TO THE PEOPLE OF NIMBA COUNTY AT SAMDA’S 3RD ANNUAL CONVENTION
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, UNITED STATES
SEPTEMBER 7, 20013
Before I begin, Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to kindly, please ask us all to please stand to our feet and take a moment of silence to remember all the 250,000 plus precious Liberian lives lost during our senseless Liberian civil war. (count to 5) Thank You.
Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. President, chairman and members of the board of directors of SAMDA, officials of SAMDA, representatives of various organizations, elders, distinguished guests, my Nimba family, my fellow Grand Gedeans, Liberians, ladies and gentlemen.
Tonight I would like to start of by taking a moment to give you a look into the reality of who truly is the woman that stands before you. Perhaps it might help you understand why it was absolutely a must for me to be here today. Many of you have come to know me as Celue Doe. The young daughter of Dr. Samuel Kanyon Doe, the Late President of our beloved homeland the Republic of Liberia. Yes I AM the young lady who have been working tirelessly, in striving for genuine peace and reconciliation amongst all Liberians; most importantly peace between the powerful and historically intertwined people of Grand Gedeh and Nimba County.
I would like to take a hold of your hand and ask for just a moment to please journey back into time with me and allow me to please share with you one of my earliest childhood memories. This is something that occurred in my life at the tender age of THREE.
I vividly remember this day because of the immense pain, sadness and horror I witnessed all around my very young life. This was the day I learned the horrific lessons at just THREE years old of what it means to have conflict amongst ourselves as human beings and the sad reality of being divided as a people. That very traumatizing day was November 12th, 1985, the most notable failed coup attempt on my father’s government. Many Liberians around the world credit this day as the major event in our nation’s history that catapulted our country into the horrendous civil war that cost us so many of our precious Liberian sons and daughters.
During the wee hours of this day November 12th 1985, I was fearfully awaken by the caretakers of we the very young president’s children in the Executive Mansion.
We were hurriedly rushed to our mother’s bedroom to take cover and hide under the bed as bullets came flying all throughout the windows of the Executive
Mansion shattering things all around us. As we hid crying and shaking with fear in my young mind all I knew is that my Pa was not there to protect us. It was on this day when it was safe to come out from our hiding place that my young mind tried to process and comprehend what TRULY had taken place.
The failed coup attempt by a man that I vividly remember knowing as my father’s best friend and a man we as children referred to as Uncle Quiwonkpa was no longer with us.
At that very young age this was devastatingly painful to understand. That was my father’s friend! His very close friend! While there was joy around us because we
were alive and our father was alive there was also sadness. Most notably sadness from my father. He had not just lost his friend. He had truly lost a brother. So my question to you tonight is WHY? Why had two great sons of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties been placed against one another? How can a bond so close be penetrated and subsequently shattered to pieces. The shattering of that friendship between my father and his dear friend would later go on to represent the shattering of the great bond between a groups of people that once stood very united. So again I will ask WHY? Why have we allowed ourselves to be fooled by outside forces? Why have we allowed ourselves to be divided as a people…..to be
Do we not know our history as a people of Nimba and Grand Gedeh Counties? Do we not know that we are ONE people? ONE Family? That we are brothers and sisters
husbands and wives. One community, one family? No two groups of people in Liberia was ever as close historically as the people of Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.
The people of Nimba and Gedeh are the symbols of STRENGTH, COURAGE and RESILIENCE in Liberia.
We have shared a bond so deep and so strong for soooo long. Until the unthinkable happened. We let ourselves be fooled. My father historically said that when two elephants fight…….only the ground suffers. My people….We the people of Nimba and Grand Gedeh have suffered ENOUGH.
So, that has been our past….but what is going to be our future? What is the way forward? In my humble opinion, the ONLY way forward is through the very GENUINE desire to truly reconcile ourselves as a people. In order to do that the truth must be told, acknowledge, used as a means to heal ourselves and most importantly to EDUCATE ourselves.
Education is the key to success for us as a people and us as a nation. The state of education in Liberia is in a very dismal shape. Just this past week the shockingly horrifying news from BBC of TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND students FAILING the entrance exam for the UNIVERSITY of Liberia was announced. You mean to tell me that not one, not a single one out of 25 thousand young Liberians who sat to take a standardize exam passed. What does that say about us as a nation? I’ll tell you what it says.
It says that we are much unprepared educationally to compete on the Global level. Our educational system is virtually non-existent. I would not be surprised that many of those students who failed hailed from the great counties of Grand Gedeh and Nimba County. Why? Because it is our people in the rural towns and villages that are deeply impacted by the lack of proper
education in our country.
It is very sad to say that it is very likely that a child born in Liberia today may not be able to attend primary school a few years from now simply because there is no school for them or their parents simply cannot afford to send them to the school that do exist. When you couple that with teachers who are ill prepared and poorly educated themselves and not qualified to teach, what do we possibly expect to happen in Liberia?
Should we truly be shocked at such jarring news coming out of our homeland? When we all know very well what is going on in the Liberian school system or lack thereof of one? NO. We as Liberians must all take responsibility for the state of our nation. Is it not Liberians who choose those that represent us? Do we not place into position who we want to run our country and represent us? So we must take personal responsibility for our country. Without educated citizens of a nation, a country simply CAN NOT prosper.
I would like to use this opportunity to speak directly to my fellow Liberian youth like I so often like to do whenever given the opportunity.Do you all know that 70% of the Liberian population is under 30 years of age? Did you also know that Liberia has 85 percent unemployment rate and of that 85 percent the majority is the youth of Liberia. Especially those that reside in
the rural areas of our country? With Liberia being majority populated by the youth of the nation what does that tell us?
That tells us that the future of Liberia lies in the hands of the youth. The time has come and the time is now. No more can we nor should we make excuses that the ‘old people dem messing up our country’. We are the majority. The years from now the ‘old people dem who are now in charge will no longer be around. So I am here to ask my fellow youth
what we are doing in preparation to lead our country. What is holding us back?
I will tell you what is holding us back, what is holding us back is the same problems that destroyed our country and caused that senseless war in our
homeland. The lack of UNITY on every level is what plagues us my people.It is sad to say my fellow Liberians that the poison of hate and division does not
end with the older generation. It has perpetrated through the minds, souls and spirits of our young people.
Many young Liberian people these days simply just hate each other. For the same ridiculous reasons that led to the lost of thousands of precious Liberian lives. Have we not learned our lesson? Do we really want to go back? Why must we continue with the hate mongering, the spreading of lies, tribalism versus nationalism, Country vs. Congour and so much more? When will we simply just get it? There is no Krahn Liberia, no Gio Liberia, no Kru Liberia, no Bassa Liberia but simply just ONE Liberia and that is the Republic
I believe that the only true hope that Liberia has lies within the hands of the youth. I firmly believe that the youth will bring about the change that Liberia is so desperate in need of.
The younger generation of Liberians today is vital in making Liberia a genuine success story of post war peace, unity, and reconciliation. This cannot be done if we ourselves do not realize this and not choose to put first and foremost God and our country first. Through God all things are possible. The time has come, the time is now. No more shall the youth be the generation to sit quietly and watch without voicing our opinion. We must make our voices heard and take a stand. Never again will we the youth be used to pick up arms to kill our brothers and sisters but to pick up books to acquire the knowledge and skills one must possess to be a contributing member of our society in Liberia and here in America.
I am urging us all, Krah, Gio, Mano, Madingo, Kru, Kpelle, Bassa, congor, etc., young old, man woman, child, we MUST unite. We must unite for a better Liberia and put Liberia FIRST. We must unite for the sake of our children. For our children’s children. My people America is not our home. Liberia is our home and Liberia is what we must put first. We all have something that each of us have inside of us that we can use to help heal and build our country, You do not have to have 4 Phds and 10 masters degrees to give back to your country in a positive
way. However we must realize that the only true way forward, is EDUCATION. Education, education, and education.
We must educate ourselves my people. With our education in hand and a heart that is willing and ready to help and give back, we have nothing to lose. I am confident in saying that with these things in place with a youth, 2017 will certainly see the youth in major leadership roles in our country. So please let’s try focusing less of our attention on being the biggest fashion model or playboy or playgirl in our various Liberian communities but rather try to think of ways to get involved here in our local Liberian communities and back home in Liberia. Let’s
try to think more of our future as a people and our future as a nation. So ladies and gentlemen I have work to do, you have work to do, WE have work to
May God Bless SAMDA, may God bless Nimba County, may God bless Grand Gedeh County and above all, may God Bless our homeland the GREAT Republic of Liberia!