MONROVIA: Apparently Challenging Liberians to figure out for themselves what has been the level of progress Liberia has recorded in the last 176 years in relation to other countries that are far younger than the country but with much development than us, the Standard Bearer of the Liberia People’s Party, Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe has urged Liberians to take a deep breath and reflect on the past, and answer some critical questions that could lead them to discover where the problems of the country lie.
These assertions were contained in Cllr. Gongloe’s message to the Liberian people on the occasion marking the 176th independence anniversary of the country where he used the medium to engage the citizens as a way of driving home thoughts that will make them to take another look of everything about the country’s past, what has been happening to her and what should be done to secure a positive future.
“Fellow compatriots, within a couple of days, Liberians everywhere on this Planet will be commemorating our National Independence Day, which we all traditionally refer to as ’26 Day. This year’s celebration marks our 176th anniversary! Can you believe that? As a nation, we have been in existence for 176 long years. That’s about 110 years longer than Ghana’s independence, or 119 years longer than Botswana’s independence, two of the gradually developing countries of Africa.
“Again, as we all observe this auspicious day in our nation’s history, we all need to take a deep breath and reflect: What does Independence mean to you? When somebody tells you that our country is the oldest independent Republic in Africa, what does it really mean to you? Have you ever pondered over this question? Do you think that the meaning of Independence Day, which entails the citizenry galvanizing their energies and gallantly working in unison towards the socio-economic development of their country is the same meaning to our current batch of leaders? Do you see them effectively working for the socio-economic development of our country?”, Cllr. Gongloe said.
The presidential hopeful stated that he decided to throw some of these thought provoking questions as a challenge to some of them who believe Liberia is the only country they have and as result “we are determined to roll up sleeves and exert every effort towards improving the prevailing situation, in order to make Liberia a better place for us all”.
“But for many Government officials, especially those that are in charge of and have access to national resources, for those who are fond of frequently stealing public funds and buying properties with their ill-gotten wealth in Ghana, in France, Queens, New York; Florida and other foreign parts, they have different meanings of our Independence Day.
“They have a different meaning of Independence Day because they perceive Liberia as their farm, as their personal domain where they can rip off our resources, feloniously amass wealth with impunity and invest in foreign countries. Because they have multiple citizenships, so Liberian citizenship and Liberian Independence Day is secondary to them”, he said
The LPP number 1 partisan said it was against the background of certain persons whom he described as “elites” not being passionate about the independence that informed his decision to rally Liberians of like minds who are patriotic to forge a common front and in unison on October 10, 2023 “to ensure that our independence becomes much more meaningful”, adding, “We must make our independence much more meaningful, because those who founded this country were imbued with patriotic aspirations and noble anticipation”.
Paying homage to the gallantry and sense of patriotism of the founding fathers of Liberia, the renowned human rights activist said from the onset, they boldly declared to the world that “Liberia is not the offspring of grasping ambition nor the tool of avaricious speculation.”
“Moreover, our Founding Fathers had also “indulged the pleasing hope that we would be permitted to exercise and improve those faculties which impart to man his dignity…”. With such hope, they had anticipated that all future Liberian Governments in the aftermath of our Declaration of Independence will engender an enabling environment, so that all Liberians will have the capacity to “train up our children in a way they should go—to inspire them with the love of honorable fame…” , he said.
Gongloe who is campaigning on the mantra of sweeping corruption from the society, especially the public service, lamented that “the disastrous socio-economic situation currently prevailing in our country is a brutal repudiation of the noble aspirations profoundly declared by our Founding Fathers 176 years ago, emphatically stating “when our hardworking civil servants’ “take-home-pay” can no more take them home, when their severely meager salaries are not disbursed for multiple months, our Government is not imparting to them their dignity as our Founding Fathers had anticipated”.
He said this year’s Independence Day is very unique, because the country is observing the independence day on the heels of a crucial presidential and general elections that will ultimately decide the destiny of country and contended that he does not to remind anyone that based on the conduct and outcome of the impending electoral process, “we as a people, will either be heralding our political maturity, our fortitude and determination to part with our ugly, corrupt past as well as ongoing developmental inertia, or imprudently repudiate the sacred declaration by our Founding Fathers 176 years ago, that we Liberians are competent and capable of governing ourselves”.
“Fellow Liberians, having traveled throughout our Country in the past two years, since we accepted a petition from a cross-section of our compatriots on December 4, 2021, in Ganta, Nimba County to become Liberia’s Servant-in-Chief, reaching out to our people in 327 hamlets, villages, towns and cities so far, I can conscientiously tell you with certainty that Liberia is lagging far behind many other African countries in basic developmental features. Our country is besieged and shackled by an abysmal underdevelopment.
“If we take their T-shirts, their caps, bags of rice, their money, their cars and still reject them at the ballot box on October 10th, because they just want to continue stealing our money, we will be making our independence much more meaningful.
“My fellow Liberians, I have come to inform you that we all have a clear path to success by radically reversing this hopeless trend for better results and A BETTER LIBERIA. On October 10, 2023, if together we peacefully change our leaders to ensure our “safety and happiness” as mandated by Article One of our Constitution, we will be making our independence much more meaningful.
“In closing I leave you with the exact wording of Article One of our Constitution so that we all will internalize it before the pivotal election of October 10th. It says: All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require. In order to ensure democratic government which responds to the wishes of the governed, the people shall have the right at such a period, and in such a manner as provided for under this Constitution, to cause their public servants to leave office and to fill vacancies by regular elections and appointments”, he concluded.