President Sirleaf at Newport Street Mosque

Friday, 20th July 2007
President Sirleaf is escorted in the Mosque by Sheik Abubarka and Public Works Minister Dunzo.
President Sirleaf is escorted in the Mosque by Sheik Abubarka and Public Works Minister Dunzo.
Photo Credit: James Garresen, II/Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia - Official programs marking the 160th Independence Anniversary of Liberia kicked off Friday, with Thanksgiving and Intercessory Services at Mosques throughout the country.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led an array of government officials to a Thanksgiving and Intercessory service at the Newport Street Mosque.

In remarks, the President said the events at the Mosque were a manifestation in government belief that all religious institutions have a part to play in the nation’s development. The President thanked Muslims for their continuous prayers for the nation. The Liberian leader urged Muslims throughout the country not to relent in offering prayers for tolerance, patience, and honesty that would show regards and respect for others in what they do.

The President also urged the Muslim community to pray for reconciliation and peace, without which nothing can be achieved.

During the occasion, a number of Muslim clerics offered prayers for the nation including Imam, Omar Al Sheriff, Secretary-general of the University Muslims Association, and Sheik Abubarkar Sumawolo, Grand Mufti of the National Muslim Council of Liberia.  They thanked the President for creating the enabling environment for peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non Muslims in the country. The Muslim leaders welcomed the decision by government to begin the celebration the country’s 160th Independence Anniversary with the Intercessory Services at Mosques throughout the country, describing the decision as the first in recent memory in the country’s history.

The Muslim clerics urged their followers to promote the spirit of reconciliation among all citizens and discourage vises which have the potential of plunging the country into another circle of violence. “It is not only a religious commitment, but equally a patriotic duty,” Sheik Abubarkar Sumawolo reminded Muslims.

The Muslim leaders also lauded the President for providing subsidy for private schools including Muslim institutions and for keeping a campaign promise to recruit individuals in government based on qualification rather than religious affiliations.

The Muslims thanked the President and her government for the steady progress in the country and assured her of their full support toward the national development agenda, adding, “we will join the train of development wherever you want to go.”
The 160th Independence anniversary celebrations continue on Saturday with a turning over ceremony of the renovated and refurbished Samuel Kanyon Doe Sport Complex by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Government of Liberia.