Ellen Praises Late President Tubman for Blazing Path of Development

Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Joined by Officials of Government, several members of the Tubman family and a crowd of onlookers, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf reverently laid a wreath on the tomb of Liberia’s 18th President, William V.S. Tubman, on the occasion of his 119th birth anniversary yesterday.

The ceremony at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmun Street in Monrovia was carried out with all the dignity and respect befitting her predecessor whom President Sirleaf described as “one loved by the people, who steered the country through an era of sustained peace, cohesion and stability for nearly three decades of our history.”

She said, “We have come to memorialize President Tubman for starting the country on the path of development, democracy and freedom; the fight against colonialism, sustained peace and stability.”

President Sirleaf said in spite of criticisms, she was “pleased and blessed to fulfill such an humble obligation of wreath-laying since her ascendancy”, adding that her administration “has been able to solidify the peace during her 12-year reign by embarking on and scrupulously implementing critical national agenda.”

On behalf of his family, President Tubman’s son, John Hilary, thanked President Sirleaf and the Government for the manner of respect accorded the memory of their late father and statesman.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Olubanke King-Akerele read a historical letter written on May 7, 1971 to the late President Tubman by the Federation of Women in Sierra Leone. The letter paid tribute to President Tubman for his heroic determination and fortitude in supporting the enactment of legislation granting suffrage to Liberian women.

The letter further passionately recognized scores of Liberian women who made history, including Elizabeth Collins, Liberia’s first female senator, and Angie Brooks-Randolph, first female president of the United Nations General Assembly. The letter also predicted the election of a female president to unmask the jinx of “Mr. President versus Madam President.”  The letter is available to the public at the National Museum in Monrovia.

President Tubman’s birthday on November 29 is one of Liberia’s much anticipated holidays when Liberians flock to the beaches and other entertainment sites for a day of fun and relaxation.


  1. One of W.V.S.Tubman greatest accomplishments, was his proposed “Unification Policy” in Liberia. President Tubman urged all Liberians; regardless of Economic or Social Status to “go about freely and Socialize.” However, apparently Tubman’s Unification Policy was not fully implemented. The policy turned out to be one sided; where by, men of Americo Liberian origin could chaperone as many indigenous ladies as they please. For the daughters of said men, it was an absolute taboo to have intimacy with a man of indigenous extraction. As we come to grip with ourselves, trying to figure out the right direction for Liberia, it’s important; that we revisit President Tubman’s Unification Policy and fully adopt it. Indeed! That will be a good solution; for our[LIBERIAN] problem of DIVISIVENESS. Our thanks again, to our Americo/Congo Liberian sisters who have found their true love in the hands of a Musa, Kerkula, Yarkpawolo, Kpoto, Tokpakollie, Tamba and many others. You are the truth champions of Liberia’s Unification.

  2. “Ellen Praises Late President Tubman for Blazing Path of Development”…

    The above by ellen is pure nonsense!!!
    TUBMAN, known what all wise and intellectual people know by now about Tubman; He, Tubman did not do any good thing for Liberia. He was corrupted, not a good leader and Tubman did not love Liberia at all.
    Tubman did not leave any good legacy behind. One thing I am aware of is he was a big cigar smoker. Tubman was not a visionary. I strongly believed that Tubman and Mathilda Newport Holidays should be abolished.
    I am contemplating of running to be “President” of Liberia. When I have decided to run, I will win squarely and fairly. I know the Liberian people are being used over and over by all these so called leaders WHO DO NOT HAVE THE COUNTRY AND Liberian PEOPLE AT HEARTs, BUT TO ENRICH THEMSELVES. My friends use your God’s given talents to help your fellow Liberian instead of using them and the country’s resources to enrich yourselves. Stop! stop! of being so corrupt…

  3. During the economic boom years of President William V.S. Tubman, from 1960 to 1970, Liberia’s population did not exceed 1.5 million. His “Open Door Policy” created lots of low paying manual labor jobs in the mining and rubber sectors for many Liberians around the country.

    However, Tubman’s policy was an attractive investment policy benefiting multi-nationals that had weak governmental regulations. Tubman “Open Door Policy” allowed many multinational companies to enter Liberia for exploitation. They exploited Liberia’s cheap labor, and they exploited Liberia natural resources with little value added in return; let alone, the untold environmental devastation these companies left behind.

    Bong Mines, LAMCO, Liberia Iron Ore Mining Company (Bomi Hills), Firestone, to name a few, operated Liberia like a typical sweat shop or a slave plantation. What infrastructural development did these companies provide for Liberia during Tubman Administration apart from the luxurious lifestyles those highly paid expatriates enjoyed?

    For example, in Bomi Hills, where I worked in the former Department of Agriculture and Forestry under the late Anthony Sayeh Sr., paved roads only stopped at the gates of the mining compound. The rest of the road leading to Monrovia was dusty and deplorable. This was the same all over the mining companies and rubber plantations during the Tubman Administration.

    Tubman’s development was mostly focused on the Capital City, Monrovia and his home town of Harper City, Maryland County. Upon leaving Harper City to Monrovia, the roads were deplorable and impassable. It took two days from Harper to reach Monrovia in the 60s until his death in 1971.

    Liberia’s economy was booming during Tubman’s Administration because Liberia’s rich natural resources were not controlled by colonial government like our African brothers and sisters. However, Tubman lavish lifestyle and excessive waste on his patronage system to maintain power kept Liberia infrastructure development backwards.

    During Tubman 27 years in power, he had all the opportunity to develop Liberia as our African neighbors under colonial rule: to build modern hospitals, to build paved road network throughout Liberia, to build manufacturing plants, to build more hydro dams, to increase pipe-borne water, to increase food production, to provide free education to all Liberians, to increase Liberia’s literacy rate to one of the highest in Africa due to Liberia’s small population and due to Liberia’s high income growth rate at that time during the 60’s.

    Tubman did not utilize such golden opportunity because doing so: by giving too much educational opportunity and economic prosperity to the masses would have threatened his political grip on power.

    In addition, Tubman’s resentment to political opposition and his patronage behavior to please his ruling True Whig Party (One Party State) members and to maintain his grip on power for 27 years is a testament to the deplorable infrastructural condition his successor Tolbert inherited.

    Celebrating Tubman’s rigged constitutional 27 years of unproductive power shows how a small backward, unproductive, non-innovative, non-creative, undeveloped country like Liberia has too much time to waste.

    Why won’t Liberia set aside only one day as Presidents’ Day to celebrate all presidents of Liberia than having individual Days set aside as a President Tubman or President Joseph Jenkins Robert’s Holiday.

    At this last minute, President Sirleaf is all over the country dedicating projects (just to take the credit) as though she is the only person in her government.


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