Senator Ekweremadu congratulates George Weah, Liberians

Hidetoshi Nakata

Former football star George Weah has won Liberia's presidential run-off election and will succeed incumbent Ellen Johnson Sirleaf next month.

"The successful election that will not only see to the historic transfer of power from one democratic government to another in Liberia in about 73 years, but also the transfer of power from a ruling party to the opposition, is a giant stride for democracy and stability in Liberia and the entire West Africa".

Ekweremadu urged the former World Footballer of the Year "to reciprocate the vast goodwill and confidence reposed in him by the good people of Liberia and the worldwide community by running an all-inclusive government. We're going to make history, like the children of South Africa did", said Josephine Davies, vice-president of the youth wing of Weah's Congress for Democratic Change.

The President, on behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, equally applauded the efforts of the country's National Election Commission, as well as regional and global observers contributed immensely to the electoral process and the strengthening of post-conflict democracy in the West African country.

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Dressed in black, the vice president said he would not succumb to any temptation to impose pain, agony and uncertainty on the people of Liberia.

Africa's first female president, Nobel Peace Prize victor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is stepping aside after two terms at the head of the nation founded by freed American slaves.

Buhari says Nigeria is ready to work with Liberia on issues of mutual interest and called Weah's victory "an affirmation of the will of the Liberian people to remain united, peaceful and prosperous".

"Best wishes for the success of President-elect George Weah, and Vice President-elect, Jewel Taylor".

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Vice President Joseph Boakai conceded Friday, congratulating the ex-soccer star.

With more than 98 percent of votes counted late on Thursday from this week's runoff, Weah received 61.5 percent of ballots while Boakai received 38.5 percent.

Weah, the only African ever to have won both FIFA's World Player of the Year and the coveted Ballon D'Or, missed out on the presidency in a 2005 bid.

Weah is expected to take office in January. He played for AC Milan, Paris St Germain and Chelsea. A Nobel Laureate, Johnson is credited with restoring peace after the civil war.

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