O.Wanga Z. Wanley, 52-years old nurse and Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Totoquelleh Clinic in Gbarpolu County, has been crowned by Accountability Lab Liberia as the most inspiring female public servant of the year 2020.
Mrs. Wanley’s preferment for the 2020 Integrity Icon award of Liberia came as a surprise to her. She was selected among 30 individuals from different public sectors who were vetted for diligence and sincerity in public service.
Accountability Lab has been awarding public servants with the Integrity Icon Award since 2015, and an individual is selected without any prior knowledge of assessment being done about his or her performance in the public sector.
Every year Accountability Lab collects views from residents of various communities to discover those who have made a positive impact on society. The process allows people to go into communities to examine public servants and present to the Accountability Lab findings by which a deserving person is selected and honored.
In a short video that was displayed from the community during the vetting process where citizens were giving their views on why a particular candidate should be awarded the 2020 Integrity Icon award, many residents across Gbarpolu county disclosed that Mrs. Wanley has served the county for the past 14 years with distinction.
According to residents, Mrs. Wanley serves the community without a day off, adding, “she is always at the hospital when she is called upon. Even if it is her day off or she has left work for home, as soon there is an emergency or labor pain, she will leave her home and go to ensure that said patients receives treatment.”
The residents said: “Many a time the community select people to attend TNIMA with the intent of going back to serve, but people who take advantage of the opportunity refuse to return. For Wanley, she is different.”
After the 2020 vetting process was done by community members across the country, the 30 names were presented to the committee of which five-person topped the list including Mrs. Wanley, who won with 1109 SMS votes and 455 online votes while her closest challenger, Titus K. Tikwa Jr., Montserrado County Compliance Officer of the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC) took the second place.
Others who reached the top five included Police Commander Eric T. Joboe of Grand Kru County detachment of the Liberia National Police, Victor W. Nyanneh, teacher of the Grand Kru Public school, and Sumoizuo Z. Harris, Project Director of Feeder Road at the Ministry of Public Works.
Mrs. Wanley, in an interview right after the award was presented, told journalists that the Accountability Icon award shows that all hope is not lost in public service where many men and women tirelessly dedicate themselves for the wellbeing of the people of the country.
Providing details on how she became a Nurse, Mrs. Wanley said that growing up as a child, she saw her mother working as a midwife, and this has over the years encouraged her to follow her path, adding, “I knew that I wanted to work in public service.”
She described the award as “Unexpected,” adding that, “If I, who work in a hard-to-reach area like Gbarpolu can win this award, it means it is truly given on a well-deserved basis.”
Explaining how she got selected for the award, Mrs. Wanley said, “I was really surprised when I received a call that I was selected to form part of this year’s Accountability Icon award. I first took it as a ‘419’ until I received the second call, at which time I was told that I was participating among 30 other professionals.
“Looking at myself being awarded today shows that when you are serving people, it should be done diligently, even if there is no one looking. I have worked in the county for the past 14 years, and all along I felt that my effort was not appreciated until today I am honored publicly and internationally,” Mrs. Wanley said.
Mrs. Wanley thanked Accountability Lab for recognizing her as a public servant and promised to proudly continue working for the people.
Samuel G. Ford, 2019 Integrity Icon Winner and Assistant Commission for Community Services at the Liberia National Police (LNP), urged public servants to copy a good example of Integrity that will help move the country into a positive developmental direction.
Ford, who served as a keynote speaker, said integrity means doing the right thing in all circumstances, and the award has dignified him greatly to be more professional and always exhibit integrity.
The nominees were gowned and crowned, and the head of Accountability Lab Liberia, Lawrence Yealue, lauded the winners and urged all the nominees to be a good role model in the society.
The article was originally published in Daily Observer.