The streets of Monrovia and Paynesville City, including its surroundings became very jam parked as early as 4:00 A.M. Monday, 22 January with people who had gathered to witness the official ceremony of Liberia’s 24th President George Manneh Weah and his Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor take the oaths of affirmation.
The queues leading to the Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Stadium started as far as from the GSA Road in Paynesville leading through ELWA Junction with citizens shuffling to make their way into the stadium. Security institutions, including the Armed Forces of Liberia, the Liberia National Police, the Liberia Fire Service, the Liberia Immigration Services and of course, the elite presidential guard, the Executive Protection Service as well as the Liberia Boy Scout were present to ensure perfect security and safety for everyone.
The event was graced by some international footballers, including Cameron’s Samuel Etoo’ and Jayjay Okocha of Nigeria, among others.West African leaders, including Presidents Alpha Conde of Guinea, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Oman Bongo of Gabon, former Ghanaian leaders John Jerry Rawlings and John Mahama, among others international guests were in attendance.
Following formal formalities, Liberia’s Chief Justice Francis Korkpor mounted the stage, urged the President-elect to rise and raise his right hand while the left hand rests on a copy of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, as he recited Article 53; (a), which says the President and the Vice President shall, before entering on the execution of the duties of their respective offices, take a solemn oath or affirmation to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the Republic and faithfully execute the duties of the office. The oath or affirmation shall be administered in joint convention of both Houses of the Legislature by the Chief Justice or, in his absence, the most senior Associate Justice.
Looking in the eyes of the youthful population that overwhelmingly helped in ensuring his victory in the 2017 Representatives and Presidential elections, Weah promised that he will not fail the Liberian people.
He vows to unify the country, and fight corruption, while building on the foundation already created by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He also vows to not let the Liberian people down as the 24th President of the Republic, seeking help from Almighty God to uphold the Constitution of Liberia and preside over the governance process of the country to his best of his ability.
President Weah stresses that the new foundation of a new Liberia must be reinforced by integrity, saying that “we need men, women, boys and girls whose integrity provides foundation of trust that is required by the society to benefit the people.
Weah says Liberia is open to foreign investment, but adds that Liberians will not be spectators in the economy.Liberians express excitement and joy over the inauguration of President George Weah, which saw the historic transition of power from one democratically elected government to another in over four decades.
“We are very happy to see that our new President takes office today, and we believe that he can do better for our country’’ they say as he promises to ensure that public funds do not end up in the pockets of public officials.
He hails former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, for encouraging freedom of speech during her administration, something which he promises to uphold besides freedom of political assembly.
By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor & Bridgett Milton-Editing by Jonathan Browne