LIBERIA: President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Urges Liberians

…Challenges Them To Actively Form Part of Politics – By: Augustine N. Myers – The President of the Republic of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is urging Liberians across the Country to actively form part of the pending political process by engaging in the electoral process through the Nation-wide Voters Registration which commences January 10, 2011.

Africa’s First Female Democratically Elected President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Africa’s First Female Democratically Elected President Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf

Madam Sirleaf in her New year message, said 2011 will be a defining year for all Liberians, as the Nation goes into another round of the democratic process of holding free and fair elections in October of 2011.

According to her, In the lead-up to October, every Liberian has an important role to play, with a call on each and every eligible Liberian to register to vote starting in January, to support their favorite candidates, and to go to the polls and cast their votes on Election Day, in the general and presidential elections.

The Liberian leader says every vote counts and urge Liberians to exercise their right to vote in a manner that will be beneficial to the future of the Nation.

She also urged Liberians to remember their neighbors, the citizens of La Côte d’Ivoire, as they enter the New Year. She said Liberians should pray that God will help Ivoirians  find peace.

According to her, Liberians know very well that what affects the people of the Ivory Coast, also affects Liberia as a Nation, noting that their peace is also the peace of the Liberian people.

She at the same time, congratulated Liberia’s other neighbors whom she considers brothers and sisters in Guinea, on the occasion successfully making the transition to democratic rule.

President Sirleaf said Liberia will continue to support the people of Guinea, so that together they and Liberians will endeavour to strengthen democracy in the sub-region.

She extended a Happy New Year and said 2011 is upon all Liberians and prays God’s continuous blessings upon the Nation. The Liberian Chief Executive extended warmest New Year greetings on behalf of her Government and in her capacity as Head of State, as the Country enters the final year of her administration.

Reflecting on the past five years, said Liberians are proud of the significant progress made. She promised peace and security for the Nation she described as bruised and battered. She said seven years since the Peace Accord, Liberia is a nation at peace, a place where children entering the first grade no longer know the gun and do not have to run.

President Sirleaf said Liberia is now a place where the children can smile again and a place where people have turned their backs on war and have said yes to peace, reconciliation and development.

She assured to continue with efforts aimed at changing the image of Liberia. According to her, under her administration Liberia is once again counted among the governments that have demonstrated a commitment to good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights.

She promised to revitalize the economy by encouraging investments in the Country’s natural resources, and said arrangements have been concluded through agreements totalling over 16 billion United States dollars, which according to her, will create jobs in mining, agriculture, forestry and other sectors.

Speaking further, she said when her government came into office, Liberia was saddled with a staggering $US4.9 billion debt, but said through their sacrifice, resilience and determination, her administration succeeded in getting international financial institutions as well as bilateral institutions to waive the external debt and that today, the Country is debt free.

She also promised that there would be no more years of darkness and that her administration would bring light to the country.

She said Monrovia and its environs have electricity generation capacity of 9.64 megawatts, and has another 10 megawatts to go on stream, and that there are at least eight projects under way to restore or expand electricity capacity throughout the Country.

She said when her Government came to power in 2005, her administration promised to rebuild the physical and social infrastructure that was totally destroyed to fix the roads, provide quality education and more schools, better health care and access to health services.

She said her administration has done much in all of the areas, but still mindful of the challenges that are ahead.

She appealed to everyone in a spirit of upholding all that they have worked for, as they enter the New Year, that the year be of true patriotism and reconciliation, that all accentuate the positive things that unite the Nation as a people, rather than focus on what divides them.