When is National Unification Day?
National Unification Day is a national holiday observed in Liberia on May 14th.
Sometimes called “Integration day”, this day marks the Unification and Integration Policy, which was aimed at tackling political, social and economic disparities with the country.
History of National Unification Day
The Republic of Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom in Africa than in the United States.
Between 1822 and 1861, thousands of free blacks were relocated to the settlement at Cape Mesurado on the Pepper Coast of West Africa.
This influx of people who had control over power in the country created a feeling of animosity and exclusion from the native inhabitants of the region who are the majority in Liberia.
When William V. S. Tubman, the father of modern Liberia, became President of Liberia in 1944, he decided to address the social and political imbalance between the Americo-Liberians and the indigenous Liberians.
In his inaugural address, Tubman introduced his National Unification Policy, which featured among other things an extension of the vote to women and to the country’s indigenous people.
The day was first proclaimed as a national holiday on May 14th 1947. To recognise the benefits that the Unification and Integration Policy brought to the country, and Act was passed in 1960, declaring May 14th as National Unification Day throughout the country. The holiday is proclaimed by the President of Liberia a few days before May 14th each year.
In a recent proclamation, President George Weah noted that the government adheres to the principles of justice, equality, fair play and equal opportunities for all, regardless of tribe or clan, section, creed, religion or economic status so that Liberians might be united in a consolidated whole.
President Weah added that since the Unification and Integration Policy became a cogent part of the National Development Plan, the people of Liberia have seen marked progress and improvement in all spheres of national endeavour, particularly in the economic, educational, communication and social fields.
The statement recounted that being mindful of the years of civil strife in the country and its harmful impacts on the people of Liberia, it becomes imperative that all Liberians embrace the noble ideals enshrined in the Unification Act to promote unity and peace among them.