…Targets Medical, Housing Facilities
By Jimmey C. Fahngon
This year’s Armed Force Day celebration was marred with euphoria from men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) including civilians who jam parked the Barclay Training Center (BTC) down town Monrovia in commemoration of the day.
Delivering his first Armed Forces Day Message, President George Manneh Weah, attired in green African suit, told the men and women in armed that the days of neglect were over.
He said his administration will ensure that personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia are well catered to.
The president recalled how the AFL was used as a dumping ground for uneducated and poor people.
He also observed that in the past, personnel of the AFL were called all sorts of demeaning names and were never respected.
However, the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia said his administration will build a professional army that will protect and defend the Constitution of Liberia in discharge of its duty.
President Weah disclosed that his administration will seek funding to build the first ever hospital exclusively for personnel of AFL and other security apparatus, a statement that was greeted with huge applause from the military including the audience.
He said it is unacceptable for military personnel to be languishing in private health facilities without proper care.
The Liberian leader said military personnel who risk their lives in the cause of duty need to be given high degree of respect and treatment.
President Weah said the AFL will be one of the main drivers of his government change for hope.
The Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia said the medical facility will be fully equipped with modern equipment and professional medical practitioners to provide standardized treatment to personnel of the army.
He further said the hospital will be used to train and teach AFL personnel so that the force can have the best medical practitioners.
The president also promised to address the issue of housing facilities, which is also affecting the operation of the army, a statement that was also greeted with jubilation.
To this, he immediate ordered Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn to do assessment of all military housing facilities to report to him as soon as possible to remedy the situation.
President Weah maintained that personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia must be treated with dignity and respect.
He commended partners for their continuous support to building a vibrant and professional army.
The Liberian leader called on personnel of the army to be disciplined and committed to service.
Earlier, Nigeria Chief of Defense Staff who served as keynote speaker said the army must be depoliticized.
General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin said the army must avoid the past mistakes and work to protect peace and stability not only in Liberia, but the region as well.
For his part, Defense Minister Ziankahn assured that as former military personnel, the welfare of the AFL will be prioritized.