By C. Winnie Saywah-Jimmy
The Internal Affairs Minister, Morris Dukuly, says President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf had at no time ignored the plight of her citizens while in or away from Liberia.
Directing his statement to the recent outbreak of the Ebola virus wherein the public was made to think that President Sirleaf’s travel was to escape the virus and leave the citizenry in harm’s way without adequately addressing the situation before her departure, Minister Dukuly said the President directed options to contain the situation.
Minister Duluky who served as acting President and head of the cabinet at the time said even if she were present in the country, she would have made the same decisions she took to contain the situation along with the Ministry of Health authorities and its international partners.
“She does not need to be in Monrovia to administer the government and decisions cannot be made in the media always by responsible actors of government and not every statement made from the public needs to be dignified,” the Internal Affairs Minister told journalists who had gone to gather information about the state of the Ebola Virus and its update while he served as proxy for President Sirleaf.
He explained how the government’s decision of not closing the country’s border during the news of the Ebola outbreak in neighboring Guinea was conscious and that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s warnings about the virus was not a mystification and even if it were, it was a good mystification because of Liberians’ own way of extending salutations and handling the dead.
Considering the cry of the public against how the virus was publicized and the government’s stance, Minister Dukuly said, “People are looking for some cheap straw to hang on to push their political agenda because President Sirleaf’s travels are not for holidays or pleasure.”
He said the Liberian leader travels to put forth the government’s development agenda and that is what leadership is about; to govern and have the government achieve what it wants. Minister Dukuly disclosed that the government alone contributed about $275,000 towards the containment of the Ebola virus.
He further said all the anti side talks while government tried to attend to the virus was just mere ‘childish talks’ because government is succeeding in taming the monster and that so far there have been no new deaths as it relates to the Ebola virus.
Minister Dukuly said Dr. Walter Gwengale and his deputy did a wonderful job and were to their best during the news of the outbreak of the Ebola and even though there are 33 new contacts, the Ebola virus is being contained while the contacts are under medical observation.
“President Sirleaf never abandoned the citizenry and she is still in charge,” he clarified.