Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS Saturday paid final tribute to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf amidst sustained applaud and standing ovation as she attended her last Summit as Liberian President.
A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says President Sirleaf’s special recognition took place during the 52nd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held on Saturday, December 16, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Chairperson of ECOWAS and President of the Republic of Togo, His Excellency Faure Essonzimna Gnassingbe, devoted a significant portion of his opening remarks to the honor of President Sirleaf.
“I would like to take the opportunity, ladies and gentlemen, to seize this exceptional opportunity to pay a final tribute to the one we all know as the ‘Iron Lady’, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia”, the release quotes the Chairperson of ECOWAS as saying.
President Gnassingbe, in his opening remarks, continued, “Your Excellency Madam President, at the moment when you are about to pass the witness in your capacity as President of the Republic of Liberia, allow me to address you our warm felicitations and to pay you a deserving homage for your determination to the cause of the economic integration and peace, and for the leadership you have shown during your tenure as the first woman president of Africa, the first female Chair of ECOWAS and the Nobel Peace Prize winner. You have worthily represented West Africa and displayed exceptional strength and courage to lead the Liberian people in peace and cohesion throughout your tenure. You have represented West Africa with dignity and exceptional strength and courage to keep the Liberian people in peace and harmony throughout your tenure.”
According to the release, the Togolese Leader said his Liberian counterpart has guided the West African Region and that her influence has spread across their space, through social, political and economic challenges, including the end of the Ebola virus epidemic, recognized as a world threat.
“To render this homage to her, I would like, very respectfully, to proffer if you agree, Your Excellencies, the Heads of State of Government, that we should rise to offer you an ovation which she deserves in more than one way for her greatness and recognize all her achievements, sources of our pride”, he added, as the rest of the West African leaders and the entire audience rose in applause.
Meanwhile, regional leaders and guests have congratulated President Sirleaf and the Liberian people for respecting the rule of law throughout the country’s electoral process.