The NEWS (Monrovia)

8 October 2012

Liberia: Get Out of the Way

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Wednesday returned from Japan with a strongly worded statement in which she told her critics to: "Get out of our way," because it is time for the country to make a big push in its development drive.

The President's statement was in response to assertion reportedly made by former Information Minister Emmanuel Bowier who said that the Madam Sirleaf is like "October rain" which comes with force and after a while, it stops.

Speaking at a thanksgiving service held at the Paynesville Town Hall, the Liberian leader said she accepts the characterization, however, accentuated that as she leads the country to development, officials and Liberians must follow...and if anyone cannot follow, he or she must get out of the way.

She told the gathering dominated officials of government and members of women organizations that it is time for Liberia to make a big push in its development drive and cannot allow any distraction.

The President said the big push for development requires that each member of her government has a responsibility to play their part.

She said if Liberia succeeds in its development drive everybody would benefit irrespective of political, tribal and religion affiliation.

"If we build roads, we increase water supply, increase electricity and other basic social services, it would benefit all of us regardless of who you are or where you come from; this is why we need to work together to move our country forward," the President said amidst applauds from the guests attending the occasion.

The Liberian leader hailed the recent report of the Mo Ibrahim Governance Index which indicates that Liberia and Sierra Leone have made tremendous progress in governance.

However, she said Sierra Leone is far ahead of Liberia saying "Sierra Leone is already in pre-transition."

She disclosed that Liberia was in the pre-transition state but it sliped "Because we keep fussing among ourselves; we need to be able to get ourselves back on track; yes we made progress, but we have not reached our potential; we are going to grow at eight percent according to IMF report while Sierra Leone will be at 25 percent; extraordinary: that is because they've finished their negotiations on time, they get their operations going and if they can do that, we can do the same."

The Liberian leader said the country belongs to everybody "rich, small, poor or whoever you are, you can't change the fact that you were born, you lived here and you have to be here."

President Johnson-Sirleaf pointed out that Liberia's progress rest in the hands of each citizen noting "If we cannot do it, nobody will do it for us."

Earlier, the Dean of Trinity Cathedral Church, Rev. Harmon Brown asked God to give the President the right spirit to Lead Liberia.

Hundreds of Liberians including women lined the streets from ELWA junction to Paynesville Town Hall to give the President a rousing welcome.

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