EJS “Pleased” Seeing Mansion Restored -Extends Congratulations to President Weah

When President George Manneh Weah in January 2018 took the oath of office, swapping seats with former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, it was the first time in 74 years Liberians were witnessing a smooth democratic transition—seamlessly moving from one political administration to another. While others hailed the move, liking it to democratic maturity, some had fears because when William V. S. Tubman succeeded Edwin Barclay in 1944, the political turmoil that developed between the two left the country’s politics pugnacious as was seen in Tubman’s 27-year rule. But there seems to be disappointment for the cynics of Ellen-Weah relationship. Despite isolated wrinkles here and there, the two have been sailing generally smoothly, particularly in recent days. Just as President Weah named Liberia’s first dialysis facility in honor of the former President, she also recognized a monumental undertaking of her successor—the restoration of the Executive Mansion gutted by fire during her first week in office—and she sends out commendations. The Analyst reports.

What appears to be the gradual maturing of Liberia’s democratic health which, among other things, includes relations between President George Manneh Weah and his predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is taking place to the apparent delight of many pundits.

Blossoming Camaraderie

The two eminent Liberians have been sailing generally well over the last few years of President Weah’s incumbency often complementing each other on critical national issues.

When COVID-19 struck and President Weah was rallying citizens to cooperate and observe health protocols, former President Sirleaf who is also WHO Ambassador added her voice including wooing international partners to come in and help.

This week has seen increased signs of camaraderie appearing on the horizon, beginning with the naming of the country’s first Dialysis Facilitating after Madam Sirleaf.

While the public was heartedly discussing the move by President Weah, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took to her Twitter Page to recognize a laudable undertaking by her successor and commended him for it.

Last February, President Weah took office at the Executive Mansion, the revered seat of the Liberian Presidency, leaving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he had been since 2018.

The Executive Mansion built as the official home and office of the President of Liberia in the mid-1960s was gutted by fire in 2006 weeks after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was sworn in as President of the nation.

For 12 years, the first female Liberian president sojourned at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as her official office with little or no effort to restore the Executive Mansion.

Apparently delighted that the Executive Mansion which eluded her office for 12 years was completed and that her successor, President Weah, has taken seat there, Madam Sirleaf tendered good tidings, thanking him for a job well done.

The former President’s Twitter message which has gone viral reads: “Congratulations to President @GeorgeWeah for the restoration of the Executive Mansion (State House). I am pleased to see the building back in use in service of the Liberian people. #Liberia”.

Public Praises for Ellen

The former President’s grateful gesture has drawn commendations from Liberians who think she has demonstrated maturity and leadership in recognizing the achievement of her predecessor on a project she somewhat could not do.

“What former President Sirleaf has done is worth commending in addition to what President Weah has done,” said a reader of the former president’s Tweet, Jeff Mayson, reacted.

He added: “Thank you for recognizing your successor’s work; that’s what we called leadership. I won’t be surprised to see agents of division, those wishing for bad blood between the two persons, holding their heads in disbelief”.

Another reader of Madam Sirleaf’s Tweet said: “Keep it up, Ellen. As it is said, Weah’s success is your success and his failure will largely be blamed on you as your success because it is upon the foundation you left he is building. Some critics would say it is because of a weak foundation that the current administration will fail. Keep being what you are: true patriot and leader.”

Unfortunate 2006 Episode

When the Executive Mansion was gutted by fire in 2006, international guests were in Monrovia after the former President’s inauguration, and as she and her guests were about to go for a reception at the Mansion following her delivery of her first state of nation address at the Capitol Building, the news of the fire broke.

The former President immediately fired her Chief of Office Staff, Morris Dukuly, and ordered an investigation.

The result of the investigation was never made public, and the former President made the Ministry of Foreign Affairs her official office—the first time since the 1960s.

President Weah on February 14 entered the revered Fourth Floor, the home and office of the Presidency of Liberia—the first time in 16 years.

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