Liberia’s president George Manneh Weah
By Moses Uneh Yahmia
During the electoral campaign, I was among those who were at the forefront putting forth the argument that the presidential candidate of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the then Senator of Montserrado County and now President of the Republic, George Manneh Weah, lacks the ability to steer the ship of affairs of the republic. We chose such path, not because of hate or prejudice against his person. We had and still have the understanding that from where we are as a country and people, we should run while other sovereign nations walk. And electing a George Weah as president of this republic is a contradiction to such national objective.
Glowing Confirmations of President Weah’s Ineptitude: The Early Signs of Vindicating his Critics at the Judgment Seat of History.
We argued that his abysmal performance in the Senate indicates that he has little understanding of governance. Therefore, making him the Head of Government, Head of State, and Commander – in- Chief of the Armed Forces of Liberia would have been a disastrous farce for an already backward nation that should have its brightest or best brains at the helm of national leadership. We also advanced the theory that this man was not only haphazardly educated but he has shown an acute inability to decipher complex political phenomena and come out with conclusions in the national interest of the republic. Consequently, electing him as president of Liberia in a highly sophisticated world with competing interests among different social forces in the international system would indicate that Liberians are not ready to experience a socioeconomic leap forward.
Our political opponents in the CDC, some out of sycophancy, others out of either mere love for President Weah, ignorance of the issues, or due to desperateness for change in the ruling party, refuted our argument we proffered to the Liberian people. Many of them rebutted that, to develop a nation, education and the educational credential of presidential aspirants are not a pre-requisite. One must just have a love for country and a good heart — criteria that President Weah has unarguably– according to them. President Weah himself even reechoed this absurdity at one of his campaign rallies in Nimba County when he said, “Education is not important to the development of Liberia”.
Others including George Werner, former minister of education and supporter of George Weah, even argued that “Da na book we will eat. Education does not provide opportunities and equality.” Other said that past presidents were all “Book people” but today, the country is one of the poorest countries in the world. Therefore, they would gamble with a George Weah, the man whom they think is one of them. They forgot that he is an earner of a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Devry University in the United States of America. But his political adversaries think he is educationally unfit because he has time without number proven that he spent very little time in the classroom experimenting with ideas and precepts that have the tendency to advance either science, technology, arts, culture or politics.
After all the heated political debates in the campaign, our arguments fell on the rocky ground and the arguments of the CDC were absorbed by the people. According to the National Elections Commission which is headed by the reprobate Jerome Korkoya, George Weah was elected the 25th President of Liberia on December 26, 2017. He was constitutionally inducted into office on January 22, 2018. It has gone not even two months in the regime of this chap, he has started to substantiate our claims and thus vindicate us before the judgment seat of history. Again, our arguments are not based on sentiments, hate or prejudice, but rather, they are the foundation on factual pieces of evidence.
The following are confirmations of our claims that President Weah is an inept and a misfit leader who will do nothing but continue the development of underdevelopment in Liberia:
- In his inaugural address, President Weah promised a highly jubilant and euphoric people that instead of remaining spectators in the Liberian economy, he will assiduously work to make Liberians the owners of their economy. President Weah contradicted such commitment during his first State of the Nation Address to the 54th National Legislature when he informed the First Branch of Government that his “Most urgent and imperative agenda” is to grant citizenship and property ownership rights to people of non- negro descent (the very same people who have made Liberians spectators in the Liberian economy).
- The President nominated Cllr. Charles Gibson as Minister of Justice. This is a man who has a sordid legal record. He defrauded one of his clients of over USD 25,000.00. His nomination was withdrawn based on not only public outcry but also an assurance from the Liberian Senate that he will not be confirmed. Also, for the post of Deputy Minister of Administration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the President nominated, and the Senate has confirmed Elijah Shoniyin, a man who is the main culprit of the mismanagement of the Japanese Grant during the regime of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. A reputable, competent and well-inclined leader will know the kind of team that needs to be put together to deliver social goods to his people. And making as part of his team individuals with a history of corruption is an exception instead of a rule.
- President Weah was influenced by the Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor and the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill to appoint their relatives and loved ones to a position of trust in government. Mobutu Nyenpan, the alleged de facto husband of the Vice President is Minister of Public Works. Norwu Howard, the sister of Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has been appointed Deputy Minister for Administration, Ministry of Health. The Vice President’s Sister-in-law, Alice Johnson Howard is now Deputy Minister for Gender, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Also, Pam Belcher- Taylor, the VP brother’s wife has been appointed as City Mayor of Paynesville. Rebecca McGill the woman who does not know the definition of fiscal policy is the sister of the Minister of State and Presidential Affairs. She was nominated as Deputy Minister for Administration of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. Her confirmation by the Senate is in jeopardy due to her appalling presentation during the confirmation hearing.
- In wanton disregard for competence and qualification, President Weah elected to appoint to the position of trust in government not only unqualified and incompetent university students but also educational degenerates. Jefferson Koijje, a CDC Youth Wing Leader who deliberately despised education by choosing to drop out of the Stella Maris Polytechnic is now the Mayor of Monrovia, the capital city of Africa’s oldest republic. Mamasie Kabba, a student of the African Methodist Episcopal University who has no background in gender and children advocacy as well as public sector experience is a nominee for the post of Assistant Minister for Planning and Administration, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Mamena Carr, a student of the University of Liberia with no public-sector experience is also a nominee for one of the Assistant Ministerial posts at the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. Tete Gebro, a University of Liberia’s student with no history of service in the public sector is Deputy Director General of the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS). If these are not indicators of the President’s promotion of extreme mediocrity over merit in public service, then I do not know what it is.
- The President, in his acute ignorance, thinks that by taking pictures with members of the Association of Rice Importers and posting on social media after a meeting of pomp, pageantry, and illusion, the prices of 25kg and a 50kg bag of rice will reduce. Little does he know that beyond the empty photo taking and social media showoffs, there are scientific indicators that lead to the reduction in the price of rice, the country stable food. Since the office of the President’s pronouncement of US$2.00 and US$4.00 reduction in the prices of 25kg and 50kg bag of rice respectively, the reduction has not been effectuated. How can the price of rice be reduced when semi-monopoly has been attached to the importation of rice? How can the price of rice reduce when your economy is being victimized by galloping inflation? How can there be a reduction in the price of rice when the wholesale local production of the commodity remains elusive?
- While other Sub-Sahara African countries are pragmatically taking steps to survive beyond charity and handouts from a Western democracy, our President is committed to subjecting the survival of the Liberian republic to foreign aid. This is evidenced by his humiliation of our national sovereignty when he visited France. Our president, breaching all diplomatic protocols delivered Liberia as a French protectorate by practically begging the government of France to rescue the economy of a country that is endowed with so many mineral and natural resources. From the unimpressive deliberation of President Weah in France, the Europeans whom he went begging are thinking that something psychologically is wrong with Liberians. To be blessed with arable land, Atlantic Ocean, rivers, iron ore, tourist attractions, gold, diamond, forest resources and a youthful population and still be begging for handouts, is indeed the paradox of plenty. This is what happens when a nonentity is promoted to a position of prominence.
- After helping to herald the “Change for Hope” mantra, a mantra which some of us considered a dramatic populist rhetoric that was meant to fascinate the gullible electorate, the Liberian people have now realized that such mantra and its pro-poor adage have no clear-cut pointer or agenda to deliver short, medium and long terms social goods to the suffering people of Liberia. This is evidenced by the President’s recent mandate to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Samuel Twee, to within the period of three weeks craft an agenda tilted Agenda for Rapid Response and Transformation (ARRT). This has solidified our claim that this man had no policy agenda when he contested the presidency. Yet, with the help of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, he was given the nation’s highest seat. I am anticipatory of nothing different from Samuel Tweh and his team. The Liberian people should expect nothing but a copy and paste of Ellen’s failed Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and Agenda for Transformation (AfT).
The Liberian people have once again been duped. Their aspiration to build a wholesome functioning Liberian society has once again been consigned to a utopian land. Many of them are still euphoric and will initially not distance themselves from this wave of illusion in President Weah. We who have chosen to unearth the emerging contradictions will be vilified for now. But when the antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions start to assure them not the superior standard of living they were promised by the “Change for Hope” mantra, they will start to gain consciousness, as history has proven that the people at the most time only learn from experience. If the seven bullets point outlined in this piece are not confirmation of President Weah’s lack of determination or his inability to take this republic from its wretched state to a nation of celestial height, I do not know what they are.
AND SO, IT GOES!!!!
About the author
Moses Uneh Yahmia is a devoted cadre of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative (MOSODA). He can be reached via email@example.com/+233209326013.
Editor’s Note: This thought expressed herein in no way reflect the position of Globe Afrique but the of the author.