When the second outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease or EVD first hit Liberia in March of this year and started to spread at an alarming rate, many Liberians, especially public officials left the country unceremoniously. In the wake of a national response of the disease, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf publicly issued a directive, regarding restrictions on foreign travels, but some officials of the Liberian Government chose to ignore the President, especially those without excuse.
Not until sometime in August, President Sirleaf gave them a one-week ultimatum to return to their official duties in the country or face punitive measures, including losing their jobs. In defiant to the President’s directive, these officials chose the United States and other countries over Liberia, foregoing whatever jobs they had with the government.
As a follow-up to her directly, the Liberian leader early this week dismissed ten of such officials with immediate effect. Other junior officials of public corporation and autonomous agencies of government who stayed in the country mid way into the peak of the Ebola outbreak even had to resign their posts just to leave the country because of their allegiance to the United States.
While we wouldn’t want attach any description to these Liberians, considering the fact that Liberia needed them in its trying and difficult times, their action only draws a clear line between them (in the United States) and those in the country (Liberia). Their decision to abandon the country only show the direction their allegiance or loyalty despite benefitting from the country’s resources since their appointment in the government. This may just be one of the cardinal justifications held by many Liberians at home against the issue of “dual citizenship” being advanced by a few of their ‘former compatriots’ with American citizenship in the United States.
Let it be emphatically clear that we mean no harm to any U.S-based Liberian in any manner and form in this editorial, but the attitudes of many of those given the opportunities to work as officials, consultants, etc., etc., have generated such issue. Not that there were and are no professionals in the country, but the fact the President tried to amalgamate ideas from abroad and here, our brothers and sisters were given the opportunities to serve in various capacities in the Liberian Government for the over-all development of our country. Even at that, eighty-five percent of their earnings go back to the United States- a justification of pledging their allegiance.
We think it is absolutely unpatriotic to forsake one’s country in difficult times such as the current health crisis with which the government and its people are confronted. Our responsibility is primarily collective efforts against Ebola as a person first-government officials or ordinary Liberians and external help as we are currently experiencing. Again, they need not to be blamed; they are American citizens, not Liberian any more, and so, they owe Liberia nothing more as they are now pledging allegiance to the United States of America. Their dismissal as officials of the Liberian Government by Madam President is actually nothing worth commending because we’ve always known them not to be patriotic or nationalistic, but false pretenders and “hard hustlers” back in Liberia when the ‘going gets tough’ in America.