President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Mr George Weah on his election as the next President of the Republic of Liberia. He also commended Liberians on the peaceful conduct of the historic presidential run-off election.
“This is another plus on Africa’s democratic scoreboard,” he said.
In a statement by presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President equally applauded the efforts of the National Election Commission of Liberia, as well as regional and international observers who have contributed immensely to the electoral process and the strengthening of post-conflict democracy in the West African country.
Describing Weah’s victory as an affirmation of the will of the Liberian people to remain united, peaceful and prosperous, President Buhari pledged Nigeria’s readiness to work with Liberia on issues of mutual interest at bilateral, regional and global levels for the benefit of citizens of both countries.
Buhari also commended outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, under whose 12-year watch Liberia had transformed from being a pariah state to a country doing remarkably well on many fronts such as, women and civil rights issue, peace building and consolidation, ECOWAS and the Mano River Union.
He noted that President Sirleaf deserves special commendation for the statesmanship she has shown in ensuring free and fair elections that will pave the way for a peaceful transfer of political power from one democratically elected leader to another for the first time in 73 years.
In his own message, former President Goodluck Jonathan congratulatedthe President-elect, advising him to maintain his policy of open-mindedness in his new position.
Jonathan who has just returned from Monrovia after leading the National Democratic Institute (NDI) International Elections Observation Mission to Liberia, posted the goodwill message to Weah on his Facebook page. “I congratulate the declared winner, Mr. George Weah. I urge him to continue as he has started, with an open arms policy. Everybody is a winner when democracy wins. And democracy has won today.” He also commended Liberians for demonstrating the willingness to give democracy a chance.
“Throughout my political life, I have lived by the creed that nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of their citizens. I am most grateful to the nation of Liberia and especially the candidates, Mr. George Weah and Mr. Joseph Boakai, for living up to this creed. As co-leader of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) International Elections Observation Mission to Liberia for these elections, I salute the zest for democracy of the Liberian people.”
Former Speaker of the Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS Parliament, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, joined the train to congratulate Weah.
Ekweremadu commended President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for guiding the West African nation through a peaceful presidential election and described the candidate of the ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Boakai as a true statesman for his sportsmanship and respect for the ballot box in conceding defeat.
He said: “I congratulate Senator George Weah on this hard-won victory. It is a well-deserved reward for his love and sacrifices for his country in her dire moments. Among others, he channeled his personal resources, goodwill, and contacts to raise hopes and reunite a hitherto war-torn nation on the platform of football.
“Indeed, he has also always impressed me as a focused, patriotic gentleman and a presidential material right from the day I presided over his inauguration as a Member of the Liberian Country Delegation to the ECOWAS Parliament on May 11, 2015”.
Ekweremadu urged the former World Footballer of the Year “to reciprocate the immense goodwill and confidence reposed in him by the good people of Liberia and the international community by running an all-inclusive government”.
He added: “The successful election that will not only see to the historic transfer of power from one democratic government to another in Liberia in about 73 years, but also the transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition, is a giant stride for democracy and stability in Liberia and the entire West Africa.
“I congratulate Liberians on this feat, especially bouncing back from a checkered history of wars and instability to a beacon of democracy on the continent.
“I salute in a special way, President Sirleaf for enacting yet another moment in the sun for democracy in Africa, guiding the West African nation through this historic event characterised by legal fireworks, diligently putting the nation first, even though it cost her party the presidency. History will certainly be very kind to her”.