By Lincoln G. Peters
The President of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC), Bishop Kortu Brown has expressed concern over the absence of opposition politicians at the launch of Liberia’s Bicentennial program Friday, 7 January 2022 held on Providence Island.
Liberia’s National Bicentennial Steering Committee is holding a yearlong event in honor of Africa’s first republic which was founded when a group of freed black slaves from the United States of America arrived on the Providence Island that lies between Central Monrovia and Bushrod Island on 7 January 1822 after a difficult and hazardous journey across the Atlantic Ocean.
Speaking in an interview after the program over the weekend, Bishop Brown said he was bothered when he did not see other Liberians at the program.
“This is a good initiative and I am bothered when I do not see other Liberians. Their absence shows that we still have work to do to consolidate national cohesion, reconciliation and peace,” said Bishop Brown.
Pleased with the level of turnout and reception, the Liberian Clergyman said he sees the initiative as an effort to give new vigor to the spirit of unity through historical reflection and engagements.
At the same time, Bishop Brown pointed out that the absence of the opposition political leaders did not augur well in the push for a reconciled nation.
“All of us should work together towards reconciliation to promote unity – it is a timely call,” he said, adding that he hopes that the Steering Committee of the Bicentennial can reach out more to the opposition community.
Meanwhile, Bishop Brown said he was thrilled by the statement delivered by President Weah extending an invitation to all political parties leaders to the next program due 14 February.
“I think that the government and [the] committee should work on that, to reach out to other national leaders to ensure that at the next program they are present,” Bishop Brown urged.
Speaking further, he said the Bicentennial will help inspire something that will go a long way in trying to revive reconciliation and national cohesion in the country.
“I think it is now time for us to take action to actualize national reconciliation especially as we go towards 2023. It is obvious that we will be in political competition, we can be in politics and still be united,” he noted.
According to Bishop Brown, the objective of the program is to reflect where Liberia came from, adding that 200 years ago a nation-state was established here at Providence Island.
“We encourage Liberians, whether from a political party, to join hands to lift the spirit of our country,” he pleaded.
He said the best that Liberians can do for themselves is to continue to forge for national unity, national reconciliation, and also continue to find a way in which they can work together to move the country forward.
The Government of Liberia commenced the celebration of the bicentennial commemorating Liberia’s 200 years of existence when the first batch of freed slaves arrived here from the US on ship Elizabeth. They landed on Providence Island in 1822.
President George Manneh Weah’s administration conceived the idea to host what it calls Bicentennial Celebration this year, and Liberians from all walks of life in their national colors and cultures, diplomats and other residents turned out to grace the occasion.
During the ceremony, President Weah said in the spirit of national unity, he welcomed the leadership of all political parties and other national leaders to the official opening ceremony of the 2022 national bicentennial commemoration to be held on 14 February 2022, as the nation memorializes peace, unity, forgiveness and reconciliation.
He called on all Liberians to champion the cause of national unity and to reconcile differences for Liberia’s growth and development, calling for peace to reign across Liberia.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-kicks-off-bicentennial/