On October 25, 1915, the Legislature of the Republic of Liberia approved an Act that declared the 24th Day of August each year as “National Flag Day” to be observed as a “National Holiday” throughout the Republic of Liberia; indicating the importance of annually commemorating the day by all citizens of the Republic in testimony of their allegiance and loyalty to Liberia through the National Banner. In observance of Liberia’s 173rd Flag Day Anniversary, Assistant Minister for Administration of the Gender, Children and Social Protection, Ms. Mamansie Kabbah, has enjoined Liberians to eschew violence and give peace a chance.
Delivering an impassioned speech as National Flag Day Orator Monday at the resplendent Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Madam Kabbah said Liberians need to hold together to move the country forward despite their vast political differences.
“As we draw close to the midterm Senatorial Elections, with the signs of creeping violence across the country; I want to admonish us to be civil and reflect on the National Flag as a Symbol of Patriotism and Unity. Let us hold together as Liberians to move our country forward despite our political differences which are understandable realities in a democracy. Reject violence and give peace a chance,” Gender Minister Kabbah pleaded.
Nobody’s ambition, Ms. Kabbah said, should be placed over and above Liberia’s ambition that anyone feels that when they do not succeed in their ambition, Liberia should not succeed. “Liberia is far bigger than the ambition of a few persons who will participate in the elections in December. So, I call on all to put Liberia FIRST!”
Reminding her compatriots about the ordeals that the nation went through to arrive at its current phase, the youthful Gender Minister said the country has experienced its unfair share of trials and tribulations.
“We have endured nearly a decade and half of the civil conflict which did not only take away the lives of over 250,000 Liberians, but also tore the fabric of our society apart and subverted major tenets of our culture. Once peace was restored and the smoke had settled, the Ebola Virus Disease showed up, erected unnecessary checkpoints before our progress as a people and made efforts to wipe away most of our gains. During the 2017 Presidential and Representative Elections, Liberians demonstrated a unified stance in favor of democracy and good governance by conducting free and fair elections which led to our country’s first peaceful democratic transition of power in 70 years,” she said.
Reflecting further, Ms. Kabbah the election of President Weah ushered in smooth democratic passage which was a defining moment in history, because Liberia served as an example for countries with recent histories of armed conflict democratically transitioning from one political administration to another.
“Now, as the Pro-Poor Government works to serve our people, under the farsighted leadership of H.E. President Dr. George Manneh Weah; mysteriously the COVID-19 pandemic has come as our biggest enemy to progress. These are the harsh realities of our contemporary history as well as the situation we find ourselves in today. As courageous, ambitious and resilient people, I am convinced that we shall overcome, put our people and economy on the proper trajectory and place our motherland on the irreversible path of progress and development,” Minister Kabbah stated hopefully.
Forging a Spirit of Unity
Referencing the hardship that Liberians are currently enduring due to the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic which has further crippled the economy, Ms. Kabbah rallied her compatriots to remain united in the face of COVID-19.
“Allow me to suggest that if there is none that we can really point to; then we need to mobilize around the spirit of ‘UNITY’. For, we need unity more than ever before, as we fight the deadly COVID 19 Pandemic. I believe that there is much more that unites us as Liberians than that which divides us. For if we are united, we can draw up enough strengths to work together to consolidate any progress we have accomplished and build a more viable nation that future generations can be proud of. My fellow countrymen and women, UNITY is a required element and a driving force in the transformation of this society for a better Liberia. So, let us unite knowing that Liberia is all that we have got to protect, improve and subsequently handover to the future generation,” she said.
“Finally, let us observe and celebrate this day knowing and recommitting ourselves to bettering the motherland. Let us not leave anyone behind as we work to lift our motherland higher. Let us join the President’s well-placed efforts to widen the space and place for equal and increased participation of Liberian girls and women in decision making that promotes women political participation.
As the flag waves, let those evil and heartless boys and men who rape our children, girls and women wave goodbye to those undesirable mindsets and attitudes of committing rape and other sexual gender-based violence. Rape must not only be minimized, but also must be stopped as the lives and future of our girl children, girls, and women matter. Get your knees of rape and sexual gender-based violence off the necks of our girls and women in Liberia,” the outspoken Gender Minister beseeched.