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GeneralLiberia news

Gongloe to make Ramadan a National Holiday

-Ahead of 2023 Elections

By: Kruah Thompson

Ahead of the October presidential and general elections, the standard bearer of the opposition Liberian People’s Party, Cllr Tiawan Gongloe, has pledged to make Ramadan a national holiday in Liberia.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper recently, Cllr. Gongloe said that Liberia is the only country in West Africa that does not have a Muslim holiday. Therefore, he says to strengthen religious tolerance practices in the country, he will ensure the day becomes a national holiday if elected President.

Muslims in the country have persistently demanded religious holidays, petitioning the Liberian Legislature.

Public holidays in Liberia are enacted into law by the Legislature and not pronounced or declared by a president.

Muslims would have to lobby strongly with Capitol Hill especially, with individual lawmakers from constituencies to have their demand achieved.

But this is not the first time for politicians to make such promise, particularly near electioneering period when they need the Muslims’ votes.

Prior to Cllr. Gongloe’s latest pledge to Muslims, Nimba County Senator Prince Yormie Johnson had received petition from the Muslims Community and promised them to have their request met upon re-election but this was never done. Others from the Capitol had made similar pledge that never saw light of day.  

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However, Gongloe told this paper that since the day (Ramadan) is observed based on the setting of the moon, under his Presidency, the people of Liberia will recognize it by setting a specific date aside yearly to give it a higher national recognition.

According to him, he sees no reason why Muslims will not get a public holiday when both Christians and Muslims are together and worship differently.

The LPP presidential hopeful continues that there is evidence of heavy presence of Muslims across the country and they are part of the 16 tribes of Liberia.

“The chief Iman from Nimba is called Iman Siaway and he’s a Gio man. Also, many people are worshipping through the Muslim faith therefore, I think we must give them a holiday”, he argues.

Meanwhile, he reveals that late Interim President Dr. Amos C. Sawyer issued a policy statement that when there is a national program, Christian prelate must give the invocation, while a Muslim cleric performs the benediction, adding that this move was also meant to promote religious tolerance in the country.

He vows to go beyond Sawyer by having an Iman and a Reverend at the Supreme Court of Liberia under his administration.

According to him, this will go a long way in promoting religious tolerance in the country. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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One Comment

  1. Like every other do-nothing politician making every effort to deceive and mislead the people of Liberia and the Islamic Community of Liberia in total violation of the the Constitution of Liberia as our Constitution speaks to the separation of Religion and the affairs and the operations of the State, Cllr. Gongole deceptively promised to declare Ramadan, a National Islamic Holiday in Liberia. This reckless, emotional and unconstitutional statement of Cllr. Gongole is repugnant and violates the Letter and Spirit of Liberia’s Statutory Laws and Constitution. Cllr. Gongole reckless, unsupervised, and totally unconstitutional statement though unlawful, it is simply meant to solicited and desperately acquire the VOTES of the Muslim Community of Liberia and lead Liberia and its people into conflict and disunity. I am certain that Cllr. Gongole knows or should know fully well that under the Constitution of Liberia, only the Liberian Senate and House is vested with the sole authority to make the Law and not the Executive Branch of the Government of Liberia. Obviously, Cllr. Gongole is dead wrong and that legally, the President of Liberia cannot legally promise a religious holiday—Ramadan a Muslim Holiday in Liberia. Liberia and our people need to carefully watch Cllr. Gongole and his LPP as they knowingly and unknowingly seek to violate Liberia’s Statutory Laws and the Constitution of Liberia and drag Liberia into unnecessary religious conflict and disunity. As Liberians and residents approach Oct 10, 2023 General and Presidential Elections, Cllr. Gongole and every other “JUST MAKE ME YOUR PRESIDENT” politician like Cllr. Gongole needs to keenly be watched for reckless, irresponsible and unlawful statements and empty promises they make for VOTES. Liberia and her people deserve better!

    Cllr. Frederick A. B. Jayweh, Esq.
    Mobile: 720-731-7995

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