President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said that she would prefer members of her cabinet executing their assigned jobs effectively and efficiently than giving her gifts.
Members of the Liberian cabinet, who are about 20, along with heads of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), as well as agencies of government, raised and presented an amount of US$7,400 to President Sirleaf as a gift on her 77th birthday. The President’s birthday was on October 29, but she was out of the country on state visits to India and China.
The presentation led by Madam Julia Duncan Cassell, Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection took place at the Assembly of God Church at Catholic Junction in Sinkor during a Thanksgiving service held in honor of the President’s natal day and her safe return to the country.
The President quickly responded that she has always told her Cabinet not to give her gifts. “I asked the Cabinet not to give me gifts, but I see that they have disobeyed me and they decided to raise funds. Those funds, Madam Gender Minister – that check comes back to you for the survivors and orphans of the Ebola virus disease.
“The best gift that each and every one of you can give me is to get your work done and done on time,” President Sirleaf said.
Many see this act by the Cabinet as a form of inducement or enticement by the President’s lieutenants, and she has therefore ordered the funds to be given to survivors and orphans of the Ebola catastrophe that struck the country. She made the comments in a very polite, but stern manner.
Meanwhile, the cabinet also presented to the President a beautifully worded birthday card which was splendidly read by Minister Cassell, who is known among her colleagues as “Queen of the Cabinet.”
The message in the card describes the astute leadership of the President, her love for country and her motherly characters.