Since 1957, February 11 each year is celebrated as Armed Forces of Liberia’s Day, set aside by an act of the Legislature to be celebrated as a national holiday. But for Montserrado Electoral District #2 Lawmaker, the AFL deserves being celebrated everyday of the year, even if such celebration means just a line in every day’s prayer.
Representative Sekou S. Kanneh made the assertion over the weekend in Monrovia in a brief chat with journalists. The chat was meant to express his appreciation for the appointment and taking over of Liberia’s first post-conflict citizen-Chief of Staff for the AFL; describing the move by the Liberian government as a single most significant strive in recent times towards empowering Liberians to take over their own governance.
Brigadier General Daniel Dee Ziankhan was appointed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and took over the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) as Chief of Staff from Nigerian Army Major General Suraj A. Abdurrahman, who served that post since June, 2007.
According to Rep. Kanneh, the appointment of a Liberian- Army Chief of Staff will serve as a serious motivator to AFL soldiers’ current state of mind in the defense of their country and people. “Now, the soldiers see a friend, a brother and a comrade whom they’ve known and trained with during the years. The soldiers know him and believe in him. That is what is most needed in any organization. This is a plus for all men and women in arms,” the Honorable Lawmaker said.
“Although I couldn’t make it at the official celebrations, seeing the soldiers do what they did, no one has to guess it. Liberia truly now has an army it can rely on. They are discipline, they are trained and they are our own; and that is what we as Liberians need to understand and accept most: ‘that the army is what we’ve got and that it is what we must build to be what it ought to be; to be that force for good; to be that force that dares to defend,” the Montserrado Lawmaker emphasized as he watched local television stations relay AFL soldiers parade the streets of Monrovia.
“All that I can say to these men and women in arms is that their service to their country is invaluable. Nothing is compared to their service. We love them and we appreciate them,” the lawmaker ended.