Today, Tuesday, October 29, 2013 marks the Diamond Jubilee of Liberia’s illustrious President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Despite the exogenous challenges, Madam President may just be celebrating 75 years of life in the Liberian Presidency with the highest degree of pride and honor.
Such pride and honor characterizing the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee are in consonance with her tangible national achievements up to present, 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 such a woman with a vision.
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 today 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 may just be 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 when the evident ate not only available, but very visible.
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 the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf leadership. Even though, it may all not be ‘milk and honey’, the need for constructive engagements on critical national issues cannot be over-emphasized-something to which President Sirleaf has always been receptive.
As Madam President celebrates her 75th Birth Anniversary in confidence and grand style today, Tuesday, October 29, 2013 (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 the practical progress made by the Ellen Administration and avoid inflated malicious impressions about our country’s trek to progress.
We must all pray and hope that today, Tuesday, October 29, 2013-the President’s Diamond Jubilee will further strength her resolve to leave behind an indelible legacy while leaving office come January 2018. We can only wish Madam President a Happy Diamond Jubilee celebration, and may the Almighty God continues to strength her as she ‘captains this ship’ towards a prosperous national destination.