The president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Morweh Energy Group, Mr. Christopher Z. Neyor, has strongly called on Liberians to do away with “hyphenated Liberian groups.”
Mr. Neyor said “tribalism and the Congo-Country divide” which are being propagated in the country by some groups are “two ugly enemies” Liberians must do away with permanently.
He made the call on Saturday, March 15, at program marking the observance of the 205th birth anniversary of Liberia’s First President, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, at the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia.
“There is nothing wrong with loving your family and the tribe you come from, but all of us must have the awareness and conviction that in a multi-ethnic country collective progress is only possible when we are fully integrated and everyone, regardless of tribe or family background, has equal opportunity to education, jobs and becoming the best you can be,” said Neyor, a former Energy Sector Advisor to President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Serving as a keynote speaker at the occasion, Mr. Neyor, a world-class energy expert added: “As we approach elections this year, and then in 2017, let us be mindful not to get support and votes by dividing the voters into Congo-Country domains and tribal enclaves.”
“Let us support candidates not because they come from our tribe, but because of what we believe they can do for the entire country from records of their past performance. Let us reject candidates who keep reminding us they are “country” or they are “congo” or they are this tribe, or that tribe,” he stressed.
Paraphrasing the Liberian National Anthem, Neyor indicated: “In union, we are strong, and in strength, we derive success.”
The former Presidential Advisor spoke on five key ingredients, which he said Liberians could learn from the life of the late President Joseph Jenkins Roberts.
He named them as: hard work, sacrifice, patriotism, integrity, and unity.
According to Mr. Neyor, the late President Roberts worked hard and gave most of what he earned in his lifetime to the establishment of the J.J. Roberts Education Foundation.
Neyor said: “JJ Roberts and the former slaves who came from across the ocean painstakingly toiled, often with assistance from native tribes, along the coast to establish a new home in Africa; the continent where their ancestors were taken from as slaves centuries earlier. They were traders and fishermen and farmers and missionaries. Many died due to a hostile environment they were not used to.”
He named one of those who died early in the new country as Melvin Cox from whom, the beautiful phrase: “Though a thousand fall, let not Africa be given up,” originated.
The Morweh Energy group’s CEO expressed regret that hard work and sacrifice seem to be words no longer used in the vocabularies of Liberians nowadays.
“Instead,” according to him, “We have perfected the 'J.J. Roberts didn’t finish it' mentality” and this, he continued, sadly points to laziness, irresponsibility, and lack of vision.
He maintained that Roberts established the Liberian nation and worked diligently to make the required sacrifice for its survival and continuity before he handed it to the next generation.
“It has been the sacred duty of every generation of Liberian inheriting this glorious and rich nation to work hard, to sacrifice, and to correct discovered ills of the past, contributing to the inter-generational building of a stronger state,” Neyor emphasized.
The energy expert described the late President Roberts as “a man of impeccable integrity,” who was “honest in his dealings as a businessman, politician, and most importantly, as a Christian.
Neyor, who is also former president of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), called on Liberians to show love for their country.
Although he acknowledged that Liberia has many ills, he said, “This is our country, this is our inheritance. We must understand that being patriotic does not mean you accept all that our leaders have done in the past or are currently doing; neither is it patriotic to constantly badmouth your country with expressions such as: “Nothing good will ever come out of Liberia,” or “the country is finished.”
The program marking the 205 Birth Anniversary of Liberia’s First President, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, was organized by the J.J. Roberts Education Foundation (JJREF).
Founded and named by President Joseph Jenkins Roberts in 1876 after the death of his wife, Mrs. Rose Roberts, the Foundation is the custodian of Roberts’ properties and ensuring the education of Liberian children.
The First United Methodist Church in Monrovia is the Administrator of said properties.
JJREF is being run by a Board of Trustees comprising three members of the First United Methodist Church in Monrovia who take on the roles of Chairperson, Treasurer, and Secretary.
The number of scholarship students for the Foundation for academic 2012/2013 is 783 in 117 learning institutions including high schools, colleges and universities in the country.
At the well attended and colorful occasion, 21 Liberian children, who had graduated with honors from various colleges and universities during the academic year of 2012/2013 under the JJREF sponsorship were recognized and certificated for their scholarly achievements. Among the personalities who graced the ceremony were Rev. Dr. John G. Innis, Resident Bishop-Liberia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church; Dr. Emmett Dennis, president of the University of Liberia; and Mr. Dewitt Don Balmoos, Chairperson JJREF Board of Trustees, among others.