President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has extolled Members of foreign missions accredited here for an “unprecedented show of unity” at Liberia’s 168th Independence Day celebration in Greenville, Sinoe County.
A Foreign Ministry release said Mrs. Sirleaf also took the time to thank and praise multi and bilateral partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), other UN Agencies, World Bank Groups (WB), European Union (EU), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Foundations and individuals, for “unprecedented show of solidarity,” during the deadly Ebola virus disease crisis in Liberia.
She especially applauded the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union (AU), for mobilizing what she called unprecedented private sector supports including the recruitment of 339 African professionals from 16 African countries to make the sacrifice to leave their countries and families to join Liberia in the fight.
Commenting on Liberia’s relations with other nations, she stated that her government is pleased to note that bilateral relations with governments’ representatives near Monrovia have been most cordial.
Moreover, the president added; “Today they are here in an unprecedented show of unity. I have never been at an event, not even in the capital, where all our representatives have come together in one body”.
According to the President, that show of unity from Members of the Diplomatic Corps especially at the country’s 168th independence observance is a special gift that they (diplomats) had taken to the people of Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties. Grand Kru co-hosted the 168th Independence Day events.
Speaking further, the President stated that Liberians had once again gathered in the spirit of unity “in unprecedented representation at all levels and all persuasions in our society. We have come to demonstrate patriotism in recognition of the long road of definitive and quantifiable progress.”
Mrs. Sirleaf urged all Liberians to go out touching each and others adding: “say a good thing to someone today; say a good thing for your country today.”
Speaking earlier, Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan mentioned the names of at least thirty-two (32) presidents and heads of government as well as heads of some international organizations, who had sent messages of congratulations and felicitations to President Sirleaf on the nation’s 168th Independence Day.
Before he read the list, the Liberian Foreign Minister clarified, however, that the list was not exhaustive as messages were still pouring in from around the world and more of them are expected in the coming days.
However, Foreign Minister Ngafuan, speaking Saturday, July 25 in Barclayville City, Grand Kru County, thanked and praised 13 Members of the Diplomatic Corps, who had travelled deep in the jungle to Grand Kru to form part of the historic event.
Min. Ngafuan said, “Most of them are accredited to Liberia and not Monrovia alone, as such they have decided to come to the interior or the interior”. According to the Minister, representatives of foreign governments had gone to that far end of Liberia in order “to see, to hear and then to act later”.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps were led to the Independence Day events in both Sinoe and Grand Kru counties by Guinean Ambassador Abdullah Doré, who is the Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps.
Speaking at the formal program held in the J. Dominic Bing City Hall in Greenville, Sinoe County, and Ambassador Doré congratulated President Sirleaf on behalf of himself and his colleagues, as the nation celebrated its 168th anniversary.
The Guinean Diplomat told the President that it was the first time that all the Ambassadors accredited near Monrovia had gathered in one place for such a national occasion. He further stated that Liberia doesn’t need to talk about Ebola again as the nation has been successful in defeating the deadly virus. He added: “Ebola is under us”.
However, Ambassador Doré passionately appealed for Liberia’s support on behalf of his Sierra Leonean counterpart and himself saying they have not yet been successful in stamping out the virus from their shores.
“We in Guinea and Sierra Leone, we are asking our friends in Liberia to come to Guinea and Sierra Leone and help us”, he appealed.
For his part, the National Orator of the 168th Independence Day, Ambassador Charles Alexander Minor, stated among other things that though the nation was going through a lot of challenges, there are still reasons to celebrate and to give the Almighty God thanks for being gracious to the nation, and its people.
“But just as we have weaknesses and challenges, just as we can numerate our shortcomings and inadequacies, so we also have strengths and opportunities. The score card is incomplete when we accentuate only the negatives and the minuses. We need to also check out the positives, the plus side of the score card”, the 168th National Orator remarked.
On the plus side, we must thank the Almighty God who has been gracious unto us. He has sustained us as a Nation for 168 years, when several attempts were made to remove the name Liberia from the world map” he stated.
He also added that even through the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease has ravaged Liberia, the country has survived. “For over 10 long years, PEACE has prevailed in Liberia, although justice has not always been swift for all”, he indicated further.