|26thCelebration Kicks Off In Lofa|
|Published on July 25, 2011||Email To Friend Print Version
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Boakai are among thousands of Liberians who have thronged Lofa County to participate in festivities marking official celebrations of Liberia's 164th Independence Anniversary.
The President arrived in Lofa County Friday afternoon to a rapturous reception by Lofa citizens, headed by Superintendant Galakpah Kortima, who led an array of local county officials and elders to welcome the President and delegation at the St. Paul River Bridge, the boundary separating Bong and Lofa Counties, according to an Executive Mansion release.
The citizens sang, danced, and waved palm branches and other forms of welcoming instruments as the Presidential convoy stopped along towns and villages en route to Voinjama.
The Liberian leader inspected and dedicated a number of projects along the way including the Central High School in Salayea District and a Rural Women's Warehouse.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Johnson Sirleaf also cut the ribbon to a mosque and attended an Intercessory and Thanksgiving Service, hosted by the local Muslim community in Zorzor City, under the auspices of the National Muslim Council of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the President has dedicated a community College in Voinjama. At the ceremony Saturday, July 23, the President said the establishment of community colleges in the political sub-divisions of the country is intended to decentralize vocational education throughout the country.
The President said efforts are continuing to establish more community colleges throughout the country. There are presently five community colleges in Liberia including the Senji Technical College slated to be opened in September this year.
The Liberian leader called on youths to take advantage of the educational opportunities being offered by government. “We've got plenty of political scientists; we've got plenty of sociologists…we now need you to go into areas your country needs you most,” the President asserted.
President Johnson Sirleaf said with the opening of the country's mines, industries would need engineers and other technicians to operate the mines. “If you are not ready,' she cautioned, 'the jobs will go to foreigners.” She also encouraged Liberians to study agriculture and teaching. “We are offering scholarships for all students pursuing those areas,” the President noted, urging students to take advantage of the offers.
The President later dedicated a local Red Cross office in Voinjama before departing for Quardu Gbondi District to dedicate the Sarmodu Primary School and other projects.
Thanksgiving and Worship Service at the Voinjama Free Pentecostal Church. The Reverend James McCay, Senior Pastor of the St. Peter's Lutheran Church, in a sermon in titled, “Choose Life and Live,” reminded the congregation that God has not given up on Liberia.
He said to survive as a country, Liberians must learn to respect their leaders and elders and avoid practices that would undermine the peace and stability of the country. To choose life and live, Reverend McCay said is to choose continuity.
The Lutheran prelate, in an apparent reference to the forthcoming elections, said power belongs to God, adding, “it comes from him not ritualistic killings; not from undermining development and not from lies.” When God chooses a leader, Reverend McCay said there is development, peace, stability, security and economic development.
In remarks, the Liberian leader urged all institutions to work together for the development of the country. The President said her government has laid a strong foundation, adding, “Liberia, once a great nation is still a great nation; it is a future of prominence and prosperity. We know where we are and where we are headed,” she maintained. The President thanked Liberians for their patience, courage, stamina, dedication and commitment. All of these characteristics, she said have made the people proud as Liberians.
Meanwhile, the President Sunday launched the “Trade at Hand” Project, linking farmers and marketers through cell phones. The project is sponsored by the Angie Brooks International Center, in collaboration with the International Trade Center in Geneva, Switzerland.
The project was launched at an Agriculture Fair as part of programs marking the Independence Day Celebrations which also included the formal launch by the Unity Party Youth Wing of the campaign for the forthcoming referendum in August this year.
In continuation of the celebrations, women, men, the youth and other traditional cultural groups celebrated throughout the evening hours as the rains which interrupted most of Saturday's festivities, gave way to sunshine as the people of Lofa welcomed Liberians and other well wishers from all walks of life for the July 26 celebrations in Voinjama.