“Yes, – the nation must pray for all we have done through all our history. But I am reminded of the story of Jesus, when he and his disciples were on the sea and the disciples were fishing as stated in the Luke 5: 5. Starting from Verse 4-6 of the Book of Luke, it is written that: When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon Put out into deep water. And let down the net for a catch. Simon Answered, Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven caught anything but because you say so, I will let down the nets. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break”. (NIV)
Former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says that the recent prophecy carried on the internet request all Liberians to pray for forty days and forty nights is good because we are Christens and have always prayed to God.
However, the interpretation of the bible quoted above says that prayers come after diligent self-efforts. Work comes before reward even for Christians.
To fight the Corona virus, one must abide by the rules. Stay home as much as possible, avoid public gathering and wash your hands; than pray and God will hear your prayers.
Madam Sirleaf indicated that despite the fasts and the prayers as being prophesied, it is important to abide by the rules against the Coronavirus including such health tips as “STAY AT HOME, AVOID PUBLIC GATHERING, OBSERVE SOCIAL DISTANCING, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.”
She further said she listened to the story of prophesy which she said was a very long report about some of the problems in our country, some of the ills in the society and some of the wrongs; saying that there were persons speaking on behalf of God giving prophesies that the nation must now go through fasting for 40 days of prayer. This is good but we must first take to save ourselves.
Concerning the importance of the closure of religious shrines, especially the Church, Madam Sirleaf said “I think we can look at the example of the Pope, the examples of the cathedrals all over the world, other churches in which pastors are giving sermons, are giving prayers to their audiences that are listening from their homes.”
The Council for Churches have called on churches to close, we need to abide by that to fight this virus. This is the time to adopt the strongest measures and fight the longest.
This coronavirus gets transmitted in ways that have wider effect than touching people, it travels in the air, people are trying to understand the virus.
Madam Sirleaf, intimated that the Coronavirus is different from the Ebola. “Ebola was transmitted essentially from human to human – by touching other people, by being in their presence. This coronavirus gets transmitted in ways that have wider effect than touching people. It travels in the air. People are trying to understand the virus, Madam Sirleaf asserted that this is why it is important that the rules including closure of facilities such as institutions of learning, business centers, entertainment centers, beaches, etc, as given by health authorities are observed. She urged that because the virus is dangerous, different approaches must be applied in fighting the COVID-19 disease.
Asked, what is her take on the State of Emergency, President Sirleaf said, “Don’t forget that during our fight of the Ebola in 2014, we too issued a declaration of a State of Emergency in accordance with the requirement of the Constitution. When it is necessary for the Government to act in similar manner due to the conditions and the movement of people, emergency powers are appropriate if done in accordance with Constitutional provisions.
Concerning projections that the COVID-19 disease would hit Africa hard considering the continent’s poor health system, the former Liberian president said there will always be projections.
“Using my Ebola experience, there will always be projections. Scientist will always use models to make projections that’s their job. In the Ebola case, we rejected their projections and ensure that by our own actions, we did what was necessary to save lives and livelihoods as Liberians and as West Africans countries that were affected.
Ma Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, then reiterated her message: My message is simple; we have in our midst, in our country, on our continent the Coronavirus that I do believe is a challenge, meaning perhaps another crisis. We need to be mindful of our experience in 2014, in what we went through. This has taken our nation back many years after the crisis.”
Ma Ellen then passionately pleaded, “Please, please, let’s observe the rules. I hope that our community leaders also get involved as it was in the case of Ebola and make sure that they carry the message of compliance with the regulations,” saying in a typical Liberian English “Let stay home yahhh. Eat your lil fufu, your palm butter and stop going into the crowd. Corona is true, let us not kill ourselves before time.”