By Atty Philip N. Wesseh (PNW)
All is now set for this year’s celebration of Liberia’s Independence Day activities in both Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties. The President, in accordance with established protocol, has already declared the day a national holiday. Because it falls on Sunday, the day will be celebrated on Monday throughout the country with the official program in those two counties.The official festive celebration will take place under the Theme: “Celebrating Our Community As A Strong Foundation For Accelerated Development”.
In that proclamation, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf urges all citizens and foreign residents within the borders of Liberia to observe the event as such and orders Government offices and business houses closed during the observance from six o’clock ante meridian to six o’clock post meridian.
The Proclamation further requests all Prelates, Priests, Deacons, Evangelists Imams, Elders and other members of the Sacerdotal Order, regardless of religious creed to gather with one purpose in their respective places of worship in each city, town, village, hamlet, home, especially on Friday, July 24 2015 and Sunday, July 26 2015 to offer thanks and praises to God for his manifold blessing showered upon the nation throughout the ages and beseech Him for His continuing goodness and beneficence toward mankind, especially the Liberian people.
As usual, during the celebration, several projects are expected to be dedicated by the Chief Executive.Reports from the two counties speak of the arrival of many persons, including President Sirleaf for the celebration.Some other dignitaries, including officials of government, have also left the Capital for the southeast to participate in these events which should have taken place last year but were transferred to Monrovia because of poor preparation in that area at the time of the celebration.
It is common knowledge that the rational nature of the celebration is to take development projects to areas in which the celebration is held annually. This is why dedication of development projects is always an important part of the occasion, besides the usual oration, festivities and conviviality. This year’s orator is Liberia’s former Ambassador to the United States, Charles Minor.
Interestingly, as the nation marks this celebration, one issue of concern is the deplorable condition of the roads leading to the two counties. Some individuals have complained about this, which was one of the reasons why the celebration was not held in those areas. Today, it still remains a major problem as some parts of the roads are impassable.
Today, I decided to reflect on this issue of deplorable because of our failure to concentrate on other means of transportation, such as sea transport, something that once led citizens to totting the late President William V. S. Tubman while on a trip to the hinterland (SEE PHOTO BELOW). Although canoes have been used locally in this industry, there has not been much attention to modernize sea transport to help cease the transportation problem facing the nation.
Frankly, the lack of development of this sector of the transport system, in the face of bad road, over the years can also be attributed to the lack of development in parts of the country, especially those on the coastal land. Sometimes people have to rely on canoes which do not have storage capacity and others to take materials to those areas.
As we celebrate this year’s Independence Dayactivities, let other aspect of the transport system claim our attention. The Ministry of Transport should not only be concerned about road transport, but should also be concerned about other aspects of the system. The Ministry should be able to encourage investors, as this sector of the system is important, especially in a country with a large coastal area.
Until we realize the importance and profitable nature of other means of transportation, to avoid totting Presidents again and that this can also be useful, as the theme of this year’s celebration suggests, in building a“Strong Foundation For Accelerated Development”, I Rest My Case.