MY TURN: Memo to President George Manneh Weah

Liberia’s President George Manneh Weah

To prosecute or not to prosecute Liberia’s war criminals is the “monkey” that the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and President George Manneh Weah must confront or it may have serious ramifications for the regime economic survive.

CDC must decide whether doing business with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Charles Taylor’s NPFL-NPP is worth risking Liberia’s international isolation and the economic strangulation of the economy?

There are powerful international actors and institutions, including the United Nations, the European Union and human rights activists with political connections to U.S. powerful heavyweights, that are beginning to turn up the heat on President Weah to cut ties with Ellen and all warmongers and to let them have their day in court.

Any refusal to turn over Liberia’s warmongers by President Weah and any opposition to a Liberia War Crimes Tribunal that will mimic the Sierra Leone War Crimes Tribunal in collaboration with the EU, U.N., and U.S. for funding and backing may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

We saw the first negative signals from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when you President Weah went shopping around for money for your proposed $3 billion modern coastal highway from Buchanan City to Harper City.

Then I also read that you, President Weah, want to build a new hospital from scratch, and a New Monrovia City.  Where are you getting the money from? Why don’t you instead fix the OAU/AU Center, Hotel Africa, Ducor Hotel and simply equip JFK Hospital with state of the art equipment and good incentives for healthcare workers and doctors?  After doing these things, then you can then designate, say 25 beds, for our soldiers at JFK.

And what is this I read that you went to Nigeria some time ago to “borrow” 5,000 or 6,000 teachers. Are you going to pay the Nigerian “teachers” more than their Liberian counterparts? Will you pay for their lodging/housing and transportation too? I am sure our graduates at the University of Liberia and Cuttington University will be happy if you were to give them just half of what the Nigerians will get. That will be a real “pro-poor” agenda to give teaching jobs to our own unemployed college graduates.

Another signal is the news that corruption marred the process in the awarding of Liberia’s offshore oil blocks.

But the key test will be if you President Weah will send former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to America to face justice after she was sued in Boston by a Liberian human rights activist in connection to her role in the 14-year Liberian genocidal holocaust from 1989 to 2003.

Liberians are also raising their eyebrows with this new relationship between you, President Weah, and known Liberians with shady characters in the likes of Charles Bright, Robert Sirleaf, Emmanuel Shaw, Amara Konneh and others. I hope you know what you are getting yourself into with these people.

President Weah: Please don’t make believers out of Liberians who said during the campaign that you were being supported for the presidency by Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson to hire their people; all the more reason some of us who supported you in 2005, 2011 and in 2014 decided otherwise. But in a democracy, the majority carries the day and you are president of ALL Liberians. That is, obviously, one of the beauties of democracy.

Good luck my fellow Kru man, just don’t let us the native people down.  You frightened us your people when we see you on the other side.

I am back from vacation and hope you take my advice into consideration. Finally, please release those poor Krahn guys from jail.  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who is being sued for alleged war crimes put those poor boys in jail for the past four years just because she hates the late Samuel Kanyon Doe and anything Krahn.

If you cannot do anything for your late friend President Doe, the best you can do is put Ellen to shame by releasing those Krahn that she jailed as a payback against her political antagonism with Samuel Doe.  I urge you grant those young men amnesty to honor the memory of former President Samuel Doe who helped and supported your football career when people like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf though a countryman was nothing but a failure.

Remember! The late President Doe, not Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, was your friend when you were just a young man from Clara Town.

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Jerry Wehtee Wion

Jerry Wehtee Wion is a veteran Liberian journalist and political commentator. His work experience includes serving as a former radio announcer and sports journalist for the ELWA radio in Liberia, press commentator to the Liberian presidency (1980- 1981), and as a staffer with the Associated Press in New York. He is currently based in Washington, DC and runs an informative call-in Liberian news hotline known as LANSNews.
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