Buhari Congratulates Liberia's President-Elect, George Weah


Liberians and worldwide football stars have joined together in celebrating George Weah's presidential victory in the country's first democratic transfer of power in decades, as the former striker vowed to usher in a period of change.

Buhari issued a statement Friday that also commended the Liberian people "on the peaceful conduct of the historic presidential runoff election".

To George Weah, I want to say on behalf of the South African football family that we send our congratulations.

He has drawn some criticism for picking Jewel Howard-Taylor, the powerful ex-wife of former warlord and president Charles Taylor, as his vice-president.

He pledged Nigeria's readiness to work with Liberia on issues of mutual interest at bilateral, regional and global levels for the benefit of citizens of both countries.

Weah is due to be sworn in on January 22, taking over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who in 2006 took over the country founded by freed United States slaves. "All we are asking is for all Liberians to come together so we can build our country". He is the only African to win FIFA World Player of the Year.

Joseph Boakai in an address to the nation on Friday is offering to help Weah's new government if needed.

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Once all systems and mandates are put in place by the team, Weah will be sworn in as the country's next president, replacing Sirleaf.

The new president is expected to take office in January.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called Liberia's president-elect George Weah to congratulate him and invite him to visit.

Weah played with AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, among others.

Following a December 26 poll, Weah's Coalition for Democratic Change took 61.5 percent of the vote, beating Vice President Joseph Boakai's Unity Party, which got 38.5 percent.

Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves, is seeing its first democratic transfer of power in more than 70 years as Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, steps aside. The election marks Liberia's first democratic transition of power in over 70 years as the country continues to grapple with the legacy of two back-to-back civil wars between 1989-2003, during which an estimated 250,000 people were killed.

The National Elections Commission (NEC) of Liberia announced the former World, European and African Footballer of the Year as the victor, with 61,5 percent of the vote.