Dr. J. Mills Jones, identified as ‘poverty doctor’ across the country for the implementation of the financial inclusion policy at the Central Bank of Liberia, was among several local and international distinguished personalities honored at the 7th Golden Image Awards.
Dr. Jones is the standard bearer of the Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), and has said that poverty is not Liberians’ destiny.
The Golden Image Award has been held annually to recognize individuals in different disciplines and organizations that put their resources to improve humanity, sustain peace, development and social justice.
The program was organized by the Liberia Crusaders for Peace on Thursday, July 20, at the Monrovia City Hall under the theme: “Let’s Maintain the Peace.”
The awardees also included ECOWAS Ambassador to Liberia, Babatunde Olanrewaju Ajisomo; Lutheran Bishop Jensen Seyenkulo; UNMIL SRSG Farid Zarif; U.S. Ambassador Christine Elder (On behalf of former US first lady Michelle Obama); Ghanaian Actor Kofi Ajorwolo, among others.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is the image of the awards, was present at the program and was gowned.
Ambassador Endee explained that this year’s beneficiaries have worked tirelessly to ensure that Liberia maintains peace, improve the business sector and preserve lives.
Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai presented the award to Dr. Mills Jones on behalf of the National Golden Image Award (GIA) Secretariat in recognition of his leadership role in empowering Liberians, including market women, women of the Village Savings and Loan Associations, students, youths, the Liberian Business Association, credit unions and other Liberian owned businesses throughout the country.
In response, Dr. Jones lauded VP Boakai and commended the GIA secretariat for recognizing his leadership role, especially in the implementation of the financial inclusion policy when he served as executive governor at the Central Bank Liberia.
Mr. Kofi Ajorwolo, a Ghanaian movie star, appreciated President Sirleaf for her leadership role and maintaining peace in Liberia. He explained that peace remains a major tool for the development of any country. He also lauded the efforts of Juli Endee for organizing the event.
Guest speaker Prince Adetokundo Kayode, former Minister of National Defense of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and deputy president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce, called on Liberians to work tirelessly to maintain the peace that is being enjoyed by all.
“Liberia deserves better so we must all continue to work to maintain the peaceful legacy of President Sirleaf because peace is a precious phenomenon that is not cheap,” he said.
Prince Kayode called on Liberians to elect a leader that will maintain peace, improve the economy, fight corruption and ensure the development of the country.
“This is the first civilian-to-civilian election, therefore you the citizens have the power to elect a leader that will bring change, and everyone must learn to propose than oppose,” he cautioned.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in remarks applauded Amb. Endee for doing “surprising things to make the nation and its people proud,” and she challenged the Crusaders for Peace to continue to preach peace and endeavor to articulate the positives that radiate Liberia’s diversity.
She welcomed the building of a statue in her honor and her many contributions to the development of the country for the past 11 years as president.
The statue, according to Ambassador Endee, will be built in one of the counties as an appreciation and recognition of the president’s invaluable services to peace in Liberia.