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Where is our moral outrage when George Weah, Prince Johnson and other Liberian politicians violate us and betray our trust?

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh      

 

George Manneh Weah, the celebrated former football star, Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) hero, Montserrado County Senator and perennial presidential candidate, made a startling revelation recently when he told the Liberian people that he spoke with the disgraced killer, con man and mastermind of the Liberian civil war, Charles Taylor, who is serving perhaps his entire life in a European prison for crimes against humanity.

“I was in a gathering and one of Mr. Taylor’s relative was in conversation with him (Taylor), and the guy walk up to me and gave me the phone saying President Taylor wants to talk to you. So, I held the phone and spoke to him,” Weah reportedly said.

Really?

Why will Mr. Taylor want to talk to Mr. Weah, and how did Mr. Taylor got to know that Weah was in that gathering on that day? Why Weah and not another person? However, according to reports, this is not the first time Weah has communicated with Mr. Taylor.

Why did Weah – this high-profile politician and sports legend put his character and everything on the line to be in contact with a man who helped to destroy his country and masterminded a war that killed thousands, and inflicted heartbreaks and irreparable damage and injuries to countless Liberians and Sierra Leoneans in his reckless, often delusional and adventurous quest to rule the region, and also be President of Liberia?

Why didn’t the Liberian legislature of which George Weah is a member, call Weah before his peers to explain his reasons for communicating with Charles Taylor, and to also explain to the nation what he and the former NPFL rebel leader talked about?

Is it a coincidence that George Weah later chose Jewel Howard Taylor, the ex-wife of Mr. Taylor as his vice-presidential running mate?

Do we trust a President George Manneh Weah at the helm of political leadership; and the ex-wife of an imprisoned leader, Jewel Howard Taylor as his second in command in a troubled and dysfunctional country where there is no rule of law and accountability – a lawless country where a powerful President Weah could singlehandedly seek the eventual release of Charles Taylor from prison?

Just as Liberians are struggling with abject poverty and the strange and scary revelation that Weah is in communication by phone with the imprisoned Charles Taylor, Weah’s running mate, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor made it clear that she needs an increase in her monthly salary of over $10,000.00 to carry out her official duties as a lawmaker.

“For me, $10,000.00 salary not enough,” Senator Jewel Howard Taylor reportedly said.

In my honest opinion, this is the height of insensitivity and tone deafness.

Can this lady not see the suffering around her, when ordinary Liberians cannot feed their kids or send them to school because of no funds?

Can Jewel Howard Taylor not see the suffering around her when her neighbors – the average ‘Joe Blow” or a “Sieh Dee” cannot afford to see a doctor to get treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes or the common cold?

What’s wrong with these people?

How can this ex-wife of a felon who held our country hostage and sent Liberians to their early graves – a lady whom as a privileged spouse who once enjoyed the amenities of the presidency from the suffering of the Liberian people, claimed in the face of mounting poverty to not be making enough money to sustain herself as a sitting senator?

Where’s our moral outrage?

How can these individuals get away with what seems to be political murder?

The other presidential candidate, Prince Y. Johnson, who honestly should be in prison right now for his deadly role in the Liberian civil war as a notorious rebel, did not disappoint when he publicly bragged about helping people during the civil war who do not appreciate him today.

“Today in Liberia a lot of people who do not appreciate the good things God has done for them call me a murderer, a killer, but let me say to these blind people, everyone in life has his or her own record,” Prince Johnson reportedly said.

Mr. Johnson also said, “Thomas Jefferson fought war and became President, George Bush fought a bitter civil war and became President, Abraham Bambageda (Ibrahim Babangida) overthrew, executed so many people and became head of state of Nigeria.”

Is this the time for Prince Johnson to make such dubious comparisons and silly pronouncements? Did George Bush fight any civil war? How about Mr. Johnson asking for genuine national forgiveness and reconciliation from the Liberian people?

I don’t see it coming from him because Prince Johnson, like other violators, wants to be President of Liberia.

Narcissistic?

Perhaps, because this grandiose view of himself (Prince Johnson) as the ‘savior’ of the Liberian people instead of the unrepentant killer he is, is terrifying.

The Chairman of the government-run and highly manipulated and untrusted National Elections Commission (NEC), Jerome G. Korkoya, is reportedly a naturalized U.S. citizen. This shouldn’t be a problem since most Liberians working in the Sirleaf administration are U.S citizens.

 It is a problem in this election year because Liberia does not recognize dual citizenship. And Korkoya is in violation of the law because he’s technically not a citizen of Liberia. So why is Korkoya, a citizen of the United States working as the chief elections officer of the Republic of Liberia?

Alex Cummings admittedly is also a naturalized U.S. citizen who is also running for President of Liberia.

Do we need a national referendum to change the law, or do we need an ombudsman who could easily be manipulated and remote-controlled from the Executive Mansion or elsewhere to do for us what we could do for ourselves? I certainly don’t trust the latter.

As the confusion around Korkoya’s citizenship spirals out of control and sinks into our consciousness, one would think President Sirleaf will do the right thing by asking Mr. Korkoya to resign.

No, President Sirleaf did not, and Mr. Korkoya is still Chairman of the National Elections Commission.

Why are Liberians not in the streets demanding change?

Where is our moral outrage when George Weah, Prince Johnson and other Liberian politicians violate us and betray our trust?

 

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