MONROVIA – It was a moment full of joy and happiness for hundreds of Liberian youths and stalwarts of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on Saturday at a program marking the official dedication and orientation of the Munah Pelham Youngblood Institute of Vocational and Technical Studies, Munah Tech for short.
The School, named after the late CDC’s stalwart and trailblazer is constructed at the party’s national headquarters in Monrovia to provide technical and vocational education to all Liberian youths.
Delivering the keynote address, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Cllr. Jonathan Fonati Koffa described the CDC as the youngest liberation movement in the history of Africa and paid homage to President Weah, the vision bearer of the institution and the party’s stalwarts for establishing the institution, something he said is the first in the history of political parties.
“It is astonishing to see in these contexts where we are not talking about arm struggle as necessary, but we are talking about a struggle of empowerment, struggle to free your mind, a struggle to give you independence of thought and action,” an elated Deputy Speaker Koffa said.
“Never in the history of a political party has an institution dreamed to say we are not just going to build partisans to say A-woo say! [shout battle cry], or to come to the leaders for handout, but we want to build partisans who are equally empowered- to be able to stand on their own so that they will not only be given to, but that they can give back to the institution. And that is the political history we are talking about. I challenged and defy anyone to come here with an example that is likewise in Liberia.”
The Deputy Speaker, now an official of the ruling CDC, was once the Chairman of the Liberty Party and flirted with the former ruling Unity Party.
Speaking further he noted that in all of his political life, he has never seen such meaningful project to be undertaken by a political party. He attributed the party’s milestone achievement to the selfless effort of the party’s “young revolutionaries” who have made the ultimate sacrifice over the years.
He said: “We have been into political institution. We have attempted to build political party. We have never seen something like this – that is happening here today. We give all of the praises to the young revolutionaries and emerging leaders here today. They have been in chains and in hangers. We all have seen their struggles, their sacrifices they made. They should have been doing something to better their lives, but they put their lives on the line for us to arrive here today.”
He called on the students to take advantage of the opportunity for a better future and pledged his unflinching support to the institution.
The event was graced by top officials including lawmakers and guests. One of them, the Ambassador of South Africa, Prof Iqbal Jhazbhay revealed that he held discussions with the Vice Chancellor of the University of South Africa and she has agreed, on behalf of the University, to form a partnership with Munah Tech to benefit the students in digital and vocational disciplines.
He then recounted the longstanding relationship between Liberia and South Africa; especially the many support Liberia accorded to leaders of the anti-Apartheid movement and the African National Congress (ANC) during their liberation struggle.
The party’s Chairman, Mulbah K. Morlue thanked President Weah for the vision and the partisans for supporting the project through due payments and donations.
“This is the product of the sweat and due payment capacity of the party’s members. This is the party owned vocational institution you can be proud of. Thanks to all the partisans for their contribution- CDC USA, Europe and Australia.
He said although the school is owned by the Party, it will open its doors to all Liberians, regardless of party’s affiliations.
He thanked the South African Ambassador to Liberia for soliciting support on behalf of the vocational school and expressed hope that the proposed partnership will benefit the students.
He noted that the founding fathers of the CDC were inspired by the ANC’s in its fight for freedom.
“You (ANC) are the inspiration that brought us (CDC) into existence to deliver basic social services and economic freedom to our people and to our country. We are honored to have you seated here less than 100 feet from our sycamore tree which is reminiscing the history and sacrifice of all revolutionaries that have departed and are still living. We say thank you for being here. We hope the institution will do all it can to work with the school,” Chairman Morlue said while addressing the Ambassador.