Alexander B. Cummings, standard bearer of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), has called on Liberians to put aside partisan politics and unite as the party renews and strengthens its national commitment to a set of simple but profound principles, highlighting that all Liberians are one people with a common destiny.
Cummings said the ties that bind Liberians must always be stronger than the differences that would divide the nation, and that Liberians are better and stronger as a nation when we subordinate those differences in service to a common national good.
"Today (Monday), we celebrate one of our most cherished holidays--the National Unification Day; other than the Independence Day, perhaps no other day occupies a more special place in our national history than the Unification Day," Mr. Cummings said.
His comment was contained in a special statement the ANC released over the weekend in commemoration of the 2018 National Unification Day, which was observed yesterday.
Mr. Cummings said as a result of discord, the country's recent history amply teaches us what happens when we reject the principles and let our diversity--ethnic, religious and political--become a liability rather than an asset.
"We plant seeds of enmity that span generations and unleash forces that rip apart our national fabric," he said.
Cummings therefore wants the celebration of the National Unification Day to also remind every Liberian that despite the national turbulence the country have experienced over the last couple of decades, Liberians remain a special people.
"Our national roots are deeply planted in close to 200 years of history. We are one of the oldest nations in the world. And as Africa's oldest republic, we were trailblazers in the fight against colonialism on the continent. Let this great legacy serve as an inspiration for all Liberians to reach for even greater heights," he said.
Mr. Cummings added that it is also proper to give thanks to the country's founding fathers and early leaders, including Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Bob Gray, King Sao Boso, Edward Wilmot Blyden, Susannah Lewis, Madam Suakoko, etc.
"They certainly were not perfect; despite their flaws, they bequeathed us a nation; a place we can call Mama Liberia. Our task now is to build upon this great inheritance so that the country can truly fulfill her destiny of being a glorious land of liberty where justice will prevail for all," Cummings said.
He pointed out that as Liberians go about working toward a great national goal, "we should never lose sight of the many blessings with which nature has endowed us."
He added, "the ANC's pledge is that in all we do--the national policies we champion; the way we operate our party; the manner in which we deal with our fellow Liberians, irrespective of their political or ideological persuasions--we shall put first the attainment of a truly united and integrated Liberia that is at peace with itself and the world."
According to a Foreign Ministry release, the legislature, realizing the benefits to be accrued from the Unification and Integration Policy, passed an Act in 1960, declaring May 14 of each year as National Unification Day.