As Africa’s oldest independent country, Liberia has set a monumental landmark foundation that no African country would so easily surpass based on its arduous paths to the attainment of participatory democracy in the early years of existence; coupled with its coveted international diplomatic credentials which contributed immensely to the overwhelming independence of several African countries that suffered under the yoke of colonialism for ages.
Also, by extension, a cursory research of its many contributions to the continent’s peace and stability, one would discover that in 1960 it partook in Congo’s Peacekeeping Mission, and coupled with other coveted endeavors which ardently points to the several cause(s) it championed on behalf of Africa’s liberation. Such enviable feats are duly etched in the annuls of its historical epoch, and are surpassed by a handful of few countries worldwide.
Indicative of its strategic position as Africa’s lone republic; and especially to further demonstrate the enhancement of its solidarity with helpless countries plagued by war and colonial extrapolations, Liberia opened its doors as a cradle for opportunities, and land of liberty where citizenships were granted to, and conferred on several dispossessed Africans who risked persecution by their respective countries based on their inherent tribal inclinations; religious ascriptions, and, or their diverse political inclinations.
In life’s subsequent unfolding, some of the very individuals Liberia extended open arms to, and bequeathed its citizenship upon, eventually became towering world figures of international repute cloaked as Liberians; notwithstanding their respective countries of origin. In regards thereof, we, as a country, and people monumentally pride ourselves to reference such individuals as our kith, and kin within the realm of African unification and oneness which endeavor was birthed in Sanniquille, Nimba County.
As a land of the FREE, other African countries outside of the subregion similarly benefited from our unhindered citizenship that paved the way for a Pan Africanist equality within the confines of the law.
Duly cognizant of the country’s diversities, that is why in his oration during the THIRD ANNIVERSARY of the PRC in 1983, titled: “The Path To Our Future:” Liberia’s foremost professor of Political Science, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer described and likened Liberia to a “MOSAIC” which he defined as a composition of various groups of people who avalanched from several diverse societies, and congregated in unison under the banner of one big UMBRELLA as Liberians who MUST be accorded equal opportunities so as to collectively harness their respective endowed capacities to forge the agenda of development as citizens of one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL despite our original statuses as settlers; migrants, indigenous, naturalized, and or refugees.
Per the aforementioned, the below listings consist of some distinguished personalities, and prominent Africans including their countries of origin that became citizens of Liberia; and which also encompassed some of whom were appointed in strategic ministerial, and advisory positions in government to reflect Pan Africanism; as well as others who also benefited from the country’s passport which ferried, and catapulted them to their achievable objectives.
1) Nelson Mendela: Lived and became a Liberian; travelled with a Liberian Passport in and out of Africa.
2) Hugh Masekela: Became a Liberian, and traveled in and out of Liberia with his Liberian Passport.
3) Sam Njuma: Became a Liberian, and traveled with a Liberian Passport.
4) Marian Markeba: Married as a Liberian in Guinea to an an African American, Storkley Carmarchel, who adopted and blended the first names of both Sekou Toure, and Kwame Nkrumah, and was called KWAME TOURE.
5) Philimon Hou: Naturalized, and worked with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism
6) Vasmuzi Make: Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Liberia
1) Julius Adighibe: Naturalized, and was appointed as Presidential Advisor in 1969 by President Tubman.
2) Jones Weriebe: Naturalized, and became a prominent businessman, and CEO of the famous Datsun Garage that employed hundreds of Liberians prior to the war.
3) Ephraim Okoro: Naturalized, and was appointed head of the Liberia National Lotteries.
4) Isreal Akinsaya, Sr. Naturalized, and was a prominent businessman in partnership with several Americans and Europeans shareholders.
5) Bill Frank Enoayi: Naturalized, and appointed in several prominent positions at the Ministry of Information.
1) Macdonald Acotlase: Naturalized, and was appointed Assistant County Attorney by President Tubman. He was a former soccer star of the 1955 Lone Star Team.
2) Christian Maxwell: Naturalized, and was appointed as the first Director General of the National Social Security and Welfare Corporation by President Tolbert.
3) Rufus M. Darpoh: Naturalized, and was appointed as Editor in Chief of the New Liberian Newspaper by President Doe.
4) Paul Hayfrom: Naturalized, and became a prominent businessman in Maryland County.
1) Charles D. B. King: Born of Sierra Leone parents, and became President of Liberia in 1920 – 1930.
2) Jonathan Raffell, Sr. Naturalized, and two of his children; Jonathan, and Victoria Raffell became Minister of Information by President Taylor.
3) Guilford Thomas: Naturalized, and was appointed as Comptroller General at the Ministry of Finance by Interim President Dr. Sawyer.
1) Lawrence Gbeyon, Sr.: Naturalized, and was appointed Comptroller at the University of Liberia, and subsequently, Businesses Manager of the Executive Mansion.
2) Albert Descion: Naturalized, and was appointed as Commissioner of Nyaake, Webbo District by President Tubman.
3) Bunny Itoka: Naturalized, and was elected Mayor of Webbo.
4) Philip Gadegbeku: Naturalized, and was appointed as Deputy Minister of Planning for Statistics by President Doe. He was a former soccer player of the 1955 Lone Star Team.
5) Thomas Tougbabou: Naturalized, and was appointed by President Doe as a commissioner of the Special Elections Commission in 1984.
1)Diallo Telle: Flew with a Liberian Passport as a student in France. Subsequently became Secretary General of OAU.
2) Lassana Biavuki: Sought refuge in Liberia from persecution in Guinea, in the early Sixties. He briefly became President of Guinea after the death of Sekou Toure in 1984.
1) James Telar: Attended Tubman High, and the University of Liberia where he served in a prominent position at the University of Liberia based Student University Party (SUP). He was appointed as Deputy Comptroller for Cash Management at the Ministry of Finance by President Samuel K. Doe in 1986.
1) Mass Saar, Sr., was conferred Liberian citizenship in 1964 after his brilliant displayed of his soccer artistry impressed President Tubman in a duel. He was subsequently appointed in a managerial position at the LPMC.
As a tribute to Liberia’s benevolence, and assistance to Nigeria during its liberation struggle which amongst others, was spearheaded by Dr. Nmandi Azikiwe who subsequently became President of Nigeria; he wrote an academic dossier dedicated to Liberia, and titled: “LIBERIA IN WORLD POLITICS” as his Doctorate Dissertation.
Below is one of the aforementioned referenced appointments which was captured on the banner page of the Vol. 1,175 Monday, August 19, 1968 edition of the Liberian Star Newspaper with headline: ADIGHIBE APPOINTED PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR.
Source: Archie P Williams