Ellen Recommends Dialogue, Not Protest

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Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf prefers peaceful dialogue to peaceful protest.

-Says Liberia’s past is too bitter

Ahead of the planned June 7 protest in the country, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf cataloged the importance of holding dialogues to settle differences rather than taking the streets with protests.

In an interview with LBS Director General on Thursday, May 9, 2019 with LBS Ledgerhood Rennie, on the Bumper Show, Madam Sirleaf said while peaceful protest is fundamental and a constitutional rights for the citizens, care must be taken not to allow sentiments to override the objective of the planned June 7 “peaceful protest.”

Though the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) chairman, Mulbah Morlu recently accused her of being one of the architects of the planned June 7 protest, the former President said she preferred dialogue to protest, taking cue from the country’s history.

“Peaceful protest is a fundamental and constitutional right, which must always be protected and should not be denied. But let us remember our experience, and how quickly things get out of hands. Let us remember how quickly the unexpected can occur,” she said.

She said Liberia belongs to everybody, and that everyone should have equal rights to access equal benefits.

Sirleaf added, “What can and should change is the current course. Therefore, we call upon the government to demonstrate the willingness for change and choose the path in these cross-roads that lead to the peace and stability that you have learned over all these years.”

“Our government has the primary responsibility for this, and I am glad that our Senate has taken some actions in recent time, and that President Weah, who must lead this effort is also beginning to take some steps toward this objective,” she said.

About the challenging economic conditions, Sirleaf said the George Weah-led government should not be solely blamed, “because there is a challenge that is beyond our collective national capacity to address those cardinal issues.”

Sirleaf said people should understand that reviving an economy is not an issue of pressing a button of a music player to get it forwarded.

“We can find solutions to the problems, only that we need to get people together to start thinking  carefully to put together those plans that would enable us to successfully go through,” she said.

Madam Sirleaf added, “If we want the administration’s objectives to be met, I don’t think anyone can disagree with me on these points.”

The former President thinks that there is a need for Liberians to put their heads together, and that it is good for consultations to go beyond certain specific group on party lines.

“I believe that our people will respond to initiatives of peace and dialogue, for they too want a peaceful nation to achieve the objective that would move toward the security that they have long desired,” she said.

Sirleaf added, “Liberia has forever been dependent on the exportation of iron ore and rubber to the extent that in the times of high rubber prices, there has been no problem, but by the time the rubber market price drops on the world market, Liberia will experience difficulty circumstances, thus making things difficult for the country.”

“We should have done more, but also when we were faced with the same situation in the last years of our administration, we knew that economic diversification was the way to go. We are not doing enough in the agriculture sector as a country, but I think something can be done to alleviate the current turbulent economic crisis,” she said.

As the political godmother of the country who is interested in seeing President Weah succeed, Madam Sirleaf advised Mr. Weah to ask for financial assistance from the international monetary Fund (IMF) as well as other financial institutions, including the African Development Bank, rather than being afraid of debts.

She added: “I think that all Liberians, first of all should be committed to seeing a better Liberia. Liberians should be willing to contribute. I do believe that we should also have a government that welcomes the exchange of ideas, working together and listening to others, even when they are in the opposition block.”

She advised that those in the opposition also have a role to play, and therefore, should be allowed to contribute, because they will also benefit, whether good or bad.

“The will benefit or they will suffer. All of them need to put eyes to this thing, and how we can succeed together as a people, because difficulties come to every country at different times under different circumstances, which situation does not call for staging protest of any kind,” Sirleaf said.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Enjoy your retirement madam President! Your time is over eventhough you now have gotten CAUGHT playing a BAD HAND

  2. Former president Sirleaf is right! The history of protest has never helped Liberia as a nation and yet folks keep repeating the same mistakes
    .
    Liberians keep putting their country back with their actions of violence and confusion all the time.

    I am shocked many of the people have refused to seek counsels from God yet when things get off hands, they eventually run to the church. How hypocritical that is, a Christian nation without God’s counsels in the face of obstacles.
    Liberians need to remember at some point in time eventually everyone might get fed up with the back and forth of confusion.
    If fuelling conflicts is the new politicial way of assuming powers by the politicians, time will tell!

    • Who refused to dialogue after meeting with Senators ? The Chosen Son of the soil. Let them carry out their political protest he said. Meaning don’t care , because his feelings are bruised due to the lack of support to crush the protest. The security apparatuses around the country are far away from this political one. Even the US Embassy that was once pushing for the 2017 election results to be accepted for fear of political violence and instability, is only concerned about the financial corruption involving donor’s fundings. The only regret here for the protest is that the protesters are not demanding that all political elected tenured positions be reduced. Starting with the next general elections. The last regime was never interested in sharing political power with the local government. And this present regime too is not interested in sharing political power and hope to be in office for another six years . The people have spoken through the constitutional review convention, and the last regime was not interested, and this regime is not interested to follow through. This is the only regret for the protest. Perhaps the leaders have not come around to that. Ellen Johnson could not dialogue on that for 12 years, so what the Hell is she concerned about now ?

  3. She needs to talk to her former party members to engage government rather than wanting to create fear in the country. The child that says the mother will not sleep, that child self will not sleep!!

  4. We will go ahead with our protest. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf put Liberia in this mess by turning our country to one who is unqualified and ill-prepared for the job in that he does not have a development plan and has little or no knowledge or experience about running a country such as Liberia .
    Where is our $25 million United States dollars that the Weah Government claimed was used to mop up old U.S. notes? Nothing but old United States dollar bills are still in the Liberian market. Nothing was mopped up as Finance Minister Tweah has failed to account for the US$ 25 million and has not been dismissed or held to account for same. Where is also our 16 billion Liberian dollars that have not been accounted for? Moreover, Mr. Weah and his gang of thieves have depleted Liberia’s Reserve at the Federal Bank in New York. To even add insult to injury, the CDC kleptocratic government, under Weah, unauthorizedly debited US$2,114.929.209(Two million one hundred fourteen thousand twenty nine United States dollars twenty cents) from the MOA/The LIB AGR. TRANSF AGENDA ACCOUNT #1502023609 at the Central Bank of Liberia. The amount mentioned above was debited based on a letter of authorization approved by the same Minister of Finance, Samuel Tweah, who continues to carryout high grade corruption in the Weah’s government with impunity.
    Liberia’s only hope for development is to rid itself from these kleptocrats who have no love for country or people but themselves. We need a new breed of leaders who have love for country and people and who have a working plan that would take our country from disgrace to higher heights and respectability among the comity of nations.” Vox Populi, Vox Dei”( The voice of the people, is the voice of God).

  5. Go sit down. You gave us this man. Go on your trip and get more awards for nothing. You used to demonstrate and protest. You think if Leymah hadn’t demonstrated you will not be sitting in that chair. Go sit down and enjoy your money. we tire hearing your voice.

  6. Ellen thought by replacing herself with an incompetent,(Weah),then her corrupt legacy would look good in the eyes of Liberians. She should shut her mouth and allow our people to assert their rights to free speech by demonstrating against the ills of society.

    We all in Liberia know that the truth hurts. As a matter of fact, it was during the reign of William R. Tolbert that the term “corruption” began to find its way onto the lips of ordinary Liberians. Notwithstanding, the dethronement and subsequent outlawing of the TWP did not, in any way, reduce the trend of official corruption in Liberia. No sooner was the mortal remains of William Tolbert interred on Center Street when corruption awoke from its sleepless slumber and made its way back to the citadels of power. Corruption is equally as superfluous in this government(CDC)as it was in the Doe, Taylor, and Sirleaf’s governments.

    The only difference between the present government and the previous three(Doe’s, Taylor’s and Sirleaf’s), is in the diction of rhetoricians who see one as being rampant and other three as being plain. For we have seen government officials who lived in rented rooms before their acquisition of political power building fabulous split mansions just a few months after their ascension( as is the case with George Manneh Weah,
    who I understand has built 45 split mansions in just over a year of his ascendancy to the presidency).

    Fellow Liberians, this demonstration must take place en-masse. We must demonstrate against corruption and the ills of our society under the Weah’s administration. We must hold accountable human rights violators still in our midst. Finance Minister Tweah must be dismissed, jailed, and made to restitute the US$ 25 million dollars entrusted to him. Our 16 billion Liberian dollars and all the suspects surrounding the disappearance of this huge sum of money must be brought to justice and if found guilty made to restitute the money, and serve jail term in line with the laws controlling.

    Finally, we know that the truth hurts. But it is more gentlemanly to tell the town chief that there is “pupu”
    (feces) on his gown than to allow him to parade the town because of fear of recriminations.

    We are of the unflinching conviction that if all Liberians were to come out and show the government its short-comings and how these could be corrected, the policies and actions of the state would be good, since they would certainly satisfy most of the people at most of the time.

    Turn out en-masse on June 7, 2019. Demonstrate to bring both human rights violators who killed 250, 000 of our people to justice, and kleptocrats who stole and continue to steal from our national treasury to justice. It is your right to demonstrate in a peaceful manner. Do so on June 7 and let the United Nations, the United States, Ecowas, the African Union, France, Germany, Great Britain, know where you stand on the issue of human rights violation, corruption, and other ills of society. Turn out if you love your country.

  7. Why is it that this corrupt woman is still coming in the limelight?Your time is over. You and your sons stole all that we had.You boasted that your “children and your children’s children will work for no one again.” Leave us alone and let us enjoy our constitutional rights to demonstrate against those who violate our laws including you and and kitchen cabinet who were corrupt for the 12 years you served. We don’t trust you anymore. Advises from you are all devious and set at your own advantage. Why can’t you understand? You brought war to your own country and people. You designed, planned, financed, and executed a war against your own people just to ascend to power to steal our riches. After 12 years of stealing, you replaced yourself with an incompetent just so your corrupt legacy can look good in the eyes of the Liberian people. You will go down in the dust bin of Liberian history for bringing our country to such disgrace. How dare you tell our people not to assert their rights? Did you not in the past assert your constitutional rights against the Doe regime? If it were good for you to do, what makes you think asserting this right is not good for others? Our money you stole during your tenure as President of Liberia will do you no good because it is blood money and many Liberians died because of theft and your bringing war to our country using Taylor and Thomas Woyiwu as your tools. The war crime court for Liberia will bring you to justice. There are several unanswered questions that you will need to answer. The mysterious death of Harry Greaves and others during your administration. If I were you, I would stay away from Liberian politics giving the dismal role your administration played in the disappearance and death of prominent patriots like Harry Greaves and Allison among others.

  8. ELLEN MUST GO BACK TO HELL. SHE WANT HER PUPPET WEAH TO PROTECT HER FOR CRIMES IN LIBERIA. THIS WITCH NEEDS TO BE LOCKED UP

  9. You wicked witch, you have no relevance in Liberia, you muddied the water for us while you and your family are enjoying your ill-begotten wealth. Shame on you for destroying our country twice, and shame on us too for believing in you, thinking that you meant well for Liberia. Just leave us in our mess, we will figure it out.

  10. Your Excellency E.J. Sirleaf, why didn’t you engage dialogues with the late Samuel K. Doe, former president Charles Taylor, etc? Oh, now dialogues should be given a chance because your interests have been served?
    Is that why you are ramping up former rebel generals in the interest of this ill-prepared government?
    Can’t you see that a once propserous country which gained independence in 1847 is among the last 5 countries on the continent when it comes to infrasstructure and human capital development?
    Do you want us to close our eyes on these “disco dancers” for the next 6 years, indeed 12 years?
    Do you think we are happy lingering hopelessly within and out of the country with immense natural resources and untapped potentials?
    NO YOUR EXCELLENCY! THE PEOPLE MUST SEND OUT A MESSAGE.
    You could do Liberia a favor by undoing all the obstacles you placed in the path of the Weah’s administration. He doesn’t see them but will confront them thoughout his term. Six (6) years of our lives will be wasted again. Consequently, he (Weah) may become paranoid and hijack the next electoral process, like the Samuel K. Doe’s scenario in 1985.
    YOUR EXCELLENCY, HELP THE COUNTRY MOVE FORWARD. UNDO YOUR TRAPS AND LEAVE WEAH TO GROPE WITH US FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS.

  11. Just read your comment again and see how hateful you have become because of your quest for political power. How long can a man live in this earth. Stop the hates if you truly care about this Liberia.

  12. Should Liberians listen to Ellen Sirleaf? Please. This woman did not even support her Vice President as a result of this Liberia got a dictatorial dolt as president .

  13. It’s refreshing to see that Liberians are not going to sit idly and allow themselves t be ripped off again like Ellen did. She, her sons, and her friends stole millions of dollars and got away with it. She has no credibility to run her corrupt mouth in this matter. So what would be the subject of the dialogue? Will Weah tell us where he’s getting money to build his mansions and fabulous condos? Will he return the missing $25 million? That’s the dialogue…or do we want to hear bullsh*t about PAPD?

  14. If it is not me, it shouldn’t be anyone else. Who is the head of the council of Patriots and who is the political parties that are spearheading?
    Bring your children to help the other children. We are not crabs

  15. my brother are you still looking for political parties behind the June 7 protest ? is ANC,
    just read the upper news. predicting that it may not be peaceful because he perceive CDC to undermine the process. but insisting that it will go on. the question is how will someone determined if a liberian among the group is CDCians.

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