24/01/2018: President Weah Promises to Be an Agent of Positive Change

President Weah Promises to Be an Agent of Positive Change

Monrovia, Liberia – Monday, January 22, 2018: President George Manneh Weah has promised Liberians that he will be an agent of positive change. He humbly thanked Liberians for the trust and hope put in him as their 24th President. He expressed joy and pride in the solidarity by friends from across the world that joined Liberian in celebrating a truly historic moment for Liberia.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader spoke on Monday, January 22, 2018 at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville outside Monrovia. “I am overwhelmed with the crowd and the energy here today, and I guarantee you, when we finish, there will not be a winning or a losing side;  Today, we all wear the jersey of Liberia, and the victory belongs to the people, to peace, and to democracy,” President Weah told an ecstatic audience.

President Weah promised to do everything in his power to be the agent of positive change but noted that it cannot be done alone.  He called on the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Vice President Taylor, the Legislature and Judiciary to work with his government to create and pass essential laws that are needed to complete the foundation of this nation.

President Weah said: “Together, we owe our citizens clarity on fundamental issues such as the land beneath their feet, freedom of speech, and how national resources and responsibilities are going to shift from this capital to the counties; The people expect better cooperation and more action from their government.  We can do better, together.”

He said Liberians have reached an important milestone in the never-ending journey for freedom, justice, and democracy; a search that has remained central to our history as a nation.  He averred that many of those who founded this country left the pain and shame of slavery to establish a society where all would be free and equal but that vision of freedom, equality, and democracy has not yet been fully realized.

“Almost 15 years ago, Liberians laid down their arms and renewed their hope for a better and more equal society.  With the help of regional partners and the United Nations, we chose democracy as our path, and elected the first post-war Government led by Her Excellency, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; Your Excellency, I thank you for laying the foundation upon which we can now stand, in peace and to advance progress for our country,” he acknowledged.

President Weah said the inaugural ceremony signaled more than a peaceful transition from one democratic administration to another but also a transition from one generation of Liberian leadership to a new generation.  “It is indeed a confirmation that democracy exists in Liberia, and that, it is here to stay,” he reckoned.

According to Liberia’s 24th President: “We have arrived at this transition neither by violence, nor by force of arms;  Not a single life was lost in the process.  Blood should never be the price tag for democracy. Rather, this transition was achieved by the free and democratic will of the Liberian people, guaranteed by the rule of law.”

“It will be my task, my duty, and my honor, to lead this nation from division to National Unity, and toward a future of hope and prosperity.  I have taken an oath before you, and before the Almighty God, to uphold our constitution and to preside over this Government and this country to the best of my abilities,” he underscored.

He admonished all Liberians that the foundation of the New Liberia must be reinforced by the steel of integrity adding, we need men and women, boys and girls, whose integrity provides the foundation of the trust that is required for Liberian society to benefit her people.

President Weah said the most effective way to directly impact the poor, and to narrow the gap between rich and poor is to ensure that public resources do not end up in the pockets of Government officials.

He challenged officials of government to put the interest of the people above their selfish interests, noting it is time to be honest with our people.  “Though corruption is a habit amongst our people, we must end it.  We must pay civil servants a living wage, so that corruption is not an excuse for taking what is not theirs. Those who do not refrain from enriching themselves at the expense of the people – the law will take its course,” he pointed out.

He paid tribute to the Economic Community of West African States, (ECOWAS), for standing with Liberia throughout the years when many of our West African brothers and sisters shed their blood for Liberians during our conflict.

He described the fallen West African soldiers as the martyrs of our history without who supreme sacrifices, this day would not have been possible. He also thanked the United Nations for the important role it has played in Liberia. He also lauded the Government and People of the United States of America for the strong support over the years and the European Union for the strong partnership with Liberia.

“To the People’s Republic of China, I say “XIEXIE”.  Our administration will continue to support the “One-China Policy”.   China has emerged as one of Liberia’s most dependable ally. It is my hope that Chinese-Liberian relationships will grow stronger during my tenure as President.”

President Weah then saluted the African Union for standing with Liberia over the past several years and said Liberia has always had an historic relationship with the AU.  “As a founding member of the African Union, I look forward to participating with my colleagues at forthcoming summits, where we intend to utilize the resources and expertise of the African Union for the benefit of our country, he stressed.

He equally registered sincere appreciation to the World Bank, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Norway, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, among other for playing important roles in Liberia’s emergence from conflict and they will remain critical for the transformation the country seeks.

“I intend to construct the greatest machinery of pro-poor governance in the history of this country.  I will do more than my fair share to meet your expectations.  I ask you to meet mine, for I cannot do it alone,” he assured.

He called for love amongst Liberia that will bring back home Liberians scattered far and wide across the globe – many of them highly skilled, talented, and experienced – to join us in building a New Liberia.​ He said the sooner we all merge our energies toward cementing these new norms and values, the sooner we will transform our beloved country for the better but challenged Liberians that in doing so, we must also learn the virtue of patience, and learn to lower our expectations, for I do not promise you quick fixes or miracles. Below are some pictures from the event:

Former second Lady Boakai Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor outgoing VP President Sirleaf President Weah and First Lady Clar Weah

L-R Outgoing VP President Sirleaf President Weah and First Lady Clar Weah

Foreign Minister Kamara joined by Adviser Wallace to sash President Weah

A Cross-section of leaders of the Coalition at the inaugural ceremony