President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is calling on Liberians to unite and take advantage of the opportunities to move the country forward.
“I appeal to all Liberians to do your part, whatever that part is, to ensure that we move the country forward so that we may achieve the goals we have set through a united, collective effort of everybody,” she urged.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the appeal when she addressed the gathering at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville during a Special Thanksgiving and Welcome Service held for her safe return home after a three-week visit to the United States and Europe.
She indicated that the country’s progress in the Ebola fight has presented it with “a window of opportunity that we can use to come together as a people, work together to achieve the goals as a country, put aside all the bickering and move the country forward while this window is open.”
President Sirleaf warned that the window will not remain open forever as there was the likelihood that some other global threat or circumstance might arise that could divert the attention of the international community.
Each individual has to take responsibility for the progress of Liberia, she admonished.
President Sirleaf reiterated that others, including the international community, are there to support our efforts. She, however, reminded Liberians that the foreign partners “will not do what we are not willing to do for our country. The primary responsibility rests upon us,” she declared.
The President admonished everyone to put aside his or her differences, take responsibility and work harder than ever before with commitment and dedication for the development of the country, including achieving the country’s Agenda for Transformation while the window remains open.
She indicated that her mission abroad was that of a messenger on behalf of the Liberian people to go and say thank you to all those who came to join the country in its fight against the Ebola virus disease.
President Sirleaf said she also played the role of an advocate to inform her US counterpart, President Barrack Obama, and other U.S. officials and the international community that even though they have helped to bring Liberia this far, the fight against Ebola is not yet over.
“We still need that partnership to go the next mile to ensure we fix those things that need to be fixed, including more support to rebuild our broken health system and to work towards those targets set in the Agenda for Transformation.
She also used her visit to advocate for the two sisterly countries worse affected by the Ebola virus disease, noting that they all had to come together as a region because whatever they did for Liberia will not have the ultimate effect unless they did the same for Sierra Leone and Guinea that are also battling Ebola.
“When this is done, then our three countries can move together with the same level of progress and we can all resume our development activities and our efforts for regional cooperation and integration.”
The overall response was very encouraging and there is an abundance of goodwill for Liberia and this was demonstrated in all the meetings held during her visit, she reported.
“I can say to you that the love for the Liberian people, the appreciation for all that the Liberian people and the communities have done to ensure that we are where we are, I bring to you their goodwill and their appreciation for what you have done to ensure that the global threat has been contained,” she declared, adding that it was a big thank you from them to you.
She indicated that she accomplished what she had set out to do during her visit which was not only to give thanks but to also get the commitment for the continued partnership so that Liberia can make up for the lost time that the country faced because of the virus.
She extolled the team of the Incidence Management System, Vice President Joseph Boakai, Defense Minister Brownie Samukai, who chaired the Cabinet in consultation with the Vice President during her absence, all local and international organizations for helping Liberia combat the Ebola virus which has now declined to the extent that the country has begun the countdown to being declared Ebola-free by the middle of April 2015.
“A big commendation to our health team – the Incidence Management System – who enabled our trip to be successful because the good news kept coming from them,” she said. She noted that there was great appreciation on the part of all Liberians for all they’ve done – consistency, effectiveness and commitment to ensure that Liberia reached this far.