Liberian Prez Meets Akufo-Addo

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-AddoLiberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had a closed-door meeting with the 2008 flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana

Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Saturday.

Mrs Johnson Sirleaf had returned to her hotel suite at M Plaza after an official engagement when our reporter spotted Nana Akufo-Addo and two aides being ushered into the presidential suite, as Ghana’s Trade & Industry Minister Hannah Tetteh was leaving.

A state protocol officer of Ghana assigned to the visiting president disclosed to DAILY GUIDE that Mrs Johnson Sirleaf had made an official request, through Ghana’s Foreign Ministry, to see Nana Akufo-Addo for a private meeting.

While details of the meeting were not known, Nana Akufo-Addo is known to have won the respect and admiration of the 72-year-old ‘Iron Lady’ of Liberia when Ghana led efforts in 2003 to bring peace to Liberia.

Ghana’s Foreign Minister at the time, Nana Akufo-Addo, and Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the then Executive Secretary of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) were instrumental in getting President Charles Taylor to leave Liberia, paving the way for peace and elections.

Under the ECOWAS chairmanship of President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 18 August, 2003 was reached in Accra by Liberia’s government, rebel groups (LURD and MODEL), political parties and civil society leaders. The signing of the Peace Agreement was a significant step.  

A successful ceasefire was critical for the deployment of the international stabilization force, as well as the return of humanitarian agencies and refugees.  

It will be recalled that on August 27, 2003, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo, briefed the UN Security Council on Liberia, saying that ECOWAS was determined to ensure stability, not only in Liberia itself, but also in the whole Mano River Union area.  

Mrs Johnson Sirleaf, who turns 73 in October, told Liberia’s Parliament during her annual address last month that she plans to run for a second term. “The work is not yet done,” Sirleaf-Johnson said in her speech.

When the former Finance Minister won the 2005 presidential elections that followed about 14 years of bloody civil war in Liberia, she said she would serve one term only.