By Lewis S. Teh
Ex- Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has called on Liberians to redouble their efforts in helping the Monrovia city government to give the capital a decent facelift.
“The cleanliness of this city starts with each and every one of you; what you do and say will make this city what we all want it to be”, she says.
Madam Sirleaf made the call on Thursday, October 13, 2021, following a closed-door meeting with the Mayor of Monrovia Jefferson T. Koijee, upon her return from Freetown, Sierra Leone where she had gone to address a forum.
She said the purpose of her visit to the City Corporation was to share experiences from neighboring Sierra Leone with Mayor Koijee.
Many had thought that her visit to the mayor was to advise him on how to proceed with things at the MCC, especially after one of Liberia’s major partners, the European Union Head of Delegation to Liberia Laurent Delahousse’ described Monrovia as disgusting and dirtiest of cities in Africa.
Speaking at the start of a two-day Solid Waste Management Forum here recently Ambassador Delahousse’ noted, “Monrovia is disgusting and the dirtiest city of the many places I have visited in my work in Africa.”
He added that more needs to be done because a clean city is critical to attract tourists and create jobs for young people – which is a big issue in Liberia.
But the former President dismissed having any idea of the EU Envoy’s remarks, saying “I’m not aware; I don’t know anything about this in fact, I just returned from Sierra Leone.”
When asked to grade the performance of Mayor Koijee, Madam Sirleaf responds I don’t have the formula to give grades, what I can say now is to encourage everyone to work together, if we all must have a decent city, there’s a need to work together.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Koijee expresses pleasure to have hosted the former President at the MCC, saying “As you may know, she is a senior citizen and it was an opportunity to have sat with her.”
Though he couldn’t say the outcome of the meeting, notes that the Ex-president met his Sierra Leonean counterpart in Freetown, who visited Liberia in February and she thought it was important to have come and share the experience she had in Freetown.
Koijee discloses that Madam Sirleaf has volunteered her services to help the city government, noting that her visit to the MCC was to send a message to everyone irrespective of religion or politics to work together for the betterment of the city and the country at large.
He notes the scenario in Sierra Leone is far different from Liberia, saying in Freetown, the mayor and her council members are elected officials, and any resources that are collected are utilized by the council, unless in Liberia where the mayor and his councilmen are appointed, where budgetary allotments are being decided by the central government.
“But that’s not the issue; I think the central message is we must all begin to work together because the filthiness of any city isn’t done by foreigners but rather Liberian citizens, it is now time for our people to detest some cultural behavior”, says Mayor Koijee.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/eu-envoy-monrovia-the-dirtiest-disgusting-city/ Editing by Jonathan Browne