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 …Liberians Protest In U.S.

stepdownEven in the absence of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the UN General Assembly in New York where she was expected to present the state of the Ebola crisis and other issues affecting the country to the world body, diaspora Liberians went ahead with their planned protest.

They were adamant as they gathered on the grounds of the United Nations headquarters calling for the President to step down.

President Johnson-Sirleaf did not attend this year’s gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

Although the government has not given any reason for the President’s absence where she was expected to have properly elucidated the state of the Ebola crisis to the world body, notwithstanding, Foreign Minister Augustine K. Ngafuan spoke on behalf of the Government.

In spite of that, Liberians based in the United States, Europe and other parts converged at the U.N. headquarters in New York, where a peaceful protest against Madam Sirleaf was held.

Reports say the protesters chanted anti-Johnson-Sirleaf slogans carrying placards with various inscriptions, one of which read: “Time Out! Step Down Madam Sirleaf.”

Organizers of the protest said the action was staged due to her failure to address several governance issues. They claimed that the President has failed to deal with corruption as promised in her inaugural speech in 2006.

They indicated that the protest rally was held as planned against failed leadership resulting in widespread Ebola virus in Liberia. They also cited gross impunity and rampant corruption in the country.

Last week, President Sirleaf’s long time buddy, Tarloh Quiwonkpa, called on her to step down because she had failed to live up to the oath of office.

She claimed that the Liberian leader had paid lip-service to the fight against graft, noting that despite the establishment of several anti-graft institutions in the country, corruption remains extremely high in Liberia.

Tarloh recalled when President Sirleaf took office in 2006, she declared corruption as Public Enemy Number One. However, she said the Liberian leader has failed to deal with corruption as promised. 

The 2013 Global Corruption Barometer ranked Liberia ‘number one’ in the world. The country is also ranked amongst the world’s poorest with most of her citizens living on one US Dollar a day.

Tarloh Quiwonkpa is the wife of slain former commanding general Thomas Quiwonkpa who was killed in the November 12, 1985 abortive invasion. Gen. Quiwonkpa who led the invasion was captured and killed by forces loyal to former military dictator Samuel K. Doe. Madam Quiwonkpa had often linked President Sirleaf to the abortive invasion.