Weah sworn in as Liberian president

Former international football star, George Weah, has today been sworn in as Liberia’s new president, in the country’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944.

Weah, 51, took over from Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who spent 12 years at the helm, steering the West African nation away from the trauma of a civil war.

He was sworn in as president by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Francis Korkpor.

The ceremony took place at a packed sports stadium near the capital, Monrovia, with several African heads of state in attendance, along with friends and former colleagues from Weah’s football years.

Crowds queued for kilometres (miles) to reach the stadium, singing, dancing and waving the Liberian flag as they waited.
Weah has vowed to make prosperity and job creation the hallmarks of his presidency.

Former president Olusegun Obasanjo and President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, who was accompanied by Senators Philip Aduda and Osita Izunaso, arrived Monrovia Monday at the Roberts International Airport and were received by the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. James Dimka; Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia, Maj.-Gen. Salihu Uba, among other officials.

Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo arrived minutes before the senate’s helmsman.

Obasanjo said he was proud to witness a peaceful democratic transfer of power in Liberia considering the huge sacrifices made by Nigeria for peace and stability in the country.

“I am very happy over what is happening in Liberia today and I congratulate my brothers and sisters in this great country,” he said.

The airport is also witnessing influx of special guests from Africa and around the world, including current and former heads of states.

Former Super Eagles midfielder, Austin Okocha, was among the international soccer stars already in the country.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking a mere 177th on the 188 countries in the Human Development Index compiled by the United Nations’ Development Programme.

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