Citizens of Lofa Sign Peace Pact

Tuesday, 17th May 2011

Monrovia, Liberia - Citizens of Lofa County have signed a Peace Pact, committing themselves to peaceful co-existence and unity to avoid a recurrence of the February 25-26 violence in the provincial capital Voinjama that resulted in the loss of lives and property.
The pact was signed by 12 citizens from each of the seven districts of Lofa County to climax a week-long peace conference that was held following series of consultations in the County’s seven districts.
Signatories of the Pact included District Commissioners, Paramount, Clan and Section Chiefs as well as youth and women leaders of Salayea, Zorzor, Quardu Gboni, Voinjama, Vahun, Kolahun and Foya Districts.
The peace deal was sealed Monday with the presentation of a copy of the Pact to Liberia’s Vice President Joseph N. Boakai Sr., in the provincial capital Voinjama.
The pact calls on all citizens of Lofa County to respect each other’s religious and traditional beliefs and to recognize their system of worship and tribes.
The Pact also calls for the appointment of mature, experienced and focused people whose actions are worthy of emulation.
It also urges all tribes to encourage inter-tribal and inter-religious marriages and to encourage religious tolerance and allow citizens to practice religions of their choice.
The Pact also urged leaders of the various districts to base job appointments not on the basis of tribe, but on merit.
Receiving the Pact, Vice President Boakai reminded Lofians that their county has the potential to become great, but cautioned that this can only be realized if citizens put the interest of the county first. “Without all districts working together and living in unity there will be no Lofa,” Vice President Boakai observed.
 He reminded citizens that peace is not an event, but a process and urged all Lofians to work towards peace. He added that it was one thing to sign a document, but another to make a commitment to co-exist peacefully. “You have been regarded as peace loving people. Keep it that way,” he urged.
Vice President Boakai assured that government would ensure all land cases are adjudicated without fear or favor.
He urged all Lofians to respect each other’s culture and traditions and assured that government would always ensure that law and order prevails in the county.
The Liberian Vice President challenged all Lofians occupying leadership positions to serve their people with impartiality, adding, “What is leadership if you can’t be for the people. Let’s work together and be honest with each other.”
He also called for youth and women’s empowerment to ensure the speedy development of the nation. “Let us forget about rivalry and other divisive factors and concentrate on building a prosperous county. There is need to show unity in the old Lofa way, “ he emphasized.
Vice President Boakai assured citizens of Lofa that the Unity Party-led Government was committed to developing the county, including the paving of the Gbarnga Mendicorma and the installation of solar lights in all major towns of the county.   
 In remarks, Lofa County Superintendent Galakpai Kortimai thanked the Committee for Peace in Lofa for the good job. He observed that the resolution was for the good of the county and would bring about the development of the county, and urged all to live by its terms to ensure a good future for generations yet unborn.
In remarks during the peace conference held at the Voinjama Town Hall, the Secretary General of the ruling Unity party, Mr. Wilomt Paye thanked the people of Lofa County for realizing the need to look back and rediscover their strength and work together.
He noted that Lofa County has been the bread basket of Liberia and also home to some of Liberia’s finest brains.
He reminded that the Unity Party is the gift of Lofians to the people of Liberia, adding, “Our party is based on unity, and continued disunity among you will be a reversal of what you are known for. We will be disappointed if Lofa County fails to unite.”
He hoped the peace now prevailing in the county would be sustained and that all throughout the length and breadth of Lofa County would be committed to and respect the Peace Pact.
  Mr. Paye expressed the hoped that the older generation would teach the younger generation to live in peace so that Lofa will continue on the path for which it is noted historically.
Also in remarks, the Chairman of the Committee for Peace in Lofa, former Lofa County Representative Philip Saa Tali thanked officials of the seven districts of Lofa Couty for their cooperation and for signing the Peace pact, which he noted would ensure peaceful co-existence in the county and ensure speedy development.
The Committee for Peace in Lofa County (CPL) was constituted by Vice President Joseph N. Boakai with the acquiescence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to work with all parties in investigating the February 25-26 violence in Voinjama City and together find lasting peace in Lofa County.
The CPL reviewed the report of the Special Committee and reports of independent organizations on the February 25-26 conflict in Lofa County, and held consultative meetings in all the seven districts of the county before preparing the Peace Pact.
Other members of the Committee were: Mrs. Setta F. Saa, Co-chair; Dr. Herman Browne, Mr. Joseph S. Boye, Secretary General; Alfred M.T Pinney, Chief Boakai Zulu, Madam Garmai Y.Barco, Chief Momo Taylor, Imam Sheaku Kanneh, Ma Zoe Kleeme and Oldman Zoe Kolleh.