The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia, President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf has inducted a new Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia or AFL, after nearly a decade under the command of Nigerian Command Officer-in-Charge, Major General Suraj Alao Abdurrahman.
Brigadier General Daniel D. Ziankhan yesterday replaced outgoing Command Officer-in-Charge General Abdurrahaman during the official ceremony marking the 57th Anniversary of the AFL at the Barclay Training Center or BTC in Monrovia.
The occasion, held at the compound of the Ministry of National Defense on Lynch Street, was witnessed by members of the Legislature, the Judiciary, the cabinet, UN Peace Keepers and Liberia's partners, members of the diplomatic and Counselor corps, heads of the paramilitary and other national security institutions in Liberia.
Chief of Staff Ziankhan, along with his Deputy Chief of Staff, Col. Eric W. Dennis, who also replaced a Liberian outgoing Deputy Chief of Staff, Col. Daniel Moore, was inducted by C-I-C Sirleaf. Also inducted by the Commander-In-Chief was Colonel Prince C. Johnson, III, as new Brigadier Commander of the 23rd Infantry Brigade of the Armed Forces of Liberia.
"Fellow Liberians, today we have made a transition in the Armed Forces of Liberia based on a very credible vetting process, and on the order of merit. We have been able to appoint... we-trained, experienced and disciplined Liberian officers as the new dedicated leaders of our Armed Forces," she said.
The Commander-In-Chief said Liberia looks to the future with optimism that its restructured army will continue its professional development within the context of government's overall defense strategy, describing Brigadier General Ziankhan as an outstanding officer with quality leadership potential- an airborne qualified officer and a recent graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College with a Master's Degree in Military Science and Strategy.
According to the AFL Commander-In-Chief, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Col. Dennis comes to the job with a credible wealth of experience- a recent graduate of the Ghana Army Command and Staff College with two Master's Degrees, while Brigadier Commander Johnson is a recent graduate of the United States Army Command and Staff College, and an outstanding officer, disciplined and well-trained.
She urged the new army leadership to demonstrate their readiness and capability to lead, exhibit good leadership qualities and lead by example.
"You cannot afford to fail yourselves, your compatriots, your mentors- much has been sacrificed and invested in bringing you this far. I challenge you to perform your duties as leaders of the new military," she urged.
Outgoing Army Chief General Suraj Abdurrahman said he has no doubt in the leadership of new Chief of Staff Ziankhan, but cautioned him not to lower the standard he has already set, to rather improve on it always.
He also urged him to take up time to listen to the yearning of his colleagues. The Nigerian General said he has no doubt the new army will stand the test of time, thanking the Liberian Government, citizens and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the support and cooperation to allow him work here with the Liberian Army.