President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has cautioned her newly commissioned Justice Minister and Attorney General Cllr. Frederick D. Cherue and his deputy Cllr. Hariette Badio that they take on their responsibilities “at the best of times; and the worst of times.”
Speaking in the context of “best of times,” Mrs. Sirleaf said with the leadership of the two newly commissioned officials working with their cabinet colleagues and justice actors, they will be guided in the process of leading her Administration to the finished line, “keeping peace in our country.”
In the context of taking on responsibility at the “worst of times,” the President reminded the officials that as the administration begins to wine down its tenure in office, there will be challenges for which they will be called upon to address to ensure that the country remains stable and peaceful while government continues to carry out its development activities.
She warned that her government does not accept the lame duck concept, noting that her administration is going to be pushing hard like it has always done in the past 12 years to ensure that it completes the finished line capability and resources that are available.
For his part, Cllr. Cherue acknowledged timing of their takeover especially on the eve of complete security turn over from UN Peacekeepers here to Liberian, which he says “is a serious challenge.” But he pledged his sincere commitment to President Sirleaf and loyalty to Liberia, assuring her that he will justify the confidence reposed in him.
“Madam President, as I said a short while ago, all we can do in this assignment is to promise you our commitment and give you sincere service …, Cllr. Cherue said in response to President Sirleaf. He pleaded with his colleagues in the security sector to work together, engage each other constructively, noting that destructive criticisms will not help. Cllr. Cherue argued that those who pray so that the “we” do not succeed are equally praying for the nation not to succeed.
Following the commissioning ceremony, Cllr. Cherue told reporters that though the challenges are great, he urged Liberians not to be “dispirited,” noting that with the cooperation of his colleagues in the security sector and the citizens “we will succeed.”
Though he told reporters that “it is very true” he has a personal relationship with now indicted Grand Cape Mount County Senator Cllr. H. Varney G. Sherman who is battling against an indictment that follows a Global Witness report, Minister Cherue insists that “if Varney Sherman is guilty, the law will take its course.”
“So I cannot run away from prosecuting Varney Sherman when it is mine duty,” he said, but clarified that the Special Taskforce is well placed to prosecute the case because it conducted interviews with witnesses, among others.
He assured that after UNMIL’s departure from Liberia, peace will be maintained because even the peacekeepers will not close their doors, but will continue to monitor Liberia’s activities to help correct any missteps.
He admonished citizens and residents that President Sirleaf’s concern is to sail Liberia smoothly to the next administration, and as such, she will continue to support the country’s security programs as she has done with past Justice Ministers.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah