Despite the exogenous challenges, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf may just be celebrating a Diamond Jubilee in her Presidency with the highest degree of pride and honor come Tuesday, October 29, 2013. Such pride and honor characterizing the celebration of her 75th birth anniversary are in consonance with her tangible national achievements, especially for a country almost totally devastated by years of fratricidal civil conflicts. A comparative analysis of the Ellen Years”, i.e, where Liberia was ten years ago and currently where it is, will only avail the tremendous transformation the country continues to undergo under the Presidency of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
While it may be impossible to catalogue Ellen’s achievements in such a short space, a few major ones would include road construction and rehabilitation across the country; ongoing reconstructions of the St. Paul Hydro Dam; vast improvements in the health sector; the establishment of anti-graft institutions, including the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and General Auditing Commission to capacitate the battle against corruption in Liberia; the US$4bn Debt Cancellation; the introduction of the County and Social Development Funds to fast track the development of Liberia’s political subdivisions; as well as efforts toward youth development and empowerment; the promotion of free speech and free press; among others.
With these major ‘indelible national marks’ in eight years on a country hard hit by years of intermittent civil conflicts, Ellen Johnson-Sirleeaf would definitely be celebrating a Diamond Jubilee with pride and dignity. While a few ‘enemies of progress’ may continue to harbor the belief that ‘nothing at all has been achieved’ for the past eight years as a result of mere hatred, one would only conclude that their definition of opposition is enemy. It is foolhardy and intellectual blindness for anyone in his or her sound mind to suggest that ‘nothing has happened’ since eight years of Ellen Presidency.
Again, whether or not ‘nothing has happened’, the fact remains that there’s a vast difference between “then and now” in terms of the level of developments under President Sirleaf. Even though, it may not all be well, considering the huge challenges, the need for constructive engagements on critical issues of national concerns cannot be over-emphasized-something to which President Sirleaf has always be receptive.
As Madam President celebrates her Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 with pride owing to the high level of developments across the country, Liberians must brush aside the “crab mentality” and embrace national development initiatives under the watchful eyes of President Sirleaf. We must be fair to our consciences to acknowledge progress made by the government and avoid inflated malicious impressions about our country’s trek to progress.
We must all pray and hope that Tuesday, October 29, 2013-the President’s Diamond Jubilee will further strength her resolve to leave behind a indelible legacy while leaving office come January 2018. We can only wish Madam President Happy Diamond Jubilee and may the Almighty God continues to strength her as she ‘captains this ship’ towards a prosperous national destination.