Saturday, 30 April 2011


President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has participated in the 50th Independence Day Anniversary Celebrations of Sierra Leone, cautioning Liberians living in that country to be law abiding  and be prepared to return to Liberia and contribute their quota toward the reconstruction of the country.

President Johnson Sirleaf said until Liberians living in Sierra Leone   can decide to return home, they should use opportunities afforded them and acquire quality education to propel them, “so that when you return home, you can use such education to compete with your compatriots at home in transforming the country.”

“Home is home, so at any time you will be ready, be prepared to return  and make your contribution to the development of your country,” the Liberian leader reminded her citizens, adding, “while you are here, remain good citizens; law abiding citizens; try to learn as much as you can, pick up some courses so that when you come home, you will be equipped to be able to join other compatriots in developing Liberia.”

An Executive Mansion release says the President made the statement Wednesday, April 27, when she met with Liberians residing in Sierra Leone at the Liberian Embassy.

In Freetown itself, thousands of Sierra Leoneans jammed the country’s National Football stadium to witness the official program marking the country’s The 50th Independence Anniversary Celebrations, which included an impressive parade and other festivities that lasted well over five-hours.  The occasion was witnessed by a number of West African leaders including the Presidents of Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Guinea, Senegal, and the Vice President of the Gambia as well as senior officials representing other African and foreign governments.

Sierra Leoneans paid homage to past Presidents of the country for bringing together members of inter religious groupings, comprising members of the Christian and Muslim communities at an occasion which brought together traditional chiefs and elders, women and youth groups, students, community leaders, petty traders, workers, athletes, among others.

“I have acknowledged your yearning to move forward; and let me assure you that I have been re-invigorated by the support of all Sierra Leoneans to build more roads in the country; to do more electricity; to increase our agricultural productivity; to provide great healthcare and to ensure that the quality of our education is second to none,” President Koroma said in a speech, amid interrupted applause and standing ovations.

President Koroma concluded with special commendation for the United Nations, the African Union, ECOWAS, the United States, Britain, Nigeria, Guinea, Liberia Senegal, Mali, Equatorial Guinea and the European Union for celebrating the occasion with them and supporting democracy in his country.

The President was accompanied on the one-day visit to Freetown by Foreign Minister, Toga Gayewea McIntosh;  National Security Advisor, Dr. Henry Boimah Fahnbulleh, Immigration Commissioner, Chris Massaquoi, Gender Minister, Varbah Gayflor, the Head of the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Christopher Neyor, Ambassador George Wallace, the Mayor of Monrovia, Mary Broh, among others.