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“Know Your History,” Dr. Guannu Challenges Liberians
By Philip T. Singbah, LINA Bong County Correspondent
GBARNGA, March 31 ( LINA) - Liberian historian Dr. Joseph Saye Guannu has challenged Liberians to take interest in the history of Liberia.
Professor Guannu, who is also Director of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Cuttington University in Bong County, stressed that it is important for citizens to know their country’s history to enable them know their identity as a people.
He said often people claim they are Liberian citizens without knowing the founding fathers of their country, emphasizing that “knowing the history of Liberia will enable citizens, including students, youth activists and politicians understand the meaning of the Redeem Order of African Redemption and the role that Liberia played in it.”
Dr. Guannu made the statement in an exclusive interview with the Liberia News Agency on Thursday.
He said if Liberians know their history well, things wouldn’t be difficult for them as they are now, because the country’s symbols have not been explained properly for students to understand their actual meanings.
According to Dr. Guannu, it is historically faulty to depict the ship on the Seal of Liberia as the ship that brought settlers back to the country, noting that such history needs to be corrected.
Dr. Guannu, also a former ambassador, called for a comprehensive history on Liberia.
“The reason behind the comprehensive history is to know who first came to Liberia, because there were Muslims living here before the settlers arrived; to be a good agent of change, it requires research to know where you’re coming from.”
He said if Liberians truly desire change, it is not for politicians who are seeking political offices, noting that change should be for the country and its citizens.
Dr. Guannu, explained that the history of Liberia does not speak about the actual facts of the country, but the coming of the settlers, saying, “We need a real history that will be called history after the settlers, because a country that does not know its past or where it's heading, is not a country.”
Dr. Guannu lamented that Liberia has suffered so long in the hands of many bad leaders, noting that there are three things that a good leader possesses, “Some of which include skills, knowledge, and integrity,” saying,” without any of these, you cannot be considered as a good leader of a nation.”
He stressed the need to improve and add a cultural context to the National Orders so that it can resonate with all citizens.
It can be recalled that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf constituted a National Symbol Review Project in 2012 to review comprehensively the current symbols of the nation and make recommendations to her office.