Sen. Paye Wants to Repeal Tubman, Roberts Birthdays for Single Holiday

MONROVIA, Montserrado – Sen. Francis Paye of River Cess says Liberia does not need multiple holidays commemorating the birthdays of the country’s various presidents. Instead, he has proposed an act to repeal the holidays celebrating former presidents Joseph Jenkins Roberts and William V. S. Tubman.

March 15 is celebrated as Roberts’ birthday while Tubman’s birthday is celebrated on November 29.

“All past and present presidents of the Republic of Liberia have contributed and as well [are] contributing to the growth and development of this country,” he said. “Therefore, it’s important that we honor all our presidents who have served our country.”

The senator said if passed, the new act will now set the third Friday in November of each year as President’s Day, to be observed in recognition of the enormous sacrifices and services rendered by all who served in the role as president of Liberia.

Paye noted that on this proposed holiday, the flag would be hoisted halfway on both public and private buildings in observance of the day.

The River Cess senator said he was proposing the change to increase productivity in the workforce: “Following nearly 15 years of civil conflict in Liberia that left all of Liberia’s infrastructures and administrative structures in ruins, increased working days are important in order to tackle the many challenges associated with postwar reconstruction, including economic recovery.”

Liberia does not seem to have a significantly higher number of holidays than other similar countries. At 12 holidays a year, Liberia had fewer than Ghana’s and Guinea’s 13 and Ivory Coast’s 14, but more than Sierra Leone’s 9. The standard workweek for Liberian laborers, as prescribed by the Decent Work Act, is also six days or 48 hours a week.

Ida Reeves

Ida Reeves is a senior student at the University of Liberia studying Mass Communications and Sociology. She graduated from the Young Political Leadership School and has worked in the past for Farbric Radio, Freedom Radio, and Frontier newspaper.

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