“Best Days Yet To Come”; Pres. Weah Says At 176th Independence Day Celebration
Despite the horde of developmental weightlifting 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 the 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 President 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, which will rise and remain a bastion of positive history in Africa and the world.
He said together 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 the 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 proved 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, whom he said have clung to the hope of a united and prosperous Liberia amidst challenges.
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 losers the onus to accept the results of the election 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.”