Liberian Refugees in Ghana Honor Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
By: Josephus Moses Gray
Posted December 6, 2003
Liberian refugees in the Republic of Ghana recently bestowed a prestigious honor on Unity Party’s Standard-bearer, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who is described as the "Iron-lady of Liberian politics".
According to a dispatch from the Buduburam Refugees Camp, outside Accra, the wonderful event which brought together hundreds of Liberian refugees and representatives of various organizations, was climaxed with the gowning of Madam Sirleaf.
Among the organizations and personalities that graced the occasion organized by the Progressive Youth Club of Liberian refugees, were the Concerned Liberian Women, Rural Women of Liberia, Kru Women, the Buduburam Welfare Council and the Ghanaian camp commander, Mr. John Thompson.
The Unity Party Standard Bearer, who was in Accra for a Seminar on NEPAD, visited the Buduburam camp in response to an invitation from the Progressive Youth Club to receive her flowers while she is still alive.
During the occasion, several beautiful statements in recognition of the honoree’s contributions in the Liberian peace process and the growth and development of war-torn Liberia were highlighted.
The refugees also applauded the UP Standard-bearer for her numerous assistance towards their plight.
Responding to the gesture and all the beautiful remarks, Madam Sirleaf lauded the Liberian refugees for the honor bestowed upon her and promised to build a fence around the camp’s football field and improve the playing pitch.
She presented a purse of US$1,000 to the Progressive Youth Club towards the fencing and improvement of the football field. She then promised to give an amount of US$1,350 to transport by sea a number of the Liberian refugees back home to Liberia.
In a special statement, the commander of the refugees camp, Mr. Thompson commented on the improved discipline and behavior of the Liberian refugees at the camp, adding that the situation has been helped by the establishment of a vigilante group outfitted by UNHCR.
During the occasion, the honoree met a young Liberian pastor, Shadrach, 11 years old, who gave the closing benediction at the program. The touching sermon of the young pastor moved Madam Sirleaf that she committed to paying his tuition in school.
The Progressive Youth Club was founded on July 27, 2003, by three farsighted and progressive Liberian students currently seeking refuge in Ghana. The three Liberians are Masters Bartu Cummings Gray, Bernard Kossigbo and John Sawbo.