The 169th Flag Day Orator, Rev. Emmanuel Z. Bowier, has told the 73 members of the House of Representatives that Liberia deserves better from them.
Addressing the Flag Day audience, including President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and several lawmakers in the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, Rev. Bowier said over the last three weeks, all the noise coming from the Capitol Building has not been in the interest of the country.
“Every day when the children get up in the house, they see their Ma and Pa fighting, how are the children going to be happy?” Bowier asked rhetorically.
He said Liberia has three equal branches of government with each respecting the other; adding: “And the three branches don’t run government on radio talk shows. If there is a problem, you all go into the closet and talk there. Those who are wrong apologize and everyone shakes hands and come out happy. Let the children see you happy.”
Rev. Bowier, a former information minister during the Samuel Kanyon Doe regime, warned the lawmakers to desist from acts that have the propensity to bring the Honorable House into public disrepute or else, “we will come out of our respective retirements and clear that area.”
On the Flag Day theme, “Patriotism and Self-discipline, the Way Forward for National Transformation,” Rev. Bowier begged lawmakers to do better and stop making Liberians look ugly in the eyes of the international community.
The fracas on Capitol Hill stems from disagreements among members of the House of Representatives, where for the last several weeks more than 25 representatives who have gathered themselves under the gavel of the Deputy Speaker (Grand Bassa County Representative) Hans
Barchue, are calling on House Speaker Alexander J. Tyler to recuse himself from the speakership to answer charges in the court.
The Barchue-led lawmakers are rejecting for Speaker Tyler to preside over regular sessions in the face of his indictment by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County. The Speaker and others are answering to charges in the court regarding bribery allegations linked to the Global Witness –
Sable Mining saga.
Lawmakers against Tyler presiding are saying that he should first fight his court case and when he has exonerated himself from the allegation, he can come back and assume his post as Speaker.
But the Speaker, who has denied the allegations against him in the Global Witness case, has refused to recuse himself from his post as there are no laws requiring him to do so.
Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said that in order for the country to become a better nation, the citizens should show a sense of patriotism and self-discipline, which she said is key to the national transformation agenda.
“Together, we have come to reflect on patriotism and self-discipline, which we must consider in our national transformation. To be a patriot is to love one’s country and it also requires the measure of honesty. A patriot must therefore evaluate the state of his or her nation. We cannot underestimate ourselves; and I believe that the orator today has done a bit of that,” the President told the audience.
Our national flag, the President said, reminds us of the meaning of ‘one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.’
She added: “Let the flag be a symbol of our unity, where we find peace; where we stand ready to build a strong society that will discipline our minds.”
The President expressed disappointment over the disagreement among members of the House of Representatives, saying that Liberia deserves better from them.
Yesterday’s celebration of the 169th Flag Day program brought together an array of government officials among them the Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai; Education Minister George Werner; and Public Works Minister Gyude Moore, among others.