Ebola: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf & those she rules do not get it – Tola Adenle

October 9, 2014

Health, USA

Late Patrick Sawyer who imported ebola into Nigeria: “an undisciplined … ”

Late Thomas Eric Duncan who imported ebola into the USA: “a jerk”!

We just did not know what to do; we had never had this kind of thing before; I am angry with him. One of our compatriots didn’t take due care, and so, he’s gone there and in a way put some Americans in a state of fear, and put them at some risk, and so I feel very saddened by that and very angry with him … The fact that he knew (he might be a carrier) and he left the country is unpardonable, quite frankly. – to a Canadian television interviewer.
(After Duncan’s ebola matter became known)

All of the above were from Liberian president, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Meanwhile, the family of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who imported the dreaded virus into the USA and died Tuesday of Ebola are filled with “sorrow and anger” at the supposed treatment of their kin. They also reportedly want an impartial probe into “all aspects of his care”.

While as human beings, we cannot but feel sympathy for Duncan’s loved ones at the loss of their family member, I think a line must be drawn between that and a family that is asking the impossible. I watched how the Rev. Jesse Jackson explained the delivery of US health care system to the family saying that Duncan did not have health insurance; he was very much on the side of the family judging from his action and speech when something could still be done for the man.

There might have been “missteps” in the handling of Duncan’s diagnosis, especially since he reported himself at a hospital only to be told to go home after which he became really sick but not every hospital was alert at that time to the urgency of digging deep when patients from affected countries show up for any ailment.

Unlike many countries, the US does not have government hospitals, and with Duncan’s bills said to be running tens of thousands of dollars PER DAY at a private hospital, I think his family owes gratitude for whatever “little” their loved one was able to receive.

Now, to the most important point that has me worried: I have been personally shocked at the Liberian president’s statements each time she has to talk about ebola since Patrick Sawyer.

While one may understand to some degree her countrymen whose development has not been helped in the many years she has ruled Liberia, it is clear that Sirleaf does not show she is much better than the mostly-uneducated people she governs, please pardon me. It is not the people’s fault but that of their various governments, which, down the ages, have never shown a willingness or care to lift the people out of their dire straits.

1. The outbreak has been on for almost a year, and as a former international professional from the UN, I believe she should know what to do, where to look for help right from the beginning but like a typical African head of state, she was cocooned in her gilded cage away from Monrovia’s heart-wrenching poverty where the virus continued to spread.

2. While one of her ministers told the world without feeling any shame that the Sirleaf Administration did not meet 50 doctors as reported but 7 which has now grown to 100 – an apparent untruth – she’s had enough years on the THRONE of Liberia to grow that 7 much beyond 100.

I do remember that Nigeria’s President Obasanjo, who left the Nigerian THRONE in May 2007 was reigning when she became president. That is over seven years. She knows she did/does not need to send her country’s students to expensive medical training in the USA because English-speaking countries like Ghana and Nigeria would have been affordable places to train their students at public universities. If she really put her mind to it and worked at it, I’m sure she could have gotten some free tuition through Nigerian and Ghanaian governments which could be supplemented by whatever her country could afford. After all, Nigeria expended tons of money during the country’s difficult civil strife.

I’ve been in Liberia only once and I wonder how the woman would measure her success at the end of her reign because what I see on tv is not different from where Monrovia was over three decades ago.

Finally, Madam President, I think it’s unpardonable – to avoid using the appropriate word because of your position – about these words:

One of our compatriots … put some Americans in a state of fear, and put them at some risk, and so I feel very saddened by that and very angry with him … those trying to help us …

Put them at SOME risk? You feel very angry with him? You impliedly would not have minded if he had exported ebola to those not helping your country?

How about Nigeria, Ms. Sirleaf? I have not read a single UNQUALIFIED word of regret or apology about the other exporter, Late Patrick Sawyer, who, in the government you head, was supposedly quarantined and yet was able to get a government travel approval to represent Liberia which involved traveling to Nigeria.

Madam President, please spare Africans who are all now being ostracized not only because of the selfishness of two people who apparently cared little for others who might also die with them but their relations who blame everybody for not doing enough for their loved ones. Can you see why words of “sadness …” sound hollow and show the world you do not get IT?

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2014. 5:00 a.m. [GMT]

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4 Comments on “Ebola: Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf & those she rules do not get it – Tola Adenle”

  1. Falade A. G. Says:

    Thanks for the succinct rendering of the stories concerning the two dead Liberians; I wish both joyful activity in the great beyond!
    I see the three West African countries – Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone – experiencing what they have …It is however important that we, especially Nigerians who were helped to overcome the Ebola virus disease epidemic through the Power of our God, show compassion.In the time in which we stand, none of us is neither pure nor worthy to receive His grace.
    It is crystal clear that we must protect ourselves from within and without. From within, we must keep our thoughts pure. Even though it appears unbelievable, impure human thoughts have contributed to the devastation of the present epidemic. From without, we must obey the health hints from the health practitioners.



    • emotanglobal Says:

      Dear Prof.,

      Thanks for bringing your spiritual angle to issues that tend to get most of us worried to this sad story.

      I believe, though, that the people most hit by this very unfortunate virus, especially those at the helm of affairs like President Sirleaf must put in mind the backlash that will, and is already being meted out to Africans abroad over the virus outbreak – even though it’s not their fault – and be considerate. This consideration should not be in their actions that should not endanger even more people but also in what they say.

      President Sirleaf has continuously failed in measuring her words which have failed to show the weighty issue at hand. A word like “jerk” used to describe the late Duncan should not belong anywhere near the vocab of a head of state.

      You have my regards, as always.



  2. Says:

    My Dear, there is a medical school in Monrovia  and still training doctors till date. I am much involved with Liberia because I am currently the Sec General  of the Liberia Medical /Dental Association. I worked in JFK Teaching Hospital  in the late 70s. Ellen Sirleaf used to be  my neighbor. Her son  is  Surgeon  here in Atlanta,  GA.  Her statement was unfortunate. This was equally discussed last Thursday in our weekly teleconference. Regards to Bro Depo. Lati



    • emotanglobal Says:


      Ẹ ma ṣe gan. (Thanks very much).

      Your comments are really useful and welcome, and one can see there could not be 7 doctors in a country that has a Teaching Hospital unless everybody the country trains goes away to America to work. When the Minister was giving the statement that Sirleaf “met 7 doctors but we have built the number up to 100”, one could tell from the his body language that he was issuing untruth.

      I am impressed you know a lot about the situation in the country, and remain involved even long after you’ve left the place; it is your usual commitment, anyway. It is welcome news that her “unfortunate” statements were discussed by those that can be considered Friends of Liberia/citizens of Liberia. So, Doctor, d’you have citizenship???

      Thanks v. much, as always. My best regards, & I’ll pass on your message.



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