Monday, November 29, 2010 was celebrated in Liberia as a National Holiday in Liberia in observance of the birth anniversary of the country’s 18th President, William V.S. Tubman.
The celebration was in consonance with a Legislative enactment setting aside November 29 every year as a national holiday remembrance of his achievements for the nation and its people to include his integration, open door and unification policies, as well as the freedom to allow Liberian women to vote, among others.
There’s also March 15 each year, the birth anniversary of the country’s first President Joseph Jenkins Roberts, another national holiday enacted into law by the Liberian Legislature.
Nay 13 was once celebrated as a public holiday, also enacted into law as the birthday of the Late Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr, 19th President of Liberia, but was repealed in the 1980s by the Government of Liberia’s 20th President, the late Samuel Kanyon Doe, whose birthday on May 6 should have also been made a national holiday in Liberia by our Honorable men and women on Capitol Hill, but political pressure prevented such from happening.
And soon again, may be in her second term, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s birthday will be commemorated as a national holiday in our country through the efforts of our brothers and sisters on Capitol Hill.
While we join other Liberians to appreciate the good work and efforts of two of our past leaders to develop our motherland, we also beg to differ with such holidays and see the special attention and honors being bestowed on them as not only descriminat0ry, but also injustice to the rest of our Presidents.
After all, all of Liberia’s Presidents, one way or the other, made some marks or contributed to the development of Liberia, and it would be very foolhardy for any Liberian to think the other way around.
Even President Charles D. B. King, who was reported to have been at the center of the sale of some of those he governed to Fernando Po, had something to offer and point at in terms of the country’s development.
This is why, we at the New Dawn do concur with a very few Liberians, in frowning at such discrimination perpetrated by our governments. We believe that no one Liberian President was/is ever better than the other(s) in terms of conducting the affairs of state. Such was the time and such were the conditions- no matter who it was/is.
We strongly harbor the belief that there must be no individual birthday celebration for any of the past and present presidents of Liberia.
Instead, we must only have a single day in Liberia to represent the birthdays of all of our past leaders to be known as THE PRESIDENTS DAY -whether on March 15, May 13 or 6, or even November 29. Let it be. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the current 52nd Legislature must see this as a serious challenge and act immediately to take the glory.
In essence, we join the few who have made this suggestion before in saying no more must we single out J.J. Roberts and Tubman birthdays for celebrations, but a single day for all of the Presidents of the Republic of Liberia.