Monrovia - Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has congratulated the new AFL for their dedicated services and commitment in the performance of their duties as evidence by their readiness and preparedness to serve Liberia.
“The exceptional performance of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) clearly demonstrates the training they have received over the years” - describing the AFL as a professional and disciplined army”
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) was speaking on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at program commemorating the 60th Armed Forces of Liberia Day celebration at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia.
The Liberian leader paid tribute to those who made ultimate sacrifices in their service to the nation and people especially the late Generals who served the AFL.
She named the late Deputy Chief of Staff, Eric Dennis, Gen. Abdurahamand and Gen. Yousuf of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
She said the AFL has exceptional capacities that it can bring in supporting civil authority, particularly in the country’s development efforts as demonstrated over the years owing to training from partners that they have a vital role to play in the reconstruction of our country.
The Commander-In-Chief praised Defense Minister, Brownie Samukai, Jr. for his exemplary leadership in making the Armed Forces of Liberia great. She said the government of Liberia will honor him as the longest serving Cabinet Minister in her administration at an appropriate time adding:
“Your efforts in transforming our military has brought about credibility and respectability both at home and abroad.”
In the same vein, President Sirleaf recognized the AFL Chief of Staff, Major General Daniel Ziankhan, for his outstanding leadership and sense of discipline and direction that has increased the confidence of the Liberian people in the AFL.
The Liberian leader used the occasion to encourage all citizens, especially personnel of the AFL to form part of the ongoing voter registration process in order to get registered. She said all security personnel should take advantage of the process to choose the next leaders of Liberia - come October of 2017.
She congratulated the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia for their service, discipline, responsibility and commitment of protecting the territorial integrity of Liberia.
She also paid homage to the family members of the men and women who are serving the contry and personally thanked them for their contribution and support to Liberia that is positively imparting the AFL.
President Sirleaf however expressed special thanks and appreciation to the international community for all the support given the AFL, especially the United States of America, the Peoples’ Republic of China, the United Nations Mission in Liberia, the Federal Government of Nigeria among others.
She described their role as crucial in getting to where we are today.
She commended them for their support of the government especially the Armed Forces of Liberia in supporting Liberia’s development’s agenda.
“We are grateful to our partners for the support as a result of which the AFL now has specialized skills”.
President Sirleaf thanked the keynote speaker former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo for accepting the invitation to serve as orator for this year’s AFL Day celebration and awarded him in the Distinguished Service Order for his services to Liberia and his country that has brought credit to Liberia and Nigeria.
She also awarded Retired Colonel Luis A. Perozo of the United States Military for his outstanding contributions to Liberia and the United States of America.
Delivering the Keynote Address, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria said he was grateful to President Sirleaf for the invitation to serve as orator for the 60th Anniversary of the Armed Forces of Liberia celebration. He paid tribute to the AFL for their gallantry and commitment to duties.
Gen. Obasanjo said like Liberia, discipline, commitment and obedience must be the order of the day in the AFL.
He said it must be upheld at all times. He furthered every nation has had its own challenges and should never again be plunge into war.
He however challenged Liberians as they approach the 2017 Presidential and Representative elections to observe the code of conduct and exhibit mutual respect for each other in order to have successful elections.
He said Liberia can provide security and maintain peace after the unavoidable departure of UNMIL.
“I believe sincerely that you can,” he said. He cautioned Liberians against fear of marginalization, which he said must be curtailed instead steadfastness and commitment to democracy must remain strong.
For his part, the Minister of National Defense, Brownie J. Samukai, Jr., who has led the AFL rebuilding process over the last 11 years informed the Commander-in-Chief that the Armed Forces of Liberia Chief of Staff, Major General Daniel Ziankahn, has been appointed as the Chairman of the ECOWAS Chiefs of Defense Staff.
He however thanked President Sirleaf for the opportunity given him to serve his country as Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Liberia.
This year’s Celebration is held under the theme: “The AFL: Supporting and Defending Our Democratic Transition”.