Liberia: A Sad Story Disconnected from the Real and Hidden Legacy of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, reflecting on the hidden legacy of Africa’s first ‘democratically elected’ Woman President.

By Jones Nhinson Williams

ROME, Italy – Over the past period, every day, especially today, is a sad day in Liberia.  Our entire country is a joke.

While youth in other countries are talking about, engaged in and undertaking the next best thing in technology, sharpening their skills and preparing their analytical minds, what is happening (continuous but understandable anti-government protests, lateral and vertical incompetence, economic paralysis and social meltdown, endemic mismanagement and misrule) in Liberia is exactly what Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her core humanly insensitive crew wanted, and this is what they created in 12 years of open-door stealing, unashamed corruption, and bad governance.

This is what she also wanted when she diabolically designed and supported the structure she left behind⁠—extreme poverty, high unemployment, weak and bad governance, corrupt institutions, failed educational system, and an unethical and misguided legislature.

Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf failed Liberia after 12 years of being entrusted with state power as President of the republic.  She failed on all indicators ⁠—especially with regards to human security and human development. She should be ashamed and embarrassed about what she created.

When the moment came for her to atone and reshape Liberia’s past, she refused to listen to God as well as to wise men and women who told her that her last-minute political tactics while leaving office, were very dangerous and bad for the country and potentially for the future of successive Liberian generations.

She was stubborn and never listen, as usual, giving room to the current social, economic, and political breakdown.  This is what she left with Liberia and Liberians who freely and willingly gave her state power, and whose natural and other resources her administration exploited in fulfillment of personal gains and selective enrichment.

Madam Ellen Johnson facilitated and left behind an unsophisticated and unskilled Liberian youth population that she refused to invest in, especially young Liberian girls who she let down as Africa’s first ‘democratically’ elected woman president.

She mismanaged the country’s financial output from concessionary contracts and other things. She championed and emboldened a corrupt and clueless national legislature that only represents itself and its members, and through hook and crook, she imposed on Liberia an unprepared political mandate.

She thought she was smarter than everyone who cautioned her otherwise, but this is what we are dealing with⁠—the shame she brought on our nation and people.

Only sound and better-schooled individuals will understand and appreciate why Ellen Johnson Sirleaf must be blamed for the mess we see ongoing today in Liberia.

When a leader’s legacy is a shadowy scheme that empowers a few (less than 1% of the total population) through an organized and interconnected chain of corruption and a pay-to-play institutionally-guided theft of public funds; is bent on self⁠-interest and singular protection at the expense of an entire nation and people; marginalizes all human sectors and the potential of the citizenry; and facilitates the existence of weak, incompetent and corrupt institutions, that leader has categorically and undeniably failed.

This is the truest and real legacy of former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Contrary to the impious legacy of Liberia’s and Africa’s first ‘democratically elected woman president,’ former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings not only left behind strong institutions in Ghana; he transformed the thinking and developed the skill-sets of Ghanaian youth – boys and girls, set up vibrant social, economic and political systems and internal structures, nurtured unparalleled patriotism across Ghana, and finally left behind a desirable and prepared political mandate in the person of John Kufuor – an esteemed and seasoned statesman and other leaders who followed –  while simultaneously listening to the voice of God through his conscience and the advice of wise men and women both in Ghana and in Africa.

Today, Rawlings’ Ghana is a shining example in Africa, while Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Liberia is an absolute mess.  People from all walks of life are craving to live, work, and do business in Ghana, while people around the world are removing Liberia from their investment itinerary and a bucket list of places to ever visit. Black American investors, influencers, and others are pouring into Ghana because of what Rawlings set in motion and those that followed him sustained.

Former President of Ghana,His Excellency President Rawlings’ who created Ghana as a shining example in Africa

Former President of Ghana, His Excellency President Rawlings’ who created Ghana as a shining example in Africa.

 All major international stars and celebrities of all strides are making Ghana their second home and new vacation destination.   On the contrary, after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left power in Liberia, even native Liberians are heart-broken, embarrassed, ashamed to visit their own country. This is the untold legacy of the “strong” woman who strongly believes she was born to be great, as stated in her uninspiring tale cum book: “This Child Will Be Great.”  

If greatness is defined by all that Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf achieved as President of Liberia, then Judas Iscariot, too, was great for betraying Jesus Christ. For Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf betrayed Liberia and Africa and deceived the world in believing otherwise about what she is not.

Jones Nhinson Williams

The Author:

Mr. Jones Nhinson Williams is a Liberian Philosopher, firmly educated by the Catholic Church. He is an American trained public policy, labor market information, strategic management, and workforce development professional with accomplished global experience in job creation and institutional governance. He can be reached at [email protected]

13 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t it shameful that such a scathing appraisal can’t be convincingly contradicted? Incredibly, few of the foremost financial beneficiaries of a dozen years of unaccountable authoritarian rule are the moral voices stoking instability; seriously?

    • This war crimnal Jones Nhinson of his LURD killing machine should be behind bars By now! After supervising the massive killing of innocent civilians, women, and children, Jones Nhinson with human blood draining down his lips and hands wants to come here on these sites to mislead an unsuspecting population. Your backside should be behind bars By now, you murderer and war criminal!

  2. OH! GOD WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO BLESS US WITH CREATIVE-MINDED INNOVATORS RIDING TO THE CORRIDORS OF POWER RATHER THAN SHALLOW-MINDED DESTRUCTIVE CRITICS AND PROTEST CHAMPIONS!!!!

  3. Mr. Williams,

    Most Western and African leaders wouldn’t have agreed with you even in the eleventh hour of Ellen’s second term. She is still hailed in most countries as a “charming angel” who brought peace to Liberia.
    There is a Liberian parable that says that I don’t care how long you wash the hand of the monkey, the black spot in it will NEVER go away.
    Some African countries and leaders had begun to scratch their heads when they noticed that Ellen would not naturally support her vice president but an opposition political party. Why?
    Ultimately, to evade justice;
    To entrap a megalomaniac, inept and incompetent successor from conducting audits on her management, hamper it from making strides and eventually return through another character to reconquer power by painting and exhibiting the inefficiencies of the incumbent.

    It is high time we pondered on 2023. Don’t just sit by and do nothing, start doing something. We need to start nation building come 2023. Prepare yourselves to serve your country diligently and patriotically.
    We need to vote in a morally clean, technically qualified and expediently proactive character in the Executive Mansion along with ideally experienced characters of great probity in both houses to commence the sustainable development of Mama Liberia for ourselves, our children and generations unborn, yes, we can!

    It is high time we wept and lamented over our plight for we have the divine power to speak life into any dead organisms and by faith, life is restored as Jesus birthed life into Lazarus, yes, we can!

    It is high time we reached out to our ignorant voting populace to teach them the relevance and danger of their votes in a democratic system by changing the status quo come 2023, yes, you must do that!

    May we be proud once again to sing the Lone Star in and out of Liberia.
    God bless you Mr. Williams.

    By the way, I hope you are on the ANC ticket. If not, consider it as plausible alternative!

    • This war crimnal Jones Nhinson Williams of his LURD killing machine should be behind bars By now! After supervising the massive killing of innocent civilians, women, and children, Jones Nhinson Williams with human blood draining down his lips and hands wants to come here on these sites to mislead an unsuspecting population. Your backside should be behind bars By now, you murderer and war criminal!

  4. So, every critic of ails in Liberian society today should become OR … must be a member of the ANC?
    Yet, some of us claim to be educated and better than those ill-fitted ones in power today?

    May God Save The State.

    • No Cooper, not all critics of ills in the Liberian society should be a member of the ANC. By you rightly recognizing and voicing them out is enough to know the contents of the character of the individual underlining them.

      However, nearly all Liberians have a tendency of knowing the ills but do nothing to make a change. Don’t just criticize, indulge in collective actions to make changes. Don’t just write, propose viable alternatives.

      We are living in a “democratic” society. I believe the best way we make changes is to vote the current administration out in 2023. How? By getting enough votes from Liberians. To get those votes, you need to convince them. And how do you convince Liberians now after many years of frustrations? Present a new group with new breed of leadership. Therefore, I also admonish you to register with the ANC if you want true and genuine change.

      Have a nice weekend Cooper.

  5. This piece didn’t just quince my soul but also brought enlightenment. It baffles me to know that we still have people in Liberia who are shifting blames on this current government headed by President Dr. George M. Weah, and forgetting to understand that things are the way they’re due to Ellen’s terrible leadership ability as President of Liberia for 12 years.
    In as much we do not do-away with self interest and focus on national interest, we will continue to crawl while our neighbors run.
    Nevertheless, am optimistic that by the divine help of God, the minds of the Liberian people will change for the best, and LIBERIA 🇱🇷 shall once again rise in Africa.

    #Loyalty_before_Royalty

  6. All I see here is criticism.
    What is the way forward?
    All you are pointing at is in the past, but how can make the the future better beginning from now?

  7. Yes. How can we make the future better? We are suffering from “Apollo” because our leaders keep putting their fingers in our eyes. And how do we know that the next leader will not do the same or worse to our sad way of life?

  8. This war crimnal Jones Nhinson Williams of his LURD killing machine should be behind bars By now! After supervising the massive killing of innocent civilians, women, and children, Jones Nhinson Williams with human blood draining down his lips and hands wants to come here on these sites to mislead an unsuspecting population. Your backside should be behind bars By now, you murderer and war criminal!

  9. It is absolutely mind bugging that an article laden with several inaccuracies and baseless lies could make it on the pages of a credible media institution like the Daily Observer!! The indicators are clear and the record speaks for itself!! It would have been helpful if this writer could site the stats and indicators (for example from 2006 when Madam Sirleaf assumed power and the same stats for 2017 when she left power).

    Another false and baseless claim is the assertion that President Sirleaf “facilitated and left behind an unsophisticated and unskilled Liberian youth population that she refused to invest in”. This kind of claim would only stand in a mental home, as the Sirleaf administration president over one of the largest capacity development scheme in modern Liberia history.

    The author, as one can easily tell from his poorly written article, is visibly angry and needs to do better to channel his anger and do better next time.

    Daily Observer, I must add, is under a greater obligation to publish articles that contain facts, and not driven by hate and misinformation.

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