The President Ellen Johnson – Sirleafhas attributed her good old age to relying on Jesus, saying “through it all, I learned to press on Jesus, though she said throughout those many years there were hills and valleys as she thanked God for another milestone.
Speaking to journalists at her farm on October 29, during the celebration of her 78th Birthday, President Sirleaf said she dedicated her birthday to the 13 years of peace the country continues to enjoy, saying people in rural areas are farming again and people can sleep without fear of being harmed by anyone as a result of the peace in the country.
She had earlier said during an intercessory service at the First United Methodist Church on Ashmum Street in Monrovia on Friday, 28 October, that she learned to rely on Jesus’ word that says “if God is with you, who can be against you.”
She appreciated the security forces here including the army, the police and other institutions for being able to keep the peace, something she insists she would be able to boast of upon the completion of her term of office.
“So I ask God to just help me so I can maintain the peace…,” she said. President Sirleaf told reporters that she was happy that so many people had turned out on her farm including officials, members of the diplomatic corps, family members, friends and locals from her village and nearby villages to observe the day.
She said women groups, different political parties and her own party, the ruling Unity Party and friends and associates “from all around the country attended the birthday celebration. “… So you saw the crowd and they are all in a joyful mood; I was in a joyful mood. I’m glad that everybody was relaxed, everybody had enough to eat and drink and most of them are now going back home. So it’s been a wonderful day,” she said.
President Sirleaf said the celebration gave her the opportunity to sit down with friends and associates and all her people from all over. The Cabinet presented a birthday cart to the President, while members of the diplomatic corps presented a white sheep to her “as a symbol of peace” in the country.
U.S. Amb. Christine Ann Elder, Chinese Amb. Zhang Yue and other accredited ambassadors from other countries graced the celebration on President Sirleaf’s farm. Sierra Leone’s Gender Minister Dr. Sylvia OlayinkaBlyden said in an interview on the farm that she felt very honored to be celebrating with somebody who is easily the greatest woman in Africa “in our era.”
By Winston W. Parley