Hosted by the African Children Emergency Foundation (ACEF), in collaboration with the Liberian Embassy in Nigeria, the brief but colorful commemorative ceremony took place on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at the Embassy located in Abuja’s Central Area.
A dispatch from the Embassy in Abuja says the program was marked with the cutting of two huge birthday cakes prepared by both the Embassy and the Foundation.
Liberian and Nigerian children attending the late evening ceremony also took turns in personally signing two different big birthday cards from the Embassy and the Foundation respectively which Ambassador Al-Hassan Conteh assured of delivering to the President.
The dispatch quotes Mrs. Uche Chuta, Lead Coordinator of ACEF, as saying that Saturday’s symbolic gesture was to help children in Africa and across nations of the world “celebrate greatness, age, leadership and simplicity which President Sirleaf represents.”
“Our presence here today is to use the birthday anniversary of Her Excellency Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to express our long awaited admiration and to pray that special day brings an extra share of everything that makes Her Excellency the happiest in the world”, she added.
Mrs. Chuta explained that her foundation is currently engaged in a documentary of Childhood Experiences of Icon and Sages in Africa which is meant to enable leaders and senior citizens recount experiences of their childhood to serve as a lasting legacy to children of today. She said her foundation’s documentary initiative is also intended to serve as a rich reservoir of archival document which will be invaluable for generations to come.
She then made an appeal to President Sirleaf: “As the First Female [democratically elected] President of Africa and Chairperson of Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, our production crew will like to be invited to Liberia by Her Excellency to produce a 45-minuate documentary on her childhood”.
In response, the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Prof. Al-Hassan Conteh thanked Mrs. Chuta and her foundation for the thoughtful idea: “I want to thank you very much, Mrs. Chuta, for this great initiative that you’ve undertaken to honor Madam President”.
Ambassador Conteh who described Mrs. Chuta as a friend of President Sirleaf recounted the former’s personal initiative in 2013 when she led a team of journalists from Nigeria to Liberia to support the President after the latter’s inauguration for her second term.
Ambassador Conteh then explained to the Liberian and Nigerian children attending the ceremony the life, struggles and success of President Sirleaf from her birth to her current presidency.
The children climaxed the program with the singing of happy birthday songs to Africa’s first democratically president and first female Chairperson of ECOWAS.
The African Children Emergency Foundation is a registered non-profit organization founded in 2008 by a group of young people and supported by well-meaning Nigerians to assist disadvantaged children at risk of losing out their childhood and humanity.