President Weah Says Liberia's Best Days Yet To Come as He Speaks to Nation at 176th Independence Anniversary
Monrovia, Liberia - Despite the horde of developmental weightliftings already carried out in the last six years under his leadership, President George Manneh Weah has assured the nation that the best is yet to come.
The Liberian President said the nation and world would marvel at the country's rise to nobler heights and called on citizens to continue to develop the spirit of love, unity, and reconciliation.
He said the best days of the nation are yet to come and that the journey toward prosperity and progress is far from over.
In a special statement at the historic event held at the Centennial Pavilion, the Chief Executive introspected Liberia's journey to statehood and the many political and social complexities it has endured.
Despite the unfortunate events of the past that regressed Liberia's development, President Weah said he remains optimistic of a better Liberia which he said is only realizable through unity, peace, reconciliation and the determination to put the national interest above individual desires.
He pleaded that those desires should not be put above the interest and general well-being of the country.
President Weah accordingly challenged Liberians to look to the future with hope and optimism because the country has come a long way.
"Although I am the Chief Executive Administrator of the country, the success we are promising does not rest with me alone," he noted, adding that inclusiveness of this exercise requires the full and committed participation of all our citizens and friendly partners.
"Above all, it requires the unreserved commitment of those political stakeholders who are vying for positions in these forthcoming elections, as well as their followers," the Dr. Weah continued. "It should be understood that, while our individual and collective political interests are uppermost, those desires should not be put above the interest and general well-being of the country, which is indeed our collective interest."
President Weah reminded Liberians not to ignore the importance of peace after long and bitter years in the wilderness of anarchy.
"I am happy that since August 18, 2003, when leaders of various factions and interests made a solemn affirmation to end violence by signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Accra, Ghana, Liberians have demonstrated their resolve never to resort to violence or go to war to settle their grievances," the President reflected.
He called on citizens to be proud of themselves and their country, to be proud of preserving the sovereignty and cohesive integrity of Africa's first and oldest republic.
He said the combined fortitude and patriotic commitment of Liberians are inspiration of hope for the future of a Liberia that will rise and remain a bastion of positive history in Africa and the world.
He said together that Liberians have a collective duty and obligation to uphold, protect, and defend the Constitution.
He warned that Liberians "cannot ignore the shadows cast by the checkered past of our nation, particularly the dark chapter of the civil war that plagued our beloved land for 15 long and painful years".
He recalled how lives were lost and the countless families torn apart, with over a quarter of a million Liberians perishing, and more than 1.5 million displaced, both at home and abroad during to civil war.
"Yet, amidst the ruins of that time, we have persevered, united by a common purpose and an unwavering determination to rebuild our nation. We have proven that what unites us as Liberians is far stronger than what divides us."
According to the President, Liberians are celebrating not just the anniversary of independence but also the resilience of the people, who he said have clung to the hope of a united and prosperous Liberia amidst challenges.
Pledge of free and fair elections:
President Weah used the occasion
to express his determination and energy in ensuring that the interest of the Liberian people is served and that their will is done during the pending presidential and legislative elections.
The Liberian Leader also recalled the recently signed Farmington Declaration, which imposes on political leasers the onus to accept the results of elections and refrain from violence.
He said: "Today, I reiterate, with renewed resolve, my commitment to patriotically discharge the responsibilities imposed on me as your leader, in the promotion and preservation of the fundamental rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution, and to strive to create an atmosphere that is conducive to the free and unrestricted right to exercise your franchise in a peaceful, transparent, and inclusive process."
President Weah promised to ensure that the conduct of the October 10th General and Presidential Elections is credible and meets all national and international standards.
He, however, said the success of the election as promised does not rest with him alone.
"The inclusiveness of this exercise requires the full and committed participation of all our citizens and friendly partners," he noted. "Above all, it requires the unreserved commitment of those political stakeholders who are vying for positions in these forthcoming elections, as well as their followers."
Expression of appreciation
The Liberian Chief Executive extended gratitude to Liberians for their tenacity and commitment to preserving statehood and sovereignty despite our internal differences.
"It is this unity and determination that have enabled us to overcome the darkest of times and move toward a brighter future."
President Weah also thanked
His Excellency Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of the Gambia, and His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana; for honoring his invitation to grace this occasion with their presence.
He similarly thanked the Speaker and Members of the ECOWAS Parliament and the distinguished representatives of the African Union for honoring the invitation to be at today's occasion
According to him, their presence signifies the strong bonds of brotherhood and solidarity that exist within the African continent.
Appreciating the National Orator
President Weah congratulated the National Orator, Chief Zanzan Karwor, Chairman of the Council of Chiefs and Elders, for what he termed "beautiful oration he delivered today."
He said his selection to serve as National Orator was in honor and respect to the Traditional Chiefs and Zoe's of the land.
"I am sure that his message has resonated with all Liberians, as it did with me, and that it will have a meaningful impact on our unity, our peace, and our forward progress. It is also my hope that the message in today's oration will inspire us to re-examine ourselves and continue relentlessly in our pursuit of national reconciliation."
This year's Independence Day celebration was held under the
theme, "Giving Our People Hope For A Violence Free, Fair, Transparent and Inclusive And Credible Elections"..