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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s presidential regrets – sources say she has a lot.

ONTARIO, Canada –  Since leaving office in 2017, several sources close to former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the former Liberian leader has been reflecting on what she could have done better or differently when she served as president of Liberia for 12 years.

According to multiple sources and individuals who preferred to be anonymous because many of them worked in senior positions in her administration, some former senior-level officials in the Unity Party-led administration then led by Madam Sirleaf have been expressing frustration about the legacy their activities and the former administration left behind for Liberian children and those unborn. A number of those who served in the former president’s administration are contemplating penning books to explain their roles and the unsuccessful efforts they made to ensure that Liberia became a better nation.

Some of the former President’s then closed associates have been telling friends at home and abroad, especially in many Liberian communities in the United States, that the former President continuously reflected on her greatest regrets in office and after leaving office, looking back to issues that continue to plague the nation years later.

Some of the former President’s associates and past lieutenants say her biggest regrets after leaving office was her decision to support incompetent individuals and groups for elected offices.  Also, her failure to address corruption and the theft of public funds in Liberia, and her treatment of individuals perceived as opposition, both politically and personally, especially those with whom she had fundamental disagreements.

Some former officials who served under former President Sirleaf also say what consoles the former President are the realizations that most Liberians, including those who opposed her then, think and believe her administration was hundred times better then the current situation unfolding in the country.

According to a source, one former senior official who served under Madam Sirleaf recently told friends that the government paid civil servants and others regularly, law and order were relatively available, and one could sense a semblance of legitimacy and real governance in Liberia during the administration of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Another source told friends in Boston that the former President’s post-presidential regrets were the arrest and detention of her son, Charles Sirleaf and her “godson” Milton Weeks, former governor of the Central Bank of Liberia.  The current Liberian government of President George Weah accused both Charles, a former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Liberia and Milton of sabotaging the Liberian economy by printing and not accounting for billions of Liberian dollars.

The source also said the former Liberian leader is very unhappy with the current affairs of state in Liberia, especially the running of the Liberian economy and government. According to the source, as President, Madam Sirleaf worked hard to ensure that the international community canceled Liberia’s debt and that Liberia maintained greater international credibility and respect.  Adding, every major gains the former administration obtained, according to the source, is currently jeopardized as private investments have or are leaving, and no new credible investments are in insight.

The source maintained that the former President is optimistic of Liberia’s future, hoping that Liberia’s democratic and electoral process will produce a more constrained leadership shortly.  

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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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