The month of October is one of the time I have to pay homage to certain individuals in our society, as they observe or celebrate their natal days. First it was President George Manneh Weah on October 1, then followed by my Mentor Kenneth Y. Best on October 28 and now former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on October 29. For me, I see birthday as a time for sober reflection, not only for the celebrant, but also for others for certain reasons.
As I have constantly and repeatedly said that I see it as a time for “sober reflection,” and not because of merry-making and conviviality, as well as the pomp and pageantry that some individuals usually practice on this day. Importantly to note, it is a time to recognize the contributions, efforts and achievements of people.
Also, I see it as a time to show gratitude to someone for imparting the lives of others. This could be one’s parents or others, including leaders. It is based on this as a leader that today, I have decided to do this EULOGY for former President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf.
Inquirer Boss Atty. Philip N. Wesseh Being honored by Former President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf
Sadly to note, some hold the view that eulogy is only appropriate during funeral. No, this is so, it is also appropriate for a living persons which can be likened to presenting flowers for the person to smell its flagrance for a job well done.
As the former President, alias “IRON LADY” marked another natal day yesterday, I see it appropriate to say KUDOS for her many recognitions and respects given me while serving as President for her two-term (12 years).
The first was when she named me on the Monrovia City Council, under the Mayor Madam
Ophelia Hoff-Saytumah, with the late Cllr. David A.B. Jallah, as its Chair. The Council is a body that is similar to that of the Board of Directors of public corporations. It receives and reviews the activities of the MCC and even take decisions for the smooth and successful running of the corporation to achieve its goals and aspirations.
Being cognizant of its function, this is why I continue to say that it is not prudent for the Mayor, Jefferson Koijee, to serve as Mayor and at the same time as Chairman of the COUNCIL.
But this advice continue to fall on deaf ears, perhaps, because I am not an oversea expert. However, that is not the issue for today, as today is all about recognizing the “OLD MOM”.
Atty Philip Wesseh At A Tree Planted For Liberia At The New AU Headquarters
The next thing for which I will forever remember the former President and be grateful to her are the opportunities provided by making me, part of her delegations to many important international FORA.
I was part of her delegation to the AU Summit three times (one in Accra, Ghana and two in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). One of the two in Ethiopia was for the dedication of the gigantic new headquarters built by the Chinese for the AU.
She also made me to see Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Doha, Quta.
The biggest of it came few years ago when, I along with Rodney Sieh of FrontPage and Jonathan Paye-Layleh of the BCC accompanied her to the UN General Assembly in New York, the United States of America.
Admittedly, let me say that it was the best well-organized international event I ever attended, considering the world leaders and dignitaries. This was my second time at the UN headquarters. The first time was in 1994 when I was a part of the International Visitor’s Program of the United States government. That month-long program, took us to some American States.
A major breakthrough in my journalism professing for nearly 40 years came through during her administration when I received one of the country’s highest honors and awards for my role in the journalism profession, which I started as a student at the Tolbert High School in New Kru Town, which was later changed to D. Twe High School. Today, I am the youngest Liberian journalist to have received such national accolade.
Again, I say thank to Madam for this great NATIONAL HONIOR. Every time I ruminate on this, I am reminded of the one I received in high school for reporting news in the school.
Atty. Wesseh, Mr. Rennie, now Information Minister and then Press Secretary Cyrus Badio at the Dedicatory Ceremony Of the new AU Headquarters
As I end this piece of encomium as my birthday gift for her, I am constrained to comment on some claims by some individuals in this government that during the time of Madam Sirleaf, people were mute about the violation of the code of conduct. This is sad in that people spoke out not only on that but other issues.
But the issue then was that her government never justified any violations, as it is being done today. Personally, I did some articles disagreeing with the then President on some issues in a respectful and polite manner. That is, she and her government never got involved in a “losing battle” or a fruitless exercise. Never did anyone term me and others as “enemy of the state” for our disagreement.
And so let me say that during President Sirleaf’s time, people spoke out on issues of national concerns. And so for anyone to use this as a justification for blatantly, egregiously and glaring violating the Code of Conduct is unacceptable, or except one lives in the world of hallucination.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY IRON LADY. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FIRST DEMOCRATICALLY FIRST FEMALE PRESIDENT. Wish you God’s abundant blessings.
Let me say it the Kru way, as I did with Kenneth Best on Wednesday, “ IDEE,NA-TRO-WA.” (Our Mom, Thank you.) Furthermore, my Rivercess people would say, “NEZOE”
I Rest My Case.