22 January 2018

Nigeria: Buhari, Other African Leaders for Weah's Inauguration Today

President Muhammadu Buhari is among African leaders that have indicated interest to attend the inauguration of Liberia's President-elect, George Weah, on today.

According to a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report, the Chief Protocol of Liberia, Mr. Jarvis Witherspoon, stated this at a media briefing in Monrovia.

Witherspoon said other current and past leaders from around the world were expected to grace the occasion scheduled to hold at the 35, 000-capacity Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia.

We have very important personalities coming from all around the world.

"The countries we have already that have confirmed that their presidents would be coming are Ghana, Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote D'Ivoire, Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria (and) Guinea Bissau.

"The Prime Minister of Senegal will represent his country. We also have several former presidents of African countries who will be attending.

"The United States of America will have a congressional committee and also a special envoy of the President Donald Trump will be in attendance. There will also be a special envoy from France and Egypt. We expect that the list is going to get longer."

Witherspoon said that representatives were also expected from the European Union Parliament and several other international groups, including world football governing body, FIFA.

Weah, an international sporting hero and former FIFA World Player of the Year, defeated incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai in the delayed presidential runoff election on December 26. This will be the first transition of power from one democratically elected president to another in Liberia's political history.

The chief protocol said current and former international football stars, including Nigeria's Taribo West and Sunday Oliseh, had also confirmed their participation in the historic event. Meanwhile, $900,000 has been budgeted for the inauguration.

Witherspoon explained that the amount, approved by the transitional team comprising officials of the incoming Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the outgoing administration, would be drawn from government's coffers.

The Deputy Inspector-General (Operations) of the Liberia National Police, Mr Abraham Kromah said adequate security arrangements had been made for a hitch-free ceremony.

Kromah, who represented the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Gregory Coleman, gave details of the arrangements, including closure of the Robert International Airport in Monrovia from 7 p.m. on Sunday.


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