Give Chairman Bryant the Benefit of the Doubt

By Rev. Wilfred M. Manyango

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 4, 2003


If you have been following the news since the election of Gyude Bryant as Chairman of the Liberian Transitional Government, words like "political novice" and "inexperienced politician" have popped up to describe him. Even though I do not personally know Mr. Bryant, I think these words wrongly characterize this wonderful man. I think we need to stop characterizing him and rally around him in the cause of Liberia.

Gone are the days of the so-called "veteran politicians". These are the very people who have placed Liberia where it is. Who advised Presidents William Tubman, William Tolbert, Samuel Doe, and the now disgraced Charles Taylor? Were they not the so-called "veteran politicians". They claim to have a diagnosis of the Liberian problems and solutions to them, but their past actions speak to the contrary. They need to realize that their time is past. We need a new breed of leaders who will take us to a better future. I think that with the selection of Mr. Bryant, a loud message is being sent to those who have regarded themselves as "political heavy weights". Gone are the days when people will be selected because they were "veteran politicians". We as Liberians should be conscious of the fact that it is not about how long an individual has been around, but does the person have Liberia at heart. Is the person willing to serve selfishly or to enrich himself?

Instead of starting to characterize Chairman Bryant as a "novice politician", let us rally around him. It is not about Mr. Bryant, but the betterment of Liberia. Liberia is at a huge crossroads. Whatever happens during this interim period will go a long way in determining whether we continue the circle of violence that have engulfed us for the past fourteen years or head to a brighter future. Even though, he may not have any "political knowledge", if there is any as such, he can call upon God for wisdom to lead Liberia. King Solomon, the biblical character was young when he became King of Israel. He never had any knowledge about governance. He asked God for wisdom and went on to become one of Israel’s great kings. We as Liberians should plead to God for wisdom for Chairman Bryant and his team that the Lord will help them, instead of labeling him.

God has something good in store for Liberia, but if we do not rally around our chairman and support him, but instead look down upon him, we may not achieve it. Let us stop looking to the so-called "veteran politicians" and rally around Chairman Bryant as he steers our country during these difficult times. After all God can use anyone He wishes, so let us give Chairman Gyude Bryant the benefit of the doubt.