In ‘April Fool Talk’, Aspirant Mayson Describes Sirleaf As Comic Leader
Ambassador Duw Mayson, wanting to become the country’s next president, thinks the President’s treatment of ‘important state matters as a joke’ makes her more of a comedian.
Mayson’s description of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf as a comic leader is his way of assessing her recent arrest-turned April Fool of Simeon Freeman’s intent to mastermind a national demonstration against corruption.
Says Mayson: ““I didn’t realize that our President was a comedian to engage in such jokes. When the President of our country makes a statement, it is something is taken seriously by all citizens. Therefore, any statement by our President is one that I consider on the face value and don’t consider it a joke.”
On her recent tour of the Southeast, Sirleaf ordered the arrest of Freeman, leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), whenever he attempted to carry-out his planned demonstration. Her pronouncement was however equated to an April Fool few days later by both her Press Secretary, Cyrus Badio and Information Minister Cletus Sieh-something that has since sparked serious argument over the true intent of the ‘arrest-converted-fools talk.’
Both Badio and Sieh maintained that the statement was made on April 1 which is considered an All Fools Day in the country, implying it to be the President’s truth intention of the statement.
Having gone bitter with her since her presidency and hoping to replace President Sirleaf after the October presidential election, Mayson said matters of national concerns “are just too strong for us to ascribe any form of comic relief to them.”
Mayson made the assertion recently when he addressed journalists following his return from the capital from Sinoe County.
“I can’t believe that the President will attempt to arrest Mr. Simeon Freeman and I think that such a serious matter should not be termed a joke”, the man who once campaigned for the President’s campaign five years ago added.
He continued: “And I will hope that utterances particularly coming from our national leadership will be guided. The word from a leader can be respected and can be trusted.”
The proposed National Democratic Coalition (NDC) head said it is the right of all Liberians to demonstrate, adding, “Protest must be guided jealously by all Liberians. I myself, have been a victim of abuse by government.”
Reflecting on the President’s personal experience of imprisonment, Mayson said: “I also believe that President Sirleaf herself was a one-time victim of government’s hard-handiness to planned demonstrations and protests. It is the right of every Liberian to engage in peaceful protests. That is why Mr Simeon Freeman and others like him have the right to demonstrate within the confines of the law. Any attempt to arrest him for attempting to demonstrate is illegal.”
Following her reversed decision of a single-term promise which is Mayson says is his main reason of deserting her, he now wonders if everything the President says is an April Fool: “She said she was going for one term. Or is that an April Fool joke also? She said that corruption was going to be public enemy number one. Is that an April fool joke also perhaps so since a general in the army to fight that corruption has now been fired? And we were also assured that civil liberties were going to be guided. Now, we had that bloody Tuesday in which students were being brutalized. Or was it an April fool joke too?”
Describing his Sinoe trip as a more reason to contest the presidency, Mayson who hails from that part of the country said: “Now that my house is selling me, I want the streets to buy me.”