The former President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate in the 52nd Legislature, Senator Cletus Segbe Wotorson, has described as regretful and disappointing some media statements that he does not believe in the existence of Ebola in Liberia.
Speaking to our reporter Wednesday, the retiring Grand Kru County Senior Senator said: “I really would not have dignified the misconstruction of a statement that came out of the Senate discussion on the subject of Ebola; it was misconstrued and it is regretful and disappointing for a report to come out that Senator Wotorson doesn’t believe in Ebola.”
The Chairman of Senate Committee on Lands, Mines and Energy said he believes and knows that Ebola is real and that it kills, and destroys an unprotected environment and unprotected people. He urged that the public not to harbor the mistake that Ebola is not real.
“Considering my background, I am a natural scientist, my brother is a surgeon, my daughter is a nurse practitioner, another is a doctor; and my nieces are in sociology. For me to doubt that a virus such as Ebola that occurred in Central Africa that devastated lives of people entered our country and to make a joke that it is not serious, that is very disappointing, and that statement is a lie; it was never said by me.”
As a manifestation of his belief in the existence of Ebola in Liberia, Senator Wotorson recalled that he voted for every motion proffered during plenary that was intended to fight the virus, including approval of a budget, closure of borders and declaration of a state of emergency.
He then wondered how someone who doesn’t believe in the existence of Ebola can play such an active role in the full glare of Senate sessions.
“I think people wanted to sensationalize, but that is their job and the public knows that is not true, and unfortunately some well-meaning people that I respect have made that the lynchpins of their discussions.”
Senator Wotorson who is Liberia’s only geophysicist, further stated: “I know Ebola is real and it kills, it destroys an unprotected environment and unprotected people; so nobody should make a mistake that Ebola is not real. I am saying this for the benefit of my fellow Liberians who do not seem to follow the instructions that are ordered by our President and the Anti-Ebola Task Force.”
He then thanked his Unity Party partisan President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for the urgent action she took in trying to design a strategy with Task Force for a containment program for the Ebola virus.
He also extended thanks and appreciation to the international partners as well as Liberia’s partner African countries, and Liberians who have participated and continue to give their full support to the President.
Sen. Wotorson agreed that the”misconstrued statement” might have done some damage, but was emphatic that it did not come from him.
The Ebola virus, he emphasized, doesn’t tell a Legislature from an ordinary person. “Death doesn’t discriminate; all we have to do is protect ourselves and pray to God,” a prayerful Senator Wotorson noted.
He congratulated health workers and nurses for what they are going through and empathized with their condition.
“I just came through an ailment for which I was in intensive care for seven days; and some people pronounced me dead. So I know what it means when situations are challenging to the medical people. So we should stop criticism or blames; this not the time for the blame game, for it does not help and but only serves as a distraction. So let us support our leader who is co-chairing daily meetings.”
He disclosed for the past several days, he has been carrying on a sensitization and awareness campaign among residents of the Parker Corner Community in Brewerville where he resides. “Right now I am in the process of distributing buckets to residents in my community to help us keep good hygiene; because if you don’t do that and you contract Ebola, you will die.”
“So I am appealing to my fellow Liberians to please work with the President and the Task Force, cooperate with the implementers so that our country can come back to what it was before, so that we can move safely and stop the fear in this country that discourages investors and development.”