Nyor-Butuo Town near the Buutuo headquarters in Buuyao District #5 of Nimba County was a scene of celebration on Saturday, April 15, when residents memorialized 23 of their kinsmen. The 23 persons lost their lives during and after the country’s 14-year civil crisis, which started in the district’s headquarters of Buutuo on December 24, 1989.
The ceremony, which marked the memorial service of the Zohn family and its extensions, was spearheaded by Emmanuel Y. Mantor, a son of the town who lives in the United States.
The two-day celebration, characterized by traditional rituals including cultural performances and slaughtering of large bulls, was held under the theme, “Remembering the Family Tree.”
It was climaxed with a four-town football tournament, won by Nyor-Butuo – which increased the euphoria of the residents, who danced throughout Saturday night until dawn on Sunday.
Mr. Mantor, who was also filled with excitement, told the gathering, mainly family members, some of who graced the occasion from La Cote d’Ivoire, the United States, Australia and parts of Liberia, that the program was intended for them to remember their relatives who died from different situations in the aftermath of the civil crisis.
“I am not doing this because I have money or to show to you how rich I am,” Mr. Mantor told the audience in tears.
The preacher, Rev. G. Sylvester Gaye, General Overseer of the Christ Brazen Assembly in Barnersville, near Monrovia, challenged Nyor-Butuo residents to hold together, “because there is strength in unity,” adding that remaining together would unify the family, some of who are in distant lands.
“When your brother’s house is on fire, you need to help him quench the fire, because otherwise, it might spread to your house,” he said.
For that, he urged citizens who have the opportunity to help, to extend helping hands to other members of the community who are in need.
He disclosed plans to launch a non-governmental organization that would construct housing units in Monrovia to host children from the town pursuing higher education in Monrovia.
Gaye lauded Mr. Mantor for the initiative, which he said reawakened the spirit of unity among the citizens.
Butuo Town Chief, George W. Mantan, also lauded Mr. Mantor, and all those who helped him to organize the ceremony.