Africa’s first female president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was today inaugurated to a second term of office with several world leaders in attendance including U S Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton heading the United States delegation.Liberia is no longer a place of conflict, war and deprivation. We are no longer the country our citizens want to run away from, our international partners.
In her inaugural speech, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate said ” a watching world, we inaugurate a new beginning, a rebirth of our democracy and a restoration of hope” and that “Liberia is no longer a place of conflict, war and deprivation and no longer the country our citizens want to run away from, our international partners pitied, and our neighbors feared. President Sirleaf declared, “we have earned our rightful place as a beacon of democracy – a country of hope and opportunity.
The Liberian President told her countrymen her inauguration was their moment and they were the heroes of the day and the triumph they came to celebrate together.
Addressing the deep division in her country and the urgent need for reconciliation, President Sirleaf said, ” reconciliation defined not by political bargaining
or by an artificial balance of power by tribe, region, religion or ethnicity but by the equality of opportunity and a better future for all Liberians;
true reconciliation means a process of national healing”. “It means learning the lessons of the past to perfect our democracy, but above all it means economic
justice for our citizens and the spread of progress to all our people”.
The Liberian President acknowledged the challenges of creating jobs for the unemployed and promise to provide opportunities for young people whom she said are impatient and eager to make up for years of conflict and deprivation, anxious to know that their homeland offers the grounds for hope. President Sirleaf said to the youth of her country, “we heard that message and it is our solemn obligation to ensure that their hope will not be in vain.”
President inauguration was graced by the opposition though they boycotted the November 8th run-off election with many of their leaders attending the ceremonies including Liberia leading opposition leaders, Cllr. Winston Tubman, U N diplomat and standard bearer of the Congress for Democratic Change, CDC and his running mate, football icon George Weah.