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Ellen speaks on economy

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Immediate past Liberian President Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf is cautioning here that all must be prepared to contribute if Liberians want a strong economy.

Appearing on local broadcaster OK FM Wednesday, 28 November in Monrovia, Mrs. Sirleaf said building a strong economy here will need “people who make sure that they demonstrate a certain kind of integrity so that the resources of their country are used properly.”

“I’m not saying that it’s been that way before; I’m not holding beef for anybody; I’m just saying that if we want a strong economy, all of us must be prepared to contribute to it,” Mrs. Sirleaf says.

She shares her thoughts here at a time her successor President George Manneh Weah’s administration continues to face the harsh reality of worsening economic situations.

Commodity prices are uncontrollably rising daily and the local currency has drastically devalued against the US Dollars, much to the disadvantage of the poor population that largely suffers lack of jobs in a country with a weak private sector.

But the former president says the economy is not a quick fix or a button that can just be pushed and light comes on.

According to her, it is a collective action of all people, not only government officials, but individuals who will do their part for productivity.

Ex-President Sirleaf continues that it also has to do with people who make sure that they demonstrate certain kind of integrity so that resources of their country are used properly.

Mrs. Sirleaf however declines to make early judgment on the performance of the Weah led – administration which is approaching for its 11th month in charge, arguing that if she looks at how she was judged, then she has to say “something is seriously wrong” and that people are not really looking at facts.

She recalls how after 12 years of her rule, her administration is judged to have done nothing, regardless of the road that those who pass judgment ride on, the water they drink, and the school they go to.

Mrs. Sirleaf underscores that mindset and attitude are Liberia’s biggest problems, saying “we” are always looking for something that is conspiratorial and the motive that people are perceived to have when they are doing something.

She urges the need to change strategies, look at decisions that are being taken by the biggest nations, adjust to them and recognize the dynamism of the changing global economy.

In the meantime, Mrs. Sirleaf says she has a cordial relationship with her successor Mr. Weah, and expresses a wish that all politicians here have cordial relationship because “we are not enemies.”

“We have to stop fighting each other in this country; we got to start learning to tolerate differences,” she urges.

Mrs. Sirleaf calls for more tolerance, more patience and more collaborative spirit as the only way to move the country forward.

She also observes that there is too much talking in the country, suggesting the need to “stop talking and do more working.”

Mrs. Sirleaf also cautions that the way Liberians denigrate their country is bad and it also takes away the level of global support that is needed to be able to progress.

In closing, former President Sirleaf says if the nation will progress, she thinks all Liberians have to make their contribution to the development of their country without undermining facts and anything that exists.

She calls for togetherness and the promotion of Liberia toward a common agenda.

She cautions opposition that the election is over and this is the time to strengthen their parties for any future competition, while collaborating toward the common objective of building Liberia.

Concerning recommendations of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Mrs. Sirleaf notes that the 179 recommendations were largely met, consistent with resource availability except the War Crimes Court.“On that, I have no personal concern. My position on that has been made clear and I stand by it,” she concludes.

By Winston W. Parley

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