Vice President Boakai Lauds Nigeria-Liberia Ties

Monday, 6th April 2009
Monrovia, Liberia - The Vice President of Liberia, Joseph N. Boakai says the Liberian Government cherishes the special ties between Liberia and Nigeria.

He observed the lead role Nigeria played in setting up the ECOWAS Peace Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), which played a major part in ending hostilities in Liberia.

He also commended the Nigerian contingent in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which, he noted, is not only one of the largest contingents in the peace keeping force, but one of the most disciplined and committed.

Vice President Boakai made the observation on April 6 when the President of the Nigerian Senate, Honorable David A.B Mark, accompanied by five members of the Senate and House Standing Committees on Defense, paid a courtesy call on him at his Capitol Building office. Also accompanying the Senate President was the Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, Ebenezer Ayodele Adigun.

The Liberian Vice President reiterated his call to citizens of Nigeria, who sacrificed so much to help restore peace to Liberia. He asked that they consider investing in Liberia now that peace has been restored to the country. He said it was the lead role that Nigeria took that inspired other countries to follow its footsteps and come to Liberia’s rescue.

Vice President Boakai assured the Nigerian delegation that the Unity Party-led Government in Liberia would demonstrate appreciation for what Nigeria continues to do for Liberia by bringing better living standards to the Liberian people.

Briefing Vice President Boakai, the Nigerian Senate President, who is also Chairman of the Nigerian National Assembly, said he was in the country to visit Nigerian peace keepers in UNMIL and hold discussions with the Nigerian ambassador.

Mr. Mark recalled that Nigeria and Liberia relations date back a long time, noting that Nigeria had a resident ambassador in Liberia as far back as 1961. He said the current Nigerian government headed by President Umaru Yar’Adua was committed to further strengthening Nigeria-Liberia relations, as evidenced by the waiver of USD$13 million debt Liberia owed Nigeria. He further pledged Nigeria’s willingness to assist in Liberia’s security sector reform, including helping to train the military and police.

“Liberia is coming out of a long period of war, and we are willing to collaborate in whatever way, either at the ECOWAS level or through bilateral means,” the Nigeria Senate President added.

Other members of the Nigerian Legislative delegation were: Senator Ibrahim M. Ida, Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense and Army; Chris N.B Anyanwu, Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Defense and Army; Senator Muhammad Mana, Member, Senate Committee on Defense and Army; Honorable Wole Oke, Chairman, House Committee on Defense; and Honorable, Paul Adah, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Defense.