Liberia’s 169th Independence Day: An Old Nation Continuously and “Appropriately” Celebrating in Turbulence


Simply Thinking Thoughts

In my thinking thoughts, I digested President Sirleaf’s recent proclamation that referenced the “Patriotic Observances Law,” Title 26 that sets the 26th day of July as “Independence Day” to be “appropriately celebrated.”

As apparent due diligence, the proclamation acknowledged the varied turbulent times the nation continues to face; “when this nation was declared a free, sovereign independent State and from then through the years of our national life, manifold and varied have been experiences of the nation and its people, who through it all have been able to forge their way by dent of perseverance, devotion, and courage.”

Truly, over its existence, this small West African state has painfully maneuvered through diverse turbulences. From the day the ex-slaves were offloaded on these shores by the American Colonization Society, to the days of the Ebola virus disease and the peculiar Unity Party leadership, there has always been turbulence. For example, NOCAL is bankrupt, ruling UP Chairman, Varney Sherman, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alex Tyler, are indicted for corruption. In addition, in spite of the pain and hardship common citizens endure each day, the nation continues to celebrate July 26, every year as has been declared by President Sirleaf’s 169th Independence Day proclamation.

Construct of Turbulence

For clarity, turbulence can be construed as commotion, disorder or instability that threatens the sanity of an establishment or entity. In the case of an aircraft in flight, turbulence is caused by bad weather that has the ability to sweep it off course, crash it and kill the passengers or expose them to pain and untold suffering.

In the middle of one of my 10 hour flights, the pilot suddenly announced an unexpected turbulence due to bad weather and instructed passengers to fasten their seatbelts. Those who were new flyers or did not fly frequently, became scare as they hung unto the handles of their seats. Their heartbeats could be heard from a distance as they solemnly hummed tunes of famous gospel hymns like, “All to Jesus I surrender…”, and “Lord I’m coming home…” in case the plane crashed so that they would be received safely in heaven in the bosom of Father Abraham or at the foot of the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Frequent flyers that had experienced situations of turbulence, for their part, simply received the announcement of turbulence as “business as usual”, and hence carelessly reclined in their seats as the air hostesses wore fake smiles as they walked the aisle giving passengers hope. As usual, our aircraft rocked and shook as it maneuvered through the turbulence. Through it all, the adroit pilot landed the big bird smoothly and we burst out in celebration with a rousing round of applause. Of course, the traumatized new flyers clapped louder and longer than the experienced careless frequent flyers.

Flight Liberia #169 in turbulence

Using your mind’s eyes, please take a trip with me on Flight Liberia #169. This vessel has gone through many turbulent times as a racist old nation that does not allow white people to become citizens. It does not allow her own citizens to vote because they are naturalized in other countries; however, it allows them to serve as government officials who sup lustily in her first class cabin.

The log of Flight Liberia #169 reveals that several pilots have attempted to safely bring it to port; unfortunately, due to their ineptitude and arrogance they failed; some were mediocre pilots and crew members who lacked willpower to act appropriately; others were corrupt, unpatriotic and greedy bigots who lacked moral rectitude, while others were spineless cowards who would never call a spade a spade in their lifetime, and hence messed up their administrations. Consequently to this day, Flight Liberia #169 continues to navigate her way with reckless audacity through unnecessary turbulence. In Flight #169, corruption currently is wearing red long boots and striding majestically around the first class cabin under the guise of mystic Big Boy#1 and Big Boy #2 of the depraved Capitol Hill.

The passengers aboard 169 are the common citizens who groan each day in agony due to economic hardship and frequent budget shortfalls. These are the poor students, voiceless teachers, the unemployed, the marketers, motorcycle pem-pem riders, and low income civil servants who struggle daily to live on US one dollar a day. The pilot with co-pilot at any time is the head of the Executive Branch and all presidential appointees; the Legislative and Judiciary Branches are the air hostesses and engineers. These two are the careless frequent flyers, the cream of Liberians with influence and affluence, who are supposed to steer Flight #169. While the fearful passengers are in pain, these “careless flyers” do not waiver at all in turbulence; for come what may, they would receive first preference. Unfortunately, despite the failure by successive pilots to safely bring Flight Liberia #169 home, the passengers are instructed to pray for the careless frequent flyers and applaud in the turbulence precisely on July 26 of each year.

Refusing to clap in turbulence is sin

Sometimes it appears like celebrating Independence Day every year in spite of the widespread economic and political challenges is similar to clapping for a plane in turbulence. It may be true that the common passengers on Flight Liberia #169 may not have any choices for now, but they might refuse to clap in the not too distant future. They might clap for the completion of the Monrovia-Ganta highway, but refuse to clap for the stench from the Big Boy 1, Big Boy 2 corruption case; clap for successful dismissal of the Ebola virus disease epidemic, but not for the mysterious death of the renowned businessman, Harry Greaves; clap for the opening of several embassies near Monrovia, but not for the devastated broken education system hi-jacked by arrogance and ineptitude; clap for the proliferation of political parties, but not for the hate messages and slanders that bellow daily from politically affiliated radio stations; clap for standardized procurement policies, but not for mediocre managers who cheat and bend service procurement rules and believe they will ever get away with such dastardly acts under this sun. God forbid!

Now fellow passengers, note that on Flight #169, in spite of our inherent rights and freedom, refusing to clap is lawlessness and sin, according to the “Patriotic Observances Law,” Title 26, Liberian Code of Laws of 1956, and first Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything, give thanks for this is the will of God…” Therefore, we must celebrate in every turbulent time because of our patriotic obligation, and because of the charge from God. We should never ever again agree to celebrate July 26, because we are compelled or intimidated by poverty and strife.

To this end, as we approach this 169th Independence Day, I charge all Liberians to go forth and celebrate “appropriately.” However, be reflective and honest about whether we should actually be praying instead of celebrating in these turbulent times. July 26 is the day the sovereignty of the old racist nation was confirmed; hence, do not reluctantly celebrate because today you are voiceless passengers without choices on an aircraft in turbulence, but rather because of your patriotic duty as a Liberian and devotion and gratitude to God as asserted by our president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Now, may the Lord bless and keep Flight Liberia; may He makes His countenance to shine upon Flight Liberia; may the lord give Liberia grace and decrease the number of turbulence, and give Liberia the peace that passes all understanding that will produce savvy leaders and pilots able and capable to bring Flight Liberia to a safe landing in Jesus name. Amen.

Happy 169th Independence Day, Fellow Liberians!!!!! (My 26 on all of y’all)

I am simply thinking thoughts

About the author
The Rivercess man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson (Mwalimu-Koh) is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University. Mr. Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. After serving diligently as Assistant Minister for Teacher Education for two years, Mr. Jackson was dismissed. He can be contacted at +231 886 681 315/+231 770 206 645 or at


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