Ex-President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf is pleading with Liberians to stop tearing the country down and tearing each other apart, in the wake of bitter political differences here.“Liberians need to stop tearing each other down; tearing the country down. They need to be united, connected, that doesn’t say you can’t have a difference,” Mrs. Sirleaf said Monday, 29 October in interview with journalists at her 80th birthday celebration at her residence in Monrovia.
She did not cite a specific issue regarding the bad politics here, but Liberia appears to remain glaringly politically charged for a variety of reasons, ranging from alleged missing billions of local banknotes being probed by U.S. experts to a hard economy that sees reports of some businesses scaling down, high prices and exchange rate, among others.
The immediate past president argues that “difference is an important part of intelligent people,” but they do not need to tear the country down for their disagreements.In advancing options for Liberians to unite, former President Sirleaf urges the Liberian media too to be professional and help their country.
“When the media learns to be as professional as they should, then I think we’ll get somewhere,” she says.Mrs. Sirleaf, indicates that the media here need to help the country and “stop spoiling” it, encouraging media practitioners here to look at the others around the world.
“Yes, you are supposed to be independent, you are supposed to be the conscious of society, you supposed to be the watchdog; we honor you for that, we praise you for that. But your sensationalism goes too far,” she observes.
And in party politics, ex-President Sirleaf says she has never left her former ruling Unity Party (UP), saying she wants to know who has ever removed her from the party in response to journalists’ inquiry with her concerning alleged UP’s call for her return to the party.
“How do you expel the person who made the party? Y’all please tell me this one …, how, by whom?” she asks.Mrs. Sirleaf adds that she is a partisan of the UP, and she “always has been” and “always will be.”“I brought this party to two victories and you say somebody say I’m not there? They better go [and] look at themselves,” she notes.
Concerning her birthday, the former president says celebrating her 80th birthday means she has been very much blessed by God [with] hard work, rising above all the obstacles and standing strong.In her new life as former president, she says celebrating her birthday is still the same thing because she celebrates it with the “same friends, same associates, same work mates, same supporters and same enemies.”
By Winston W. Parley