Russia 2018: Weah Advice Eagles To Start Early Preparation

The Liberian President, Mr. George Weah, on Monday advised the Super Eagles to prepare early enough for the forthcoming world cup so as to have a fantastic campaign.

Weah, a former professional footballer, gave the advice in an interview with State House correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Liberian President also urged Nigerian sports authorities to make sure of a very conducive environment for the training.

He warned against a situation where players would be deprived of their allowances, saying such situation makes players to lose focus.

He said, “I think Nigerian team is a model, we all follow them.

“I have played with great Nigerian players, I played against them. Now you have a new generation, the fact that they qualified is a good thing for Nigeria.

“But I hope they will prepare very early, because they are going to represent Africa and we will be there to watch them, for them to bring the trophy for the first time if it is possible.

“I want every African government to know that if you win World Cup, it is a pride to Africa and not just to Nigeria.

“So, we must do everything to ensure that the players are not stressed, make sure they concentrate, make sure their incentives are given to them to motivate them.

“Some of the things you see at the World Cup, you will see an entire team go to represent a whole country and you will hear that one minister took the money, they did not pay these players and the players are causing problem.

“When players are going to camp, it is to relax and focus. And for them to be in camp, they must have everything there for them not to worry.”

Weah recalled that he played in European setting where they did not have to worry about anything when they were in camp.

He said the only things they were doing in camp then were to shower and prepare for the games, saying there was no excuse not to perform because everything that players needed was provided.

“So, let the players not have excuse; support them and let them go and bring back that cup,” he told Nigerian sports authorities.

Weah said he had already approached the World Bank, which is offering Liberia $5m to revamp the country’s sports sector.

He said as a former coach, technical director and former sponsor of the national team, he would personally be monitoring developments in the sector.

The Liberian President said he had appointed a former player as the sports minister and that he would work with the minister to revamp the national team.

“Those techniques that made Liberia qualify twice and missed the World Cup three times, I will make sure that I work with him so that he can do the work and ensure that our athletes go and represent our country,” Weah promised.

Buhari, Liberian President, Weah, Meet Inside Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently in a closed door meeting with the Liberian President, George Weah. The meeting is holding inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Weah arrived the premises at about 12:34 pm and was received by Buhari and some other top government officials at the forecourt.

George Weah Makes First Set Of Appointments

Liberia’s President George Weah has made his first batch appointments just less than 24 hours after his swearing in.

Seven names made the first batch of appointees, including former Senate Pro-Tempore Gbezohngar Findley, who has been named Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Findley, according to local media, is close ally of immediate past President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and staunchly supported Vice President Joseph Boakai at the initial stage of the campaign period.

He reportedly dumped Boakai, who ran for the presidency on the platform of then Unity Party (UP), and aligned with Weah, heavily campaigning for him in parts of the country.

This fueled speculations that Weah was receiving support from former President Johnson-Sirleaf, who was recently expelled by the UP for anti-party activities.

Maj.-Gen. Daniel Ziankahn was immediately retired as the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) and appointed the Minister of National Defense, subject to Senate confirmation.

Ziankahn replaces Brownie Samukai at the defence ministry, which is in the middle of an alleged wasteful spending of “welfare and supplementary pension benefits” members of the Armed Forces.

Brig. Gen. Prince Johnson takes over from Ziankahn as the new Chief of Staff of the AFL.

Weah named Chairman of the now ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), Mr Nathaniel McGill as the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.

Samuel Tweh, a long-time member of the CDC is to serve as Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

Until his appointment, Tweh worked as an economic consultant at the Millennium Challenge Corporation under the Ministry of Finance.

The president appointed Mr Charles Gibson as Minister of Justice, and Mr Sam Mannah as Press Secretary with immediate effect.

Weah has directed that the heads of other government ministries and agencies remain in place until further notice.

Meanwhile, some Liberians have urged the new president to honour his promise of holding government officials accountable to the people.

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Monrovia, one of the respondents, Saah Clinton, a retired soldier, advised Weah to show courage and do the right thing in the interest of Liberians.

“Although, I am confident in the president’s ability to crack down on corruption as promised in his inaugural speech, it takes a lot of political will and courage to do that.

“The president should carry the masses along in whatever decision he takes against powerful government officials, and the people will stand by him,’’ he said.

Weah in his inaugural address renewed his promise to tackle endemic corruption especially in the public service, vowing to prosecute corruption government officials “to the full extent of the law’’.

“As officials of government, it is time to put the interest of our people above our own selfish interests. It is time to be honest with our people

“For those who do not refrain from enriching themselves at the expense of the people, the law will take its course,’’ the president said.

 

African Legends Honour Weah

George Weah’s historic  inauguration on Monday had African football legends and other world dignitaries and personalities present to witness the swearing in of the  Liberia’s 25th president in  Monrovia on Monday.

Austin Okocha,  Sunday Oliseh,  Samuel Eto’o  and Didier Drogba  were present at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Stadium to honour  the continent’s most decorated footballer. Former Zambia’s Chipolopolo  captain Kalusha Bwalya was also present at the occasion

The 51-year-old took over from Africa’s first elected female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He as the 1995 European, African and World Player of the Year.

CAF president  Ahmad Ahmad led the African football governing body’s delegation while  FIFA General-Secretary Fatma Samoura  led the world body’s delegation to  the ceremony.

African presidents including Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana attended the swearing-in while Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event.

According to The Guardian, Liberians queued for miles to see the inauguration, celebrating their country’s first peaceful, democratic transition of power in 47 years by dancing as they waited.

Expectations are sky-high for Weah, who grew up kicking a ball about his poor suburb of Monrovia and became an international star through a distinguished  career at  Monaco,  AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

“I have spent many years of my life in stadiums but today is a feeling like no other,” Weah, dressed in white and mopping his forehead with a handkerchief, told an ecstatic crowd at the  stadium.

“I have taken an oath before you and before almighty God. Rest assured I will not let you down.”

He  promised to do “my fair share to meet your expectations’’, but urged the people to meet his desire by rising up to defend their freedom, justice and the change they voted for.

The football legend commended  the international community for supporting his country.

George Weah Sworn In As Liberian President

Former international football star George Weah was sworn in as Liberia’s new president on Monday, in the country’s first transition between democratically-elected leaders since 1944.

Weah, 51, took over from Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who spent 12 years at the helm, steering the West African nation away from the trauma of a civil war.

He was sworn in as president by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Francis Korkpor.

The ceremony took place at a packed sports stadium near the capital, Monrovia, with several African heads of state in attendance, along with friends and former colleagues from Weah’s football years.

Crowds queued for kilometres (miles) to reach the stadium, singing, dancing and waving the Liberian flag as they waited.

Weah has vowed to make prosperity and job creation the hallmarks of his presidency.

Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranking a mere 177th on the 188 countries in the Human Development Index compiled by the UN Development Programme.

AFP

George Weah Wins Liberia’s Presidential Election

The National Election Commission (NEC) has announced that Weah has won an insurmountable 61.5 percent of Tuesday’s vote, which was delayed several weeks after a legal challenge from Boakai.

The NEC said that with 98.1 percent of all votes counted, Boakai had only secured 38.5 percent support.

Ahead of Thursday’s results, armed and helmeted police deployed outside the poll body’s headquarters and some of Weah’s supporters were already rejoicing.

“The Liberian people clearly made their choice… and all together we are very confident in the result of the electoral process,” tweeted Weah before the official results were announced.

Weah topped the first round of voting in October with 38.4 percent of ballots but failed to win the 50 percent necessary to avoid a run-off. Boakai came second with 28.8 percent.

Recall that Weah is the only African ever to have won FIFA’s World Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon D’Or. The 51-year-old starred at top-flight European football clubs Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan in the 1990s before playing briefly in England for Chelsea and Manchester City later in his career.

Chelsea icon Didier Drogba from neighbouring Ivory Coast already sent Weah a congratulatory message.

“Is it President Weah?” said the New Dawn newspaper on Thursday, referring to a man who has the backing of heavyweights including former warlord Prince Johnson and apparently the covert support of outgoing president Sirleaf.

 

 

Arsene Wenger Helped My Career – Liberia President Elect, Weah

President-Elect and Liberian football legend, George Weah has revealed what his former manager at Monaco, Arsene Wenger did for him while he played for the club.

Weah is thankful to the Frenchman for helping him to flourish in Europe.

Wenger brought Weah to Europe when he signed him for Monaco from Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988.

The ex-Liberian international later played for Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City and later returned to France with Marseille.

He won the Ballon d’Or, making him the only African to win the prize.

He also won the UEFA Champions League Top Scorer award, Coupe de France, Ligue1, Coupe de la Ligue, Serie A title, English FA Cup among others.

In all this, Weah appreciated the French tactician for helping him to surpass his own expectations.

Speaking in an interview with the Guardian UK, ‎he said, “When I started playing football, I never thought I would ever win the Ballon d’Or and emerge as the best player in the world.

“I just had a passion for the game and I worked hard. Every day, I would rather train than eat or sleep.

“When I moved to Monte Carlo [to play for Monaco from the Cameroonian club Tonnerre Yaoundé in 1988] I didn’t play for the first six months. But I was determined to showcase my talent, to prove to those back home, who thought that my coming to Europe was a waste of time, that I was a good player.

“He (Wenger) was a father figure and regarded me as his son. This was a man, when racism was at its peak, who showed me love. He wanted me to be on the pitch for him every day.

“One day, I was quite tired of training and told him that I was having a headache.

“He said to me: ‘George, I know it’s tough but you need to work hard. I believe that with your talent, you can become one of the best players in the world.’

“So I listened and kept going on. Besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe.”

George Weah Elected President Of Liberia

Former Ballon d’Or winner, George Weah, has been announced as the President-elect of Liberia, West Africa.

The 51-year-old former World Footballer of the Year won thirteen out of fifteen counties.

His 73-year-old opponent and current vice president, Joseph Boakai got only two counties.

Weah becomes the 25th President of Liberia.

The ex-Liberian international played for Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City and later returned to France with Marseille.

He is the only African to win the coveted Ballon d’Or.

Weah also won the UEFA Champions League Top Scorer award, Coupe de France, Ligue1, Coupe de la Ligue, Serie A title, English FA Cup among others.

“I am deeply grateful to my family, my friends, and my loyal supporters who contributed to our campaign during this extremely long election season,” Weah said on Twitter before the results were announced.

Weah is set to replace Africa’s first female head of state, economist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

His inauguration would be the first time power was transferred from one democratically elected government to another.

Liberia Election on Hold-Supreme Court Orders

The Supreme Court of Liberia has suspended arrangements for next week’s presidential run-off vote between the candidate of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), George Weah, and the candidate of the current ruling Unity Party, Vice President Joseph Boakai until it considers a challenge to the results of the first round of the election, held on October 10, by the losing candidate of the Liberty Party, who alleged fraud. Boakai and Weah received the highest votes in the first round of the election.

28.8 per cent of the votes cast (446,716 votes) were for Boakai, whereas 38.4percent (596,037 votes) were cast for Weah, former footballer. Less than 10 per cent of the votes were cast for the other 18 candidates. The Supreme Court has instructed the National Elections Commission with an order to cease from ‘any and all activities’ towards the second round votes while it deliberates on the Liberty Party’s complaint and until a final decision is reached.

These disputes would definintely disrupt the second-round vote scheduled to hold on November 7 to find a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; the country’s first democratically elected leader after the civil war.

In Liberia: Supreme Court Halts Presidential Run-Off Over Alleged Fraud

Liberia’s Supreme Court has stayed the November 7 presidential run-off election until it considers a challenge to first round results by a losing candidate who has alleged fraud.

Third-place finisher, Charles Brumskine’s Liberty Party, challenged the results of the October vote, which set up a November 7 run-off between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai.

The election is meant to usher in Liberia’s first democratic transition since 1944 after long periods of military rule and a civil war that ended in 2003.

In a writ issued late on Tuesday, the court instructed Liberty Party and the National Elections Commission to file briefs by Thursday at the latest.

It was unclear if the court would rule before November 7.

“This is a big step in the right direction,” Liberty Party Chairman Benjamin Sanvee said in a statement.

“Thankfully, the Court recognizes the gravity of the issues, and has taken action in defence of the law and democracy.”

On Monday, Mr. Boakai’s ruling Unity Party announced it was backing the legal challenge.

It accused President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, one of its own members, of interfering in the October 10 vote by holding private meetings with election magistrates before the October10 poll.

Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf denied the meeting were inappropriate and international observers like the European Union and the Carter Centre have said that they saw no major problems with the first round vote.

Mr. Weah, a former soccer star in Europe, won the first round with 38.4 per cent of the vote to Boakai’s 28.8 per cent and picked up an important endorsement on Friday from former warlord Prince Johnson, who won eight per cent of the first-round vote.

Morluba Morlu, a senior official from Weah’s CDC party, said on Wednesday that he still expected the run-off to go ahead.

“It is sad for a ruling party that has been in power for 12 years (to) be crying,” he said of Unity Party’s support for the legal challenge.

“We don’t want any mockery of this election.”

(Reuters/NAN)

Liberian Presidential Aspirant Meets TB Joshua

The leading presidential candidate in Liberia,George Weah who has a pending run off election against a major opposition, on Sunday was at a service with popular Lagos Pastor TB Joshua at his Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN).

Joshua revealed that Liberia’s incumbent Vice President and Weah’s contender in the upcoming presidential run-off, Joseph Boakai had also contacted him (Joshua) to request a meeting.

During the service which was broadcast live on popular Christian channel Emmanuel TV, Joshua warmly welcomed Weah and spoke directly to him. “My brother is here today because he loves his country and wants God’s choice for his country. He is not here to impose himself. What does God say about his country, Liberia? What is God’s opinion? That is why he is here.

“We are not herbalists or witch-doctors; we are people of God. God’s choice is our choice. We cannot pray against God’s will. Without God’s corresponding power, we cannot pray to Him. For every step we take – every movement and action – intimation comes first.

“There must be suggestion from the Spirit to move before we move. If truly I am a man of God, I must hear from God – move or don’t move.God’s opinion is what we should seek in our country – simple! God is the Answer, the Final.”