According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf expressed gratitude to the honorees for their outstanding contributions to Liberia. The Grand Master of the Order of Distinction pointed out that it is a customary practice in Liberia that during the Independence Day celebrations, personalities who have worked selflessly and diligently for the development of Liberia and humanity and those who have lived longer years, are often identified and honored to serve as a motivation for others to follow their examples.
During the ceremony, about 29 personalities were recognized and honored including Liberians, Ugandans, Germans, Philippinos among others. The honorees were also drawn from the Traditional Settings of Liberia, career Farmers, Marketers, Businessmen and women, Diplomats, Educators, Religious Men and women, as well as other humanitarians and philanthropists.
Among personalities honored and admitted at various levels are former President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate, Gbenzohngar M. Findley, Madam Klayonoh Bleoplue, aged 153 (centenarian), Madam Doecon Zuku, aged 112, Mr. Bakalee Kamara, aged 103, Executive Mansion Elevator operator, Thomas M. Nyan, etc.
Speaking on behalf of the honorees, Ex-Pro-Tempore Gbehzohngar M. Findley thanked President Sirleaf for the honor bestowed on them and pledged their commitment and loyalty to Liberia.
In a related development, President Sirleaf has challenged Liberians to take responsibility for the country’s Growth and Development and pointed out that the nation’s development starts with an individual and upward to the national leadership. She spoke on Friday at the Intercessory and Thanksgiving prayer Service held at the Jacob Town Mosque in Jacob Town, Paynesville in Commemoration of the 169th Independence of Liberia.
The Liberian leader further called on Liberians to hold together and pray for peace and for the leaders of the country. She warned Liberians against practices that could undermine the peace, security and development of the country, adding “We want to say thank you to Allah for the peace of the nation.” President Sirleaf commended worshippers at the Black Gina Mosque for what she calls “each of you helping to keep the peace”.
For his part, Sheikh Mohammed Konneh cautioned Liberians against insults and disrespect to national leaders especially on radio and television if the nation is to move forward. Mr. Konneh wants Liberians to channel their complaints and grievances with respect adding, “It is incumbent upon citizens to respect their leaders as they will one day become leaders too”.