The New Dawn (Monrovia)

10 April 2014

Liberia: Pro-Tempt Rubbishes Urey

Photo: FrontPage Africa
Benoni Urey on the campaign trail for the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (file photo).

The President Pro-Tempore of the Liberian Senate has rubbished recent assertion of President Aspirant Benoni Urey that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf showed less concern for the plight of Liberians amid news of the Ebola Virus here.

Milton 'Gbezohngar' Findley said told a local radio talk-show yesterday morning that the presence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the country could not have made any difference, adding that there were government technocrats in the area of health charged with the responsibility to protect lives in case of any outbreak.

The Grand Bassa County Senator, also seeking a second term, indicated that it made no sense to him for the president to have abandoned the EU-African Submit- all under the pretense of Ebola Virus outbreak.

"For me, the statement of Mr. Urey is unwarranted in the matter because the president staying here will not stop the Ebola Virus from spreading or from entering the country. The medical practitioners at the Health Ministry are doing a great job with the fight against the virus," he said.

Urey, who has not hidden his interest in contesting the 2017 presidential election, called on President Sirleaf to cut short her current trip and return home to lead the efforts to combat the Ebola outbreak in the country.

He also questioned the benefits to the country of the President's traveling spree, suggesting that the president needed to spend more time at home and focus on serious matters confronting the country and people, rather than trotting around the world.

Urey's comments created a nervous moments for the Sirleaf administration, drawing strong statements from Internal Affairs Minister Morris Dukuly, who chaired the cabinet while the President was away: "Ebola is not a political issue; Ebola is life and death- when people are trying to contain it and to eliminate it, don't politicize it," Dukuly proclaimed during a presentation of anti-Ebola gears by the World Health Organization at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare last Friday.

Last Saturday, the Executive Mansion posted on its website, a statement from President Sirleaf, explaining that the President's trip to Europe was planned "well before the Ebola situation evolved."

"Before I left, I had proper consultations with the Minister of Health and his team. The situation was assessed; we felt that it was well under control; that the health team would continue to brief the nation and be very straight forward on what the situation was."

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