Ellen Returns From U.S., Others

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is calling on all Liberians to unite, take advantage of 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 the goals we have set we can achieve those goals through a united, collective effort of everybody,” the Liberian leader urged.

According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion when she addressed the gathering at the Effort Baptist Church in Paynesville during a Special Thanksgiving and Welcoming Service held for her safe arrival back home late Friday, March 13, 2015, after a three-week visit to the United States of America and Europe.

The Liberian leader indicated that the country’s progress in the Ebola fight has presented it with a window of opportunity that can be used to come together as a people, work together to achieve the goals as a country, put aside all the bickering and to move the country forward while this window is opened.

President Sirleaf warned that this window will not remain open forever as there was a likelihood that some other global threat or circumstance might arise that could divert the attention of the international community.

She emphasized that each individual has to take responsibility for the progress of Liberia.

President Sirleaf reiterated that others, including the international community, are there to support our efforts; but reminded Liberians that they will not do what we are not willing to do for our country. “The primary responsibility will rest on us.”

The Liberian leader admonished everyone to put aside their 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 remain opened.

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 join the country in its fight against the Ebola virus disease.

President Sirleaf said she was also an advocate to inform her US counterpart, and other officials in the U.S. and the international community that even though they have brought Liberia this far, the fight against Ebola is not over yet. “We still needed that partnership to go the next mile to ensure we fix those things that needs to be fix, including more support to rebuild out broken health system and to work towards those targets set in the Agenda for Transformation.

She said 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 all of 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 Liberian leader stressed.

President Sirleaf stressed that the overall response was very encouraging and there is an abundance of goodwill for Liberia and this was demonstrated in all the meetings she had during her visit.

“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 said, adding that it was a big thank you from them to you.

The Liberian leader 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, 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 enable our trip to be successful because the good news kept coming from them,” she said, noting 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.

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