President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has urged newly commissioned officials of government to jealously guard the public trust, serve with abiding faith, and with rekindled love for country and diligence to duty. “This ceremony is a call to you to develop the rectitude that enables you to challenge wrong and to find the inspiration to do even more to restore the willfully damaged reputation of your country; yours is a public duty to stand tall when the wind blows and the arrows fall; to stand tall when success becomes the reason for failure,” the Liberian leader challenged her officials, adding, “Yours is a calling to national duty, to service above self, to help your country achieve a potential that is within reach.”
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made these remarks when she commissioned 27 government officials during a ceremony in the Foreign Ministry’s C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium on Friday, September 6.
The President reminded the newly commissioned officials that they are assuming public service and responsibility in a difficult political environment: “one when those who wrongly accuse, defame and attack you become the victors; when you adhere to the principles of your upbringing and your faith, you become a victim of blackmail and extortion; when hustlers become heroes through poisonous pens; when you refuse to join the clamor of rumor mongering and lies, your silence is mistaken as weakness to be exploited.” In such circumstances, she urged them to continue to stand firm and strong.
The Liberian leader used the occasion to reconfirm government’s commitment to all the freedoms that are now enjoyed within the reach of her powers. She renewed her government’s sacred pledge to continue to meet the needs of the people and to remain focused on development despite the distractions. “We will continue to do what is right and to place our faith in truth, which we know will always prevail,” she stated.
Responding on behalf of the newly commissioned Ministers, Dr. Antoinette Weeks, Minister of Public Works, who was designated to speak by Internal Affairs Minister, Mr. Morris Dukuly, encouraged her colleagues to view the opportunity to serve not as a glass half empty but a glass half full, thereby utilizing the occasion bestowed upon them to bring about reform, transformation and nation building.
She cautioned her colleagues to exemplify the confidence placed in them by President Sirleaf and to execute the duties and responsibilities of their respective offices with the highest degree of credibility, professionalism and transparency by ensuring that they demonstrate the core principles of credibility, ethics, excellence, honesty, integrity, less self-service, nationalism, sacrifice, and teamwork as they take up the mandate of serving the country. “Inaction is not an option,” she warned.
Liberia’s new envoy to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ambassador Rudolf von Ballmoos, on behalf of his colleagues, pledged to foster continued good relations between Liberia and the respective countries to which they are assigned. “We promise to exert all efforts to further strengthen the historic ties between the Republic of Liberia and the countries we have been commissioned to, and to strive to always bring credit to our nation and its people,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Economic Cooperation and Integration, Mr. Elias Shoniyin, on behalf of the commissioned Deputy Ministers, also pledged to live up to the expectation of the President and the Liberian people. “Considering the current conditions in Liberia, as mirrored by our post-war development agenda, it becomes apparent that what lies ahead can only be confronted by individuals of outstanding measure of commitment and dedication,” he said, and promised to work closely with the Ministers to renew existing processes and explore new non-traditional avenues in areas that seek development and inclusive growth for Liberians.
Ministers commissioned included: Mr. Morris Dukuly, Minister of Internal Affairs; Dr. Antoinette Weeks, Minister of Public Works; Mr. Lenn Eugene Nagbe, Minister of Youth and Sports; Mr. S. Tornolah Varpilah, Minister of Transport; and Mr. George Werner, Director-General, Civil Service Agency.
Ambassadors commissioned were: Mr. Rudolf P. von Ballmoos, Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Dr. C. William Allen, Ambassador to France; and Mr. Edwin F. Sele, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco.
Others are: Mrs. Davietta Lansana, Commissioner, National Elections Commission; Mr. Charles Collins and Mr. Timothy Thomas, Commissioners, Public Procurement and Concessions Commission
Deputy Ministers commissioned: were Mrs. Una Thompson, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Administration; Mr. Elias Shonoyin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for International Economic Cooperation and Integration; Mrs. Yusador Gaye, Inspector General of the Foreign Service; Mr. Amos Tweh, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for Urban Affairs; Cllr. Betty Lamin-Blamo, Deputy Minister of Justice/Solicitor General, Republic of Liberia; and Mr. Edwin Tetteh, Deputy Minister of Education for Administration.
Others are: Mr. Khalipha Bility, Deputy Minister of Education for Planning, Research and Development; Mr. Seklau Wiles, Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Administration; Dr. Charles Nyankoon McClain, Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Planning and Development; Mr. Stephen Dorbor, Deputy Minister of Lands, Mines and Energy for Planning and Human Resource Development; and Mr. Ebenezer Kolliegbo, Deputy Minister of Posts and Telecommunications for Administration.
Others are: Mr. J. Levi Demmah, Deputy Minister of Transport for Administration; Mr. Jermiah Garwo Sokan, Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs for Sectoral and Regional Planning; Mr. Daryl Ambrose Nmah, Director-General, Liberia Broadcasting System; and Cllr. Lemuel Reeves, Deputy Commissioner for Naturalization, Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization.
The occasion was graced by members of the Diplomatic Corps, senior government officials, as well as family members and well-wishers of the honorees