Authorities of the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC) have called on Liberians to see peace as a gateway to national development. The MCC also called for a collective effort in its drive towards a systematic waste management, a release from the City Corporation has said.
According to the release, the advice was contained in a special Easter message delivered on behalf of Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee over the weekend by Cain Prince Andrews, the Director General for Internal Operations of the MCC.
Andrews reminded Liberians that Easter is a time Christians celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who offered himself as a sacrifice for the remission of the sins of the world.
Mr. Andrews, who spoke Sunday at the program marking the Inter-Faith Easter Lunch organized by the MCC at the Monrovia City Hall, called for "religious tolerance, unity and responsible citizenship," which happened to be the theme of the event.
The Easter lunch is part of the MCC integrated citizen approach aimed at promoting diversity through religious, ethno-political, tribal and socio-cultural tolerance. It is an event intended to allow Liberians from diverse background to sit together, reflect on the historical antecedent and pray for the betterment of the Motherland.
The Easter lunch brought together religious leaders from the Christian and Islamic faiths. It was also attended by senior officials of government, representatives of Foreign Missions, international partners, the business community, leaders of political parties, as well as trade unions and other associations.
According to Andrews, Christ's resurrection is a testimony of the new covenant that is a justification for Christians' commemoration of the triumph of life over death; freedom over bondage, and hope over despair, especially at this time when Liberia needs God most for an unhindered national healing.
"When nations of the World and cities within nations are celebrating and dedicating their achievements and development gains to the Lord, we in Monrovia, Liberia should be doing the same and even more rather than fermenting conflicts that would degenerate into backwardness and setbacks that will pivot on the suffering of our people, especially so when we should be very grateful and feel blessed for the breath of life provided us," he said.
Andrews said the Monrovia City Government joined Christians during the Easter in an act of oneness, and in an act of divine worship.
He added, "we have come, like all other God-fearing people to join in an act of prayer, renewal and re-dedication."
A cross-section of the audience at the MCC's Interfaith Easter Lunch
Mr. Andrews said the City Government of Monrovia chose to put God first in everything that they do and as such, they will glorify him daily at all levels of their undertakings and initiatives.
"In our continuous prayers for institutional reforms, peace, prosperity and development of Monrovia, the Almighty God had been blessing us in unaccountable ways. Apart from looking up to the central government and international partners for everything, the MCC under the effective stewardship of Major Koijee, had been on the right trajectory of networking internally and externally for Monrovia's growth and sustainability," he added.
Andrews recounted gains the MCC had made since the ascendancy of Mayor Koijee.
"Our solid waste sector has gained a boost through a People Public Private Partnership model for short, medium and long- term investment in the waste sector for the purpose of creating jobs, particularly for the young people, attracting capital flows, and adding value in support of increasing revenue generation for improved service delivery to residents of the City with the full cooperation of everyone including households, businesses and local leaders," he said.
"We have augmented the strength of the Monrovia City Police through the appropriate recruitment and training of personnel; and we are sourcing the needed logistical and technical support to further equip the officers to help ensure public safety," he recounted.
Andrews said they have rolled over casual laborers to comprehensive medical insurance scheme, "because their health is a key to their success."
He disclosed that they have commenced local scholarships programs for employees to be followed by foreign scholarships as part of their investment in the human capital, and they are exploring means by which they can strengthen capacity in their departments of Environmental Health and Safety, City Planning, Solid Waste and Community Services to improve the quality of life within the City.
According to Mr. Andrews, it is through the grace and mercy of God they have achieved, and will continue to do this with love and care for all, irrespective of religion, backgrounds or creed.
"Let me take this time to reassure you that by the grace of God, the City Government of Monrovia under Major Koijee, and the guardianship and inspiration of President George Weah, will continue to do likewise from time to time to continue to uphold religious tolerance and celebrate religious festivities together, especially Easter and Ramadan," Andrews assured.
It can be recalled that in 2018, the MCC hosted a Ramadan dinner in honor of the Islamic faith in observance of the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan. A feat the City Government promised to continue.