There is the old-age Liberian adage that calls for giving people their flowers while they are alive to appreciate the worth of their earthly sojourn. That case was exemplified over the weekend when the traditional leaders of Lofa County gowned the Press Union of Liberia president, Mr. Charles Coffey with the second highest traditional title, hailing him for his steadfast leadership in promoting press freedom, freedom of expression and social justice.
The traditional ceremony which was occasioned by all of the trappings that occasioned the honoring of a venerable personality saw PUL President Charles Coffey being gowned with the venerable traditional attire and named “Chief Tarnue Kollie” – meaning, “Deputy Town Chief”.
The gowning and honoring ceremony was performed by the Chairman of the Lofa Traditional Council Wolobah Dorbor and the spokesperson of the Lofa Traditional Council, Ma Wata Kamara.
In observance of traditional protocol, the gown was presented to Lofa County Superintendent, William Tamba Kamba, who subsequently placed the gown on Mr. Coffey.
The traditional leaders praised Mr. Coffey for ensuring that the media highlighted development projects and programs. The traditional title “Tarnue Kollie” is normally bestowed on a good leader.
The honor was bestowed on Mr. Coffey during an indoor program of the PUL’s 57th anniversary celebrations in Voinjama City Lofa County, on September 30, 2021.
Mr. Coffey also visited Lawalasu, a traditional town in Lofa County, where he was heartily welcomed in the most befitting ceremonial setting.
It can be recalled that the PUL president during the Union’s 57th Anniversary celebration in Lofa County heralded the achievements of the Union over the past years, especially during his tenure.
“The PUL has achieved a lot in terms of media freedom and freedom of expression through policy formulation and the repeal of some draconian laws that were an impediment to media freedom. PUL achievement is predicated upon President George M Weah political will and his government quest to ensure freedom of the press and expression in conformity with the organic law of our land, the Liberian constitution.
“The constitution guarantees for all citizens the rights to free speech and the freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof, consistent with constitutional guarantee to free speech, the right to opinions without interference and the right to knowledge and information, the Liberian government has in 2010 enacted the freedom of Information Law and established the Independent Information Commission, to ensure access to information, which refers to the right of the public to request, receive, review, reproduce and retain records and documents held by public bodies and private entities performing public functions or receiving public funding,” Mr. Coffey stated.