With less than two months to the end of the 12-year term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and 36 days to the end of the 53rd Legislature, the President has submitted to the House of Representatives a bill to amend ‘Title 25, Patriotic and Cultural Observances Law, Chapter 3, Recognition of Distinguished Service’ by adding Subsection 64 – to be known as “The Order of the Republic.”
According to the President’s letter, the bill: ‘New Order,’ when enacted, will authorize the President to establish ‘The Order of the Republic.’
“The Order will be conferred on Liberians and foreign nationals who have rendered distinguished services toward the peace, development or unification of the Republic of Liberia or globally with dignity, gallantry, and integrity,” the President wrote.
“These persons to be honored, among others, preferably would have also contributed to the development, growth, and stability of our nation by espousing positive values among our people,” the President stated.
The New Order
The ‘Order of the Republic’ will join three other orders which are the ‘Order of the Pioneers of Liberia’ (also known as the ‘Grand Order of the Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia’); the ‘Humane Order of African Redemption’; and ‘Order of the Star of Africa.’
President Sirleaf’s letter, which was read in session on Tuesday, stated that the ‘Order of the Republic’ is similar to the other orders of distinction that were enacted to acknowledge people who have rendered distinguished services to the Republic or to Africa in the public and private sectors in the fields of literature, arts or sciences and to acknowledge the magnanimity of sovereign nations that have shown favors and friendship to the Republic of Liberia. These awards are also bestowed on philanthropists; benefactors to humanity who through their charities or personal cooperation, among other things, have helped the Republic, ‘and to hold sacred the memory of the sainted pioneer fathers and mothers of this Republic.’
“Mr. Speaker, in furtherance of the above, and in recognition of the distinguished services rendered in promoting unity, I request that you enact into law this bill, which will set forth the guidelines to honor our patriots,” the President said.
Members of the House unanimously voted for the bill to be sent to the Committee on Broadcasting, Information and Tourism and the Judiciary to advise Plenary in two weeks. The motion was raised by Grand Bassa County District # 3 Representative Gabriel Smith.