The committee vetting candidates to serve as orator for Liberia’s 171st Independence Celebration July 26, 2018 calls on young and competent Liberians to apply for this national duty, amid serious public criticism.
Former Minister of Information Rev. Emmanuel Bowier, an instructor at the Foreign Service Institute says Independence Orator is not an office to seek, rather it is the State that asks a personality to serve this role based on his or her contributions and experience.
The outspoken ex-minister says anyone applying to serve as national Independence orator is “stupid.”The pronouncement by the George Weah-led government to vet an orator to address the nation on July 26, is the first ever since Liberia declared her Independence in 1847.
However, speaking on a local radio station here on Monday, July 2, a member of the vetting committee, Mohammed Bimpa says in past times the Independence Day Orator has been chosen by the President, but this year’s Independence celebration President Weah has chosen a different procedure.
According to him, President Weah’s reason to have people applied to serve as National Orator is to give the ordinary Liberians chance to participate in the program.
“We have opened this process for application and it has gone close to two weeks, and we will be closing very shortly to have our final nomination”, Mohammed explains.
He says nominations and applications are still open, noting that procedures required that candidate or nominee should be a young Liberian between ages 15 and 35, a high school student or above, and should submit a formal application, expressing interest to serve as National Orator to the Monrovia City Hall.
In the past, activities pertaining to Independence and other national occasions had been handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of State.
Mohammed maintains the government decided to, this time around, choose a youth because Liberia’s current population is predominantly youth, saying that President Weah sees it as an opportunity for the young people of Liberia and also as a way of empowering the youth, and a way of exposing hidden talents.
“We opened the application two weeks ago and we are expecting to close before the 13th of July. There will be a vetting committee and also an audition process will be held where the nominees will be vetted.” He explains.
By Ethel A. Tweh–Editing by Jonathan Browne