Speak to Your People in These Trying Times, Mr. President

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THE ENTIRE GLOBE is engulfed in a health crisis that is yet to be clearly understood by even the world most developed health institutions and practitioners. And as the deadly Corona Virus pandemic leaves hundreds of thousand dead in its wake, bringing first world economies tumbling down like a pack of cards, Liberia, being a subset of the comity of nations, is already feeling the wicked impact of the COVID-19 scourge.

EVEN WITHOUT ANYONE being told, a national shutdown has started in one of Africa’s hardest hit regions since Ebola struck in 2014. But unlike Ebola which had placed those mainly affected parts of the country in lock down, the entire economy has come to a standstill in all parts of the country. Schools are closed all over. Hospitality and service sectors are hit below the belt. Transportation fares are up. Gasoline is gold dust, if you can find it. Citizens are advised to stay home, though they are yet to receive any stimulus from government.

IT IS AGAINST SUCH gloomy backdrop that the leadership of the Liberia Council of Churches recently called on President George M. Weah to step to the plate and speak to the nation. According to Rev. Browne, if President Weah does this, he will be giving hope to his people in the midst of the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I THINK IT is important the President speaks to the nation every two to three days; say for example, on this fight, and to help the nation understand what the government is doing from his level, because the Ministry of Health is not addressing, for example, transportation issues. They’re not addressing, for example, the prices of basic commodities; they’re not addressing, for example, the overall impact of the virus on the people,” Reverend Brown stated.

HE SAID, IN these trying times, it is the Executive Mansion that is supposed to take on that portion of the fight. “That is why we are recommending to the government to ensure that the central government through the president of the Republic of Liberia would come as often as it can be – maybe every two days and speak to the nation, even for five to ten minutes; and give hope, and talk about the actions that have been taken to ensure the fight against the virus are comprehensive and sustainable,” the Liberian prelate stated.

REV. BROWN WAS firm in his conviction that when President Weah addresses the nation regularly as his compatriots in Sierra Leone, the United States of America, Canada and other parts of the globe are doing, it gives hope to the people.

“THE PRESIDENT NEEDS to give hope. The president was elected by the people. Right now, we are challenged. This is a challenging moment. How do we balance the question of safety and survival? Here, there is a need for public safety, but there is also a need for individual survival. How we balance faith and reality? Yes, there is need to go church, but there’s a need to also realize that the world is plagued; that there is a pestilence invading the world, and that pestilence has entered into Liberia according to the Ministry of Health, and we are being called to limit the spread of that pandemic. How do we balance all of that?” Rev. Browne wondered.

HERE AT THE ANALYST, we completely concur with Reverend Brown, because in these trying times of uncertainties, the Liberian people deserve to hear from their president whom they overwhelmingly elected during the 2017 general and presidential elections.

OF COURSE, WE appreciate the regular updates from the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) regarding the deadly Corona Virus pandemic. But these updates will not address public concerns regarding the escalating prices of basic commodities, the skyrocketing transportation fare, and the general hardship that Liberians are facing during this period of national containment.

LIKE REV. BROWN, we too appreciate the president trying to raise awareness about the deadly Coronavirus pandemic by releasing a song. But President Weah needs to go beyond that.

SPEAK TO YOUR people, Mr. President. This is what your compatriot Julius Maada Bio right next door Sierra Leone is doing. This is what most responsible leaders of the world are doing.

Your people need to hear from you. Even if it’s through a regular podcast, talk to us.