'Unpatriotic and Reckless': A MICAT Commentary

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President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is in Washington DC attending the Spring meeting of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund expected to discuss, among other things, the post-Ebola recovery of West Africa’s most-affected countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

These Bretton Woods institutions have accepted that the Ebola epidemic has reversed positive economic trends, especially in Liberia, to negative growth rates that could span the next few years.

Also expected to be highlighted at the Washington DC meeting are plans to revitalize and strengthen Liberia’s health sector to withstand future shocks and provide quality healthcare services.

But while on this mission, which ultimately is in the national interest, enemies of progress and blind critics, under the canopy of the press freedom guaranteed by this government, are pulling their dangerous and unpatriotic daggers and have begun stabbing the government.

The FrontPage newspaper in its April 14, 2015 edition in its lead headline titled: ”EJS Comes to Aid  of GAC Indictees: Shielding Corruption?” called the President’s fight against corruption unduly into question.

It is inconceivable and preposterous for a Liberian publication to maliciously unleash such a negative article  which coincides with the visit to Washington D.C of the Liberian leader to participate in a Regional Post-Ebola Recovery Conference hosted by the World Bank for the three hardest-hit Ebola countries.

Indeed, the timing of the article demonstrates the lack of nationalism on the part of the FrontPage newspaper which should be concerned about the country’s post-Ebola recovery agenda.

Obviously, it is no surprise
that the FrontPage Newspaper could hatch such a vicious scheme, considering its previous stance on outsourcing management of the Ebola crisis to foreign partners, a move that was vehemently condemned by
the Government.

The Government at the time made it clear that as a national crisis, the people of Liberia must manage and take control of the process, something which international partners viewed as rational
and praiseworthy.

No doubt, the newspaper is aware that raising issues of corruption while the President is on a fundraising mission is tantamount to telling donors not to chip into the basket.

 Previous trips to Washington DC during which President Sirleaf met US President Barack Obama and Congressional and other American leader as well as a visit to Brussels to meet European Union leaders yielded a positive result.

 The fact that the World Bank and IMF would accommodate President Sirleaf and her counterparts from Guinea and Sierra Leone is a pointer to the realization of the critical needs facing these countries in the post-Ebola era.

Throwing a spook into the wheel of international goodwill to settle whatever scores by publishing a negative article about a national leader cannot
be justified, especially when it has a negative impact on efforts to reposition the country after a devastating health crisis.

At this juncture, we pause to ask: Where lies the FrontPage newspaper’s nationalism? What will it benefit at the detriment and expense of its patrimony? Who gets severely hurt? President Sirleaf, or the Liberian people?

Indeed it is an unpatriotic pen at work, exhibiting that patriotism has been lost to blind opposition.