Thousands of Liberians who turned out this week to celebrate Liberia’s ten years of unbroken peace have been cautioned to maintain the peace Liberians presently enjoy. Speaking at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmum Street in Monrovia, the Liberian leader prayed that all Liberians, irrespective of race, culture, religious affiliation and political differences will rise up to the norms of having one goal in embracing the ten years of peace that all Liberians are enjoying.
According to the Liberian leader, it is the responsibility of all Liberians to see reason to preserve the peace, because according to her, it took lots of sacrifices to reach thus far. “Let us walk the path of nation building; let us do away with those ills that have the propensity of fueling conflicts and refrain from violence; let’s embrace unity, have love for each other and refrain from acts of violence, such things that will permeate into chaos; destroying lives and properties,” President Sirleaf stated.
Thousands of Liberians gathered yesterday at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium on the UN Drive to commence a parade of peace, singing songs of peace and thanking God for the ten years of unbroken peace since major stakeholders in the Liberian society met in the Ghanaian Capitol on August 18, 2003 and signed a Comprehensive Accra Peace Accord to end several years of civil unrest in the country.
Our reporter who witnessed the entire occasion vividly saw women, children, men and business people on sidewalks waving hands of peace and joyfully celebrating, while others wept bitterly; reflecting on the ugly past of those scars the war left on them to remember.
An old lady stood at the intersection of Bye-pass and Benson Street with her hands crossed under her chin, weeping bitterly and refused to be comforted by some bystanders.
“How can I keep quiet; this day reminds me of the time my three children including their father were killed by rebels; I don’t know which of the rebel faction, but I remember the day and hour my husband was killed along with my three kids, Fatu, Assatu and Mohammed. It happened right on the Gabriel Tucker Bridge at 2:00 p.m.” the lady explained in lamentation.
Another victim of the war comforted the lady saying, ‘”We share similar case. I was tortured in June of 2002, by then; my wife and five kids, Mark, Harris Prince, Dekontee and Yawalah got missing in the crowd and I never knew their whereabouts. I later found their dead bodies at Duala,” Jeremiah Wilson stated.
The parade ended at the Centennial Memorial Pavilion on Ashmum Street where an indoor program was held to climax the occasion with the certification of several prominent contributors to the Accra Peace Accord, including Foreign Missions accredited near Monrovia, ECOWAS, ECOMOG, the International Community and the European Union.
Others who received certificates of honor included Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis Brown on behalf of the Government with political parties at the Accra Peace Accord in Ghana and the Government of Liberia. Those political parties included President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Unity Party; the late Grand Bassa County Senator John Withfield of the National Patriotic Party who was represented by Bong County Senior Senator Jewel Howard Taylor; Cllr. Charles W. Brumskine of the Liberty Party, NDPL, FDP, former Law maker David Kortee of the ALCOL and the National Transitional Government of Liberia-NTGL headed by Hon. Charles Gydee Bryant who could not attend due to illness.
Other witnesses at the Accra Peace Accord included, Sheikh Kafumba Konneh, Isaac Manneh, Theresa Lee Sherman, D. Mohammed Kromah , Minister of State Commany Wesseh amongst others.
Hence, Cllr. Elizabeth B. Nelson who represented the Judiciary Branch of Government appreciated all Liberians for the efforts of embracing peace as the way forward in development, while House Speaker Alex Tyler lauded all sectors of the Liberian society to hold together as according to him, peace is the only way forward in achieving total peace and unity.
The program was graced by hosts of musical artists including Gospel Artists and winner of a special award for African Musician in London Kanvee Adams, Cultural Ambassador Julie Endee, Liberian International Songstress Miatta Fanbulleh, Sundaygar Dearboy and Burnese Blackie.