President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has described 2014 as a year of development and hard work for all, urging Liberians to embrace the New Year as one people in undertaking the development task.
She named agriculture, roads, power and water as areas which the government will vigorously address in 2014, and said she believed that uniting as one people will give further impetus to the development drive.
President Sirleaf spoke on Tuesday, December 31, when a delegation of the National Traditional Council of Liberia paid her a courtesy call, according to an Executive Mansion release.
The President called upon traditional leaders, in particular, to help disseminate the message of unity and development to their people in the countryside, and to tell them of the need to increase food production.
By producing more food, she said, the local people will help develop the country by reducing the importation of rice, which is a huge burden on the government and people.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Traditional Council, Chief Zaza Karwor, said the delegation had come to tell the President how much they appreciate her administration for the level of support received, and also to thank her for signing the Act that established the National Traditional Council of Liberia as an autonomous agency.
The Council now sees itself as part of the body politic of Liberia, he said, and this was made possible because of the respect and confidence President Sirleaf has reposed in the traditional people.
As a result of the Act, he went on to say, the Council now has direct budgetary support from the government, which has enabled them to undertake meaningful initiatives, including holding peace dialogue without begging for funding.
According to the Chief, this is the first time that traditional people have been included in the decision-making process, unlike the past when they were seen as beggars.
As a mark of appreciation of her support to the Council, the delegation presented a cow and a bag of locally produced processed rice to the President, and offered a special prayer for strength and wisdom as she steers the affairs of Liberia.
Chairman Karwor was accompanied by 12 Council members, including Chief Gbeley Gray of Bomi and Chief Saah Korsor of Lofa counties.