President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf met with members of the Legislature on Monday, September 29, 2014 in Monrovia at the Capitol Building.
President Sirleaf, dressed in a green suit under the protection of a smaller unit of the Executive Protection service or EPS and escorted by some key cabinet ministers, including Information Minister Lewis Brown and Finance Minister Amara Konneh, marched into the William Richard Tolbert Joint Chambers of the Capitol Building to discuss a single agenda item- briefing the Lawmakers on the government’s operations, mechanisms and prospects of the war against deadly Ebola Virus.
The closed ‘Legislative, executive session, which lasted for about two hours, brought together senators and representatives of both houses to discuss with the Liberian chief executive issues of national concern- cardinal among them, according to House Speaker Alex Tyler, the Ebola crisis.
Following the discussion, under the watchful eyes of the committees on the Executive, the President immediately exited through the main entrance of the Capitol Building without taking questions from the media.
The Liberian Chief Executive, whose appearance was appalling, refused to comment on the meeting, but reluctantly referred the media to her Press Secretary. “My press secretary will brief you people about my meeting here,” Madam Sirleaf said in a worrisome mood as she walked out of the home of the Legislature.
Speaking to the media following the meeting, Speaker Alex Tyler of Bomi County said the discussion with the president was purposely on Ebola, which highlighted the government’s new approach and little achievements made so far in the fight.
The Bomi County Lawmaker indicated that the visitation of the president was based on her request to provide information on the Ebola Crisis, noting that some of his colleagues had earlier raised some concerns about the Ebola crisis and disbursement of US$5 million loan borrowed from the Central Bank of Liberia to combat the Ebola Virus.
He pointed out that President Johnson Sirleaf pledged her commitment to using the money for the intended purpose, further assuring that the government will give account of every cent intended for fight, and that the General Auditing Commission may conduct audit if need be.
But Maryland County Representative, Dr. Bhofal Chambers expressed serious dissatisfaction over the manner and form the closed-doors session was conducted. Dr. Chambers, a bitter opposition to the presidency, noted that both the President Pro-tempore of the Liberian Senate and Speaker Alex Tyler tele-guided meeting in an unusual style.
When asked about the details of the meeting, the Maryland County Lawmaker declined to comment on grounds that the standing rules of the Legislature calls for executive session to remain behind closed-doors as courtesy to the visitor. For his part, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmek Matthew Piah said the meeting was about the Ebola crisis and nothing else, but Ebola.