SPECIAL MESSAGE BY H. E. DR. GEORGE MANNEH WEAH PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA ON THE OCCASION OF THE OBSERVANCE OF THE 172nd INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA MONROVIA, LIBERIA – JULY 26, 2019

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His Excellency Alassane Dramane O uattara, President of the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire; His Excellency Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea; His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal; His Excellency Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone; His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kabore, President of Burkina Faso; Her Excellency Madam Clar M. Weah, First Lady of the Republic of Liberia; Her Excellency Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia; Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia, and Nobel Laureate; Hon. Joseph Boakai, Former Vice President of Liberia; Hon. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives; Hon. President Pro-Tempore and Members of the Senate; His Honor the Chief Justice, Associate Justices, and Members of the Judiciary;  The Dean and Members of the Cabinet;  The Doyen and Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Bishops, Prelates, and Members of the Clergy; Chiefs and Traditional Leaders; Political and Business Leaders; Officials of Government;  Madam Leymah Gbowee, National Orator and Nobel Laureate; Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Other Special Guests; Marketers, Students; Members of the Fourth Estate;

My Fellow Citizens;

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen:

On this day each year, we commemorate the anniversary of the independence of our great patrimony as a sovereign nation, in fulfillment of our patriotic duty.

As we gather here today to celebrate the 172nd Independence Day of Liberia, let us begin by giving thanks and praise to the Almighty God, for the protection and many blessings that He has bestowed upon our Nation, and upon us as a People.

His goodness and mercy have followed us throughout these seventeen decades of statehood, shielding us from the many dangers that have threatened our national existence.  In spite of our own shortcomings and weaknesses, He has kept us united as One People.

God’s great faithfulness has given us comfort in times of storm, and hope in periods of despair. And so today, we give Him the Glory, for the great things He has done!

EXCELLENCIES, DISTINGUISHED LADIES ANDGENTLEMEN:

Today, we are greatly honored, and pleased, to welcome several Heads of State, who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to join the People of Liberia in celebrating this Independence Anniversary.  Excellencies, on behalf of my fellow citizens, and in my own name, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you sincerely, for this gesture of solidarity, goodwill and support for Liberia.

Ladies and Gentlemen, pleased now ask you to rise as a gesture of respect, and give a whole-hearted welcome to each of our guests, my colleagues and big brothers from our Economic Community of West African States, as I call their names:

  1. His Excellency Alassane Dramane Ouattara, President of the Republic of La Cote D’Ivoire;
  2. His Excellency Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea;
  3. His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria;
  4. His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal;
  5. His Excellency Julius Maada Bio, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone;
  6. His Excellency Roch Marc Christian Kabore, President of Burkina Faso

Thank you very much, Your Excellencies.  Liberia will never forget this gesture of friendship, high esteem, and regard that you have shown towards us today.

For my part, I solemnly pledge to continue to work closely with you, individually and collectively, and in a spirit of maximum cooperation, as we together strive to maintain peace and security within our region, and promote policies and programs that will bring development and prosperity to the citizens of ECOWAS.   Once again, let me say a big welcome!!

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Let me say a very special welcome to Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, who is joining us in these celebrations as a Special Guest of the Liberian Government.  Thank you and welcome again!

We would also like to acknowledge the presence of the Special Envoys of the People Republic of China, Ghana, Congo Brazzaville and Equatorial Guinea.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

Let me also express appreciation to our National Orator, Madam Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Laureate, for her inspiring and thoughtful Address, which has given us new insights into the importance of peace in our Nation, and renewed our hopes for a better Liberia.

MY FELLOW CITIZENS:

This year celebration our theme,” Together We Are Stronger.”

So, let me recommit as I stand at this podium that our togetherness will encompass the peace and prosperity of all Liberians. The presence of justice will be evident as we advance our nation with the involvement of us all. We will face the challenges, but let us not be overwhelm. We must do all within our powers to continue to plant the seeds of unity, maintain peace and reconcile our nation and its people.

Therefore, I call upon you, my fellow Liberians, to work with me towards achieving a reconciled, united, and prosperous nation. I renew my pledge to you today, to provide quality leadership – a leadership of inclusive participation, openness, and accountability – aimed at reducing poverty and improving the quality of life for all.  This, in essence, is the true meaning of “Pro-Poor”.

Fellow Citizens, Together We Are Stronger. Let me state one of my favorite parts of our National Anthem, which states, “In union strong, success is sure. We cannot fail with God above our rights to prove we will over all prevail”.

Let me wish all of you present here today, Liberians throughout our Land, and all our fellow Liberians everywhere in the world, a Happy and Enjoyable Independence Day!!

May God Bless you all.

I THANK YOU.

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