MONROVIA – President George Manneh Weah has reminded Liberians of their responsibility to always uphold and defend the Constitution to sustain the peace and tranquility the country now enjoys.
Speaking at the official celebration of Liberia’s 176th Independence Anniversary at the Centennial Pavilion in Monrovia, President Weah stated that the theme of the Day: “Giving Our People Hope For A Violence Free, Fair, Transparent and Inclusive And Credible Elections”, has served Liberians notice about their Constitution and the duty to uphold and defend it.
The Liberian Chief Executive called on Liberians to remember that the adoption of the Declaration of Independence was done simultaneously with the first Constitution of Liberia and, as such, the Anniversary of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution constitute Independence Day.
“When I took the oath of office as President of this Republic, I pledged to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia to the best of my ability.” the Liberian leader noted as he recalled his solemn oath to safeguard the organic laws of Liberia.
Moreover, President Weah highlighted that as law-abiding citizens, every Liberian also pledge similar allegiance to the country on various occasions, making it a collective duty and obligation on the part of every citizen to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution.
The Liberian leader emphasized that the theme of this year’s celebration is therefore a reminder for Liberians to do their duty to the country and their God.
Meanwhile, President Weah recalled the recent act of patriotism exhibited by him and other political actors as well other stakeholders when they signed the Farmington Declaration which, according to him, imposes on them the obligation to make the environment violence-free and to work together to ensure that the ensuing elections are free, fair, transparent, and inclusive.
“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.
“I promise that the conduct of the October 10 General and Presidential Elections will be credible, and will meet all national and international standards.” President Weah assured the Liberian populace as well as national and international partners.
However, President Weah underscored that although he is the Chief Executive and Administrator of the country, the success of the promises does not rest with him alone, craving that the inclusiveness of the exercise requires the full and committed participation of all Liberian citizens and friendly partners.
He added that 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, citing: “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.”
The Liberian leader emphasized that after long and bitter years in the wilderness of anarchy, Liberians should know the value of peace, stating: “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.
“All leaders since then, including me, have upheld the pledge to uphold peace and keep our country stable and progressive,” he added.
In a related development, President Weah admonished Liberians 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, as he extends many thanks to Liberia’s friends, partners, and foreign residents for assisting the country to uphold and defend their sovereignty.
He added: “Our combined fortitude and patriotic commitment are an inspiration of hope for the future of a Liberia that will rise and remain a bastion of positive history in Africa and the world. As we look to the future, we do so with hope and optimism.
“We have come a long way, and I firmly believe that the best days of our nation are yet to come. Our journey toward prosperity and progress is far from over, but I am confident that, together, we will continue to develop the spirit of love, unity, and reconciliation that will propel us forward as a nation-state.”
The Liberian Chief Executive rallied his compatriots to continue to stand tall with pride for their nation’s achievements, admonishing Liberians to march forward with renewed resolve to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
Subsequently, the Liberian leader congratulated the 176th Independence Day Orator, Chief Zanzan Karwor, Chairman of the Council of Chiefs and Elders, for the beautiful oration he delivered.
He added that the selection of the Traditional Council’s Chairman to serve as National Orator was in honor and respect to the Traditional Chiefs and Zoe’s of Liberia.
He expressed optimism that the message delivered by the Traditional head will resonate with all Liberians, as it did with him as a means of having a meaningful impact on Liberia’s unity, peace, and forward progress.
“Together, united as one people, we will build a Liberia that continues to shine as a beacon of hope and progress in Africa and the world,” the Liberian leader noted.
Also, President Weah extended heartfelt appreciation to his friends and allies, in person of His Excellency Adama Barrow, President of the Republic of the Gambia, and His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana for honoring his invitation and gracing the occasion with their presence.
He again extended salutation to the Speaker and Honorable Members of the ECOWAS Parliament, and the distinguished representatives of the African Union, for honoring the country’s invitation, saying “Your presence signifies the strong bonds of brotherhood and solidarity that exist within the African continent.” LINA