The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has finally congratulated the United States President elect, Donald J. Trump for his election as President of that world’s powerful nation, after earlier declining to express her move for the election.
In her message to the US President elect, the Liberian leader said, “It is with immense pleasure that I, on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia, and in my own name, extend to you and through you, to the people of the United States of America, warm congratulations and sincere best wishes on the occasion of your election as the 45th President of the United States of America.
Her message came when most leaders around the world have already send their congratulatory messages and also the time when the U.S. President-elect has set up his transitional team.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, President Sirleaf emphasized that there is a lot that Liberia could learn from the United States elections as the country gears up for a historic Presidential election in 2017 which ends her tenure in office.
She stressed that as Liberia’s closest and most traditional ally, Liberia looks forward to the continuation of the timeless strong bond of friendship and cooperation with the United States under President Trump’s leadership.
“I will be delighted to working with you to further broaden our historical relationship in all spheres, through the broad range of ongoing initiatives including the Liberia – U.S. Partnership Dialogue, which demonstrates our shared commitment to promoting sustained high-level bilateral engagement on matters of mutual interest,” President Sirleaf stressed.
The Liberian leader further stated that as President-Elect Trump assumes the herculean task in service to the United States of America, she prays for his personal wellbeing and strength, as he leads his compatriots to a prosperous future.
President Sirleaf congratulatory messages come a week after expressing her frustration and disappointment in the election of Trump as the U.S President.
Responding to the BBC about Trump victory President Sirleaf tells the BBC that she is “extremely saddened” by Donald Trump’s victory.
In the BBC interview President Sirleaf furthered that Africans leaders are worried about U.S President elect Trump agenda for Africa.
“Our concern is whether President-elect Trump will have an African agenda and build bridges,” she said.
“We can only hope that he will do so in due course.”
The President said that she was worried about the future of trade deals between the US and Liberia in particular and Africa in general.
“We do not know what his policy towards Africa will be,” she said.
“Obviously we are concerned but we will have to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Sirleaf added.
The response to the BBC about Trump’s victory was termed by some Liberians as “diplomatic blunder.”
A Liberia media development practitioner Tecee Boley said that President Sirleaf Statement was a “diplomatic blunder.”
“It is a diplomatic blunder on the part of Liberia, because the President did not congratulate Trump, which any serious country will do,” Boley added.
Boley continued: “She jeopardizes Liberia relationship with a man who is about to occupied one of the most powerful position in the world.”
Boley stressed that the President put her emotion above national interest adding that it was unpatriotic.
“It shows, she careless about the people she lead and care more about her feminist agenda.”
Boley said: “When you take responsibility of four million people, it is no longer about you it is about them. The President shows that she didn’t respect the American people decision.”
A political science student at the University of Liberia Jenkins Nagbe said that the President statement was driven by frustration, emotion and importantly uncomplimentary.
“I think our President needed to buried her feelings and make a statement that creates more commitment to fostering the already existing relationship,” Nagbe added.