Nigerian Foreign Minister Lauds President Sirleaf

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Chief Ojo Maduekwe, says The President of the Republic of Liberia, Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is greatly admired in Nigeria and is a gift to all of Africa.   

According to a Foreign Ministry release, the Nigerian Foreign Minister complimented President Johnson Sirleaf for being the first African woman to be elected to the presidency of an African country, and expressed appreciation to the Liberian leader for the honor accorded him and members of his delegation.

Chief Ojo Maduekwe said he was happy to visit Liberia in this year which will mark Nigeria’s Fiftieth Independence Anniversary, and expressed Nigeria’s recognition of President Johnson Sirleaf’s contribution to African renaissance by her outstanding leadership and efforts to democratize and reconstruct Liberia after years of civil strife.

The Nigerian Foreign Minister used the occasion to convey greetings and best wishes of His Excellency President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, the current Chairman of ECOWAS, and also raised several issues of international and sub-regional concern, particularly developments in the Republics of Guinea, Niger and the holding of democratic elections in Cote d’Ivoire later this year.

The Minister noted that for democratic gains to be sustained in the continent, respect for sovereignty could no longer be regarded as sacrosanct, especially in cases of gross abuse of human rights, unconstitutional tenure elongation and manipulation of the electoral process.

Speaking, President Johnson Sirleaf expressed best wishes for the speedy recovery of her Brother, President Umaru Yar’Adua.  She expressed deep appreciation for Nigeria’s leadership and continued assistance to Liberia. President Johnson Sirleaf noted Nigeria’s unflinching support and sacrifice for Liberia during her civil crisis, even before the involvement of the United Nations.

This partnership, the Liberian leader noted continued up to the present through Nigeria’s Technical Assistance Scheme (TAC) and support of Liberia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, particularly in the security sector and in capacity building.   

Meanwhile, at the invitation of Her Excellency Mrs. Olubanke King Akerele, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency Chief Ojo Maduekwe, CFR, Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria paid a two-day official working visit to Liberia from January 13-14, 2010.   

  The Nigerian Foreign Minister and delegation, which included senior officials as well as two members of National Assembly (Senator Kola Bajomo and Hon. Gbenga Oduwaiye), received a rousing welcome upon their arrival by special flight at Roberts International Airport on Wednesday afternoon, January 13, 2010.