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Fulani community demands integration

Members of Liberia’s growing Fulani community, who hold a large chunk of the economy, are demanding integration and appointment to public offices.

By: Naneka A. Hoffman

Monrovia, Liberia, March 6, 2024 – The Fulanis Community in Liberia has reiterated a call to be assimilated into Liberian as an ethnic group with all rights entitled to as citizens.

The National Fula Governor of Liberia, Almamy Mohamed Sow, said Fulanis have been discriminated against here in almost all aspects of life, especially in the educational sector and representation in government.

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Speaking on Tuesday, March 4, 2024, at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia during his induction as the new National Fula Governor of Liberia, Governor Sow said Fula people are not only businesspeople but a lot of them are also schooled as professionals in all fields of life. Based on this background, they are paying their taxes to government.

He said that while it is important to note that education is pivotal for sustainable economic growth and development, it is also imperative that this does not happen in the absence of peace and coexistence.

“This, therefore, reminds me further that the Fulani in this country have always demonstrated that despite their meaningful contributions to the economy, they have also maintained the stability of this country by fully participating in worthwhile developmental events such as adhering to the rule of law and by largely contributing to the peace of this country,” Governor Sow said. 

He explained that the Fula people’s long-standing history in Liberia has always reminded them of the indispensable assets they have acquired, and this is why they deem it imperative to maintain the peace and stability of the state.

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“Unarguably, we are among some of the few or perhaps the very few ones in this country that have hugely underscored the importance of paying taxes,” the governor noted. 

He said this indicates that they have long understood that the surest way to maintain peace is by tax compliance.

He emphasized that it is troubling that the community’s ceaseless form of national participation is still being questioned and, to a greater extent, ignored.

“The Fulani should not be merchants of the state; the Fulani should not just be merely considered as strangers.” 

However, he said they should not also be viewed as ordinary spectators in the political and socio-economic life of the state.

“This therefore suggests that we too should be part of the decision making process of the state.”

He stated that this squarely means that the Fulani are qualified and competent to serve the country through any position of confidence and integrity.

He said that historically, some of their kinsmen have participated in the state’s decision-making process, notably at the deputy and assistant ministerial positions, representatives in the Office of the Presidency, and other levels of government.

Meanwhile, Governor Sow said this must reflect a broad-based inclusion of all, but to date, “we are yet to take a solace into a sheet that bears the names Barry, Jalloh, Sow, Bah, Baldi, etc., and our people, too, are getting very concerned.”

“Today, the Fulanis community is proud of many of her sons and daughters as professionals in different fields of study. Our country is at a crossroads; Liberia holds so much promise, but that promise, as envisaged originally by the founders, has faced many stumbling blocks over a century of statehood.”

Governor Sow said many of the outlined problems are foundational, and they can collectively work together to achieve. 

“We, the Fulani, are good people; we are a kind people; we are a forgiving people and God-fearing people, so let us begin anew, moving forward into the future that is filled with hope and promise”, he concluded. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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