Less than 24 hours before the outgoing president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf officially hands over to her successor George Weah. As a prelude to this investiture to be held on Monday, the capital Monrovia has already donned his finest clothes.
At the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville, Monrovia, preparations are well underway. This is the stage that will host the “finale” of a ceremony of events surrounding the inauguration of President-Elect George Weah and his running mate Howard Taylor on Monday at 9:45 am ( GMT ).
Several heads of state and government are expected at the ceremony, according to the program issued by the Liberian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Among others, Togolese President Faure Gnassingbé, who is also current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Ivorian Heads of State, Alassane Ouattara, Nigerian Muhammadu Buhari, Sierra Leonean Ernest Bai Koroma, José Mario Vaz of Guinea-Bissau, Alpha Conde of Guinea and Nana Akufo-Addo – all members of ECOWAS – are also expected.
In Central Africa, the presence of Gabonese President Ali Bongo is announced. As for the Congolese head of state Denis Sassou N’Guesso, he confirmed this Saturday his presence in Liberia. While Jacob Zuma, the South African president had previously been cited by the protocol of the investiture ceremony, he instead delegated his Minister of Water, Nomvula Mokonyane.
Claude Le Roy and Arsène Wenger as guests of honor
The guest list is not limited to leaders. George Weah, who has also been successful in football, made sure that his mentors Claude Le Roy and Arsène Wenger are also witnesses of his political rise.
Claude Le Roy, who was his coach at the Thunder of Yaoundé – where Weah knew his football flight – and Wenger, his coach in Monaco, have since received a special invitation. If Le Roy has confirmed his presence, that of Wenger looks more hypothetical because of the Premier League. After three matches of suspension for “misbehavior”, the French coach of Arsenal has returned to service and tries to put his team in the top three of the championship.
An inaugural goal
Since Friday, several events have broken out in the capital Monrovia. A Muslim prayer was held at the Benson Street Mosque on Friday.
On Saturday, President Weah raised his crampons for a peace-loving gala match between his Weah All Stars ( WAS ) club and the Liberian Armed Forces ( AFL ). Score 2-1 in favor of the presidential team with a goal from Captain Weah.
This Sunday, a prayer was initiated. It will be followed in the evening by a musical concert at the City Hall of the capital.