FrontPageAfrica (Monrovia)

11 August 2014

Liberian Officials Banned From Traveling in Wake of Ebola

Photo: Boakai Fofana/AllAfrica
The emergency wing at the John F. Kennedy Medical Center, the largest referral hospital in Liberia. The hospital shut down after some of its staff were infected.

Monrovia — A week after Sudanese Billionaire Mo Ibrahim heralded her decision to stay home in the wake of the deadly Ebola surge in her country, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has suspended all travel by government officials who are part of the Executive Branch of Government with immediate effect.

An Executive Mansion release Monday night listed government officials of all Ministries, Agencies, Public Corporations, Commissions, and Parastatals that are under the Executive Branch for a period of one month.

The Liberian leader has also instructed all government officials currently out of the country, whether on government or private visit, to return home within a week or be considered as abandoning their jobs.

The President is urging all government officials of the Executive Branch to take due note of this directive.

The Sudanese born billionaire Mo Ibrahim whose influential Mo Ibrahim Foundation, focuses on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, was speaking at the sidelines of President Barack Obama's White House Summit last week when he declared that African leaders, making specific reference to President Sirleaf should find another way of connecting with other foreign governments rather than boarding the next available flight whenever they are sent an invitation to attend a summit or meeting.

"Because they have a job to do at home and this habit of African leaders running from Beijing to New York then French call them, they go to France; then the Japanese call them then they go to... " he said. "You can sit down at home and do your job actually. So I told her; you know what I suggest to you, a good knowledge for you to get video conferencing (laughter) because everybody wants a piece of you."

Ibrahim said President's Sirleaf's decision to cancel her trip to the all-important summit where at least fourteen African heads of states are attending the three-day summit that is primarily focusing on trade, investment and security of the continent is the best thing to do in the wake of the Ebola crisis facing Liberia.

"You sit in your country; sit in Monrovia and just use that and don't travel to those people," he said. "So I was very glad that she stayed at home to deal with the disaster, there instead of coming and having dinner here will not solve the problem for Liberia." President Sirleaf has come under huge criticisms at home for the amount of travels she makes in a year.

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