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Gov’t Apologizes To Religious Community, Opposition Parties …Over Failure To Invite Them At Bicentennial Kickoff

Information Minister Leggerhood Rennie

The Liberian government has openly apologized to the religious community and various opposition political parties for not inviting them at the official kickoff of the country’s Bicentennial celebrations.

Information Minister Leggerhood Rennie, Chairman of the National Steering Committee of the Bicentennial on behalf of the government rendered an apology to the religious groups (Christians and Muslims) and that of the political parties.

During the formal official ceremonies last Friday, 07 January, the religious community and the political parties were conspicuously absent from the exercise and that prompted many observers to express concern.

But Rennie in midweek (Wednesday) told the media in Monrovia that the act was not deliberate but was an oversight on the part of the National Steering Committee of the centennial.

He assured the religious groups of their full participation in the remaining parts of the celebrations.

Rennie stated among many things that the religious community is part of the sub-committee on religious affairs of the steering committee therefore they have a major role to play during the ongoing celebrations.

“I can assure you that this will not be repeated or be the case in going forward because the celebration is meant to bring all Liberians together as we observe the formation of the country,” he noted.

Rennie said the National Steering Committee was not happy with the situation for these bodies to have been left out of the official opening programme, but in honesty, “On Behalf of the Committee I render our sincere apology.”

Like most African States, Liberia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural state, a “mosaic” that consists of four major cultural stocks: Africans who were repatriated from the United States known as Settlers or Americo-Liberians, Africans from the Caribbean, Africans from other parts of west Africa, including Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali and Togo.

Against this backdrop, it is imperative that national celebrations reflect the historical and cultural experiences of all Liberia’s major cultural stocks.

However, the Bicentennial celebration is designed to showcase the historical and cultural experiences of only the African group that came from the United States beginning in 1821.

Therefore, care has to be taken that such celebration of the repatriated Africans does not contribute to further inflaming the antagonistic relationship between the two groups.


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