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Liberians celebrate National Unification Day

Joseph T. Koon
Pres. Tubman, Architect of Unification Policy
Pres. Tubman, Architect of Unification Policy

MONROVIA, LIBERIA- Liberians throughout the country celebrated National Unification Day in their numbers and soberly reflected on the actualization of Liberia’s Unification Policy over the years.

In Liberia, the observance of the Day is not usually colorful as compared to other national celebrations, such as Independence and Christmas Days.

The observance of the Day followed a Presidential Proclamation issued on Thursday, May 12, 2016, declaring Saturday, May 14 as National Unification Day to be observed as a National Holiday throughout the country.

A Foreign Ministry release quotes the Proclamation as saying the observance of the Day is in consonance with the 1960 Act of the National Legislature, declaring the 14th of May of each year as a National Unification Day.

It states that since the Unification and Integration Policy became an integral part of the National Development Plan, Liberia has made significant progress and improvement in all spheres of national endeavor, particularly in the economic, educational, communication and social fields.

The Proclamation recalls that the wisdom of the Unification Policy has created a national platform which engendered a true representation of all sections of the country, including the three branches of government to promote peace and unity. 

In the Proclamation, President Sirleaf said: “Being mindful of the years of civil strife and its harmful impacts on the people of Liberia, it has become imperative that all Liberians would embrace the noble ideals enshrined in the Unification Act to promote unity and peace among all Liberians.”

“The Government of Liberia is committed to the principles of justice, equality, fair play and equal opportunities for all, regardless of tribe or clan, section, creed, religion or economic status,” the Liberian Leader noted.

The Unification Policy of Liberia was introduced during the regime of Liberia’s 18th President, William V. Tubman who served  the  country for 27 years under the True Wing Party-led Government.

During the regime of President Tubman, a National Unification Monument was erected by government in Voinjama, Lofa County to serve as a symbolic mark of national unification spirit among Liberians, irrespective of tribe, religion, or political affiliation.

Meanwhile, the essence of National Unification has sparked off mixed public reactions .Some political analysts have argued that the essence of the Day has not been given a priority by national government, citing the lack of national conference to reunite the people of Liberia in post-conflict country like ours as a major challenge of government.

However, another account of the argument by other political analysts indicates that Liberia has achieved the desired peace and stability following a 14- year civil conflict as evidenced by the successes of the current government of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf over the years.

Despite all these, Liberians must embrace the ideals of the Unification Act as contained in the Presidential Proclamation to cultivate a renewed sense of nationalism and patriotism in the supreme interest of Liberia and abandon vices that could plunge the country into turmoil and insurrection again.

 


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