Acknowledging the persistence of scars of division amongst Liberians in spite of the National Unification Policy proclaimed by late President Tubman over 4 decades ago, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf says there exists a will to erase these divisions.
“The scars of divisions linger, but we are strong enough to deal with them and to build bridges of unity and harmony,” President Sirleaf said Saturday at the official program marking the 47th anniversary of National Unification Day.
Recalling that Liberians have witnessed many divisions in the nation’s history, the President declared: “It is in our power to heal the wounds that come from that division.
“We must build bridges, not walls. Our nation was founded on the principles of liberty and unity,” she emphasized, while lamenting, “but the seeds of conflicts have been sowed over the years.”
She said history shows that Liberia was divided as a nation, separating the descendants of the founding fathers and those who lived in what is now Liberia.
Despite the past, she said, Liberians today are united regardless of tribe, gender or economic status, adding: “As a people, we shall not stand for division.”
She recalled that President William VS Tubman had spearheaded the National Unification Policy to integrate the nation enabling all citizens to participate in the political life of their country.
However, she said the process, which President Tubman started, was incomplete “as political and economic powers remain unequal and exclusive.”
As a result, she said Liberia was plunged “into a period of difficulties that affected everyone in one way or another.”
“We have chosen the path of peace together, and together we see a new Liberia rising through the walls of destruction. Liberians from all walks of life are working, attending school, legislating, and participating in the political process side-by-side with dignity and respect. That’s how it should be in any truly democratic society,” President Sirleaf added.
The National Legislature established 14 May each year as National Unification Day, which was observed Saturday.
The first official celebration of National Unification Day was held 14 May 1964 in Voinjama, Lofa County, where the National Unification Monument was erected.