President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called upon Liberians to adopt the William V.S. Tubman style of seeking peace, unity and development for the common good of the country.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the statement at the mausoleum of Liberia’s 18th President, on the grounds of the Centennial Memorial Pavilion, when she memorialized him as part of the observance of his 117th birth anniversary, celebrated each year on November 29th.
Laying a wreath on the tomb of the late President, the Liberian leader said that during Tubman’s administration, Liberia did not know violence, distrust and destruction, which she said provided Liberia a great future. She hoped that Liberians, as a way of paying respect and memorializing the late President, will look back and think back on those days.
President Sirleaf named Tubman’s “Open Door Policy” as the pacesetter for investment in Liberia. She believed that if it had not departed from it, Liberia would have been far ahead with infrastructural development.
Responding on behalf of the Tubman family, a son of the late President, William V.S. Tubman, Jr. – “Shad”, as he is commonly called – thanked President Sirleaf for memorializing their father and hoped Liberians will listen and act on the advice she gave.
Mr. Tubman called on all Liberians to take advantage of President Sirleaf’s administration to move Liberia forward. “Madam President, permit me to use this time to call on the three branches of government to see Liberia as having great potential for economic and social viability under your administration, and this is the time to do that,” he stated.
November 29 is celebrated each year, in Liberia, as a National Holiday in consonance with an Act of the National Legislature at the 3rd Session of the 42nd Legislature of the Republic, in recognition of the invaluable contributions, profound changes and lasting accomplishments made by the late President during his administration. Liberians expressed their appreciation for his astute and remarkable leadership through a petition that requested the Legislature to enact a law in honor of his birth anniversary.
The observance of the day is also in recognition of the late President’s policies, including the Open Door Policy and the National Unification and Integration Policy; the granting of suffrage to women; as well as his policies on socio-economic development nationwide. He is also remembered for his contribution to the emancipation of African colonial territories into statehood.
Born on November 29, 1895, in Harper, Maryland County, President Tubman died on July 23, 1971, in a London clinic following a brief illness. He served as Liberia’s 18th President for 27 unbroken years.