Liberia’s 169th Independence Day: An Old Nation Continuously and “Appropriately” Celebrating in Turbulence

By: Moses Blonkanjay Jackson
(The Mwalimu-Koh)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

July 21, 2016


President Sirleaf & VP Boakai

Simply Thinking Thoughts
In my thinking thoughts, I digested President Sirleaf’s recent proclamation that referenced the “Patriotic Observances Law”, Title 26 that sets the 26th day of July as “Independence Day” to be “appropriately celebrated” As apparent due diligence, the proclamation acknowledged the varied turbulent times the nation continues to face; “when this nation was declared a free, sovereign independent State and from then through the years of our national life, manifold and varied have been experiences of the nation and its people, who through it all have been able to forge their way by dent of perseverance, devotion, and courage”

Truly, over its existence, this small West African state has painfully maneuvered through diverse turbulences. From the day the ex-slaves were offloaded on these shores by the American Colonization Society, to the days of the Ebola Virus Disease and the peculiar Unity Party leadership, there has always been turbulence. For example, NOCAL is bankrupt, ruling Unity Party Chairman Varney Sherman and the Speaker of the House of Representative Alex Tyler are indicted for corruption. In addition, in spite of the pain and hardship common citizens endure each day, the old nation continues to celebrate July 26, every year as has been declared by President Sirleaf’s 169th proclamation.

Construct of turbulence
For clarity, turbulence can be construed as commotion, disorder or instability that threatens the sanity of an establishment or entity. In the case of an aircraft in flight, turbulence is caused by bad weather that has the ability to sweep it off course, crash it and kill the passengers or expose them to pain and untold suffering.

In the middle of one of my 10 hour flights, the pilot suddenly announced an unexpected turbulence due to bad weather and instructed passengers to fasten their seatbelts. Those who were new flyers or did not fly frequently, became scare as they hanged unto the handles of their seats. Their heartbeats could be heard from a distance as they solemnly hummed tunes of famous gospel hymns like, “All to Jesus I surrender…”, and “Lord I’m coming home…” in case the plane crashed so that they would be received safely in heaven in the bosom of Father Abraham or at the foot of the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Frequent flyers that had experienced situations of turbulence, for their part, simply received the announcement of turbulence as “business as usual”, and hence carelessly reclined in their seats as the air hostesses wore fake smiles as they walked the aisle giving passengers hope. As usual, our aircraft rocked and shook as it maneuvered through the turbulence. Through it all, the adroit and dexterous pilot landed the big bird smoothly and we burst out in celebration with a rousing round of applause. Of course, the traumatized new flyers clapped louder and longer than the experienced careless frequent flyers.

Flight Liberia #169 in turbulence
Using your mind’s eyes, please take a trip with me on Flight Liberia # 169. This vessel has gone through many turbulent times as a racist old nation that does not allow white people to become citizens. It does not allow her own citizens to vote because they are naturalized in other countries; however, it allows them to serve as government officials who sup lustily in her first class cabin.

The log of Flight Liberia #169 reveals that several pilots have attempted to safely bring it to port; unfortunately, due to their ineptitude and arrogance they failed; some were mediocre pilots and crew members who lacked willpower to act appropriately; others were corrupt, unpatriotic and greedy bigots who lacked moral rectitude while others were spineless cowards who would never call a spade a spade in their lifetime, and hence messed up their administrations. Consequently to this day, Flight Liberia #169 continues to navigate her way with reckless audacity through unnecessary turbulence. In Flight #169, corruption currently is wearing red long boots and striding majestically around the first class cabin under the guise of mystic Big Boy#1 and Big Boy #2 of the depraved Capitol Hill.

The passengers aboard 169 are the common citizens who groan each day in agony due to economic hardship and frequent budget shortfalls. These are the poor students, voiceless teachers, the unemployed, the market women, motorcycle pen-pen boys, and low income civil servants who struggle daily to live on US one dollar a day. The pilot with co-pilot at any time is the head of the Executive Branch and all presidential appointees; the Legislative and Judiciary Branches are the air hostesses and engineers. These two are the careless frequent flyers, the cream of Liberians with influence and affluence, who are supposed to steer Flight #169. While the fearful passengers are in pain, these “careless flyers” do not waiver at all in turbulence; for come what may, they would receive first preference. Unfortunately, despite the failure by successive pilots to safely bring Flight Liberia #169 home, the passengers are instructed to pray for the careless frequent flyers and applaud in the turbulence precisely on July 26 of each year.

Refusing to clap in turbulence is sin
Sometimes it appears like celebrating Independence Day every year in spite of the widespread economic and political challenges is similar to clapping for a plane in turbulence. It may be true that the common passengers on Flight Liberia #169 may not have any choices for now, but they might refuse to clap in the not too distant future. They might clap for the completion of the Monrovia-Ganta highway but refuse to clap for the stench from the Big Boy 1, Big Boy 2 corruption case; clap for successful dismissal of the Ebola Virus Disease epidemic but not for the mysterious death of the renown Harry Greaves; clap for the opening of several embassies near Monrovia but not for the devastated broken education system hi-jacked by arrogance and ineptitude; clap for the proliferation of political parties but not for the hate messages and slanders that  bellow daily from politically affiliated radio stations; clap for standardized procurement policies but not for mediocre managers who cheat and bend service procurement rules and believe they will ever get away with such dastardly acts under this sun. God forbid!

Now fellow passengers, note that on Flight #169, in spite of our inherent rights and freedom, refusing to clap is lawlessness and sin according to the “Patriotic Observances Law”, Title 26, Liberian Code of Laws of 1956, and first Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God...” . Therefore, we must celebrate in every turbulent time because of our patriotic obligation, and because of the charge from God. We should never ever again agree to celebrate July 26, because we are compelled or intimidated by poverty and strife.

Description: C:\Users\Nush Jackson\Pictures\2011-04-20 001\scan0001.jpgBenediction
To this end, as we approach this 169th Independence Day, I charge all Liberians to go forth and celebrate “appropriately”. However, be reflective and honest about whether we should actually be praying instead of celebrating in these turbulent times. July 26 is the day the sovereignty of the old racist nation was confirmed; hence, do not reluctantly celebrate because today you are voiceless passengers without choices on an aircraft in turbulence, but rather because of your patriotic duty as a Liberian and devotion and gratitude to God as asserted by our president, Madam  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Now may the Lord bless and keep Flight Liberia; may He make His countenance to shine upon Flight Liberia; may the lord give Liberia grace and decrease the number of turbulence, and give Liberia the peace that passes all understanding that will produce savvy leaders and pilots able and capable to bring Flight Liberia to a safe landing in Jesus name. Amen.

Happy 169th Independence Day, Fellow Liberians!!!!!  (My 26 on all of y’all)

I am simply thinking thoughts

Author's Statement: The Rivercess man, Moses Blonkanjay Jackson (Mwalimu-Koh) is a triple Ivy League product, and a Jesuit protégé; Mr. Jackson holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Master of Education with Secondary Mathematics concentration from Saint Joseph’s University. Mr. Jackson is a Yale University Mathematics Curriculum Fellow and a University of Pennsylvania Physics Curriculum Fellow. After serving diligently as Assistant Minister for Teacher Education for two years, the Rivercess man was dismissed. The Rivercess man can be contacted at +231 886 681 315/+231 770 206 645 or at

sylvester moses
If we may, an allegory is defined as "a story, or other work in which characters and events stand for ideas about the human condition, or for a political or historical situation". Mr. Jackson has written an allegorical essay which strength lies in the easy discernibility of meaning. This literary form even in the hands of some greats can be disappointingly dull, so we thank him for keeping us spellbound from departure to arrival.

To continue his symbol of flying, our political jinx, nonetheless, can be best traced to the original unfettered authority in the cockpit given to the pilot and co - pilot in flight 169 instead of "turbulence" caused by climatic, or other conditions. Prideful and overconfident, the pilots have regularly ignored control towers, and usually get on the plane drunk, thus unable often to avoid turbulence visible miles off.

An example of "unfettered authority" is Article 111, Section 1 of the 1847 Constitution, which reads: "The Supreme Executive Power shall be vested in a president ... and hold office for eight years". Whereas the US (the pioneers came from less than twenty - four years earlier) had a constitution which reads "The Executive Power shall be vested in a president... and hold his office during term of four years". Noticeable differences are the telling additions of "supreme" to our presidency, and four years to the term.

Even the revised 1986 constitution shaved off only two years; a six year term most citizens grumble is too long.

We believe that our lawful imperial presidency is the root cause of the perennial bad governance. Because it gave near absolute power to every president. That charismatic, capable, and cosmopolitan EJS couldn't help the temptations of despotism speaks volumes. And until we curb the powers of flight 169 pilots, or cut down on the excess baggage in the plane, the outcomes of ignorance, poverty, and backwardness 'shall' live with us indefinitely.

Happy Independence Day, Bokanjay - just "clapping" in appreciation of your safe skillful piloting despite severe "turbulence".

sylvester moses at 08:46AM, 2016/07/22.
Sylvester moses
1st para - the strength of the work lies not only in the "easy discernibility of meaning", but also by the successful sustainability of the flying symbolism.

We thought the modification is necessary to underscore the formal maturity of Mr. Bojankay's brilliantly - written figurative sojourn.
Sylvester moses at 10:58AM, 2016/07/22.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
A DESPOT "charismatic, capable, and cosmopolitan"! WOW! Or are we analysing such qualities "too literally". No wonder it is widely believed she and her criminal cartel stole the 2005 election as evidenced by the opposition boycotting the following election in 2011!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 04:43PM, 2016/07/22.
Sylvester moses
There you go again, but there is no contradiction here. Napoleon was a despot, yet "charismatic", "capable" and "cosmopolitan". The same can be said of Nkrumah, Nasser, and many other leaders. Anyway, I've guests - busy, that is.
Sylvester moses at 06:24PM, 2016/07/22.
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah
Brother Moses,been charismatic is based on the power of one´s personality and not based on the office he or she holds; as is the case of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf whom you are referring to as been charismatic becoase of the office she holds!

You may be quite right to categorize such men as Bonarparte, Nasser, and Nkrumah as charismatic! Even our own compatriot, Charles Taylor, for his oratorical excellence can be said to be charismatic; not to talk about such greats as Mandela, Mussolini, Baccus Matthews, Hitler, and even, Boima Fahnbuleh (Nbulleh) and Amos Sawyer!

For objectively speaking, all of these people´s individual charisma(despite whatever lapses)owe nothing to their individual status, social position or office! For they have or had the capacity to make a direct and personal appeal to their followers as a kind of hero or saint!!!

But can even Ellen Johnson Sirleaf herself associate herself with such capacity to make a direct and personal appeal to any group of people or followers...if she even had any such group? No! And this is why she could not attain a single vote in Accra for the interim leadership, and why she has to steal elections and now suffer such collective national hatred which has never been seen on the continent and elsewhere! As for capability for the presidency, you have already dismissed her as unfit as a result of old age!

The fact that as a result of her office, Ellen Jonson Sirleaf may still inspire loyalty from the likes of Lewis Brown etc. etc., this does not amount to any charismatic legitimacy on her part, because such loyalty is simply based on the formal powers of the office she holds! And this is evidenced by the sizzling collective national hatred against her and the collapse of her own party with she and the entire hierichical structure at loggerheads!

Take for example Baccus Matthews, though dead and gone, the comrade is still seen as a hero and political saint amongst certain strategic segments of the Liberian publics! Or better still, take for example, George Weah, though he has never held the highest office, he commands the largest following ever in Liberian history! That´s being charismatic! And not someone as your EJS WHOSE PERSONALITY IS ABSOLUTELY OWED TO THE OFFICE SHE HOLDS! PERIOD. THIS IS NOT BEEN CHARISMATIC, GOOD FRIEND!

Lest we forget, you have not answered as to why Tipoteh whom you believe has the conviction of "jaw jaw", ran away without been named in the August 1981 coup!
Kandajaba Zoebohn Zoedjallah at 03:43PM, 2016/07/23.
Dortu-Siboe Doe
Mr. Jackson,

Your claim that because a nation restricts its citizenship, "that nation is a rcist nation" is baseless, wrong, and has no place in contemporary jurisprudence. Read this stipulation of provision of the International Convention on the elimination of Racial Descrimination (ICRD) infra:


Article 1

1. In this Convention, the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life.

2. This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.

3. Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as affecting in any way the legal provisions of States Parties concerning nationality, citizenship or naturalization, provided that such provisions do not discriminate against any particular nationality.

A country would be seen as a "racist nation" if such country discriminates against a particular nationality. For example if the given nation would legislate that Germans, Ghananians,Israelis, Saudi Arabian, Iranians, Russians, etc. etc. Such legislation would be in violation of the final clause of Paragraph 3 Article 1 supra which stipulates:

3. Nothing in this Convention may be interpreted as affecting in any way the legal provisions of States Parties concerning nationality, citizenship or naturalization, provided that such provisions do not discriminate against any PARTICULAR nationality (Germans, Ghananians,Israelis, Saudi Arabian, Iranians, Russians, etc. etc.)


Secondly, your claim that freedom of speech or the peoples right to know is according to you "HATE MESSAGES VIA RADIO STATIONS" is dead wrong and you should rescind such immediately. Read your constitution and analyse carefully fundamental rights!

Dortu-Siboe Doe at 04:57AM, 2016/07/25.
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