The Ebola Plague: Does The Liberian Government Deserve Any Sympathy?

 

Editorial

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 3, 2014

                  

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The outbreak of Ebola in Liberia is not a surprise to the Sirleaf Government. Prior to the first case in Foya, Lofa County, the Liberian Government knew that the deadly plague had surfaced in Guinea near the Liberian border and was killing people in that country. Though they heard and saw on TV how dangerous this disease was, the government did nothing.

The borders, though porous, remained open.  No education campaign for the citizenry was launched.  No working gears for our healthcare workers were purchased and distributed.  In other words, there was no sense of urgency on the part of the so-called Iron Lady. This is the same Iron Lady who said the following in her first inaugural message:

“Yet, we are humbled and awed by the enormity of the challenges that lie ahead – to heal our nation’s wounds, redefine and strengthen its purpose, make democracy a living and effective experiment, promote economic growth, create jobs, revitalize our health and educational facilities and services, and quicken the pace of social progress and individual prosperity in this country.”

But President Sirleaf was just telling Liberians and the International Community what she felt that they wanted to hear.  So despite the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, she was globetrotting.  When Benoni Urey complained, she unleashed her hired pens and talking-heads to chase him out of town.  Urey demanded apology from the mansion for the insults he had received and got zero apology.  Sadly, his recommendations that President Sirleaf should stay in the country and combat the Ebola plague head-on, were relegated to the back burner.  And the President and her Government decided to continue their slumber. 

So what is responsible for the spread of this deadly plague is bad policy coupled with corruption under Madam Sirleaf’s rulership. .The President is not setting good examples for her cronies or government officials to emulate.  What happened to the millions of dollars allotted to the Health Ministry, including the earlier thirteen million dollars from the EU? 

It has been nine years since she became president, why don’t we have:

  1. Working gears for our health workers.  The Ebola has killed more healthcare workers including medical doctors than anywhere in the world.
  2. Why don’t we have adequate ambulances for each county?  Nowadays, if you are sick or your relative is sick, no taxi driver will stop for you.  This is why when some people are sick due to Ebola or even malaria, they die in their houses.
  3. Why in this 21st century, there is no 911 system in the country?  If Ebola attacks someone in a village, how will the people call for immediate help?
  4. Why don’t we have crematory equipment?   Funerals services are head for people who died from the plague.
  5. Despite the fact that we are the oldest independent country in Africa, why don’t we have national TV or radio station that can cover the entire nation to carry out Ebola awareness, etc.?

  6. The President promised to electrify Monrovia in 6 months, why only (mostly) the areas her cronies live have electricity? The health centers in the country have to fend for themselves.
 

Therefore, the president does not deserve any kudos for doing nothing: the health services have not been revitalized.  The prosperity that she that she bragged about can only is seen in the pockets of her cronies.  The educational system is worse than it has even been – even during the Samuel Doe regime.  Job creation is zero.  Though hailed internationally as a President who is fighting corruption and promoting transparency, corruption is the best friend of the president.  The international community hailed her that way because of the millions of dollars she pumps in to campaign for and polish her image.

She is no Iron Lady.  She says that people must stop eating bush meat, but bush meat is in abundance on the local market now than it was at the time she made the announcement through her EPA.  Worst of all, majority of the meat comes from neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

It will therefore make sense for any contribution from Liberians and International Partners to be channeled through International NGOs, instead of sending it directly through the government of Liberia. The Sirleaf Government is very corrupt and has no agenda for the safety and wellbeing of the citizens and security of the homeland.

Ebola Statistics
Guinea - 339 deaths, 460 cases
Liberia - 156 deaths, 329 cases
Sierra Leone - 233 deaths, 533 cases
Nigeria - 1 death, 1 case


Sarr Abdulai VANDI
The editorial is an accurate and correct damning indictment of the régime of the corrupt and the incompetent, which is complete and thorough.

The advice and recommendation of the editorial must be adhered to and complied with.
Sarr Abdulai VANDI at 08:47AM, 2014/08/03.
Ben Nmah
An inept and disgraceful leadership.
Ben Nmah at 08:43AM, 2014/08/04.
Amos T. Kollie
You have done it again, The Perspective,. For quite a long time, I have not seen any editorial on your site. I thought you were going out of business or you were mute because the person you thought had the magic Wang for Liberia,. Mrs. Sirleaf, is now in power. But this editorial sounds like the previous one. I googled the previous editorial and I found it at:

http://www.liberiaitech.com/theperspective/2007/0813200701.html.

It is entitled: Liberia needs the “Iron Lady”, not “Ma Ellen” to Run Government!

I was very impressed with the above editorial, but then you decided to go underground in 2007 after publishing the nice editorial.

The old lady (Ellen Johnson Sirleaf) is not in control. She is corrupt and incompetent. On top of it, she has no clue as to what is going on in the country.

Look at the way she has been handling the Ebola issue as you correctly put it in your editorial. Bravo Perspective! I hope you are here to stay.
Amos T. Kollie at 04:20PM, 2014/08/04.
B. K. Washington
I truly hope that the Prelates of Liberia, who claim this Ebola scourge signifies God's anger with us, have read this editorial. For I suspect it was these same “men of God” aka “false prophets” who led the charge in 2005 to crown Ellen Sirleaf as Queen of Africa, not just President of Liberia. So where have they been hiding during these nine years that the locusts have been eating our country under Sirleaf’s very corrupt, inefficient, selfish, immoral and unpatriotic rule? They have remained as quiet as church rats – perhaps too embarrassed or afraid to come out and condemn her errant ways. If God is upset with anyone in Liberia it must be these folks, who misled, deserted and betrayed His people. This Ebola epidemic has only focused new light on Monrovia’s very unhealthy life-threatening slum conditions. So let our “holy men” start fasting and praying for their own transgressions, and ask God to get both this Ebola and the crazy devil off the backs of our people without delay.
B. K. Washington at 09:36AM, 2014/08/05.
Sylvester Moses
Three of the poorest countries in West Africa with some of the worst health care institutions were struck by an elusive virus, which is causing scare even among Americans after one of theirs was infected, and we’re putting all the blame on Mrs. Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf. Granted that as President she is responsible for what goes amiss on her watch, yet aren’t we letting the powerful Legislature off the hook too easily?

Perhaps, some of us are forgetting that it was Grand Kru County Senator, Hon. Cletus Wortorson, and Bassa County Senator, Hon Findlley, who led the chorus in denying the existence of Ebola, and claimed that it was a gimmick perpetrated by the leadership at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to get funds from donor agencies. And then came the death blows from New Kru Town’s Redemption Hospital which fell a doctor, and nurses.

In hindsight, that clueless and careless public expression of cynicism did more to hamper public awareness of the engagement regimes of the virus, and, consequently, its preventive and containment measures. The question is: why are those leaders elected also to seek the interests, and protect their constituents from harm being spared our collective disapproval? Let’s spread the blame like butter a little better: this editorial should‘ve done just that.

Sylvester Moses at 12:02PM, 2014/08/05.

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