Liberia: FLY’s First Female President Inducted into Office
MONROVIA – Banica Elliot has been sworn in as the first female president of the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY).
Wearing a cream-coloured outfit , Elliot repeated the oath of office read to her by the Chair on Youth and Sports at the House of Representatives Solomon George during an inauguration ceremony attended by the young people and scores of foreign diplomats and dignitaries and government officials.
Elliot pledged to faithfully discharge the duties and functions of the office of president of FLY to the best of her ability.
She said the new leadership of FLY wants to set the stage for a realistic developmental youth program in Liberia.
“We called on the government of Liberia to increase its intelligent at every entry point of the country and adapt the best methods to reduced drugs coming into the country,” Ms. Elliot said.
According to her there is a need to have a national rehabilitation home for users of drugs to restore the next generation of Liberian leaders.
The first female president of FLY added that under her leadership they will focus on several areas for the betterment of the youth of Liberia, including youth empowerment and employment, youth programs and innovation, accountability and rebranding, gender social inclusion and partnership.
“We seek the need for an increased advocacy on the access of TVET education of every high school student as a pre-requisite to obtain tertiary education.”
She added that the call for youth power must be made to exhibit good morals and wants young people not to shy from asking the hard questions.
“Youth of this nation must critique the political manifestos and agendas. We must never limit ourselves to leading propaganda, rather, we must fight positively to be included in every decision-making processes,” She said.
Elliot was elected in a landslide victory at FLY’s 7th general assembly convened in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The Assembly was held under the theme ‘Enforcing the Youth Agenda continuing the Journey in Unity’ with over 300 Youth delegates from different youth institutions from across the 15 counties of Liberia.
Elliot contested against the former president of the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU), Flomo Mau Maiwo and won with the vote margin of 214 to 16.
Prior to her election, she initially served FLY as its 2nd Vice President. She is a graduate of the University of Liberia and the Bluecrest University College Liberia, bagging a Bachelor’s of Science degree in both Economics and Information Technology with distinction (CUM LADE).
Serving as keynote speaker madam Abena Amedormey, Country Manager, Catholic Relief Services congratulated Elliot, as the first female president of FLY.
“Many years ago, it would be unthinkable for me as a woman to be in the roles and responsibilities we have competed for. It is a reality now, and it speaks volumes and speaks to Change,” she said.
She said the theme: Rebranding for change, Youth taking Charge comes with huge responsibilities from both the duty-bearers and end-users and as such, it requires institutions and individuals with “youth mind” and “youth heart” to create a platform that wheel-grease the system for Liberian youth and students to unlock their full potentials, by making them to be active participants in national leadership, decision making, and development.
The keynote speaker said for youth to take charge of their lives and actively participate in national leadership and decision-making, they should develop self-esteem, develop self-mastery in all that they do, and be generous to mankind (others, their community, and the environment).
“I believe we all are good at something, and we must identify such gifts and act upon them to contribute positively to society. We have to build positive relationships that strengthen the social ties between the youth and locally elected and appointed officials of the Government, to make Liberia a better place for everyone,”
“You are all endowed with ideals, expectations, ambitions, and talents which are unprecedented and driven by new technology. Despite the political, social, and economic challenges, we have to recognize and seize daily opportunities to make a change, because we believe that the only way to be impactful is to be uncomfortable. We have to endeavor to develop ideas and bring those ideas to life. These ideas should be not only beneficial to your personal growth but growth of the community.”
“As Liberia draws closer to the 2023 General and Presidential elections, I want to challenge you to work on the three key behaviours competencies to rebrand for change. The need for more peaceful engagement, civic political dialogue, and resilience-building activities cannot be overemphasized. It is our utmost hope for all individuals to maintain peace and build on social interaction. With this, we stand to see the youth taking charge of their destiny, working to ensure a Liberia that promotes co-existence along all political, religious, and tribal lines.”
She urge new leadership to create a common and safe space to share experiences, challenges, and initiatives that stimulate youth conversation around national leadership and development.
“I encourage you to establish cooperation among yourselves and plan common activities that promote a culture of peace at the National and local levels in Liberia,” Abena Amedormey, Country Manager, Catholic Relief Services told the young people of Liberia.
For his part Montserrado County District 9 representative Frank Saah Foko said his responsibility will be to make sure the young people participate in the national budget and he will take it to the flood at the national legislature so that a good amount of money will be given Liberian students Union and the Federation of Liberian Youth.
Also Representative Solomon George supported Saah Foko in his move to allocate for the young people.
The Montserrado County District 7 lawmaker said he will ensure that FLY is backup financially because if you sent a student to school you must support them.
Other elected include Mr. Jeremiah Wilson, Vice President for National Affairs, Abdullah O. Bility, Vice President for International Affairs, Emmanuel Varney Tamba, Coordinator, Region One; Benetta Kollie, Coordinator, Region Two, and Maxlord Hinson, Coordinator, Region Three and Ernest Duku Jallah, Secretary General (Head of Secretariat), among others.