The Iron Lady, Cool Under Fire...LITERALLY


By Joe Flomo Matthew

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 4, 2006


I watched with horror when fire engulfed and gutted the Executive Mansion on Independence Day. It was very painful considering the significance of the day.

Despite the set back brought by that incident, I today take solace in the manner our dynamic President; THE IRON LADY Madame Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has conducted herself in handling the whole matter. She has remained publicly calm, assuring jittered Liberians that all is well. That is the mark of a great leader, something that has been lacking in Liberia for many years.

Equally, the three West African leaders from Ghana, Sierra-Leone, and Ivory Coast must be congratulated for standing with our President in the time of national disaster.

I am of the opinion that had this incident occurred during leadership of past administrations in Liberia, hundreds could be in jail or even executed before any investigation could commence. For this, I publicly want to congratulate our Grandmother, our mother, our National President, THE IRON LADY MADAME ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF. To you Madam President, you have given us hope, as the song "Give Us Hope, Ma Ellen" suggests.

I know the Executive Mansion very well as I worked there as a young Electrical Technician from February 1979 to November 1984. As a 1978 graduate of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, I had the opportunity to work with the then Chief Electrical Engineer of the Mansion, an Italian named Mr. Flavio Balera. I learned a lot from Mr. Balera to the extent that today, I still have vivid memory of the entire layout of the electrical system in the Mansion. While I do not rule out sabotage, I do have my own theory as to what went wrong. I will keep my theory to myself, as I do not want to confuse an already confused situation.

With God on our side, and with the IRON LADY on the helm, I envision a better Liberia, a better Liberia for all of us...A GLORIOUS LAND OF LIBERTY BY GOD'S COMMAND...

© 2006 by The Perspective

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