MONROVIA-President George Weah with less than five years in office has decided to reclaim the country’s past record by setting up a special committee to celebrate the arrival of the first settlers to Liberia in 1822.
Liberia was established by freed slaves who were sent to Africa to settle because their presence there was not welcoming according to Robert Findley, the Presbyterian man who set up the American Colonization Society-ACS. That blacks presence in the US was not welcoming; they were carrying out revenge against their past slave masters and their stay in the USA at the time would lead to problem, hence a place to move.
So, the first settlers landed on the soil of Liberia in 1822. Realizing the important role the settlers played over 200 years ago, president Weah has decided to celebrate the day by setting up a special committee to acknowledge their immense contributions made by the first group of freed slaves. The settlers landed on Providence Island, thus establishing a safe haven for them. After 25 years later, the freed slaves declared an a independent state, Liberia.
But to the surprise of them, their former slave masters, USA did not recognize their independence, perhaps they thought they were not matured enough govern a country.
With that, the president has set up a National Steering Committee to plan and execute activities to commemorate the bicentennial celebration of the resettlement of freed slaves.
A press statement issued by the Executive Mansion over the weekend the Government of Liberia has set aside 2022 to mark the bicentennial of a movement that began on February 6, 1820, as an attempt to repatriate freed slaves.
“The year is symbolic as it commemorates 200 years since the first group of freed slaves touched down on what is now called Providence Island,” the release said.
Those on the National Bicentennial Anniversary Steering Committee are the Ministry of Information as Chair; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as first Co-Chair; and the Monrovia City Cooperation as second Co-Chair.
Other members of the Committee are the Ministries of Finance Development Planning, Justice, Commerce and Industry, Agriculture and Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection.
In addition to that, the General Services Agency, Liberia Immigration Service, Liberia National Police, National Social Security and Welfare Corporation, National Port Authority, Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company, Bureau of Maritime Affairs, Roberts International Airport, and the Liberia Revenue Authority.
“The bicentennial program will be formally launched by His Excellency President George Manneh Weah for Africans and friends of Liberia in the diaspora to reunite with Liberia,” the release stated.
The Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs will coordinate between the Steering Committee and the President’s office.
The release said, the event is expected to be a year-long event commencing from January 2022 through December 2022.