By: Charles B. Russell
The Ebola crisis in Liberia has unearthed the true nature of Madam EllenJohnson Sirleaf: she is incompetent to continue leading Liberia as president. It has also tested the character of our political leaders; who are supposed to protect the citizens against any form of danger that may cause death and destruction. Rather, they have made nonsense of the character of sound political leadership as described in every healthy nation, and Liberia should not an exception.
It is incomprehensible that Madam President and her crooked friends are shamelessly exploiting this Ebola crisis to steal more money for themselves. This sad development is a clear demonstration that Liberians will be catching more hell with this corrupt government that does not care for its citizens.
Let me unequivocally state here that Liberians are not only dying of the Ebola virus as being reported—lack of clean drinking water and poor sanitation in Liberia are the leading causes of malaria, diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. Hospital staff refuses to admit people who contract any of these diseases, leaving them to die and attributing their deaths to Ebola. Unless immediate and decisive actions are taken, many of our people will continue to die from treatable diseases.
The unfolding events in the country would lead one to the bitter conclusion that the government has become too weak and consequently unable to carry the burden to protect its citizens. While Transparency and Accountability are products of good governance, without them, political leadership will be of no benefit to the masses. Massive corruption in this government continues to undermine national progress. Poverty has become a way of life amongst our people. This should help explain why Liberia is still counted among the poorest countries in the world despite the abundance of natural resources. Our political leaders have selfish intentions to allow the country to drift into disintegration. Surprisingly, many of our political leaders are carrying on as if they have nothing to lose when the contrary is clearly the case.
The greatest problem of this government is corruption at all levels. It is deep rooted in Ellen’s administration, which has not been able to effectively fight corruption as promised. Many of her officials are building huge mansions they own fleets of expensive cars, and have fat bank accounts. That is why so many blatantly refused to declare their assets when asked to do so and those who appeared lied under oath with impunity. Her friends are not being prosecuted for corrupt practices and violating ordinary citizens. For example, her friend, the Minister of Public Works, Antoinette Weeks, entered a church during service and destroyed private properties; she was escorted by police officers to intentionally commit a crime. The only solution the President of Liberia offered was for Ms Weeks to publicly apologise—nothing else. Where is the justice for these poor people?
It is indeed a solid fact that the current widespread of Ebola in the country is mainly as a result of the government failure to speedily act when the news of Ebola first broke out in March of 2014. The Minister of Health knowingly lied to the people of Liberia and if Patrick Sawyer had not gone to Nigeria with the Ebola virus to be exposed, many more Liberians would have died. He was the sacrificial lamb: the Liberian government was informed of his taking this deadly virus to another country.
No doubt, Liberians suffer and catch hell under the gavel of Madam President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Apparently, Madam President does not understand that she was elected into office to find and provide solutions to the problems in our country. All the good promises made by Ellen to Liberians during her campaign we can now conclude were lies. Nothing of substance has been done to improve the lives of ordinary Liberians. We are now faced with the challenge to ask this old lady to resign to save our people and country because her poor governing is characterized by incompetence and lack of political will to make critical leadership decisions in the interest of our people and country.
|Shaki Kamara (A West Point recently gunned down to death by the Liberian Army in West Point)|
In the midst of government pretending to fight this new weapon of death called Ebola, another human tragedy intentionally took place under Ellen JohnsonSirleaf’s Defense Minister Brownie Samukai instruction. A 15- year old boy, Shaki Kamara who was sent by his grandmother to purchase a bag of tea, was shot by a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia and left to die on the street in West Point. These soldiers who were dressed in full combat gear were ordered to quarantine Ebola victims instead of professional medical staff. What is repugnant, the Defense Minister lied that little Sheaky tripped on barbed wire and was not shot. Nevertheless, hospital staff confirmed that little Sheaky did die from bullets wound but, was refused treatment and turned away profusely bleeding by two hospitals.
Most of us patriotic Liberians are willing to hold this government’s feet to the fire in order to restore integrity or give way to a government that is willing to do just that.
To date, Liberians who fled into other African countries during the EllenJohnson Sirleaf and Charles Taylor war that left over 250,000 Liberians dead cannot return home because of the economic hardships under the gavel of Madam President. Jobs are scarce in Liberia and those who are lucky to find a job in the private sectors face harsh working conditions: working 10 to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week with no overtime, no benefits and earning on average $30.00 US dollars a month. Some would take any kind of job so as not to be unemployed – and they have no choice but to accept the bad working conditions. The situation is so severely bad that someone dared to complain; however, most stay quiet because they are afraid of losing their jobs. The government is not willing to offer protection from the inevitable onslaught of corruption and dehumanization from powerful employers. In fact, these powerful employers in the private sectors bribe government officials to enable them to maintain cheap labor and amass huge profits.
Most of these work places are physically harmful and emotionally degrading. High injury rates and unsafe environments compound the risk for workers without insurance and are locked into these unsuitable jobs. Yet, theEllen-led government continues to ignore the daily cry of the downtrodden masses’ right to productive work and decent wages to provide for their families.
A young man who got a job with Total Gas Station in Unification Town (Smell -no –Taste) was robbed and shot dead while on duty. No compensation from the management of Total Gas Station came forth to the dead man’s parents and the Minister of Labor did nothing to help the family to go after management.
This is how Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is running Liberia from her Ministry of Foreign Affairs office abandoning the Executive Mansion for reasons best known to her.
To all who agree with how Ellen Johnson is running Liberia, may God do the same to them.
Charles B. Russell