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Against Independence Celebrations: We Beg to Disagree

Celebrations marking Liberia’s 168th Independence Anniversary were climaxed with the official festive celebration of the day on Monday, July 27, 2015 in Greenville City, Sinoe County in the Country’s Southeast.

The official festive celebration, held under the Theme: “Celebrating Our Community as a Strong Foundation for Accelerated Development”, was not only attended by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, Cabinet Ministers, the Legislature and Judiciary, but overwhelmingly graced by the Doyen and members of the diplomatic Corps in Liberia.


Under the Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law title 25, Liberian Codes of Law Revised, the 26th day of July each year is set aside as a public holiday to be appropriately celebrated as “Independence Day” of Liberia, a Presidential proclamation issued in Monrovia last week declared, further indicating that it is in grateful recognition of the miraculous deliverance that the Almighty God extended to the Government and Peoples of Liberia for which the nation must give thanks, adoration and praises unto him for saving the state as well as to commemorate the brave and timely decision of its forebears on July 26, 1847.

But in the wake of the celebrations, some had written and publicly expressed that celebrating our Independence Day was of “no significance”, indicating celebrating the such each year must be characterized by socio-economic progress at all levels… and not when the majority of the Liberian people currently live in abject poverty, with a very minute percentage of the population enjoying basic social services despite the available natural resources that have attracted US16.5bn investment since the incumbency of the current administration.

Commemorating “26 Day” in such pomp and pageantry as done every year without positively impacting the socio-economic well-being of the people, according to those who harbour such sentiments is of no significance.

While the foregoing assertions may be understandable, we also beg to disagree with such sentiments.

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While we do not dispute the fact that conditions in the country may somehow be unfavourable, especially in the wake of the “US$16.5bn investments” in Liberia, to suggest that ‘celebrating our Independence Anniversary each year is of significance is equally unconsciously unpatriotic.

The fact that the God’s miraculous deliverance and guidance have kept us going as a nation for 168 years, we ought to be very grateful with all of the thanks and appreciations to Him by celebrating.

Moreover, the unprecedented representations which characterize these celebrations are enough for the significance of such celebrations.

For example, the celebrations in Grand Kru and Sinoe Counties attracted an overwhelming presence of Members of the Diplomatic and Counsellor Corps, as well as international organizations could attract some level of interests for the socio-economic well-being of the people of Grand Kru and Sinoe in the future- that’s a significance of the celebrations.

Additionally, projects undertaken during these celebrations, especially in the counties, including roads and other infrastructure, are of great significance for improvements in the socio-economic lives of the inhabitants.

Considering the fact that during these celebrations each year, the people of Liberia’s counties are afforded the opportunity to host and feel the presence of the entire government – the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary, annually celebrating our Independence Day is of rewarding significance.

Indeed, we do understand the perspective from which some of our compatriots make these expressions; but it requires the inputs –one way or the other, of us all and not only those who manage our country’s natural resources, to make the impossible possible and make things to go the right way.

In furtherance of the foregoing, we must all change our minds and attitudes toward each other, as well as the government in ensuring that the right things are done in our own interest as a nation.
It may not only be prematurely sentimental for such assertion, but unpatriotic – and that’s where our disagreement is. -Press Release

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