By Abraham M. Keita, VI
A Young Liberian Student
Sirleaf To Head United Nations?
Fellow Liberians, sons and daughters of the masses, nationalists and patriots and men, women and children of the intellectual class of the motherland, it was not by mistake that we found ourselves in the geographical spot called Liberia. The conditions we face today must never lead us to questioning the Supreme Creator why he placed us in Liberia. But if we were to ask such question, the answers, in my mind, will be "you were placed in Liberia to be the revolutionaries and champions of change; you were made to exist in Liberia to be the leaders of Africa and provide guidance for the black continent; you were created and placed in Liberia to introduce and perpetuate the doctrines of Pan-African.
It is historically indisputable that Liberians have been leaders throughout the annals of global history. Liberians far and near have provided some form of leadership, both continental and global.
Let me give the names of few Liberians whose relentless efforts led to them making histories for our country.
1. Angie Brooks-Randolph - was born in Liberia in 1928. A 1952 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, mother Angie went on to be elected the first and only African woman president of the United Nations General Assembly, died in Houston on September 9, 2007, at the age of 79. She presided over the 24th session of the General Assembly in 1969.
2. Plenyono Gbe Wolo - was born in c. 1883, in Grandcess, Kru Coast Territory, Liberia. In his early life he exhibited evidence of superb intelligence. Based on his demonstrated abilities and through missionary connections, he was fortunate to secure the opportunity to pursue studies in United States of America. He entered Harvard in 1914, and graduated with a B.A degree in 1917. He matriculated to Columbia University in New York where he obtained a M.A. degree in 1919. He also studied at the Union Theological Seminary, New York, and graduated with a degree in Divinity in 1922. On June 21, 1917, Plenyono was a member of Harvard graduating class, thus becoming the first African to graduate from Harvard.
3. Edward Wilmot Blyden - (3 August 1832 – 7 February 1912), the father of pan-Africanism. His writings on pan-Africanism were influential and attracted attention in sponsoring countries as well to embrace the fundamental principles of Pan-Africanism. He felt that Zionism was a model for what he called Ethiopianism, and that African Americans could return to Africa and redeem it.
4. Clarence Lorenzo Simpson - Liberia was a founding member-state of the League of Nations in 1920, the first global organization established for the purpose of saving human lives, maintaining international peace and promoting international trade. Simpson was the Liberian delegate to the League of Nations in 1934 and headed the Liberian delegation to the United Nations in 1945.
5. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf - (born 29 October 1938) is the 24th and current President of Liberia, in office since 2006 and Africa's firts female head of state. Sirleaf was jointly awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen. The women were recognized "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work. Sirleaf was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize by President of India Pranab Mukherjee on 12 September 2013. As of 2014, she is listed as the 70th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. In 2007, Madam Sirleaf was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award given by the United States. She was one of Co-chairs of the High Level Panel on the Millennium Development Goals including the Prime Minister of England, David Cameroun and former Indonesian President, by the UN Secretary General. She currently chairs the African Union High Level Committee on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
6. Lemay Gbowee - Nobel laureate, she, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakkul Karman, were awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize "for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women's rights to full participation in peace-building work. She has won so many other awards including the 2014 Oxfam America Right the Wrong Award and the 2009 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Madam Gbowee was recently appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as one of the Advocates on the Sustainable Development Goals' Advocates Group.
From all these historical facts, Liberians have been leaders since the epitaph of history commenced. Liberians listed above would not have mounted the echelon of history had they not been patriotic.
Fellow Liberians, I will now conclude with this little patriotic call.
Liberia is at the verge of coining another unprecedented history. The pens of the Guinness Book of Records are eagerly watching the actions of Liberians, to experiment our patriotic inborn tenant.
2016 could perhaps be another year of reminiscence. An election is due to be held in 2016 to determine the successor of Ban Ki-moon, whose term as the eighth United Nations Secretary-General will conclude on 31 December 2016.
A global campaign was launched a few months back to agglutinate support and appeal to the UN General Assembly and Security Council for the 9th Secretary General of the UN to be a female, in adherence to SDG 5 (Women - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). At the same time, a listing of over hundred global women including H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (President of Liberia) Angela Merkel (Chancellor of Germany), who are influential, has been submitted to the UNGA and UNSC.
I have been to Europe; I saw campaigns both in print media and online by Germans soliciting global support for Angela Merkel to be, perhaps, the UN first female Secretary General. The same with other countries including Estonia. In fact, opposition groups have resolved not to continuously preach hate-messages against the women representing their countries. In Germany, opposition leaders see it as a means of get rid of Angela's hands in their country's politics, thus creating room for them to take power.
Fellow compatriots and compeers, we too must support our President. We must put aside our political differences and endorse Madam Sirleaf for the Secretariat of the UN.
Many of you may want to question my credibility, but let me say it emphatically and crystal-clear that I have not benefited from the administration of Madam President. In fact, I was never given recognition by the Government when I (Liberia) won the 2015 International Children's Peace Prize. I have decided to launch this campaign not as an International Children's Peace Prize winner but a citizen with patriotism and love for my country to ensure that Liberia produces the first female UN SG. This is about Liberia's records and the proud of Liberians.