The rigidity associated with these 2017 elections is sufficient to distract anyone from raising cardinal questions such as the ones surrounding the official residence and office of the new president of Liberia.
The 25th President of Liberia could choose to brave the storm and take on the Executive Mansion for his office and residence, but it looks impossible because renovation activities are far from finishing any time soon. So, from where does Mr. President begin his work?
New York Times published an interesting piece in October on the Liberia’s Executive Mansion. Disclosure that President Sirleaf spent few nights in the Executive Mansion when she just took over further confirmed her iron-lady nature.
Whether her persistent refusal to occupy comes as a remedial action to land her administration safely after 12 years remains a guess. Except the flood that constrained her neighbors to redirect the waterway in her yard years ago, President Sirleaf has enjoyed the serenity of her private beech residence for these 12 years without publicized security threat.
From the look of things over these decades, one can conclude that the Executive Mansion exists as the home of demons and ghosts. Stain of blood discovered on inner wards of the mansion, especially in the hallways, presidential villa and offices only suggests and instills fears in anyone poised to occupy the mansion.
Her inclination to do away with the controversial Executive Mansion appears to save her from whatever apparent spiritual confrontations meant for her.
Reflecting on the Charles Taylor experience in the mansion only confirms that presidents do not find it easy in the Executive Mansion all by themselves.
Taylor lost seven bodyguards including the one who covered him in the bathtub at the mansion. Anything short of the lives of the security guards could have amounted to the life of President Taylor himself at the time.
A president intending to live and work from the mansion could be overtaken by fear for fact that the mansion has presented scaring records of the past. Built as an eight-storey in (1960-1963), this same Executive Mansion witnessed the death of the 19th President of Liberia, William V. S. Tubman who died of ill-health.
Tubman’s successor, William R. Tolbert was gruesomely killed in a coup de’ tat in 1980 by 17 military men led by Master Sergeant Samuel Doe, who himself was killed by Prince Johnson and men of his INPFL.
Breaking a custom of sort, President Sirleaf stayed out of the building and is now exiting the presidency successfully.
She had a tangible excuse to hold up. That is the “electrical shock” that that resulted to fire blazing the presidential suites of the mansion on July 26, 2006 while celebrating her first Independence Day of the nation under her leadership.
Sirleaf moved, and moved forever to the Foreign Ministry building until her departure from state power in January 2018.
With this, Mr. President, where do you intend to start your official duty? Do you start right from the foreign ministry presidential seat created by Ms. Sirleaf or you are deciding otherwise? Let us know Sir; we’re waiting!
George Stewart, Contributing Writer