Monrovia – For President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf attending the election campaign launch of the party that brought her to power this weekend is not a priority.
The standard bearer emeritus of the Unity Party said she made a commitment two weeks ago to some rural women in Suehn-Mecca in Bomi County that she would break grounds for the construction of a clinic in the area that had been deprived of health care facility over the years.
“Thousands of people go rally, thousands of partisans go to rallies, not many people spend their time going way to a rural village to break ground for a clinic for a community that has never had it."
"If that’s a wrong priority in the views of some, I accept their view, I respect their view,” Pres. Sirleaf said in an interview with the Cyrus/Pat Fame Show on Thursday.
She added: “They have been coming to my farm, working with my farmers to plant rice, to cut rice and all of that."
"They’ve been asking me about this clinic and I promised them we’ll start this clinic before my administration ends, so I committed that I will come there to break ground.”
She said she cannot fail to meet the commitment because - “These people stay in rural areas and they’ll be there waiting for me; maybe it may even be raining and they’ll go through that type of thing; I think it will not be well for me to just send a message to them.”
According to Pres. Sirleaf, she also has to prepare to leave the country on Sunday to attend the UN General Assembly.
Pres. Sirleaf has been accused on several accusations by some members of the party of not lending much support to the party, but the President insists she supports the presidential bid of her Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai
A fortnight ago, Cllr. H. Varney Sherman, former chairman of the ruling party, told journalists in Monrovia that the party does not need the President’s support to win the upcoming election.
Vice President Boakai in a FrontPageAfrica/VOA interview this week was quizzed on whether there was a problem within the Unity Party and if the President’s support is necessary.
He said, “I don’t have any problem with anybody. I have differences with people on the way they think, they want things to happen. I cannot say I do not need support from a partisan of the Unity Party.”
“All partisans of the Unity Party, including the President, their contributions to the ruling party are welcome."
"So, how can I say a President who has been at the helm of this body for twelve years, how can I say, I won’t need her help – if it’s not forthcoming, well…But I cannot say I don’t need it. I need everybody’s support.”
Mr. Boakai agreed that it was obvious for the sitting President to fully support and cheerlead the candidate of his/her party, but maintained that support for his presidency has not been forthcoming from the President – at least at this point in time.
“That would have been an obvious situation but I’m not complaining about it."
"The party is moving forward. As and when people decide to contribute, we welcome it."
"Some people want to begin early, some people want to begin in the middle, we’re still waiting for those who want to come in at the time they want to do so,” he said.