Marketers Honor Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
By Moses Gray
Posted October 2, 2003
The collaborating Political Parties of Liberia and hundreds of marketeers in Monrovia recently bestowed honors on thee "iron-lady" of Liberian politics and flag bearer of opposition Unity Party, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Madam Johnson-Sirleaf was also showered with praises and honors at a glamorous ceremony in Monrovia organised by hundreds of marketeers who converged in Monrovia, from various suburbs and towns surrounding the capital for her astute role in bring peace to Liberia raven by war.
In her response at the various ceremonies, Madam Johnson-Sirleaf maintained that she remains undaunted in the search for peace, equal opportunity and social justice in Liberia. She also added that the search for social justice and peace for everyone in Liberia remains one of her primary focus.
The UP’s ‘Iron Lady’ said over the years, she has been criticized, victimized, marginalized and abused by enemies of peace and justice, but nevertheless, she added, "we’re still moving up".
The astute politician disclosed that with the ushering in of a new day in Liberia, Unity Party in collaboration with other political parties will be formulating plans for a vision that will bring about economic prosperity, freedom and equal opportunity for all Liberians.
Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf said the ‘New Liberia’ that members of the collaborating political parties envisage requires new thinking, commitment, understanding and the broad-base participation of all Liberians.
In his introduction remarks, the controversial acting chairman of the National Democratic Party of Liberia (NDPL) J. Hodo Merriam, said the coming together of political parties in Liberia demonstrates unity and understanding amongst Liberians.
Also appearing yesterday on Radio Veritas live phone-in talk show, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf stressed the need for reconciliation to be the road map in the New Liberia.
The ‘Iron Lady’ said if unity, oneness and other tenets of democracy are to take root in the Liberian society, it is incumbent upon all Liberians to recognize and accept their mistakes, reconcile their differences and allow national interests to supercede personal and party interest, adding "Liberia finds herself in a state of degradation and we all have to work together to redeem it".
Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf reiterated her plans to working with the Gyude Bryant incoming government and the international community to make Liberians engage in productive works to become self reliant.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Sirleaf has warned Liberians to stop comparing her with former president Charles Taylor because according to her, they are not of the same class since she is a woman of her word, a hint to a wise is quite sufficient!
Unity Party’s standard-bearer, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has promised to help in paving the street leading to the "Gobachop Market" in Paynesville, and to improve the general condition of the market.
Speaking on Wednesday when she was honored by thousands of marketers of the Gobachop Market for her role in bringing peace to Liberia, Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf also promised to assist with the reconstruction of the nation and to bring more schools with the assistance of the international community.
She indicated that the international community is prepared and willing to help Liberia, but Liberians must start the process by doing those things that they can do for themselves, stressing that Liberians should not always rely on the international community for assistance.
She however, said the paving of the Gobachop Market road will be a collective job, meaning that the marketers will provide the workforce while she will provide the finances including the cement and tools. She recounted the important role of marketers in providing for the nation whether in rain or shine, war or peace, but lamented that they are always the worst victims and least recipients of the nation’s resources.
Earlier, the marketers commended Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf for her role in bringing peace in Liberia through the international community, and appealed to her to empower them through micro-credit project to improve their lot. They said many of them were devastated by the war and their goods destroyed.
Speaking through Mr. Francis Lavahun, the marketers also appealed to Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf to make reconciliation her first priority, saying that they are tired of war, deaths, destruction and "microphone rhetoric politicians".
Meanwhile, the marketers have frowned on faction leaders and politicians who are scrambling over jobs. They noted that faction leaders and rebels claimed to be liberators, but they are now proving that they only came to kill and destroy for jobs. The marketers are therefore appealing to ECOMIL to speed-up their deployment on the highways to put an end to harassment, rape, torture and killing of marketers by GOL militiamen, LURD and MODEL forces.