Monday, July 26 marked the hundredth and Sixty-three Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Liberia. The day, celebrated throughout the length and breadth of the country, was greeted by pomp and pageantry, with some areas playing host to programs to officially commemorate the day. But the historic City of Sanniquellie, the administrative headquarters of Nimba County in the north of Liberia, was the main center of attraction.
This is where the official program for the day took place, with the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her entire official family, the Speaker, President Pro tempore and Members of the Liberian Legislature, the chief Justice and Members of the Judiciary, the National Orator, as well as Representatives of Diplomatic Missions accredited near Monrovia and other national and international guests in attendance.
The National Orator for the Nimba 2010 official Independence Day program was the Right Reverend Monsignor, Dr. Robert Tikpor, Pastor Emeritus of the St. Kizito Catholic Church in Paynesville City, outside Monrovia, and the theme of his oration was as follows: IN NATIONAL UNITY, WEWILL STAND.
The crust of this Independence Day Oration is the suggestion by Monsignor Tikpor that the only way for the realization of national growth and development in Liberia is for us, Liberians to live together as a people with no other interests, but the Republic of Liberia.
For a Hundredth and Sixty-Three years, Liberia has been plagued with all of the vices that have kept us apart and our country stagnant in terms of development in all terms.
And we do agree with the National Orator that POVERTY, exacerbated by selfness and greed, unceasing corruption in high places and lack of patriotism, the dwindling away of our natural RESOURCES and SECTIONALISM are the main factors stalling our progress and achievements as a nation.
For more than a century and a half, these factors have actually kept us at bay only because personal interest has always been placed above common national interest, and mind you, such un-patriotism continues to be passed on from one generation to the other.
The question now remains whether or not, with all of these realizations, we can make a change?
And the answer would be: “YES WE CAN.”
We join National Orator Robert Tikpor in further suggesting that if we should overcome the factors responsible for our current status after 163 years of existence, the present generation must be imbued with nobler ideals of what makes a nation strong and united.
The present generation of political leaders, administrators, as well as technocrats, etc., etc. must also be made to understand that the welfare of our country must be put over our personal cravings and vanes, if our country should emerge from its sufferings, as recommended by Father Tikpor.
We do believe that failure of the present generation to adhere to the foregoing must lead to actions drastic enough to generate hope for this nation.
This year’s Independence Day celebration in Nimba County was graced not only by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and her official guests, but also Senior and middle level officials of Government and other Liberians, who may have succinctly listened to the entire message delivered by Father Tikpor.
And it is our fervent hope that with the presence of all of these officials and leaders, as well as those who listened to the Oration by radio, the message achieved its primary objective.
And so, the biggest question now is “AFTER NIMBA 2010, WHAT NEXT?”
Have we left Nimba 2010 with the impression that we have accepted the Independence message with open hearts, only to continue to repeat those things that have kept our country under-developed for 163 years?
Or would our actions and deeds be continuously guided by the Oration of the Nimba 2010 Independence, as we serve our nation and its people toward our next Independence Day on July 26, 2011 and them….?
After Nimba 2010, What Next??
A great CHANGE of minds and attitudes, we believe.