By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Mr George Weah on his election as the next President of the Republic of Liberia.
President Buhari in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Friday, also commended the Liberian people on the peaceful conduct of the historic presidential run-off election.
He described the peaceful conduct of the election as “another plus on Africa’s democratic scoreboard.’’
The President equally applauded the efforts of the National Election Commission of Liberia, as well as regional and international observers who had contributed immensely to the electoral process and the strengthening of post-conflict democracy in the West African country.
While describing Weah’s victory as an affirmation of the will of the Liberian people to remain united, peaceful and prosperous, Buhari pledged Nigeria’s readiness to work with Liberia on issues of mutual interest at bilateral, regional and global levels for the benefit of citizens of both countries.
The Nigerian leader also commended outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “under whose 12-year watch Liberia had transformed from being a pariah state to a country doing remarkably well on many fronts.’’
He noted that under Sirleaf, Liberia had performed well in areas such as, women and civil rights issues, peace building and consolidation, ECOWAS and the Mano River Union.
According to him, Sirleaf deserves special commendation for the statesmanship she has shown in ensuring free and fair elections that will pave the way for a peaceful transfer of political power from one democratically elected leader to another for the first time in 73 years.
President Buhari wished President-elect Weah and Liberians a peaceful transition, and reassured them of Nigeria’s determination to sustain the current cordial relationship with Liberia.
Meanwhile, Liberia’s Vice President, Jospeh Boakai, has conceded the Dec. 26 presidential runoff election to George Weah.
In a nationwide broadcast from his party’s headquarters in Monrovia on Friday, Boakai who was flanked by his supporters and party leaders, said he had already called Weah to congratulate him.
“I, Joseph Boakai, a man of peace, humility and with a deep faith in God hereby accept the results of the elections as announced by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“I congratulate Ambassador Weah and pray that God will guide and empower him as he takes the onerous responsibility of steering the affairs of our nation.
“Even though I will not be the captain of the ship, it is my fervent desire that the ship of state always sails smoothly.
“We must work to unite our people because Liberia is bigger than all of us,” he said