ECOWAS Pays Final Tribute to Prez. Sirleaf at Her Last Summit

first_imgPres. Sirleaf (3rd from right in front row) and other West African presidents at the 52nd ECOWAS Summit in Abuja on December 16.Leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) recently paid homage to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as she attended her last summit of the regional body as President of Liberia.A release from the Liberian Embassy in Abuja says Madam Sirleaf’s special recognition took place during the 52nd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS held on Saturday, December 16, in Abuja, Nigeria.The Chairperson of ECOWAS and President of Togo, Faure Essonzimna Gnassingbe, devoted a significant portion of his opening remarks to the honor of President Sirleaf.“I would like to take the opportunity, ladies, and gentlemen, to seize this exceptional opportunity to pay a final tribute to the one we all know as the ‘Iron Lady,’ Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia,” the release quotes the Chairperson of ECOWAS as saying.President Gnassingbe, in his opening remarks, continued, “Your Excellency Madam President, at the moment when you are about to pass the witness in your capacity as President of Liberia, allow me to address you our warm felicitations and to pay you a deserving homage for your determination to the cause of the economic integration and peace, and for the leadership you have shown during your tenure as the first woman president of Africa, the first female Chair of ECOWAS and the Nobel Peace Prize winner.“You have worthily represented West Africa and displayed exceptional strength and courage to lead the Liberian people in peace and cohesion throughout your tenure. You have represented West Africa with dignity and exceptional strength and courage to keep the Liberian people in peace and harmony throughout your tenure.”According to the release, the Togolese leader said his Liberian counterpart has guided the West African Region and that her influence has spread across their space, through social, political and economic challenges, including the end of the Ebola virus epidemic, recognized as a world threat.“To render this homage to her, I would like, very respectfully, to proffer if you agree, that we should rise to offer you an ovation which she deserves in more than one way for her greatness and recognize all her achievements, sources of our pride,” he added, as the rest of the West African leaders and the entire audience rose in applause.Meanwhile, regional leaders and guests congratulated President Sirleaf and the Liberian people for respecting the rule of law throughout the country’s electoral process.President Gnassingbe, in his opening remarks at the Summit, added, “Allow me to address here my congratulations to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and to all the political actors for the salutary decision of the Supreme Court of December 7, to proceed to the second round of the presidential elections, after having managed to smooth out the protest of the first round.”President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, in his welcome remarks, said “I salute the people of Liberia for the manner in which they conducted themselves during and in the aftermath of the just concluded general elections.”The release further quotes the Nigerian leader, who was the host of the Summit, as adding that it is his fervent hope that the same attitude prevails in the coming runoff election scheduled to hold on December 26.President Buhari hopes that a new president is inaugurated in January 2018 as per the provision of the country’s Constitution, adding, according to the release: “My dear sister, Your Excellency Johnson Sirleaf, we appreciate the leadership you demonstrated in this electoral process.”According to the Nigerian leader, Liberia’s peaceful conduct of the elections was in accordance with the “ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance” adopted in 2001 by the Authority of the Heads of State and Government.The release also quotes the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, as saying in his opening remarks: “In Liberia, following attempts to contest the validity of the results of the first round of the presidential election of 10, October 2017, the decision of the Supreme Court delivered on 7 December 2017, to proceed with the second round of the presidential election was commended by all key persons involved, as well as the general populace. After consultations with all political parties, 26 December 2017 has been decided as the date for the second round of the presidential election in Liberia.”President Sirleaf, who headed a high-power Liberian delegation, returned home on Sunday, December 17, the release continues.Members of the President’s delegation included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Marjon V. Kamara; Finance and Development Planning, Boima S. Kamara; Information, Culture and Tourism, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, and Transport Minister, Samuel A. Wlue.Others were the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, Professor Al-Hassan Conteh, and Montserrado County Representative Josephine Francis.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Suarez thanks Liverpool for helping him to the top

first_img0Shares0000Smiling assassin: Luis Suarez is looking to knock old club Liverpool out of the Champions League © AFP / Lindsey PARNABYLIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, May 6 – Barcelona striker Luis Suarez returns to Anfield on Tuesday hoping to dump Liverpool out of the Champions League semi-finals, but remains eternally grateful to the Reds for helping him win a move to the Catalan giants.Suarez shone on the field during a turbulent three-and-a-half years at Liverpool, that included long bans for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and racially abusing Patrice Evra of Manchester United. His role in leading Liverpool to the brink of a long-awaited Premier League title in 2013/2014 saw Barca splash out a then club record fee despite another biting incident on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup that saw him banned by FIFA for four months.That faith has been rewarded as Suarez has enjoyed great success in Spain, winning four La Liga titles, the Champions League in 2014/15 and four Spanish Cups.And he believes his time at Liverpool was the springboard to making him one of the world’s best strikers.“Liverpool gave me a lot to make me better. My time there made me more professional, make me improve technically, many things,” he said on Monday.“To be captain of Liverpool was something unique in my career. We were fighting for the Premier League and you are left with the sensation we were just one step away.“I am among the elite of football, I am at Barcelona, thanks to what Liverpool made me as a player.”Suarez scored the opening goal against his old club as Barca took a commanding 3-0 first leg lead last week to defend at Anfield.However, he warned the Spanish champions of making the same mistakes they did in throwing away a 4-1 lead against Roma in last season’s Champions League quarter-finals and knows that Liverpool can be a different team on home soil.“We have come off the blow of last season when we had a good advantage (from the first leg). We have thought about that a lot and we know that they have an extra edge here in front of their fans.“To play at Anfield is like playing with an extra man for what the fans transmit to the Liverpool players.”However, if Liverpool are to spring an unlikely comeback, it will be without two of their major goal threats as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino miss out through injury.“Firmino and Salah are important players for them, but that does not change our preparation for the game,” added Suarez.“They have other players, most of them internationals and we need to pay them plenty respect.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more