Liberian Lawyer Foresees Brighter Future for Liberia

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted December 29, 2003

A prominent Liberian lawyer, Cllr. Varney Sherman says he foresees a brighter future for Liberia, but pointed out that good leadership and good governance are sine quo non for transforming the country.

Speaking on Sunday at the convocation exercises of the Cuttington University College(CUC) at the Trinity Cathedral on Broad Street, Cllr. Sherman, said, " I have faith that good things will happen to this country, our country; I am confident that one day, one day soon our country will rise from the ashes and degradation of the past 14 years and that the Lone Star will shine brighter than ever before."

He observed that the resilience of the Liberian people is ample evidence of his faith and confidence; but more than that, he pointed out, "I see a clear sign of my faith and confidence right here in this Cathedral today, and all around me in this city of Monrovia. For even as the evil and despicable people among us hold us hostage, institutions like our Cuttington are training you and other Liberians and certifying you and them to assume responsibility for Liberia and to chart a new course for it."

However, he noted that higher education and advanced training are not enough; as they by themselves will not transform the country. He then named good leadership and good governance as the sine qua non for the transformation of the country and indicated that college graduates, who being best prepared to assess good leadership and good governance, must insist on these necessities for the transformation of our country.

In addition, he urged the 112 graduates in different disciplines to match their training and education with seizing opportunities and working hard and honestly in order to take charge of and determine their personal destiny and ultimately, the destiny of the country

"While some may differ, I believe that the future of our country does not lie beyond our vision; it certainly is not beyond our control. College education has prepared you to dream about what Liberia’s tomorrow will be, the role you will play, and the responsibility you will assume. I urge you to use this preparation to dream, dream of the best for yourself, our people and our country," Cllr. Sherman, a 1975 graduate of the institution, said.

He said the graduates should dream of a country free of nepotism, corruption, misuse of power, and abuse of human rights.

He went on: "dream of a country based on the rule of law, the rights and liberties of the individual, the sanctity of life and the holiness and dignity of the human spirit. Dream of a country with basic public services, modern facilities and amenities for its people. Dream of the transformation of Liberia and the role you will play. Dream of a country where the evil people and their collaborators and supporters who have done so much damage to us will never have another opportunity or another chance to inflict such harm on us or abuse us again. Say to yourself like the Jews all over the world say to themselves, ‘Never Again, Never Again, Never Again!"

Recounting the perennial conflict in Liberia, Cllr. Sherman said Liberians have suffered much, too much, and that they continue to suffer even now, not at the hands of strangers or foreigners, but at the "hands of our own countrymen, our fellow Liberians, under the guise of what these evil and wicked people call "liberation", "democracy", or "patriotism". He added, "with their guns and their drugs, they have maimed and killed, stolen and destroyed; with their guns and their drugs, they have subjugated and abused us, even the children. And one of the things that is most distressful is that, these so-called patriots and liberators, who have done so much damage to our country, were our neighbors and our friends, went to some of the best schools in Liberia and out of Liberia, some of them hold fancy degrees. Yet they chose to maim, kill, steal and destroy." To his fellow Cuttingtonians, he said it is not only the foot soldiers and rebels who have destroyed us and our country, it is their leaders and those who supported them and collaborated with them. Each and every one of them is responsible for our plight; each and every one of them, individually and collectively, have inflicted so much damage and destruction on our country.

"If you kill, maim, steal and destroy, you are not and can’t be a true Cuttingtonian. If you support, cooperate, collaborate or connive with those who kill, maim, steal and destroy, you are not and can’t be a true Cuttingtonian, " he told the new members of the alumni association of the school. He said if they do not make a difference, then, "you may have passed through the walls of Cuttington and received a degree but certainly our Cuttington would not have passed through you. For a true Cuttingtonian does not only work for what he is or gets, he is compassionate and committed to making a difference in the lives of his fellow man and in his community."

He then urged them to be true Cuttingtonians, espousing and practicing values which distinguish you in everything you do and avoid being like them and the likes of them who killed and maimed our people, stole and pillaged our resources and destroyed our infrastructures. The renowned Liberian lawyer, who is also special envoy to Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant, said many of them are praying very hard today that you would forget the part they played in the destruction of Liberia. But, he said, "I urge you not to forget because evil strives when good men and women ignore it; evil re-surfaces and re-manifests itself when good people pretend to forget it and exalt those who perpetrated it. Unlike those evil and wicked people, I urge you to use your college education and advance training to rebuild what they and their supporters and collaborators have destroyed."

He then implored the graduates to use their college education to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of the men, women and children whom these evil and wicked people and their collaborators have afflicted and abused.
He called on them to help change for the better the country that they have torn apart and that they can do so by "seizing every opportunity that comes your way and working assiduously each day at what ever you pursue after Cuttington, doing good along the way, making a meaningful and positive difference all the time, every time-all the time, every time."

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.