Take Responsibility For Transformation: President Sirleaf urges Liberians
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Liberians to collectively shoulder the responsibility of transforming the country for the better. Speaking on July 26, 2012 at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion during the celebration of Liberia’s 165th Independence,
President Sirleaf said it is a patriotic duty of all Liberians to support the transformation process of the country. “This is not something that government can do on its own, no matter what amount of resources it has,” she added. She said government can create the institutions and the environment, but every Liberian must take responsibility for transformation, something according to her, is a patriotic duty for every Liberian, whether in government or in the private sector, in urban or rural areas, old and young.
“I therefore call on all Liberians to join us, in the next five and half years to be exact, in our aim to transform these systems and structures as a pathway to an enduring future,” She indicated.
She said one critical issue leading to transformation, is the country being able to feed its people, noting, “We must grow food that we eat, and eat the food that we grow”.
In order to become a middle income country, the Liberian leader said the economy should not be based solely on exporting primary goods, but on one that adds value to its export for sustainability in its growth and development effort.
“The second is transforming our social fabric, our traditions, our values and that is because the dislocation of the family structure has been one of the negative consequences of our civil conflict,” She said.
According to President Sirleaf, beside devastation, the 14 years of civil unrest also contributed to breaking down family values, prompting the need to bring back those moral and civil lessons that once made families strong.
She called on Liberians to accept and take pride in their country by being patriotic and nationalistic, putting Liberia first above all else.
“We must take ownership of our communities and not wait for the government to do everything; we must respect our Constitution and the rights of equality of all people,” she emphasized.
Speaking further, President Sirleaf said in an effort to ensure that the country’s independence celebration is decentralized and held in all counties before the end of her current term of office, disclosed that July 26, 2013 celebration will be hosted by Bomi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties with the main activities taking place in Tubmanburg.
According to the Liberian leader, Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties will host the 2014 independence celebration with main activities in Greeville, while the 2015 festivities will take place in Maryland, Rivergee and Grand Gedeh counties with the main activities in Zwedru. The 2016 celebrations will be held in Rivercess County, according to President Sirleaf.
She added that the rotation of the July 26 celebration will create opportunities for expanding and enhancing the national infrastructural development.
“By doing so, we will also create a medium for National Reconciliation, national healing and unity in the country,” President Sirleaf added.
She said her government has planned to celebrate Christmas in Bopolu, stressing, “We will have a non-walking trip to Belle yalla.”