project, launched a rural farming society in Grand Gedeh County but the government moved against it, accusing MOJA of inciting citizens against the government. The project was forced to extinction by government action.

In 1983, MOJA registered the Liberia People’s Party (LPP) to contest the 1985 general election but was proscribed by the military government against participating in the process.

Comments are closed.