The maxim, “If the home does not sell you, the street will not buy you” is absolutely correct and many know it except that there are some people who see it from a negative connotation perspective. The fact is the public sees one’s worth and defines their attitude towards a person based on the value or popularity their home or a family assigns them. The people of Bong County, arguably the largest ethnic group in the country, have long underpinned the moral worth and national acceptability of their daughter, Jewel Howard Taylor, first creating the environment that fertilized her useful upbringing before catapulting her into public limelight by electing her twice as a Senator and now as Vice President of Liberia. They had named her Madam Suacoco, a distinguished traditional name of valor and endurance. Now they have conferred upon her Bong County’s highest traditional title, PANOFALO. The Analyst reports.
The people of Bong County have bestowed another but highest distinguished traditional title upon their Daughter, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, Liberia’s Vice President.
According to the Chief Dakpanah of Liberia, Chief Moses Suakollie, the title, “PONOFALO” is the highest traditional title in the Kpelleh tradition.
The title, according to a release from the VP’s office, was conferred on VP Howard-Taylor at an elaborate program held on Thursday, January 24, 2019, in Gbarnga City, Bong County, in continuation of celebrations of her 56th birth anniversary.
Conferring the traditional title, Chief Suakollie said, the people of Bong County chose the first female Vice President of Liberia because of her numerous contributions to the development of the County as well as the dictates of the Kpelleh tradition.
Some of the contributions according the Chief Dakpanah of Liberia include the provision of scholarships to youths of Bong County, the construction of schools, Health facilities, bridges and support to the advancement of traditional activities in the country as a whole.
Well attended by thousands of residents from across Bong County, the program also brought together traditional leaders from towns on the other side of the border in the Republic of Guinea, students, youth and women groups as well as local county officials.
Responding to the honor, Vice President Chief Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor extolled his Excellency President George M. Weah for his courageous and farsighted decision to select a daughter from Bong County as his Running Mate whose now the Vice President in the current CDC-led government.
She expressed the belief that this honor could not have been possible had President Weah not selected her to serve at such level in the governance process of the country.
VP Howard-Taylor also thanked the traditional elders of the County for the honor, adding, “This traditional honor has taught me a whole new lesson.”
According to Vice President, the first ever Liberian female to occupy that office, those who are given the privilege to serve must do so at the pleasure of their people, a situation she referred to as a new lesson for her.
She therefore promised to, in consultation with His Excellency George Weah, consult with the people of Bong County on major policy decisions that need to be made geared towards peace, unity and development for the people.
It can be recalled that in 2011, the Distinguished Traditional Title of Venerable Chief in the National Traditional Council of Liberia was conferred on her as the then Senator of Bong County.
That Chieftaincy Title to the first female was conferred on Madam Howard-Taylor by Traditional Chiefs and Elders of Bong County for her role in sponsoring the a bill which created the National Traditional Council of Liberia as well as in full recognition of her exemplary services to the people of Bong and Liberia at large.