|Senate Pro Tempore Albert T. Chie, a renowned Geologist, and Academician with over a decade of Professorship like all are not free of criticisms and faults, but how he has intriguingly transitioned from the Gem science of Geology to master social science of politics, and would quickly master the convoluted art of politic is, by every measure, incredibly phenomenal.
The unassuming Grand Kru County Senator is the Protemp of the Liberian Senate which qualifies him as FIRST-AMONG-EQUALS of thirty(30) Senators of different political persuasions. The Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate is the fourth Constitutional Power and Authority within the Liberian jurisdiction in terms of power and influence ranking.
With almost four years in this powerful role, Protemp Chie has presided over the Liberian Senate much smoothly—demonstrating maturity, sagacity, and leadership to the letter. With such huge political diversity currently situated in the Liberian Senate, it is marveling and astounding how Protemp Chie has managed to maintain his job with zero power struggle and less squabbling at the Senate.
Political pundits and commentators who closely follow legislative politics have been quite amazed by how Protemp Chie has managed to build strong bonds with each of his colleague’s Senators adding the camaraderie between him and his colleagues to transcend politics, tribe, religion, and other persuasions.
Protemp Albert Chie is the only Senate Protempore who, in recent time, has presided over the Senate for close to four years and counting with no modicum of power struggle or bickering with individual senators. He has a leadership style that engenders and epitomizes cordiality, professionalism, humility, generosity, affability, togetherness, and sensitivity where every person is considered an equally relevant member of the whole.
With this leadership style and mentality, Protemp Chie has built a strong sense of unity within the “House of Elders” and a bond with each of his colleagues which has made things much easier for him as compared to his predecessors who more often than not were confronted with crisis for failing to deal with their colleagues in honesty and due courtesy.
For example, Protemp Issac W. Nyenabo’s reign over the Senate was saddled and fraught with power struggle and unending wranglings which later led to his removal by the majority of his colleagues. Even though the Grand Gedeh Senator had a compatible working relationship with then-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, his inability to command the respect and confidence of his colleagues saw him ousted out by the majority of Senators who branded him as a Consummate Liar.
Despite Chie’s solid rapprochement with his colleagues, it doesn’t presuppose that they don’t disagree with him at times or they don’t rebuke him openly at times, but he has a mature, cool-tempered, and non-combative way of dealing with his colleagues and their concerns and/or disagreements. He has maintained a sense of eldership within the Leadership of the Liberia Senate. Even though the Senate as a body has come under harsh public criticisms over how it defaults on its responsibility at times and the unwise decisions it has made a few times, the Liberian Senate under the leadership of Chie has been considerably effective and efficient in some instances and under difficult circumstances too. He has managed to sit behind closed doors with his colleagues and resolved differences and derived suitable solutions. He listens more and talks less. He is tough but a polished leader and he has a full grasp of the issues under discussion as contained in the agenda in every given session. He takes charge of his gable and knows how to exert his authority without hurting others.
A Senator divulged to this writer that even though Chie comes from the ruling Congress for Democratic Change or CDC, but Senators from the opposition parties have explicit confidence in his leadership skills and proficiency to the extent where they are free to share both professional and personal concerns with him and he is always willing to listen and act accordingly.
While on vacation in my native Liberia a few months ago, I visited the Liberian Senate and held a conversation about Chie’s administration of the Senate, and particularly three of the eight senators I spoke to indicated to me that they respect and admired Chie because he is a principled person and a team player. “He respects roles and knows boundaries. He supports the Committees and allows them to perform their respective statutory functions unhindered. He knows how to make compromises not to hurt anyone or a group but to the larger benefit of the country. He is not selfish, he thinks of others in everything he does”, the Senators kindly lamented of Protemp Chie.
Still, on how he has managed to coax the confidence and charmed the hearts of his colleagues, some say Protemp Albert Chie is a generous man who cheerfully gives to his colleagues and others. Giving is a powerful virtue in every aspect of life. Giving endears one to the hearts of many. Master Jesus Christ was revered and loved by all because everywhere he went he was doing good — feeding the poor, healing the sick, raising the dead, and teaching the people. The late acclaimed and famous Televangelist Prophet T.B Joshua, founder of the popular Synagogue Chruch of All Nations located in Lagos, Nigeria was admired by the world for his massive giving nature. Politicians who give are loved by the people. Former President Charles Taylor despite his chains of iniquities and idiosyncrasies was a generous man who shared with will all who were blessed to personally encounter him, and many believe his magnanimity to his followers and apologists was the source of their loyalty to him.
Before joining the government, Protempore Chie was an acclaimed academic. He graduated from the University of Liberia with honors earning a degree in Geology. He later matriculated to the prestigious University of Rochester, New York where he received a Master’s Degree in Economic Geology. After his enthralling journey at the University of Rochester, Chie returned home and joined the Department of Geology at the University of Liberia where he taught for over a decade. Before joining the Liberian Senate he had worked at the Ministry of Lands, Mines, and Energy as Assistant and Deputy Minister respectively.
By: Theophilus SwenLiberian Resident in Stuttgart, Germany
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