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Ebola uncovered the real Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh         Ebola patient in Liberia


A humane way to pay tribute to the dead is not to talk bad about the person. After all, the individual is deceased; so saying bad things about the person is cruel and uncivilized.

Why say bad things about a dead person who is gone and cannot defend him or herself, in the first place?

In our natural world, however, we are expected to respect the dead, say good things about the individual, and wished that his or her soul “rest in peace.”

In an era of the Ebola virus that rages senselessly in Liberia, those widely accepted codes of ethical behavior are thrown out the window as Madame Sirleaf shifts blame to exonerate her administration of mishandling the crisis, even as her presidency whirls in an avalanche of confusion and incompetence.

Patrick Oliver Sawyer’s Ebola-ravaged body was barely cremated in Nigeria far away from the tears and anxieties of his wife and kids when Sirleaf, playing to the massive negative sentiments of the Nigerians and her local Liberian audience, threw a jab at the deceased in an unpleasant way.

Sirleaf reportedly attributes Sawyer’s death to “indiscipline and disrespect” when he knowingly traveled with the Ebola virus on a plane to Nigeria to infect others.

As controversial and deplorably bad Sawyer’s Ebola death was, the last thing a nation wants its president to do is badmouth the dead, a fellow citizen – her employee; even as she apologizes to Nigeria for Sawyer’s transgressions.

Patrick Oliver Sawyer succumbed to Ebola in July, but the politics and mind boggling presidential incompetence that followed has since exposed the Sirleaf administration for what this president has been all these years to the Liberian people.

Madame Sirleaf did not only show incompetence in the way she handled the Ebola crisis; she is clueless, which is as dangerous as the virus that continues to wreak havoc in Liberia today.

Sadly, over a month after Sawyer passed away in Nigeria; Madame Sirleaf seems to hop from one ambiguous social experiment to the other in an attempt to prove to her critics that she’s “trying her best.”

Trying her best means setting up an Ebola holding center in the overcrowded coastal slum community of West Point, right in the heart of the city of Monrovia, when a holding center could have been erected in a less populated area faraway from the city.

How can a president who orders the quarantine of a community to prevent residents from traveling from one area to the other so as not to spread the virus, put a holding center in the same community?

And when citizens of West Point protest the president’s curfew and quarantine policies, which did not include a workable plan to distribute food to the affected areas, her military opened fire and killed a 15-year old teenager, Shakie Kamara.

Knowing historically how the non-independent Liberian judicial system works with past administrations, and how President Sirleaf often manipulates the court’s decisions, Shakie Kamara’s death could be in vain without a single individual going to prison or held liable for the senseless death of young Kamara.

So why West Point, in this era of Ebola?

Like New Kru Town, Logan Town, Jamaica Road and other parts of Liberia, these areas have suffered woeful neglect from politicians for decades, in terms of economic and infrastructure development.

So when Madam Sirleaf imposed her unilateral decision on the citizens of West Point to erect a holding Ebola center in that overcrowded slum, which could easily cause long-term illnesses and possibly exterminate those poor people, they have the right to oppose their government’s cold-hearted intrusion in their lives.

The Ebola crisis is out of control and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is overwhelmed, with no answer whatsoever to deal with the enormous public health crisis that continues to kill Liberians, and expose her leadership flaws.

Leading terribly from behind with no credible Ebola and disaster management policy in sight to combat the deadly virus or future natural disasters, a frustrated Sirleaf dismissed government officials whom she claimed defied her ultimatum to return to Liberia from their foreign trips.

However, the latest estimate so far have Liberia leading in the number of Ebola deaths in West Africa; ahead of Guinea and Sierra, the two countries that reportedly exported the virus to Liberia.

Equally disturbing is the fact that Sirleaf heads the Ebola task force, which makes no difference, anyway, because on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s watch as head of that (photo-ops) task force, more Liberians are dying, the virus just don’t want to go away, and some Liberians are beginning to demand (understandably so) that the Sirleaf administration be replaced with an interim government.

This is interesting because once up a time, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf once saw her popularity go through the stratospheres during the heyday of her presidency.

For this image-conscious and manipulative lady who invest millions in international awards and public relations to hide her obvious lack of leadership, naked arrogance and lack of compassion, to be the most hated person/politician in Liberia today, says a lot about what money cannot buy all the time.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf failed the Liberian people. Ebola uncovered what she’s all about.

Replace her!



Category: Editorial, News Headlines

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