Former Finance and Development Planning Minister Mr. Amara Konneh says he wish he had done more for his community, seeking forgiveness from those who feel he had ignored their conditions.
“So please forgive me; please forgive me if you felt that I ignore you. But I didn’t know; I didn’t know your situation. I wish I had done more. I wish I had done more. I feel very proud today that my community has come out like this to let country know that they appreciate me. Thank you,” he said as he wept continuously.
Mr. Konneh who resigned as Finance Minister for a World Bank post in Kenya, was speaking here on Saturday, 29 April at an appreciation program organized by a consortium of Muslim Youth at the Monrovia City Hall before departing Liberia the same day.
Earlier at the program, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said her gladness was that Mr. Konneh was recognized by a major international organization – one of the highest in terms of development service and development finance in the world.
“ And the fact that they picked him out and given him the responsibility that he has; not responsibility just for Liberia, not responsibility just for Africa, but responsibility in his area for countries around the world,” President SIrleaf said.
She said Mr. Konneh was able to reach across to all Liberians, and right up the ladder he was able to connect and interact with people all up to the highest levels – reaching presidents outside of Liberia in the many visits that he made sometimes with her to be able to join in the advocacy and promotion of Liberia’s development work.
Meanwhile Mr. Konneh expressed appreciation to the Muslim Community – particularly the Imams, students and youth leaders who reached out to him and received his support in various forms. He said his performance in the cabinet was not because he was the smartest, but because of the prayers of his people and God’s given wisdom to look at things differently.
“When the President asked me to serve, recognizing that I was the only Muslim in her cabinet, I had a conversation with God. I had a conversation with God in my own way. I asked God to please protect me, guide me and give me the wisdom so that I don’t make my community shame. I had that conversation with God,” Mr. Konneh said. He expressed hope that when Liberia looks back at his performance here and at the great mentoring and experience to which he submitted himself under President Sirleaf’s tutorship, the [Muslim] Community and the country will consider his work well-done and his life well-lived.
By Winston W. Parley & Bridgett Milton-Edited by Othello B. Garblah