Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan is calling on Liberian students to put Liberia above personal interest as they develop their dreams and ambitions.
Minister Ngafuan made the call while serving as a keynote speaker at the Tubman University’s First Career Day Fair in Maryland County on February 21. He said that while it is not bad to have personal ambition and dreams, the fact is Liberia remains the common denominator for all.
Minister Ngafuan: “We should never pursue our personal ambition or objectives to the detriment of national ambition. Our dreams and visions should be in sync with the national vision; a vision for national development and prosperity, a vision for unity and reconciliation, a vision for peace and security within our borders, the sub-region and our entire world.”
He explained it was important Liberians did not lose sight of the nation where they live; because if the vision of Liberia is not achieved, it would be difficult for anyone to achieve his/her individual ambition.
He also urged students of the Tubman University and others across the country to utilize time properly because it is, “the most valuable asset you can have. Do not squander it”.
“You have what many old people crave–time. The old crave the opportunity to reverse the hands of the clock and go back in time for the opportunity to correct past mistakes; mistakes that have led to depressing outcomes they cannot easily disentangle themselves from. Whether you end up in the Whitehouse or in the Dog House, whether you end up as a beggar or a giver, whether you end up as a success story or a sob story, time is still largely in your hands,” Minister Ngafuan added.
Disclosing his secret of success to the students, Minister Ngafuan— who once served as a student leader of the University of Liberia— noted that hard work and God’s grace are the two things that make a man or woman successful in life. According to the Minister, these factors worked for him during his academic sojourn.
“Maintain your focus and keep your eyes steady on your objective”, he said amidst rousing applause from the students.
Making a biblical analysis of the reality of life, the Minister recounted the Apostle Peter’s walk on the water by faith. While taking part in this miracle his eyes were fixed on Jesus as he (Peter) proceeded toward him. He used the biblical reference to explain to the students that in spite of whatever difficulties they encounter in life, they must be attentive and hold steadfast to their dreams.
“If your dream is to be a medical doctor, or a pilot, or the Minister of Foreign Affairs, or the Governor of the Central Bank, or the future President of Tubman University, keep focused on that dream; regardless of whether you are going to bed today with an empty stomach,” he noted.
Corruption and self interest are destructive customs in Liberia that many current students plan to engage in when they find themselves in public office.
This brings a popular saying to mind that says, “Just as our predecessors handled Liberia with massive corruption, so will I; because I alone cannot change everything.”
Minister Ngafuan’s cautioned students to oppose this belief that many upcoming Liberians hold, and if the advice is to be adhered to, the Minister and others with patriotic spirits and good morals must take the message to other universities including the state run University of Liberia.
Tubman University is the only university in the south-eastern region granting degrees from the five colleges contained therein.
It was formerly called the William V.S. Tubman College of Technology but became a full university in 2009 during the first term of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
It currently runs under the leadership of Dr. Elizabeth David-Russ, with instructors from Liberia and abroad, and has an enrollment of over 1,000. Its first graduation is expected in June of this year.