MONROVIA – Amidst the controversies trailing the reported ailment of former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai after he was discharged from the ELWA hospital where he had gone to receive medical attention, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has said it was wrong for anyone to speak ill of her former deputy about his situation just as she publicly apologized on behalf of the Unity Party for the wave of criticism and condemnation meted out on former Nobel Laureate Madam Leymah Gbowee who had written the former ruling party to allow Mr. Boakai to enjoy his retirement and not push him into the presidential race.
Madam Sirleaf made the statement yesterday when she appeared on the Changing Minds, Changing Altitude program hosted by former Information Minister Larry Komla Bropleh where she spoke on a variety of national issues including how she has been spending her time outside the presidency.
“No it was not. He requested privacy for himself and his family and he should have been given that respect. They should have allowed him what he wants to do for himself and just allowed him to proceed with whatever is his right, his program, his party and everything.
“Anyone who spoke ill of him was wrong. Simply wrong, no question about that, she said about Mr. Boakai.
On the other hand, Madam Sirleaf offered a public apology to Madam Gbowee who made the statement against the political persuasion of the former vice president that he should face his health and forget about running for the presidency.
“I also understand that they also said all kinds of unkind things about my former Nobel Prize winner. I apologize to her. As a founder of the Unity Party, I apologize to her.
“If anybody said any unkind things to her because all she was doing was making her personal statement. But the kind of disrespect that went with it, so we apologize to her on behalf of the Unity Party”, she said.
The apology attracted the attention Mr. Bropleh who wanted to know if she has returned to the party.
“Ehn, you are coming again just like what I knew you the last time that my membership was deactivated. It has not been activated but I look forward to seeing it”, she laughed.
The former President who was still basking in the glory of the 5th anniversary of her post presidency, also spoke about the essence of the honor done to her by leaders of ECOWAS to name the ECOWAS Human Rights Day, which is celebrated every January 16.
“The leaders met in December of 2016 to honor me with a naming day in my name. I was elected on January 16, 2006 and so they took the day of my inauguration. So the day was in commemoration of my inauguration and so I also got to know that my Vice President celebrated her 60th birthday on that day.
Madam Sirleaf found time to urge Liberians to embrace peace and tranquility because according to her the country has gone through that route before and so Liberians should embrace peace for the development of the country.
Madam Sirleaf since her departure from office, has been actively engaged in international activities especially the fight for the promotion and protection of women in every society.