Ellen’s “Generational Change ” Comment clarified

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf gives her final addresses as President of Liberia at the General Assembly’s annual general debate. (UN Photo/Cia Pak)

‘She still supports VP Boakai’s candidacy’ – Press Secretary J. M. Piah

Jerolinmek M. Piah, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Press Secretary, has clarified that there was no specific age group mentioned in the President’s recent interview with Cable News Network (CNN) host Christiane Amanpour in New York, the United States.

In a live interview from the United States recently, Mr. Piah said the CNN host’s question to President Sirleaf was specifically about transition in Africa, where some leaders have been in power for well over 30 years, and was keen on the fact that the President was keeping a commitment, having served for two terms, to turn over authority to whoever is elected at the ensuing October polls.

“Yes, the President emphasized that it was the right thing to do so that another generation of leaders can have the opportunity to take over. When you serve at the head of an administration, you represent a generation of people; there are several others, who are part of the leadership that represent a generation that she is heading, including the key opposition contender Senator from Montserrado County (George Weah); the Vice President is another. When you transition, as she is about to do, and have the leadership changed, obviously that is a new set of generation of leaders, ” Piah explained.

Piah said that President Sirleaf went deeper by referencing the number of young persons who are aspiring for legislative seats in the House of Representatives, with over 160 women, who she said, are mostly young people among the contenders.

“If young persons were referenced, they were from those contexts. But at the top of the leadership when there is a change, it provides an opportunity for a new generation of leaders; and that is exactly what the President said in that interview,” he clarified.

Piah, however, said that if there were interpretations that some people are now “venerating this President, who they have described in many ways, then of course it is just for the purpose of some political objectives they want to achieve for themselves. But there are no implications that the President was suggesting that whoever takes over as the head of state should be a young person. Mind you, the President is consistently on record for having said where she stands in the election is with her Vice President, who is a contender.”

According to Piah, President Sirleaf was expected to visit the Nigerian State of Imo, where five less fortunate Liberian girls are attending secondary school through college gratis from a Nigerian philanthropist, and is expected to receive another award before returning home on Wednesday, October 3.


  1. Ummh! The English language is quite interesting. Anyone can twist it to their liking(s). I think most people in Liberia have a basic understanding of the English Language. Mr. J.M. Piah, don’t try fooling the Liberian People. We have a busic understanding of the English Language. Take your clarification to the moon. Read the CNN NEWS INTERVIEW 10 times; then go to sleep. When you wake up, you will have a better understanding and explainations.

  2. No need for clarification. Liberians got the message the president sent and they will vote for their own choice whether that poor, rich, young or old person. We only ask that there be no intereference at NEC. Allow the system to work.

  3. Thanks for your clarification Hon. Piah. I will like to seize this opportunity to extend my appreciation to our Legend, Madam Sirleaf, for leaving a commendable legacy. It is her legacy that we (Supporters of Boakai), are enjoying today, so no matter what unfolds now, we are resolved to vote for continuity.

  4. For those who did not watch the Amanpour interview, here it is. It’s just about five minutes long, but if you don’t want to watch the entire interview, start from the 4:10 minute point. Then judge for yourself. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiO0MX57dHWAhWDNhoKHUkTAiQQtwIIKjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fedition.cnn.com%2Fvideos%2Ftv%2F2017%2F09%2F21%2Famanpour-intvw-liberia-president-sirleaf.cnn&usg=AOvVaw1_-pJTGCeV7glXkraippJC

  5. There is no way to turn that statement around, she wasn’t referring to VP Boakai generation but a younger generation below him. You guys should had taken note of that statement before allowing her to make such statement. It not in hiding anymore about her not supporting her VP internally but saying it externally.

  6. Although the “generational change” comment might have gone beyond local politics to her aging colleagues in the AU, this clarification should have come sooner. And to imitate the Ebonics of my neighbor, “Now, it ain’t gonna change the mind of anyone”. Older and younger Liberian candidates, that is.

  7. I think the ultimate interest of the Liberian people is a working democracy. Let the electoral system work, no interference; the most honorable thing President Sirleaf can do now is ensure nobody interfere with the elections.


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