8 March 2017

Liberia: Samukai, Dennis, Johnson Get Nat'l Honors

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has honored Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, out-going UL President Dr. Emmet Dennis and the late former Internal Affairs Minister Ambullai Bolah Johnson.

At the Special Investiture ceremonies which took place Monday at the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium, the late Minister Johnson was honored posthumously.

According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader termed the services of the three officials as a mark of commitment that should be emulated by others.

Defense Minister Samukai was admitted into the Humane Order of African Redemption with a rank of Knight Great Band; Dr. Dennis with a rank of Knight Grand Commander, while the late Johnson was admitted posthumously with a rank of Knight Grand Commander into the Venerable Order of the Pioneers.

"You all served us well, and did not die in office, except for Minister Johnson who served and left the stage, before his demise," President Sirleaf noted, commending those who are still serving to do more.

President Sirleaf emphasized that Minister Samukai has served as Minister of Defense for the past 11 years with distinction for which she was grateful to him and the others, including late Internal Affairs Minister, who served the nation well with commitment, dedication and devotion to duty.

Minister Samukai's honoring was initially planned for Armed Forces Day.

President Sirleaf thanked Dr. Dennis for active and productive service at the University of Liberia, acknowledging that his service from 2008 to present left an enviable record of achievement, ranging from restoring broken down laboratory, upgrading the capacities of professors, and training more Medical Doctors (179), among others.

Commenting on the role played by former Internal Affairs Minister Johnson, President Sirleaf said he served the country so well, and did not die in office but as a mark of recognizing the important role he played, it was important to recognize and honor him.

His wife, Mrs. Thelma Johnson received his honor.

Speaking on behalf of the honorees, Defense Minister Samukai recognized role models who inspired him along the way.

He commended Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, Dr. Edward B. kesselly, Dr. Joseph Saye Guanue, the United Nations System, where he worked before for leading and helping him in his professional career.

Minister Samukai paid particularly homage and expressed gratitude to President Sirleaf for entrusting him with the responsibility of serving as the Minister of National Defense from 2006 up to the present.

"I am honored for this opportunity Madam President," he noted.

President Sirleaf concluded the ceremony with a toast to the honorees and their families, as well as friends who stood with them in doing the right thing for the country.

The toast was responded to by Dr. Dennis on behalf of the honorees, praying for God's continuous guidance upon the President and the nation.

The Investiture ceremony was attended by former Interim President, Dr. Amos C. Sawyer, members of the National Legislature, the cabinet and the Speaker of the Rwandan Parliament, among others.

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