By: Sekou B. Kamara
Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, a loving and caring father was the mainstay for many households, student community and the disenfranchised; he was a beacon of hope to the less privileged, the marginalized and the voice of the voiceless.
To me, he was more of a father figure, a true statesman, a liberator, a unifier, a well-mannered and a devoted Christian with a heart of gold who never held back in placing personal resources to impact lives.
His vision to liberate Liberia is a genuine one; a vision that became a shared purpose for many including me. Soon many Liberians began to see different style of politics; politics that was never contingent on only criticizing national government for the poor governance; politics that was never bordered on consistent and persistent protests.
Dr. Cassell never saw opposition as a waiting room. He saw it as a means and an opportunity to address the needs of the downtrodden.
This is why he commissioned over 15 (72 seated) buses for transit services across several counties; charging fares far lesser than what the National Transit Authority of the government was charging. That was his own way of intervening to alleviate transit service constraints that Liberians continue to endure.
This is why he built three modern bridges in Larkayta Township in Margibi county district 4 to enable free movements of farm produce and people. To deal with the harsh elements of weather and to also create a conducive environment for economic activities, Dr. Cassell built a modern market building there also.
Because he wanted to live by example as a president and leader, he bought 650 acres of farm land in Giamuesu clan in Larkayta Township in Margibi County to embark upon agro-processing farming where machines will be used to add value to farm products. An initiative that has already started to create jobs for many Liberians who have interest in farming because agriculture for Dr. Cassell was a means to diversify Liberia’s economy that is import driven.
Between Wozaywolay Jallamai town and Bazagizia town in Lofa County, Dr. Cassell immensely contributed to complete the construction of a bridge that residents of those towns initiated.
And this is also why on March 16, 2021, Dr. Cassell paid salary arrears of workers of the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) in the tone of $11,310.00 USD. He made that intervention because LWSC workers who were on strike had shut down the only water plant facility in protest over salary arrears thereby denying thousands of residents with safe drinking water in Grand Cape Mount County.
When there was a lawsuit against one of the critical voices of Liberia living in America by the US sanctioned Bill Twehway, former Managing Director of the National Port Authority, Dr. Cassell was asked for help and he contributed significantly in spite of political differences. He did so because he saw it as an attack on the media.
During the corona virus pandemic, he intervened by providing several medical supplies to hospitals and clinics across the country through county chairpersons of PLP.
A great man who set out on a mission to liberate Liberians from abject poverty, corruption , economic hardship and injustices will be remembered for his support towards our education sector through the provision of nationwide scholarship program; payment of several medical services for citizens at hospitals throughout the country.
Liberians will remember Dr. Cassell for the jobs he created through his charity foundation, farming, housing, and security sectors.
To outline here all of the impactful interventions of Dr. Cassell, I will be testing the patience of every reader of this tribute.
For the many lives he touched and the many interventions he made in different segments of our country, Dr. Cassell will be missed.
I started off as a defender of the LIBERATION MANDATE; demystifying the lies, propaganda and the delusions that were crafted to diminish the euphoria and the momentum of the People’s Liberation Party at the same time promulgating the gains, accomplishments of PLP in our rough political environment. This entry level position was what created the bond between Dr. Cassell and I. He was so much impressed with my work level; I would often called him to gather more information about himself, his vision; and perspective about governance system in Liberia which he often described as sad and unacceptable.
After PLP’s first national convention held in November 2021, he recommended me for the position of National Deputy Secretary General for Information and Technology. A position we continue to serve our dear party.
Dr. Cassell neither supported the Liberian civil war nor participated in any way shape or form. In fact, he was a victim of the political upheaval who was separated from his family and became a refugee in Ivory Coast before making his way to France, Netherlands, Nicaragua and finally moving to the United States of America where he resided and became blessed by God almighty to become a successful business man.
There was a guarantee of justice for victims of our nation’s 14 year political turmoil if Dr. Cassell were elected president.
Liberia continues to witness the guns that destroyed its socioeconomic, infrastructure and political advances in elected positions; living luxurious and extravagant life at the expense of those they once abused, terrorized and displaced.
Political actors that Dr. Cassell often described as RECYCLED POLITICIANS, some of who aided and abetted civil conflicts in Liberia; became front runners of our governance system with the looming threat of such terrible precedence and influence yet lingering. One can simply and obviously understand the reluctance for the establishment of war and economic crimes court in Liberia. As for Dr. Cassell, he was passionate and sincere about justice in Liberia. This is why on several occasions he conveyed the need to establish war and economic crimes court in Liberia.
Dr. Cassell was a rare gem. In one of our conversations, he said to me that when he returned to Liberia for the first time after decades in the United States of America, he cried upon seeing his compatriots living in despair and abandonment. He said to me that he cried not only because of the anguish of our fellow citizens but because he could be one of those in similar condition if he had not traveled. Something he attributed to failed political system and graft that have denied vast majority of our citizens of employment and descent life.
Dr. Cassell was prepared to break more barriers in terms of inclusive political participation and representation. When he recommended the appointment of a Muslim woman for the position of acting national vice chair for religious affairs of the People’s Liberation Party, some demurred claiming that a woman cannot serve as leader of an Islamic community. That the Islamic culture does not allow a woman to stand in front of male elders to address pertinent issues. He was able to persuade those who objected and the lady served in that capacity. Dr. Cassell once told me that his style of politics does not see religion, tribe and the likes. For him, female political participation is fundamental in every society and in every political field of play.
He was right when he further averred that for a nation to achieve its national development goals, political representation and participation should cut across all sectors.
Liberia truly needs a type of politician like Dr. Cassell who places the interest of the country and its people above personal interest, special interest group or political party. We have witnessed many of our leaders who have prioritized either personal interest or political party’s interest over the country’s interest.
Placing personal resources could only help few of our people. In order to impact more lives across the country, there must be a system and a conduit that enables such. A system that addresses the needs of all Liberians regardless of religion, creed, ethnic background, tribe and socioeconomic status; and a conduit that reflects the hopes and aspirations of all Liberians.
Under God and for these purposes and upon these principles Dr. Cassell founded and established the People’s Liberation Party; certificated by the national elections commission on December 21, 2020; guided by patriotism, accountability, transparency and integrity.
While away in the US, In 2006 Dr. Cassell founded a Mental Health/Behavioral and Substance Abuse Agency Called Kwenyan Professional Health Services, LLC whilst pursuing his doctoral degree. To address the gap in services, he established an Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Clinic in 2010 which is licensed by the State of New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services as a place of care for the youths transitioning from the IIC program and for the public who were in need of services within the community. To further address the gap in services for the underserved and uninsured, Dr. Cassell established Kwenyan and Associates, a nonprofit mental health and substance abuse program in Ewing, New Jersey which is also licensed by the state of New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
By 2020, Dr. Cassell owned and operated two licensed and joint accredited organizations: Kwenyan Professional Health Services, LLC (parent organization for profit) and Kwenyan and Associates (not for profit subsidiary organization); with a total of seven intensive/outpatient mental health and addiction services outpatient clinics at seven locations across the state of new jersey.
Places Dr. Cassell lived and worked, his contributions to society have been monumental; his impacts on lives have been tremendously outstanding and positive.
On December 25, 2022, our chief liberator took to his social media platform to wish Liberians and partisans of the People’s Liberation Party merry Christmas and happy New Year. The day after, his demise was announced and the information flooded several social media platforms and other news outlets leaving many distressed, baffled and inconsolable.
You have departed but your dream and vision to liberate Liberians from abject poverty, corruption, economic hardship and injustices remain in full sight with the uncompromising, indefatigable and people-centered grass root People’s Liberation Party.
Rest in power Dr. Daniel E. Cassell.