The Doe Community football pitch was swamped by supporters, well wishers and detractors alike as the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Mr. Robert A. Sirleaf finally turned up to accept the long-talked-about petition to challenge the likes of soccer legend George M. Weah of the opposition Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) and Liberty Party’s Benjamin Sanvee for the Montserrado County Senatorial race.
Residents of the 17 electoral districts of the County thronged the area almost in a stampede to petition Mr. Sirleaf to contest in the senatorial election come October. But the acceptance speech was to come at a later date that has not been announced yet.
“I have to think, I will be very honest with you all, I do not know the characterization in this folder; I will look into all your eyes, I want to see your hope, I want to see your dreams, I want to see your aspirations,” Mr. Sirleaf told the cheering crowd.
“I want to thank you all for giving me this folder. I hold this folder to my heart and I will take it to God tonight and I will wake up tomorrow morning and I will ask God… if what’s in this folder represents the dreams of the people of Montserrado County and then God will send me a message that in this folder, if I would make a decision, I would do so.”
The crowd, perhaps the second largest to be compared to the CDC crowd pulling mechanics in the county seems to have no match even though supporters of Mr. Sirleaf braved the storm to hold the petitioning ceremony in a recognized CDC dominated area.
The residents and supporters of Mr. Sirleaf, headed by the Montserrado Redemption Squad at the official program held on Monday, July 14, 2014 stated that their decision to petition Mr. Sirleaf comes against the backdrop of his (Sirleaf) contribution made to improve the lives of ordinary Liberians. They named, his support to education, infrastructure development, especially in slum communities in Montserrado County, such as the Samuel K. Doe Community.
“We have realized with great disappointment and shocking political disdain over the period about the high level of legislative abandonment meted against our people in this county and we have suffered for nine years from the hands of leaders we elected after the period,” said Lassana Fofana on behalf of the petitioners.
“Due to his passion for our county and country at large, we have made our political calculation to bring Mr. Robert Allen Sirleaf in the legislative spotlight to adequately represent the peace loving people of Montserrado County.”
The residents of the county in their petition statement also described Mr. Sirleaf as a man who has over the year concerned himself with developmental activities in and around the country especially in providing incentives for economic empowerment.
Mr. Sirleaf receiving the petition did not out rightly accept the request of the petitioners as everyone was expecting, but said he is aware of the importance of what is contained in the petition and with divine revelations he would make a final decision. He praised the people of Montserrado County, for standing by him and believing in his ability to lead them hence the petition.
“There is a level of responsibility in this folder. That level of responsibility has made sure that every young man, young woman, every old person, every baby gets something in Montserrado County the same way I get in Montserrado County,” he said.
“This folder is a very serious thing, this is not a folder that is going to be for six months, this is not a folder that’s going to be for one year, this is a folder that’s going to be for nine years of representing the people of Montserrado County. ”
Many persons had anticipated that Mr. Sirleaf would put the icing on the political cake and give his opponent something to worry about, but his decision to take the petition home and ponder over brought some level of discontent among some people in the crowd.
“The people of Montserrado County had come to petition this brother and leaving the people in a dilemma I think is a complete disservice to the people,” said a disappointed Saydee Z. Saywea, Speaker District youth council, District 14.
“Robert Sirleaf should have come with his mind made up owing to the fact that he has been the one engineering the reason why people should come and support him. Saying that he has not made a final decision, I’m taken aback. I think he is not certain and believe that Robert Sirleaf is not prepared for the process.”
But for the ardent Sirleaf supporters, he has done more than enough for the people of Montserrado County and feels that he should be given a chance to lead them.
“Mr. Sirleaf made a great statement to the people of Doe Community. I am one person that is benefiting from his scholarship. We think through Mr. Sirleaf, this district is going to be a great district,” said Charles Smith, a resident of Doe Community and a Sirleaf fan.
Betty Jah, resident Doe Community agrees and tells FrontPageAfrica that she has felt the impact of initiatives orchestrated by Sirleaf. She said her son benefitted from the Sirleaf Scholarship initiative and that she is happy for Sirleaf and a proud supporter.
“I enjoyed Mr. Sirleaf’s statement; we’re looking for people to help us in our community right now. He is always there for us,” she said. Mr. Jowel Ama Hansford of the Montserrado Redemption Squad the group, which led the organizing of the ‘Petition Robert Sirleaf Campaign’ told FrontPageAfrica that Mr. Sirleaf withholding a decision to endorse the petition should not be taken out of context, but believed in what it is.
“If someone says they are going to pray to God, it means they are a devoted Christian. But what I have to say is that words are inadequate to express how we feel,” said Hansford.
“You can see the mass turnout here today; it suggests that we have worked hard. People laughed at us and insulted us on Facebook. They said a whole lot, but thank God today, with God above, we were able to make this identical program a success.”
Some government officials, including the Director General of the General Services Agency Madam Mary Broh former Acting Mayor of Monrovia and Jackie Capehart Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Youth and Sports attended the program, which was marred by the disorderly conduct of some overzealous supporters due to huge security lapses.