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Defense Minister leads cleanup campaign

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Defense Minister Daniel Ziankahn has led a cleanup campaign within the premises of the Ministry of National Defense down Lynch Street in Monrovia scraping off old paints from buildings and repainting same as part of the cleaning exercise.

“My message is that everybody should start with themselves before … you can go somewhere else, because if you don’t start with yourself and you want to send the message out there, people will look at you and say you are not serious about what you are doing,” he told this paper on Friday, 23 March at the Defense Ministry.

He said it is time for everybody to get to work and not just delegate responsibility, saying those in charge should take the lead.

“It’s just part of the job, if you want to tell your men to run two miles, you should be able to run three miles. If you tell them to run eight miles, you should be able to run at least 12 or 13 miles. So I think I just feel very, very elated to be part of them,” he adds.

Minister Ziankahn and officers from the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) did not only scrape off old paints from buildings at the Defense Ministry to repaint them, but fficers were seen carrying on renovation work on buildings in preparation for the rainy season.

Mr. Ziankahn says the cleanup campaign is meant to give the Defense Ministry a facelift, noting that since taking over the ministry, “we have” most of the buildings dilapidated.

Minister Ziankahn who continued scraping paint from the wall following the interview notes that it is a function of logistics, saying planks, paint and scrapers that were being used in the process were cost intensive.

“Yeah because if you are the head, from mine background as a military man, if you are in charge, you are responsible for what the unit does or fails to do,” he further told this paper.

In that light, he says if the place is not in good condition, it is just on him and the public will blame him for sitting there while everything is just broken down.

He said the message is clear that a leader’s presence must be felt and not just sit behind the desk because everything will not just be okay and there is a risk of getting a worst case scenario.

“So what you have to do, you have to be a leader with presence. Those are some of the characteristics and traits of a leader,” he continues. Mr. Ziankahn says before the message goes out to the Army Chief of Staff to clean up all of his barracks, he sees it necessary to first cleanup his own backyard.

Commenting on the pending ground breaking ceremony for Liberia’s first military hospital, Mr. Ziankahn says everything is on course for the event.

By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah

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