Liberia: President Weah Recommits Gov’t Support to AFL
Monrovia – Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah has indicated that one of the hallmarks for any civilized nation is to support the ‘gallant men and women’ of the army and their families.
The President’s statements were contained in his Armed Forces Day message delivered at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) in Monrovia on Monday, February 11.
Addressing the ‘men and women in arms,’ Pres. Weah, who is also the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), reiterated his support to the army personnel and their families.
“Our government will take all necessary measures to cater to the wellbeing of the army at all times,” President Weah declared.
Earlier, the Minister of National Defense, retired Major General Daniel D. Ziankahn revealed that the lack of proper housing facilities for army personnel is posing serious challenge; causing congestion and stalling recruitment processes.
In response, President Weah indicated that he has instructed Defense Minister Ziankahn to take an inventory of all military barracks in the country to commence the construction of housing facilities.
In addition, he pledged to provide services to the families of military personnel that will commiserate the services rendered by their relatives; adding: “Our military families are our unsung heroes.”
‘Significant’ Progress At 14 Military Hospital
President Weah has announced that contrary to most critics and cynics’ beliefs, ‘significant’ progress has been achieved in the construction of the 14 Military Hospital that is under construction on the Roberts International Airport Highway.
It can be recalled that in his first Armed Forces Day message on February 11, 2018, President Weah promised to build a state of an art medical facility that will serve army personnel and their families.
Since his pronouncement and subsequent ground breaking, much has not been heard of the construction process; prompting speculations that the project has stalled.
But President Weah disclosed that construction work at the 14 Military Hospital has reached roof level and is expected to be completed by 2020; adding that he is not a man of words but of actions.
He paid homage to Liberia’s bilateral partners and attributed the effectiveness and enhanced capabilities of the army to the continuous support of the partners including the United States, the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic Nigeria.
Meanwhile, President Weah marked the beginning of his speech with a minute silence in memory of the men and women who lost their lives during the course of the year while serving on national duty; placing emphasis on the late Victoria Wlue and Gabriel Wilson, commonly called ‘Executive Horn’, who died in a fatal car crash when a vehicle allegedly intruded into the Presidential Motorcade near Gbarnga, Bong County.
He also paid homage to the late Deputy Minister of Defense, Ernest Varfee and fallen Montserrado County Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff whom he described as a friend and one of the pillars of contemporary women movement in Liberia.
He lamented that the passing of Senator Doe-Sheriff does not only serve as a big blow to her family but to women in leadership, and “Our young girls and women that are aspiring to be great leaders for tomorrow.”
Also speaking, the Minister of National Defense, retired Major General Daniel D. Ziankahn declared that with the help of the Presidency and Liberia’s partners, the army is stable, vigilant and remains a force for good.
“Your Excellency, about a year ago, you asked me to join your administration to lead the Ministry of National Defense and the Armed Forces of Liberia. Mr. President, after a year today I’m proud to report that the military is stable and our men and women in arms are vigilant and remain the force for good,” he declared.
He furthered that two Liberians pilots of the army have completed a seven-year training and will serve as trail blazers of the AFL.
He also added that the AFL has begun the disbursement of compulsory saving fund; noting that the journey has not been easy but rewarding.
AFL Celebrates Thanksgiving Service at Eliza Turner AME Church
In observance of the 62nd Armed Forces Day celebration, the men and women in arms went for their regular yearly thanksgiving service at the Eliza Turner AME Church on Camp Johnson Road in Monrovia. Rev. Alvin Attah, Pastor of the AME Church, preached from the Text: Psalm 136:1 under the Theme: “We’ve Come to Say Thank You.”
He said throughout the years and on this 62nd Armed Forces Day, the Lord has preserved the men and women in arms of Liberia.
“Starting as the Liberian Frontier Force in 1908 and comprising of just 500 men whose mission was originally “to patrol our national borders and to prevent disorder,” and later evolving into the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) in 1962.
According to Rev. Attah, the AFL was disbanded and later reorganized after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2003. “This agreement provided for the reformation and training of the new AFL.
“In August 2008, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf formally announced the birth of the new AFL. A reformed military, whose focus would no longer be limited of infantry but of service and seeking the welfare of its people,” said Rev. Attah
According to him, in spite of all the intricacies and challenges that have engulfed the country’s journey so far, Liberians can testify that God has been faithful. “And because of God’s blessings and preservation of the military, the gallant men and women have come to say thank you.”
In observance of the 62nd Armed Forces Day celebration, the men and women in arm, on last Thursday organized a national symposium at the Monrovia City Hall. On Friday, they attended the ‘Jumah Service’ at the EBK Mosque, and on Saturday, the soldier joined the Monrovia City Hall for a massive cleanup campaign. They met on Sunday at the Eliza Turner for the regular thanksgiving service.
Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn thanked the church with an undisclosed appreciation offering and invited the church to attend the Armed Forces Day celebration at the BTC on Monday, February 11.