Re-echoing the Intent Of Our Forefathers @175

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2022 marks the 175th Independence Anniversary of Liberia and as it is done annually, the celebrations are loaded with much enthusiasm and vigor, particularly towards remembering and commemorating the sacrifices of our forefathers who bequeathed this Sweet Land of Liberia to succeeding generations the legacy of nationhood, freedom and prosperity.

WE FIND IT expedient, on this momentous occasion, to pay homage to our forefathers and salute their sense of purpose and intent to give birth to a country that will outlive their time and ensure that those coming after them inherit a country as commanded by God for mankind as well as those who have been piloting the dream up to present and the citizens that have kept this torch bearing.

NO DOUBT, LIBERIA has been a huge influence and a forerunner for global peace, security, freedom and development, especially on the continent of Africa where it pioneered and supported the struggle for independence and decolonization of fellow African nations. From being a partaker and founding signatory to a plethora of international organizations like the League of Nations, the United Nations, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union(AU), the Economic Community of West African States to engineering various initiatives that inspire global prosperity, Liberia has over the years exerted an enviable space and providing leadership among other countries.

IT IS INSTRUCTIVE to specifically highlight how Liberia provided leadership, political and economic support to UN Peacekeeping missions in Congo and other countries; it led the movement for the end to apartheid rule in South Africa as well as minority white rules in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe); supported other liberation movements, including those of Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and Western Sahara.

SADLY DESPITE THE good virtue and enormous contribution this country has made to the international community as enumerated above, we ran into bad times, most especially the 14 year of civil war that nearly took the country into extinction. And this can be attributed to the lack of commitment by past leaders and the people to the Liberian Project–a united, stable, developed and prosperous country and flooding of the polity with hard line ethnic jingoists and other reactionaries in what should have been a united country.

As our country, hits 175, we ought not to be where we are. How can we account for the fortune we made during our glorious era like the boom from our export earnings in the 60’s and early 70’s. As a nation, like a struggling vehicle, we are yet to achieve our potential. We can’t still feed ourselves; we have a poor state of infrastructure; an educational system that is in a mess; a deplorable health care system; and a divided country still crawling out of the brutal civil war, amongst other things. Indeed, this is a far cry from what our forefathers had envisaged.

BUT HOPE IS not lost. We are people of great courage and resilience, as demonstrated when we pulled the country out of the deadly Ebola pandemic and now the COVID-19 scenario which has so far crippled economies globally. We prevailed from our own innovation, defying projections and expectations.

SO UNDOING OUR ugly past is possible but that must begin with a mental and moral reorientation of every constituent of our population, be it the government, the opposition, the civil society and the collective citizens themselves. Who will start it? If the government is irresponsibly disconnected from its role, the opposition should take up the task to elevate the yearnings of the people by constructively engaging the government democratically while carrying the citizens along to promote peace and unity. The religious organizations with their massive and committed followers have a role to play in the reorientation and rebirth process.

FOR ITS PART, the government has to step up its game especially the fight against corruption, the promotion of rule of law and protecting the common good of the citizens. Corruption specifically has been bleeding the country to near-death and there is every tendency to believe that it remains a major factor why this country cannot move forward.

WHEN HONESTY IS rewarded and corrupt acts are publicly punished, more Liberians will more likely embrace honesty in their endeavors. The Government should purge itself of corrupt elements and prosecute those found culpable. This internal purge will not only show commitment and the will to fight corruption, but will also serve as a deterrent to others across the country.

TOWARDS THIS END, we call on all stakeholders in our polity to embrace a national integration and unification drive as the benefits thereof can be realized only with the development and entrenchment of a supportive public culture. Liberians must understand, respect and tolerate differences occasioned by socio-cultural diversity and also develop new institutions and mechanisms that address poverty, revenue allocation and other national issues peacefully.

WE CAN TRANSFORM our potential into success. With a committed and reorientated population, we can be mobilised and empowered to engage in productive activities that can change the narrative of underdevelopment in this country

AT 175, LIBERIA should not continue to be groping in the dark. There have been numerous wasted opportunities, no doubt, but it takes just a right turn at any second for a vehicle in the middle of nowhere to find its bearing.

PRE-HAPPY 175TH Independence Anniversary, Liberia.

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