Former Grand Kru County Senior Senator and Senate Pro Tempore, Cletus Segbe Wotorson, officially launched his first book titled, "Acceptance", to a grand celebration on Thursday, October 31, at the Monrovia City Hall.
The launch brought together former and current Liberian lawmakers, ministers, ambassadors and other members of the Liberian intelligentsia.
Serving as chief launcher, President George M. Weah lauded Mr. Wotorson for the great initiative, in which he (Wotorson) has shared with readers his incredible experiences through his first book.
"This story covers your life from poverty, struggle, marginalization, to the higher echelons of Liberia's political leadership, including inspiration," President Weah said, adding that the book provides important insights into the future political, social and economic dynamics of Liberia's national culture.
"You have captured an important part our recent political history through this narrative, where you were privileged to have a front-row seat. Additionally, the passionate pursuit of education and training provides the foundation for emergence as one of Liberia's most professional," President Weah said.
"You served government in many capacities, including LPRC managing director, the Liberia Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy, Liberian Senate and others. You have done very well. As an icon, you were elected as vice chair for the Liberia Football Association and my first overseas contract to play semi-football was signed under your watch during your tenure," President Weah said.
"You have done very well by writing this book so that men and women everywhere will learn from this and be inspired. You have my personal congratulations. Being around, you give some of us courage," the President said.
In remarks, the author, Cletus S. Wortorson, said: "I am launching my book, which is the fruit of several years of an effort to condense my life experiences, struggles and celebration of their rewards," said Mr. Wotorson, a former senior senator of Grand Kru County.
"it's not very often that we hear about individuals in our country, whether old or young, who write about their life stories and, in so doing, contribute to the historicity of the development of our country. We seem to confirm what Mark Antony said at Julius Caesar's funeral: 'the good that men do is often times interred with their bones'," Mr. Wotorson said.
Mr. Wotorson said it is regrettable that Liberians with such a rich, intriguing and still interesting historicity do not encourage her citizens to compile their life experiences which are often inter-twined with the development of their country.
"Discourse says a lot indeed about the ingratitude we appear to harbor for those who blazed the trails for us to be what we are today. Could it be that we hate each other so we do not seem to recognize contributions of those who preceded us; or we just do not believe in reciprocity for the sacrifices they made to ensure our survival, forgetting that the lessons taught of the past help us to void condemnation for the present and the future?" Mr. Wotorson wondered.
"Let us turn our wounds into wisdom, remembering that our God sometimes takes us into troubled waters, not to drown us but to cleanse us," he said.
According to him, the book was written "to reach across the boundaries of time, set the record straight, honor the ones I love and admire, celebrate the journey that I took and generate the opportunity to leave my hand print on the walls of history and to shout to the world, 'I was here and I mattered'."
Mr. Wotorson added: "I wrote this book, convinced that lessons learned from my life story will send a distinctive message to my young people that their origin and economic status cannot be an impediment to their upward mobility."
Mr. Cletus Wotorson (seated) autographs a copy of his book for the former Foreign Minister of Liberia, Olubanke King Akerele.
Although Wortorson's book is essentially an autobiography; it goes beyond that the book further dwells on transnational issues including depravity of governance in Liberia from 1847 to the year 1980.
"I am troubled that I am introducing my book at a time when all of us in the motherland are on the verge of exchanging the sober environment of 12 years of peace for a period of negatively charged atmosphere of caustic political tension under guise of democratic pluralism," Mr. Wotorson said.
According to Mr. Wotorson, it appears that those who promoted democracy in Liberia did not fully explain that the typhoon of democracy brings with it some unpleasant mud, which we should be prepared to handle.
"Even with its unfortunate circumstance, it becomes the moral and constitutional responsibility, collectively to ensure that we sustain the nation's penultimate priority. And that is stability. As an elderly statesman, I am appealing to my fellow citizens to tone down this verbal war of words as it does us no good. It has the propensity to divert any or most investment away from our shores," Mr. Wotorson said.
"To my mind, the Liberia we find ourselves in is one in which we all desire genuine unity of purpose, authentic peace, stability, justice and a sense of inclusiveness. We, should never underestimate the pains that all Liberians are experiencing; because in all honesty, we are all struggling; some people are just better in handling the pains than others," he said.
"For our good, we must put a halt to these unnecessary and undesirable verbal calisthenics of misinformation and disinformation. Majority of Liberians elected a leader so that, in the words of Michael Francis, 'That We May Be One'."
The book "Acceptance" received a strong commercial boost from President Weah, who purchased 250 copies and Albert T. Chie, who purchased 103, one for each member of the 54th Legislature. Also, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor and Rep. Edwin M. Snowe purchased 50 each, while Liberia's Finance Minister Samuel Tweah purchased 25 copies.
Critical praise came from former colleagues, including Mr. Blamo Nelson, who said, "Cletus Segbe Wotorson is truly an outstanding testament of commitment, determination, resilience and the celebration of hard work."
Dr. Al Hassan Conteh, Ambassador of Liberia to Nigeria, said: "Cletus has been very frank, clear and remarkable in presenting an overview of the dialectics and political currents in Liberian politics, which will give a complimentary perspective of what eminent and long term experts on Liberia variously called the evolution of privilege,"
Cletus Segbe Wotorson (born 13 March 1937) is a Liberian politician and geologist. On March 26, 2009 he was elected President Pro Tempore of the Senate of Liberia, beating out fellow Senator Gbehzohngar Milton Findley.
The launch of Mr. Wortorson's book was well-attended, especially by statesmen and other members of the Liberian intelligentsia.