-Fmr. President Sirleaf calls critics “bold-faced liars”, admonishes journalists to be truthful
Former President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, yesterday admonished fellow citizens against acts responsible for chaos and national backwardness, stating that people repeatedly troubling peace scare away investors.
“Everybody, be proud of Liberia, our country. I am proud to be a Liberian, and no matter what, we all can support processes, systems and ideas that can change things,” Sirleaf said during a Sky TV discussion. She said, “other people in the sub-region and elsewhere should identify us not by the amount of confusion we have among ourselves but by the ideas we translate into great actions.”
She did not go too far into discussing national issues as her foremost objective for appearing on the 50/50 T-Max Jlateh Sky FM/TV show was to discuss her initiatives as a women and national advocate as well as former President of Liberia.
However, with a sharp eye on the impact of the media which can be responsible for peace or chaos, Sirleaf admonished journalists of all media houses to use the truth as their guiding principle in informing the public of happenings anywhere in the country.
“Considering my own experiences with a number of media houses in this country when I was President for 12 years, I think journalists have to value the truth in their reporting.
“The reports you give, if they are always negative, investors will not come. The few that are on the ground supporting the economy may find reasons to leave too and at the end of it all, it is the same Liberia, our beloved country that will suffer. We all feel it,” she said.
Concerning the idea that she has made a lot of money because she served as President of the country, and mainly obtained through corrupt means, the tough talking Johnson Sirleaf said her critics are bold-faced liars.
“So so lie lie they talking. They don’t know how I earned money over the years and even now, but to say a little, I have made money through earning power,” she boasted.
Emphasizing on her argument, Madam Sirleaf said she has been a strong woman with a determined heart since she was 17 year of age.
“I washed dishes and did lots of different work to make money. I was serious with my education and every other good thing I associated myself with. Nothing came through easy means for me. I suffered and I never found pleasure in defrauding systems or people with whom I worked over the years,” she contended.
In her post presidency life, she serves as a key person on a number of international boards and committees and is carefully using her prize earned from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for peacefully and democratically turning power over to President George Weah in 2017.
Madam Sirleaf, called iron lady during her presidency, told her host of 50/50 that she has not changed because of the positions she has held or currently has.
“I am still the same. I am in my same house. I am here in Liberia, nowhere else. I have my small office in my house in order to work on issues, plans and reach out to friends, relatives and a lot more of other people in and out of Liberia,” she revealed.
About her activities outside of Liberia, Sirleaf pointed out that she visits universities in America and other parts of the world to give lectures and encourage women all over the world to be drivers of their dreams set to take them to the top in their respective places of work and communities.
“Those are some of the things I do outside of this country, but to note, I also have my small gardens and a farm. I cultivate vegetables, potato grains and some other things. I love farming,” declared Sirleaf.
She said her farm in Bomi is well on course in terms of productivity and that her action has led many people around her farm to make their own small farms.
“I support them. I even buy their vegetables and other things in order to encourage them. I am also helping them own their land legally by helping them in conducting surveys and acquiring the necessary deeds allowing them the legitimate ownership,” she said.
Launching of Women’s Center
The former President’s paramount purpose for being on the show was to announce the launch of her newest initiative, the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development in Liberia.
According to Madam Sirleaf, women need more and better spaces to explore ideas on how they can excel in their political career as well as other civil society and religious organizations careers.
“On the 8th of this month, I mean this March, we will launch the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Presidential Center for Women and Development. The venue for the launch is the Farmington Hotel near Roberts International Airport. The reason for the selection of that venue is for the convenience of our guests who are coming from abroad with no interest in reaching Monrovia due to the tightness of their schedules,” she stated.
There are speculations that former President Sirleaf is a major shareholder in Farmington and as such, choosing the venue for the launch of her foundation and other programs will only help to boost her business (es).
She said the key objective of her foundation is to provide opportunities for women in leadership to achieve goals and get the highest leadership positions and she and her partners will get it done through a combination of programming, research, advocacy and exhibition.
“My personal friends will come from many parts of the world and it also my hope that President Weah will grace the occasion and help in motivating the women to stand taller than tall in their pursuit for excellence in leadership at all levels,” she said.
The question about President Weah gracing former President Sirleaf’s launch of hr foundation is probably not an issue worth debating as there is no sign that there is any beef between the two.
In fact, on a number of occasions President Weah has blasted at former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and said some demeaning things about him but a day is not recorded when he ever said former President Sirleaf is a wicked woman or an ingrate.
On a special interview with Leggerhood Rennie, Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) and John Kollie of the Liberia Media Democratic Initiative (LMDI), Weah said his predecessor Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has never committed any crime.
Weah, however, ridiculed former VP Boakai and called him names as well as told the world that he, Weah has done so much good for Boakai for which he should be grateful.
Plan to open a library/archive
The former President disclosed further that she will soon be opening a library in Monrovia where people from all walks of life and different locations will have the chance to read about her challenges as President and the methods she used to solve most of the difficult problems she faced while in office.
It is a known fact, however, that she promised to have fought corruption but failed, and corruption became a vampire, thereby making the struggling Liberian nation to lose more of its wealth through several illicit international deals or transactions.
A number of concession agreements endorsed by the 52nd and the 53rd Legislature are said to have been bogus deals, with the Legislators allegedly receiving lots of money in brown envelopes as bribes from the concession companies and former President Sirleaf herself.
Sirleaf once admitted to failing to reconcile the country that has suffered over a decade of civil war(s) that she, too contributed towards, mainly by giving out sums of money to buy weapons to destroy over 250,000 lives as well as countless properties.
It was recommended in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report that former President Sirleaf should have been barred from holding any public office after her first term but as it went, she being the judge with the gable, failed to consider any recommendation of the TRC for implementation.
Weah, on the other hand had the establishment of war and economic crimes court as one of his campaign mantra but is now in a dilemma to let the court be established because former warlords, including Senator Prince Y. Johnson of Nimba County are now his (Weah) supporters.
Senator Johnson who said that Weah was unfit to manage the affairs of the country as President, later on took to the streets and nooks of Nimba, campaigning for Weah, a former soccer star and Senator of Montserrado, to become President.
Sirleaf, on the other hand, did not march out with Weah on his campaign trips but took him for the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of Gbarnga-Lofa road, instead of her then VP, Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
She distanced herself from her former VP in the 2017 general and Presidential elections and was later expelled from the Unity Party (the party’s ticket that gave her the presidency in 2005 and 2011) until in recent times when court proceedings disallowed the decision of the executive committee of the former ruling Unity Party (UP) to oust her.