Clinton arranges Little Rock event with embattled Liberian leader

Photo: Former President Bill Clinton in Liberia with Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, months after the deadly Ebola outbreak in 2015.

NEW YORK — Report reaching Globe Afrique has confirmed that former U.S. president Bill Clinton has arranged an event in Little Rock to host embattled Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

President Clinton, a famous and well-liked ex-democratic US president is returning to Arkansas next month for an event featuring Africa’s first democratically elected female president, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is widely considered by Liberians as the most corrupt and most divisive leader since the country’s independence in 1947.

According to reliable sources, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton School of Public Service will host the event on December 4th, 2017 in Little Rock, featuring President Clinton and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

International political and commentators say President Sirleaf, the embattled and vehemently most hated Liberian leader at home, is allegedly reaching out to her famous and international friends and contacts in the West and around the world to salvage her failed legacy from sustaining more bruises from Liberians of all walks of life.

Several Liberians say any time President Sirleaf is facing resistance from Liberians at home and abroad for what they described as her “poor leadership and corruption,” she would turn to her global public relations machine and Western friends for redemption.

Sources say in 2011 when she was caught up in a tight presidential race where she was expected to lose at the poll, she solicited the help of international friends such as veteran Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and others, and a fact that  “undeservedly” secure the Nobel Peace Prize for her, sparking a win in her re-election bid.

The Liberian leader who is in her second term as president of the West African nation, is said to have polarized and divided the country along political, social, economic and tribal lines. She has been accused by all major political actors and parties including her own ruling Unity Party of “dishonesty and chaotic interference” in the presidential election held on October 10, 2017.

Reports from Liberia say a runoff election to pick her successor faces serious but legitimate legal actions and has been postponed for investigations into allegations of fraud and irregularities that 19 of the 20 political parties that participated in the electoral process blamed on her.

In American politics, Sirleaf, in 2008, backed then-Senator Clinton and lashed out against then Candidate Barrack Obama in favor of Clinton during the Democratic presidential primary, calling Obama “inexperienced.”  With help allegedly from Secretary Hilary Clinton, she managed to repair her relationship with the Obama’s administration.

In the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Liberian leader again broke diplomatic protocols when she famously lashed out at U.S. president-elect Donald J. Trump, Sr., that she was “deeply saddened with the American people by the presidential result which gave Trump victory over Clinton.”

In the second part of her BBC’s interview at the time, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s also said that she was “concerned over the relations of Liberia and Africa in general with America under the presidency of Donald Trump.”  These remarks have created an icy relationship between her administration in Liberia and the Trump White House.

The Bill Clinton – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s event is expected to be held at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

Janet Paige, a female Liberian living in Little Rock, Arkansas, says it remains uncleared how this event and numerous frantic global paid public relations activities will help the Liberian leader back home in Liberia where her actions and her lack of goodwill for the Liberian people have made her very unpopular and hated in her final days as president.

Daniel Nyepan, a Liberian healthcare worker in Connecticut agreed, saying, “Instead of running around the world collecting honors and attending events that add nothing to improving Liberia and the lives of the Liberian people, President Sirleaf needs to stay in Liberia, change her attitude of manipulation and in sowing chaos, and ensure that Liberians come together as one people.”

Massa Reaves, a Liberian hospitality management worker in Washington, D.C. said she was curious in knowing as to who shoulders the cost for the Liberian president globetrotting carnival.

“How can the president travel around the world like this when civil servants have not taken pay and when students cannot afford fees for the West African national exams because their unemployed parents cannot afford,” she added.

Dominic Nyanti, a Liberian accountant in New York said from what he has gathered so far, every time President Sirleaf travels, the least price tag it costs the Liberian people is around $100,000 because of accommodation, food and per diem for her and her large non-useful crew of aides and cronies.

Peter Saydee, a Liberian student in Monrovia who reached out to Globe Afrique to voice his displeasure with the Liberian leader pending Arkansas’ visit, said, he is appealing to President Clinton and the organizers of the event not to give President Sirleaf any more award because Liberia cannot afford to store the ones she has already brought home in the face of hunger, joblessness as well as political and social divisions.

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Blama G. Konuwah

Blama G. Konuwah resides in Vancouver, Canada. He is a public issues analyst and senior contributor to Globe Afrique.
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