By Morrison O.G Sayon
Many Liberians have strongly criticized President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for ignoring some of the major contributors in the fight against the vicious Ebola virus terming her action as a major blunder on her part.
In her State-of-the-Nation Address yesterday, President Sirleaf recognized some of the countries that contributed to the fight against Ebola in Liberia but deliberately failed to recognize the many contributions of the People’s Republic of China, the African Union (AU), the European Union (EU), the Lebanese and Indian Communities and others who played significant role in helping to combat the virus.
Some Liberians spoken to minutes following President Sirleaf’s State-of-the-Nation Address at the Legislature said though Madam Sirleaf brainily outlined her legislative agenda and her government’s policies for the next three years, she did not mention the People’s Republic of China for the many contributions that country made in helping to reach the country this far in the fight against Ebola.
A market woman, JestinaKollie who spoke to the INQUIRER last night noted that when Ebola broke out and many were dying amidst the high level of denial, it was China who rekindled the hope of the Liberian people when that country brought in over a million dollars worth of anti-Ebola materials including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on special cargo plane that eventually instilled hope to the country that indeed the virus can be defeated.
Mr. William Tweh, a banker in Monrovia recounted the numerous contributions made in terms of monetary donations by the European Union (EU), the African Union (AU) and other international partners who have been in the vanguard to curtail the spread of the Ebola virus.
Several Liberians complained that though the President recognized Mr. Tolbert Nyeswah, head of the Incident Management team and Dr. Jerry Brown of ELWA Ebola Treatment Unit II, she blundered by ignoring the level of contributions made by Montserrado County District#13 Representative, Saah Joseph and China a country that came to Liberia’s rescue when Ebola was raging throughout the country.
They called on Madam Sirleaf to apologize to China, the EU, AU and Rep. Saah Joseph and others who were left out for ignoring them during her national address even though she recognized and praised the other countries for contributing to the fight.
Some Liberians who commented on the President’s action on a social network expressed dismay over Madam Sirleaf’s failure to have mentioned the names of China, AU, EU, Rep. Saah Joseph and others who contributed significantly to the fight against Ebola in Liberia.
Lincoln Barcon, a media practitioner said on facebook, “So this is how ungrateful the Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is, by ignoring the immense contributions of other individuals like our freedom fighter; Saah Joseph, the Indian Community, FULA Community, Lebanese Community, and China the first country to make initial contribution of over 1m in the fight against the deadly Ebola Virus Disease before our great-grand-father who came in when everything was going down through the Grace of God.
He continued, “To conclude I will say the President is insensitive to issues that affect the Liberian people because the Liberian leader has deliberately ignored the contributions of others but rather appreciating friends and families for stealing Government’s money and making hardship a way of life in Liberia. To all of our freedom fighters who were not recognized during the President’s Annual message, you people will forever remain in our minds and we will never forget the numerous contributions made for us because God who created the Heaven and Earth will always remember your hard work and dedication to eradicating the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. We love you but God loves you the best.
Lawrence Randell, Charles Yates, and Jefferson commented, “The Liberian leader, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf addressed the National Legislature today as per mandated within by the Liberian constitution. The recent Ebola Disease Virus that engulfed the nation and the region dominated the President’s speech.
“The Liberian leader paid homage to many friendly nations and individuals who contributed to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country, including the Assistant Minister for preventive services at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, T. Nyenswah but failed to mention the man that the entire nation refers to as the ‘Ebola hero’- Saah Joseph.
The comment went on, “The man who personally battled Ebola with his personal resources may wonder why the Liberian leader would not have given this man his flowers while he is alive. The National Legislature in its opening session recently gave Rep. Joseph a standing ovation in recognition of his contribution to the fight against this Ebola virus. Was it an oversight or intentional? Can we discuss the battle against Ebola in Liberia and leave out Saah Joseph?”
Henry Costal also said, “That was very unfair to this great hero of our time, but the people love and appreciate him, so that is what matters.”
Varney K. Sirleaf commented, “This is an error on her part and was not only Saah Joseph, even China that intervened in our crisis by bringing the first Ebola testing machine to Liberia was not recognized, but she went on to recognize Nigeria and America.”