25 July 2013

Liberia: Hints for Ellen's Third Term

Amid public criticism here against the Johnson-Sirleaf's administration, particularly bordering on endemic corruption and slow development, some Liberians, especially rural dwellers with contrary views think Madam Sirleaf deserves a third term in office.

Local and international delegates, including government officials in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County ahead of the July 26 Independence celebration heard numerous praises showered on the Sirleaf's leadership on Tuesday when the Vice Chairman of the United Muslims Association of Bomi, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Counties, Alhaji Mawolu Kamara, said the President would have been given a third term had the Constitution of Liberia allowed it.

But the Liberian Constitution, somehow patterned after that of the United States, restricts the presidency to two terms, except that it offers six years in office during each term.

Like previous speakers at the Cape Mount Centennial Memorial Hall in Robertsport on Tuesday, Kamara noted that citizens in Bopolu City used to trek for a week to get to Bella Yalla District, once used mainly to incarcerate political prisoners.

But the Muslim elder said today, it only takes few hours' drive to Bella Yalla District from Bopolu City, something the rural dwellers have obviously appreciated, among other projects during the President's current tour of the three western counties hosting the 166th Independence Anniversary of Liberia.

"When somebody does good thing for you, you must realize and appreciate it because it's hard to do good thing. There are people, who say the government has done nothing here; but we say it has done well. If the Constitution could allow us third term, we would have chosen President Sirleaf in Bopolu, Gbokomun, and Bella Yalla... " said Kamara.

Making reference to a sermon delivered at the Bopolu City Hall on Sunday, 21 July by the Bishop of the United Pentecostal Church Dr. Stephen T.Y. Benda, Kamara said though he does not subscribe to the Christian faith, he was in agreement with Bishop Benda that leaders come from God.

He said that a leader is chosen by God, arguing that Liberians made no mistake when they elected Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as President, judging from her leadership and relationship with citizens, especially those in remote places.

Earlier, Sheikh Abdullah A. Kromah said the 2013 Independence Day Celebration in Grand Cape Mount County is the second in the county, since 1972 when the late President William R. Tolbert took similar celebration there. He thanked President Sirleaf and her government for decentralizing the Independence Day celebration.

In a sermon, Sheikh Abdullah G. Mansaray stressed on justice, equality, love for one another and fairness in accordance with the Islamic teachings, saying "A believer is one from whom, people felt secured as regards lives and properties. The concept of justice in Islam refers to the harmonious existence of the human person or state of affairs in the right perspectives."

He said the Islamic principle regards equal opportunity for all, regardless of ethnic, religious, race or political background, and that Islam teaches Muslims to love one another and their neighbors, no matter where they come from. He concluded that as the 166th Independence Day Celebration continues, it was an opportunity for all Liberians to love one another regardless of political affiliation or religion.

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