Monrovia — President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has delivered her farewell message to the nation.
She recounted: "12 years ago, on the 26th of January, 2006, I had the privilege to address you, the people of Liberia, for the first time as your President.
"We were a nation exhausted from three decades of conflict.
We were starting from zero, with the complete destruction of our national infrastructure, a collapsed economy, and a State incapable of providing services to its people.
"Our collective faith and resolve were put to the test, as they have been many times over in our 170 years of independence."
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Liberian leader spoke on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 in the Cabinet room of her Foreign Ministry Office in Monrovia.
She recalled the heavy burden her government inherited, and the painful past, which we carried together, were no match for her dear friends.
"Never did you lose hope in yourselves, pride in our nation, or the determination to persevere," - she said enthusiastically.
President Sirleaf said it was your energy that lifted her up each day; Motivated her; Gave her the drive to exhaust all possibilities for the benefit of our beloved Liberia; As I speak my last words to you as President, they are simply to say -- Thank You for the honor to serve.
"Back in 2006, many doubted neither us -nor certain if Liberia's democratic resurgence would last. That our new found peace would hold.
And yet, look around you; two peaceful and credible successive national elections, and now, an historic transfer of power from one elected leader to another. Our democracy is irrevocable; it binds every future leader of this country to the will of the people."
She went on: "Liberia today reflects the changing face of the Continent, where rule of law, human rights, good governance, and accountability are demanded by its citizens. This is Africa's future. And Liberia is one of its enviable democracies."
President Sirleaf asserted: "The world has changed a great over the past decade. Across the globe, governments and nations are turning inward, in search of resolutions to their domestic challenges.
For a country like Liberia, this means that we need to be more self-reliant. Each of us has to take on more responsibility for the development of our country."
Reflecting on the just ended elections, she noted: "We had a contentious, highly-charged political year. I know that. But now, we must be put the disunity behind us; Liberia has but one President, and one government. We must dedicate ourselves to ensuring its success; my parting wish is that you will support your new government."
"Respond to its call for action, and civility; and hold it accountable; My hope is that you cherish our democracy; Participate in it; Respect and support its institutions; Work together to address the challenges, and take pride in our the success."
She thanked Liberia's international partners - the donors, investors, NGO workers, humanitarians, and friends adding she was leaving the presidency in awe of their generosity in a world with so many great needs, they chose Liberia. She said we have learned and innovated together, and these gains will go on to benefit our next generation.
"We bow are heads to our sisterly African nation, particularly those in West Africa, who granted us refuge during our days or turmoil, helped us to regain our peace, and supported us in the path towards democracy; We can now boast of unprecedented regional solidarity; I wish to recognize Liberia's historic and essential partner, the government and the people of the United States of America; You have been with us through our historic journey; and stood by us in our difficult moments; Please know that Liberia's success is also shared by you," she underscored.
President Sirleaf also thanked members of civil society, the judiciary, Liberia's Fourth Estate, our religious and traditional leaders; through your work, and your prayers, you have strengthened our democracy, and always reminded us of our responsibility to live a life of purpose; and in service to others.
She then expressed deep gratitude to all who have served in her government and challenged them to be immensely proud of what they have contributed to our great nation. She reminded them they leave behind functioning institutions, a plan of transition, and trained professionals and stressed the foundation has been laid for the next administration.
Meanwhile, President Sirleaf prayed for President-elect, vice-President elect, as well as all elected leaders