Two members of the cabinet have defended the leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, recalling that Liberia was in coma as a result of a brutal civil war, but Madam Sirleaf, upon her election as President, restored the nation to normalcy.
The Minister of Information-designate Lenn Eugene Nagbe argued the path that Liberia took to 14 years of civil conflict held the country in a complete coma, because there were nothing to point to but the coming of Madam Sirleaf has brought many achievements.
Appearing on the state radio ELBC’s “Super Morning Show” Wednesday, January 27, along with Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs, Dr. James Kollie, both officials countered criticisms from some politicians and ordinary citizens that President Sirleaf’s 11th Annual Message to the Legislature on the state of the nation was repetitive, Dr. Kollie and Minister Nagbe wonder why would people say so when they have nothing to put forth for the advancement of the country.
“During past leaderships, this country was like a dying child in coma who cannot walk or even say something but her [President Sirleaf] stewardship has rescued us from comma.” In an analogy, they said if a child were in coma and couldn’t say something or talk to his or her parents, it means the parents should contact a professional doctor, adding if the doctor came and provided medical treatment to the child and the child starts to show sign of recovery by walking or talking then you have others who will say but what cause this child to walk the way he or she does, forgetting that the child did not had any means of talking before.
“One thing I always tell Madam President is that her legacy is not power plant project or other things but her legacy is cast in stone; Liberia was a coma toe patient then but her Leadership has revived us, and put this country on the right trajectory”, Nagbe argued.
He urged Liberians to look where Madam Sirleaf took the country from, saying with all the difficulties and challenges, her leadership is being criticized for doing nothing. “What wrong with you boasting of achievements; is that repetition?”
For his part, Dr. Kollie argued the most important thing in the President’s address Monday that catches his heart is when she apologized to her critics for the level of work done in Liberia. “I think she was clear about that statement; it is so glaring that no one would like to apologize to critics.”
Dr. Kollie also maintains it was important that the President talks about the challenges facing the economy in her annual message, because since 2008 up to now where the deadly Ebola outbreak hit Liberia, things were escalated due to the virus. “But for me, I think those who are saying the President’s Annual Message is a repetition, they should bring up an idea for us to debate, instead of criticizing it because if you have a country that was nowhere to be found is now ranking among other nations, then you call such a repetition, it means something is missing.”
On the question of whether or not corruption has been fought in Liberia, Dr. Kollie said corruption around the world hurts the economy, especially when it takes place in government. He said there are many indicators within the Millennium Challenge Corporation compound one cannot pass without fighting corruption, adding “It was based on our fight against corruption that the United States Government provided half a billion of their taxpayers’ money to this country; how many more testimonies do we need to prove that we are fighting corruption?”, the deputy finance boss asked critics of the government.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne