By Harrison Arubu
Monrovia – President Muhammadu Buhari is among African leaders that have indicated interest to attend the inauguration of Liberia’s President-elect, George Weah, on Monday.
The Chief Protocol of Liberia, Mr Jarvis Witherspoon, stated this at a media briefing in Monrovia on Thursday.
Witherspoon said other current and past leaders from around the world were expected to grace the occasion scheduled to hold at the 35,000-capacity Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Monrovia.
“We have very important personalities coming from all around the world.
“The countries we have already that have confirmed that their presidents would be coming are Ghana, Togo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Cote D’Ivoire, Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon, Nigeria (and) Guinea Bissau.
“The Prime Minister of Senegal will represent his country. We also have several former presidents of African countries who will be attending.
“The United States of America will have a congressional committee and also a special envoy of the President of the United States of America will be in attendance.
“There will also be a special envoy from France and Egypt. We expect that by the end of Friday or Saturday, the list is going to get longer.’’
Witherspoon said that representatives were also expected from the European Union Parliament and several other international groups, including world football governing body, FIFA.
Weah, an international sporting hero and former FIFA World Player of the Year, defeated incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai in the delayed presidential runoff election on Dec. 26.
This will be the first transition of power from one democratically elected president to another in Liberia’s political history.
The chief protocol said current and former international football stars, including Nigeria’s Taribo West and Sunday Oliseh, have also confirmed their participation in the historic event.
Meanwhile, the sum of 900,000 U.S. dollars has been budgeted for the inauguration ceremony, according to Witherspoon.
He explained that the amount, approved by the transitional team comprising officials of the incoming Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and the outgoing administration, would be drawn from government’s coffers.
Mr Abraham Kromah, the Deputy Inspector-General (Operations) of the Liberia National Police, said adequate security arrangements had been made for a hitch-free inauguration.
Kromah, who represented the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Gregory Coleman, gave details of the arrangements, including closure of the Robert International Airport in Monrovia from 7 p.m. on Sunday.