The political leader of the opposition Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), Dr. J. Mills Jones, told a jubilant crowd of students Friday that Liberians should revise the refrain in the national anthem that speaks about a ‘race benighted’ and replace it with ‘a race ready for accomplishment and development.’
Dr. Jones made the statement after the president emeritus of the University of Liberia, Daniel T. Woart, and others declared their membership of MOVEE at its headquarters in Monrovia.
The part in the national anthem that Dr. Jones referred to goes like this: “In joy and gladness, With our hearts united, we’ll shout the freedom of a race benighted, Long live Liberia, happy land…”
“In the 21st Century,” Dr. Jones declared, “We, Liberians, can no longer be a race benighted but a race ready for accomplishment and development.”
He said the leadership of the opposition Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE) has the political will and ability to bring about needed changes in the country.
He said the party is led by people who put country above self and understand issues of economic development and empowerment. Quoting the Oracle of Apollo, with reference to ancient Greek mythology, Jones said the Oracle warned the people of Sparta that only greed could lead to their downfall.
Dr. Jones said Roman politician, lawyer and orator, Marcus Tullius Cicero, explained that the oracle was not only speaking to the people of Greece but to all nations.
“That warning also applies to Liberia because it is greed that causes self above country; greed responsible for people not caring for each other, greed that is the cause for dishonesty in the country,” he added.
Describing Liberia as a land of possibilities, Dr. Jones said “Change is coming because it is time for change in Liberia.” He said a time comes in every country when change becomes inevitable.
“It is our young people, you, who make open the gate for change in our country,” Dr. Jones said, amid cheers. “I encourage you to register to vote because change is coming, and change is here.”
He warned them against politicians who want power for the sake of power, and told them that they should open their eyes and support those who put country above self.
“Don’t be fooled by politicians who would seem to know what your problems are. You want people who understand what the economic situation is and have the political will and ability for the change that is needed in the country,” he told them.
Dr. Jones said poverty has no tribe; that poverty in Sinoe, his county, is no different from the poverty in Grand Cape Mount County. “Poverty is poverty and it is about time we get our people out of poverty,” he stated.
He called on Liberians to join the victory train that just took off. “The only thing you need to be on board is the willingness to work to bring about the change for our country because the future of Liberia is for the youth,” he said.
Earlier, Mr. Daniel T. Woart and a number of former student leaders recounted the road they traveled before arriving at MOVEE, the party that would realize the aspirations of the Liberian people.
Other speakers described Dr. Jones as a ‘political messiah’ and noted that Liberia is like a patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a major hospital and only a doctor with special skills and knowledge (like Dr. Jones), can restore her health.