The Managing Director of the National Port Authority Bill Twehway says patriotism unlocks true potentials, something he has encouraged Liberians to seek in their educational sojourn.
Speaking on the theme: “Patriotism: Your Passport to Unlocking your True Potentials,” Twehway said patriotism connotes how “we apply our values as citizens when tested.”
Serving as guest speaker at the 5th Commencement and Convocation Exercises of the Tubman University in Maryland County, the NPA boss encouraged the graduates to see true value and loyalty as key to society.
He urged the graduates that the unbending devotion of their goals to earn a degree from Tubman University despite the challenges is welcoming, calling on them to respect established rules and obey those in authority.
Mr. Twehway at the same advised the graduates to be honest as they enter the larger society.
According to him, the fight against corruption is anchored on the value of honesty.
He said dishonesty and disharmony amongst others led to the civil unrest in the Country something he wants to be discouraged among the youthful generation of Liberia.
Speaking further he added that the last is certainly the value of humanity.
These aforementioned values, he said are the fundamental pillars or the building blocks for patriotism at all levels, adding “what you do learn here are transposed on the national stage or the greater society. But what patriotism has to do with unlocking the potentials of you graduates?
He emphasized that patriotism has a great role to play.
It teaches you to act as responsible citizens, selflessly loving our country, and to do things in the best interest of the country.
This ensures the stability of society, the necessary prerequisite for our potentials to be unleashed with the opportunities that are abound.”
He said over the years, “as our experience had shown, some of our compatriots promoted social disharmony, agitated against the state, and brought war on the citizens. They bought guns to achieve their selfish aims, connived with foreign businessmen to pillage our resources, in exchange for the supply of weapons to kill us.
According to him, all these were based on false revolutionary doctrines of attaining a classless society, distorted logic and fallacies of liberation, and voodoo economic theories of producing a “welfare state”, where one needed not to work but will be compensated by the state.
So catchy and romantic were the rhetoric that Liberians fell prey, and experimented with war.
Mr. Twehway observed that the word “patriotism” is often abused and misused, noting anarchists, extortionists, blackmailers and decorated thieves are all masquerading as “patriots”.
He noted that of recent, a conglomeration of defeated politicians, who earned 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.5 percent in the 2017 general and presidential elections have coalesced under a “Council of Patriots”, mainly those who governed the state for 12 years and their governance records are dismal are best, and reprehensible at worst.
However, he said patriots do not foment chaos, instigate insurrection using subterranean and asymmetric political warfare, and employing economic subterfuge to undermine a democratic and popular government.
Continuing, he said patriotism is not the undermining of democracy, adding “therefore, those self-indulged patriots lack ideas, visions and the Liberian people cannot entrust them with state power.”
Tewhway: “Why am I citing all these? These citations underscore an unadulterated fact that in the absence of social harmony, peace and stability, your potentials, which are immersed in the big dreams of being engineers – the best engineers, the big dreams of becoming agriculturalists – the best agriculturalists, and the big dreams of becoming professional nurses – the best professional nurses, will never be realized. Let me illustrate further, that war, social disorder and conflict are never incentives for career advancement and success. Infact, they are disincentives and are incongruous with our big dreams.
The NPA boss warned those worn-out political rhetoric and shun those failed politicians who helped to destroy our country, lest unlocking our true potentials will be in serious jeopardy.”
He then admonished the graduates to do away with those things that tend to undermine their potentials, and keep firmly focused on the professional development goals that each of them has set for him or herself.
Additionally, he intoned that being patriotic does not only set them apart but also places them in a unique position to make meaningful contributions to the state in their specialized fields of study, saying “for example, as a graduate in agriculture, your skills can be brought to bear in the cultivation of our staple food, rice, and other cash crops to ensure food security for the citizens; as engineering graduates, you can advise government on technical matters as they relate to the construction of critical roads in the country so as to ensure value for money, utilization of local talents, and even proposing new ways to road construction; and as professional nurses, you can assist government in curbing infant and maternal mortality cases, with particular emphasis on preventive health, as opposed to curative health, mainstreaming your fresh knowledge acquired.”
The possibilities are yours for the choosing; however, all of these can be attained if we declare truthfully that we have a duty to making our society better, and exhibit patriotism at every level of what we do, no matter how big or small. The government of course has a duty to providing the necessary support within its means, so that you acquire the best possible education and reach your full potentials. Your individual successes benefit society because when you succeed, you are in a better position to give back to your fellow citizens rather than take from them. All I ask of you graduates is to live up to your own true potentials. You have the power to inspire this nation politically, socially and economically by exhibiting patriotism or act in the best interest of the Country.