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Monday, April 22, 2024

African Statesman, Leader & Democrat: How Weah Eased Fraying Nerves

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President George Weah is emerging out of a fiercely contested presidential election as a flying star for democracy on the African continent after conceding defeat in record time to longtime rival Joseph Boakai.

With nearly final provisional results of this week’s runoff election favored challenger Joseph Boakai by a slim margin.

Weah acknowledged the people’s wish for change and filed his concession late on Friday after provisional results showed Boakai had an unassailable lead.

“I stand before you tonight with a heavy heart, but with the utmost respect for the democratic process that has defined our nation. The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is in a lead that is insurmountable,” Weah said.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President-elect Boakai, his supporters, and his campaign team. May his presidency be marked by success for all Liberians, and may our nation prosper under his leadership.”

The outgoing President gracious acceptance of the outcome of an election that faced doom prophesy including the main opposition leader’s statement that Liberia will cease to exist if he’s not elected president of the West African nation has earned him applauds from across the world.

Liberia has once again demonstrated that democracy is alive in the  ECOWAS region and that change is possible  through peaceful means, the Economic Community of West African States said.

“The next phase of Liberia’s democratic Journey is crucial. ECOWAS Therefore calls  on the people of Liberia to maintain and safeguard peace and security of the country at all times.”

Nigerian President Bula Tinubu praised Weah for ‘defying the stereotype’ that peaceful transitions of power are impossible on the continent.

“I commend President George Weah for his sterling example, undiluted patriotism, and statesmanship. He has defied the stereotype that peaceful transitions of power are untenable in West Africa.”

Former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan calls Weah concession “an exemplary display of statesmanship and commitment to the peace and progress of his country.”

This is how people from around the world reacted to Weah’s historic concession speech.

“Liberian President George Weah concedes defeat to Joseph Boakai. But what gentlemen and what democrats are these Anglophones. In our Francophones either the elections are rigged for the benefit of the outgoing or even after his two terms  the president eliminates  through  judicial means the biggest opponent to offer a  boulevard to his candidate, writes Lahpusseni Tahar.

Also, Femi Mimiko lauded Weah’s sportsmanship, stating, “Congratulations, President #GeorgeWeah! You may have lost the election, but for those who can see clearly, you won the victory cup, and the golden boot!”

On another platform, Michael Onimbo remarked, “The peaceful transfer of power in Liberia is a testament to the resilience of the Liberian people. This is a moment to celebrate.”

Similarly, Edo Goodnews echoed a sentiment of hope for Liberia, stating, “There is no age limit to pursuing a dream. Once you can dream it, go for it.”

In addition, social media user Mudiaga Esiekpe emphasized, “We just want dividends of democracy for the people of Liberia. That’s all.”

“George Weah has gone from uneducated street urchin to world class footballer to university graduate to President of a “small country” to African Statesman and Leader. It didn’t brake particularly long t achieve and it is a really marvellous thing to see,” a lawyer and Nigerian power ministry official said.

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