An influential member of the 53rd Legislature has called on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to remain steadfast and beware of detractors as she steers the affairs of the State, especially in this critical period of the country’s history.
Speaking at the head of a high level Senate delegation to the office of President Sirleaf where they had gone to identify with her on the occasion marking her 76th birth anniversary last week, Senator Cletus Wotorson, told the Liberian leader that there would be many detractors, as it has been in the past. But he urged her to remain focused and do what is right for the Liberian people.
The delegation, which included Senators Frederick Cherue of River Gee County; Alphonso Gaye, and Isaac Nyenabo of Grand Gedeh County; Joyce Musu Sumo of Montserrado County and others, met the Liberian President in the Cabinet Room of the Foreign Ministry.
Senator Wotorson, who is also a former President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, did not indicate what triggered his admonition, but since the Ebola outbreak, there have been sentiments of public opposition to government’s leadership of the response.
Many called on the Liberian leader to relinquish her post as head of the National Taskforce on Ebola and at the same time outsource the response initiative to a reputable global health organization such as Médécins Sans Frontieres and the World Health Organization.
But President Sirleaf said the fight would not be outsourced, indicating that Liberians are capable of handling the situation if they received the needed support and that the handling of the fight by Liberians would give them the requisite experience to handle any future outbreak of the virus.
The calls for outsourcing the fight came at a time when MSF and WHO were already heading major response components, leading several, including the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Dr. Peter Coleman, to wonder, “What else do these critics want for government to outsource?”
The Liberian leader was also recently criticized when she sent a letter to the Liberian Senate requesting ‘additional power’ to curtail some rights and privileges in an attempt to curtail further spread of the Ebola virus.
But Senator Wotorson, speaking on behalf of the Senate said, “Madam President, we have come to wish you a happy birthday. We want you to be steadfast as you lead us through this difficult period. We want to let you know that there are many detractors and there will continue to be, but do not give them heed as long as you are doing the right thing for the Liberian people.
The Senate promised that despite hiccups now and then, they will continue to work with the Liberian leader in forming a common front to foster the country’s development.
The Grand Kru County Senator said the Senate had recently passed into law four financial bills in preparation for the post-Ebola era. He noted that the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Gbehzongar Milton Findley, would have loved to be present, but was en route from his home county, Grand Bassa.
President Sirleaf expressed appreciation to the Senators for their visit and called on them and all Liberians to unite and not to give up the fight against Ebola as signs are beginning to show progress being made.
She admonished all Liberians to brace up for the post-Ebola era as the outbreak has placed lot of development projects on hold and it will only take a united front to catch up with projects delayed by the Ebola outbreak.
She noted that the commemoration of her birthday should be a moment of reflection for all Liberians and partners standing up together in the difficult period to fight Ebola.
Others officials and functionaries of government who visited President Sirleaf on her birthday included the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, members of the Cabinet, staff of the Ministry of State, Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the Land Commission, the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) Alumni Association, Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Sirleaf Market Women’s Fund.