Former Liberian Leader Disappointed


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 17, 2004

Madam Ruth Sando Perry, the lady who is credited for making a significant political gain in the Liberian peace process when she headed the then six-man Council of State Government that ushered in the 1997 democratic government, has expressed disappointment with the way past leaders in Liberia are treated; writes Josiah S. Hallie.

Madam Perry, who was recently speaking at the Headquarters of the Unity Party on Broad Street, Monrovia, when she was honored by the executives and members of the party, said, “I am disappointed with the governments in the past and now the way they treat their former leaders.”

The former State Council Chair said, in other countries, especially past heads of state for that matter, are given better care and provisions in which reasonable requirements are ensured for them, adding, “this is not true in Liberia, but the opposite.” She said Liberian former leaders are always downplayed; forgotten about their previous services rendered.

The aging former leader said, when she turned power over to the elected government in 1997, she was denied all her benefits against the constitutional provisions.

Madam Perry, who was gowned by UP partisans from Grand Cape Mount County, lauded the executives and members of the party for the honor bestowed upon her, noting, “The occasion brought comfort and joy in my heart in the manner you are honoring me.”

She indicated that members of UP have broken the unfortunate national culture where former leaders are quickly forgotten about, referring to them as “ a single group of Liberians who believe in the dignity and integrity of human person regardless of one’s problem, tragedy, fortunes or misfortunes.”

For her part, the standard-bearer of Unity Party, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, thanked the honoree for her past contributions towards the state and its people. Madam Sirleaf further stressed that they, in Unity Party, will try to respect Mrs. Perry’s legacy to contribute to the peace she helped to bring.

The occasion brought together several dignitaries including Ghanaian Ambassador to Liberia, who praised Madam Perry for working hard to bring peace in the country in 1997. “But unfortunately,” according to the ambassador, “that peace was shred apart.” He then presented her with a gift of a high quality Ghanaian cloth known as “kente.”

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.