By Jefferson D. Tweh
Founder and Senior Pastor of the Empowerment Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church, Rev. Dr. Keturah York Cooper said the legacy of the late President Rev. Dr. William R. Tolbert Jr. must be remembered because he has made a great impact to national development and enlargement in the country.
Speaking at the Centennial celebration of the 100th Birth Anniversary of the late president Tolbert in Bentol City, Rev. Dr. Cooper affirmed that Dr. Tolbert deserved to be praised because he did many things for the Liberian people.
Rev. Dr. Cooper said a leader must do something in his or her country that people will remember, building a legacy is very important in every aspect of life.
The former Vice President of Liberia, Bishop Bennie D. Warner said President Tolbert was concerned about education as a pathway to self-fulfillment, national development and a critical ingredient in a wholesome functioning society.
Bishop Warner narrated that President Tolbert was a conciliator and settled regional disputes between Mano River Union and ECOWAS and he actually supported the majority rule in Southern Africa, Namibia and South Africa in particular.
”We worked together for peace among nations through communication, conciliation and compromise of procedures where possible, but never of principles.
The elongated lifelong impression I have with President William Richard Tolbert Jr. is that he was a man with inexhaustible energy, deep commitment to national development and progress, a sincere man with a brilliant mind and diverse intelligence who could speak freely and expertly with anyone in the world about the future of his beloved country Liberia he asserted;
Bishop Warner stated further that president Tolbert spoke about the workable idea that would help lift the Liberia citizens out of poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and diseases in the country.
According to Bishop Warner, President Tolbert spoke passionately and prophetically about keeping Liberia free, safe, peaceful and united, in order to achieve the hopes and dreams of a wholesome functioning society.
Bishop Warner also noted that President Tolbert also spoke against racial discriminations, injustice and oppressions but he was a peace maker; settle disputes among his colleagues in Africa and the World.
Bishop Warner said the Concepts and phrases like, “Mat to Mattress”, “Self Reliance’, “Higher Heights”, etc., were not empty concepts, clichés or useless slogans. But these were tangible concrete ideas readily translated into many self-help projects, roads, water systems, housing units, medical clinics, bridges, air fields,
Bishop Warner lamented that President Tolbert decided that every town, city and village be connected by roads, for the free movement of people, business, trade, markets and blood vessels for easy flow of goods and services, transportation, commerce and industry.
”I salute the indomitable Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention and the President and staff of the Liberian Baptist Theological Seminary, Pastors and members of the Zion Praise Baptist church. This is a historic day, the centennial birth day of our President, a day that requires national attention Bishop Warner has concluded.