The NEWS (Monrovia)

19 October 2012

Liberia: Leymah Gbowee's Outburst 'Unfortunate'

Photo: AllAfrica
2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners: L-R Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkol Karman and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

A conglomeration of women from the 15 political sub-divisions under the banner: "Women of Liberia" have sharply reacted to recent statement made by Nobel peace prize winner Laureate Leymah Gbowee's criticism of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf that she lacks the political will to fight corruption.

Madam Gbowee in an interview with Journalists in Paris, France, accused President Johnson-Sirleaf of not being committed to reconcile Liberians, and also practicing nepotism she once criticized.

However, the women group in a statement of support presented to President Johnson-Sirleaf upon her arrival from Tokyo, Japan, termed Madam Gbowee's statement as unfortunate.

Women Group: "we say it is unfortunate because our traditional and cultural values do not only require respect, but to the office of the Presidency; we believe in freedom of speech, the tenets of good governance and collectively, we hold the conscience of society and can speak on issues when the need arises at the appropriate forum."

The statement, read by Madam Una Kumba Thompson, furthered "we say it was wrong for Madam Gbowee who enjoyed your confidence and had unhindered access to you, to attempt to cast a shadow, not only on you as a person, but on the great image you have tried to rebuild for a country that is striving towards development, a better Liberia, with peace and reconciliation as part of its agenda."

Continuing, the women said "today Madam President, we the women of Liberia want you to know that when we look back and acknowledge the process through which you have brought pride to womanhood in Liberia, Africa and the world."

The women said the President's accomplishments in steering the affairs of the country, her numerous academic, regional and global awards and the Nobel Peace Prize received manifest the good works done.

"We believe the best is yet to come and that you will continue your good works for our country, Africa and the world at large," the women said in their statement

The women said they remain committed in the President's vision for Liberia and hope for their children's future as she set trajectory for education especially for the girls, peace, reconciliation, stability in Liberia and the region.

"We take Liberia and have Liberia as the only home where we as women in leadership and at all levels must live and work to make it a hundred times more beautiful; we hold our hands and heads high and plough our spades for genuine peace and reconciliation in our beloved land of liberty," the women noted.

In response, the President thanked the women for their statement of solidarity and support to her leadership.

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