McGill Raps on Patriotism, Responsible Leadership -Keynotes Dolokelen Gboveh High School Graduation

One rare virtue, which others say have gone extinct in the Liberian psyche, is patriotism, the love for one’s country. And this has spilled over, triggering irresponsible leadership in the country. Many Liberian traditions and mores are evaporating by the day, and moving with utmost speed in contemporary times. Most citizens, mainly young people, nowadays scramble for foreign virtues, and subordinate national interest for personal and/or foreign interests. One Liberian who has keenly noticed this trend is the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathanial F. McGill. Invited by the faculty and students of the Dolokelen Gboveh High School based in Gbarnga, Bong County, to serve as a keynote speaker, Minister McGill used the platform to accentuate the importance and exigency of love for country and responsible leadership, which he says are found in the DNA of the Weah administration. The Analyst reports.

Amid deteriorating morale amongst Liberians and less love for country, the Chief of Office State of President George Manneh Weah has been trumpeting the need and urgency for increased patriotism and responsible leadership.

Speaking at graduating ceremonies of the Dolokelen Gboven High School in Gbarga, Bong Country, March 2, 2023, Minister Nathaniel Farlo McGill rallied citizens to be patriotic and develop a sense of responsible leadership as recipe for national transformation and development.

Responsible leadership is leadership that is responsive to the needs of people, he said, adding: “Responsible leadership is people-centered. The interest of the people must be at the heart of a leader. And responsible leadership leads by example.”

Minister McGill stated: “Listen to your people. Be sensitive to their needs. Heal divisions. Be constantly aware of the needs of your people. Put yourself in the shoes of people. Do not be quick to judge others. You do not know their circumstances. You do not know what your classmates are going through? You do not know their home condition? Use kind words to persuade people to see your point of view. Conceive good ideas. Have foresight to understand the circumstances of people you disagree with. Lead your people. Be always committed to the growth of people.”

He said Liberia needs peacemakers and builders not people who misuse their talent by trying to bring others down.

The Presidential Chief of Office Staff said Liberia must be united in purpose under a responsible leadership.

“And thank God, Liberia is under the responsible leadership of President Dr. George Manneh Weah,” he said. “We must be responsive and responsible leaders. Servant Leaders, according to Greenleaf.”

He noted further: “My fellow Liberians, especially you students at Gboveh High School. I want to speak to you about a quality that can assure that Liberians can reach our potential as a great nation. Patriotism, love of our country is the foundation that we must build upon.”

He also said Liberia needs patriots in order the country to reach greatness, prosperity and to maintain a strong democracy.

“We need all to support our country’s development agenda by using our God given talents to work in the interest of our country,” the Presidential Affairs Minister indicated. “Patriotism will require students to learn more. Acquire more skills. Support the development of your community. Engage with positive people who are working in the interest of the people.”

He called for students and other citizens not to be misled by what he called empty rhetoric from failed politicians, who have no examples of success to show.

“For if these politicians were patriotic, Liberia would be a much better country. They would have done more to improve the standards of living of Liberians than the state we find ourselves. They do not have the answers. They had their time to perform and they did so poorly,” McGill noted. “But patriotism does not mean that we must pretend that Liberia has all of a sudden being transformed into a land of milk and honey. It is a country struggling with its history.

‘We must do more to uplift our people. But we must do so with love for each other, no matter our personal politics or the party we support. We are Liberians first. Our party affiliation should not identify us as individuals. We must be identified with this glorious land of liberty. We must do all we can to ensure that we live together in peace and harmony. Demonstrate the willingness to sacrifice for our country. Support the efforts of our government to build a truly great nation.”

Joining the Gboveh High Celebration

Speaking on other matters, and directly to the Gbovel High family, Minister McGill said he was in Gbarngo to celebrate with the graduating class of 2022 and to recognize the  success  of students and administrators in your academic journey.

He told his audience: “As I drove from Monrovia, I was as always impressed with the natural beauty of this land our ancestors bequeathed to us. A land of greatness; a land of bountiful resources, rivers, streams, mountains, hills, valleys and a country of immense potential to be an economic giant. The land can make us a truly great nation.

He continued: “As you know, we have begun celebrating the Bicentennial, the beginnings of the formation of Liberia as a nation state. 200 years of struggle of Black people from bondage in America  who joined together with their siblings in this space called Liberia today, who together have formed a nation we all can be proud of. We are by no means a perfect country, and by no means a country without poverty, disease and ignorance, but we are a country on the road to prosperity, on the road to acquire knowledge and to keep our people healthy to be  productive citizens of the global community.

“We can do these as a united country, bringing to bear all of the talents of all of the people of this nation. No tribe; no one; no political party; no government alone can build a prosperous nation. All hands in deck.”

According to him, one can unequivocally and without shame that indeed in 2022, Liberians are better fed, healthier, more educated and more united, despite efforts by some politicians to divide us, than any time in the history of our country.

“We see gender equality manifested in the newly admitted counselors to the Supreme Court, where female lawyers showed up in strong numbers,” he added. “We see that in the strength of successful  businesswomen, not only in Monrovia, but in Gbarnga, Ganta, Pleebo and other parts of the country. As we improve the lives of all gender in our country, we bring more prosperity to our people and we become a more united nation. We become stronger and  our democracy becomes more vibrant. Women Power!”

Minister McGill also spoke of government success in demonstrating the resilience of the country’s health care system by attacking the global Pandemic, COVID-19, which shut down greater economies.

“During COVID-19 in 2021, our economy grew by more than 3 percent. We delivered vaccines to hundreds of thousands of our citizens,” he said. “We provided care to thousands of those who were infected by the disease. We empowered the Incidence Management Team. We supported implementation of protocols at our airport to stop the spread of the disease. As a result, Liberia did not feel all of the devastating effects of COVID-19 as other countries, but we are deeply disturbed by the people who lost their lives, and the families who are affected by these losses. We express our condolences.”

Minister McGill indicated: “We are making progress today in all areas of our national life. More children are in school today than any time in our history. We have more students in tertiary education, in colleges and universities than at any time in our history. We have more professional schools dotting the landscape of Liberia than any time in our history. We have more roads built today than any time in our history.

“More hospitals. We have millions of our citizens informed by technology, on social media and on platforms that provide knowledge and insight on every imaginable subject. We are a more informed population with dozens of radio stations, newspapers and social media platforms. We respect freedom of speech and expression. We have no political prisoners. Liberia is indeed making progress under the dynamic leadership of President, Dr. George Manneh Weah.”

He however acknowledged that despite the progress being making, “we still have serious challenges ahead of us”.

“We need to do more to feed ourselves instead of depending upon food imports. We need to do more to improve educational standards in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That is why we are here today, to encourage you to continue this journey to improve yourselves so you can be part of the nation building process. We need more farmers; more teachers; more scientists; more doctors; more plumbers; electricians, brick layers, masons, more of every profession; information technology; yes, we need every profession.”

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