Liberian civil society organizations will tomorrow 30, May, 2014, observe the 50th Jubilee of National Unification Day on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.
The program, organized by the Better Future Foundation (BFF), in collaboration with the Kofi Annan Institute for Conflict Transformation, Montserrado County Peace Committee (MPC), and the Liberia House of Prayer, among others has, as its theme: “National Unification Day at 50: Reviewing the Past and Preparing for the Future.”
The jubilee celebration (1964-2014), will be focused on Bong, Lofa, Nimba, and Grand Gedeh Counties, created in 1964 and their subsequent integration into the Republic of Liberia.
The occasion will also be characterized by Interactive Dialogues and Panel Discussions.
Among other topics which would be addressed by a number of distinguished panelists are the following: “The Influence and Impacts of Tradition on National Unification in the Liberian Society; Promoting Cohesiveness, Harmony, Tolerance and Respect for Diversity; History of National Unification Day- Its Influence and impacts on National Unity, the country and People and the Way Forward.”
Liberia’s Peace Ambassador, and international soccer celebrity, George Weah; Dr. Augustine Konneh, Director of Foreign Service Institute; Rep. Ricks Toweh, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Peace and Reconciliation of the House of Representatives; Dr. Joseph Saye Guanue, a renowned author and professor of history and political Science are expected to make thematic presentations at the occasion which will also be graced by a number of local and international peace advocacy organizations including the youth and student community in the country.
BFF president Rev. Augustine Arkoi, giving a historical overview of the National Unification Day celebration disclosed that it draws attention to one of the most pressing issues that faces the country throughout its history. He made reference to the then animosity between the Americo-Liberians and the indigenous population.
Rev. Arkoi historicized that under the leadership of President William V. S. Tubman, who led the country from 1944 to 1971, the divide between these two groups was minimized, if not totally eradicated.
“In his inaugural address, Tubman introduced his National Unification Policy, which featured among other things an extension of voting right to women and to the country's indigenous people,” the BFF President pointed out.
He maintains that the day reminds Liberians of what they hold in common as opposed to their divergence.
According to organizers of the Unification Day peace symposium, Liberia’s distinguished educator and rights activist, Madam Mary N. Brownell will serve as Presiding Resource person during the daylong deliberations.
Madam Brownell according to the BFF communication is meanwhile calling on all Liberians at home and in the Diaspora to forgive, love and unite as a prerequisite for a peaceful, secured, and prosperous Liberia.