President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has admitted former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo into the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of the Pioneer with the Grade of Grand Condon.
The ceremony took place at a special investiture ceremony held Tuesday evening in the C. Cecil Dennis Auditorium at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf, the Grand Master of the Orders of Distinctions, thanked President Obasanjo for accepting Liberia’s request to honor him, saying “Your services to Africa, the sub-region and Liberia have been exceptional.”
President Sirleaf recalled that in 1979, when she was a junior officer at the Ministry of Finance, she witnessed former President Obasanjo voluntarily turn over power in his country; something which, she said, was a great moment for his people.
The Liberian leader described former President Obasanjo as a “true son of Africa” who has contributed immensely to the growth of the continent including the peace Liberia currently enjoys; adding “Thank you for promoting Africa, democracy and peace and for being a partner to Liberia.”
President Sirleaf said during normal course of government's activities, such programs are held in an elaborate manner to give special recognition to people who have made priceless contributions to the needs of Liberians. In remarks, former President Olusegun Obasanjo thanked President Sirleaf for the distinguished honor bestowed on him, which, he said, came to him as a surprise.
Launching his book entitled: “Making Africa Work”, former President Obansanjo said his book is not purely academic but one that is practical and a handbook for those who are interested in the political, economic development of Africa.
The former Nigerian President cautioned Africans to do away with shifting blames and focus on the future improvement of Africa and Africans, and called on African leaders to find solution to youth unemployment and agriculture advancement in Sub- Sahara Africa.
He urged all Liberians to embrace democracy and called on politicians to remain unwavering in rendering services to the country and the continent at large.
The ceremony was attended by several senior government officials, including Vice President Joseph N. Boakai, ECOWAS Commission Vice President, Edward Singhatey, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador Abdoulaye Dore and a number of Presidential candidates.
Former President Obasanjo was accompanied by Dr. Greg Mills, family members and a cross-section of the Nigerian community residing in Liberia as well as well-wishers.