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Weah is Weah’s Own Worse Enemy

By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

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It is a bird. It is not a bird, either, but a statue.

It is a modern-day statue hoisted in Monrovia by a few brave men or few coward men who find it patriotic to hold their modern-day hero up-high, to make their point.

In these troubling and near-paralyzing times in the history of the Liberian nation riped with massive unemployment, massive public-sector corruption, poverty, hunger, unaccountability, a culture of impunity, underdevelopment, and agony, a statue honoring George Manneh Weah’s bruised ego seemed fit for Weah’s bruised ego.

To George Manneh Weah and his faithful followers, erecting a statue, not having a competent leadership that creates jobs, that builds genuine political institutions and modern infrastructure, that restores confidence in the citizens in this painfully corrupt and broken nation, is not at the top of their list.

Erecting a statue for this naked and shameless Emperor with no sense of humility is their joy and priority number one.

Oh, yes, it is a statue of a guy whose legendary story from rags to riches, fame, and political power, got us all in awe of an inspiring and trailblazing feat that at one time got some of us to want to be like Weah. 

If fame, money, and power are intoxicating to the point that those things can becloud a person’s values and judgment, Weah, who was once the walking definition of abject poverty, is as clueless and irreverent to his values and the presidency.

Weah’s lack of a political backbone to be a progressive leader who is accountable to his people – one who speaks powerfully and with resounding convictions, and genuinely feels the excruciating pains and suffering of his people (not window-dress and pay lip service to their problems), are his Achilles heels.

As head of his own government and political party, the buck stops at his doorsteps; not at the doors of his many opportunistic subordinates – those selfish and shameless (political) barracudas who will devour anything illegal that crossed their paths for their own gains.

I am amused when I hear as I often do that people around President Weah are to blame for the many problems he is facing in his beleaguered government.

 “President Weah better get rid of those people around him that are trying to destroy his government,” quipped a supporter who strongly believes the evil and imaginary bogeymen and bogeywomen in the Weah administration, not Weah, is hurting his administration.

Public-sector corruption including nepotism and the embezzlement of public funds, piles of garbage, raw sewage and other environmental issues in Monrovia, transportation and electricity issues, access to and funding of health care for the poor and unemployed, poor education system, the deploration conditions of roads in the country, and unaccountability, are Weah’s problems to deal with as President of Liberia.

In most countries where there are genuine democracy and the rule of law, at least, there is accountability of government officials and a penalty for those people who violate the trust of the people.

Those violators are held responsible for their actions. In Liberia, it is the opposite. Violators roam the streets and are political leaders.

However, why blame others for Weah’s lack of leadership when he supposed to be the one who was elected president by the Liberian people?

As the primary head of government, Weah is mostly mum on national issues; but sits back and dabbles in the pomp and pageantry of the presidency, and greenlights the little boy, Jefferson Koiyee, who claims to be “Lord” mayor of Monrovia, to run his mouth aimlessly to intimidate the citizenry.

As Jefferson Koiyee runs his mouth recklessly and aimlessly, the City of Monrovia that he claims to govern as “Lord” mayor is rotten with piles of garbage gathering ubiquitously in and around the city.

In the Weah administration and in previous administrations, there is a rotten culture of impunity that stares at Liberians daily.

Liberians are feeling unsafe in their own country thinking that they are at the mercy of those holding political power, who will not be prosecuted when they harm, maim or kill a Liberian.

As President of Liberia, George Weah cannot continue to be silent on these national issues.

A monthly press conference with meaningful and admirable details, can at least calm down the anxieties of a weary population.

Instead of the flamboyant and undisciplined Jefferson Koiyee, Mulbah Morlu and others running their mouths everyday and not making any sense, George Weah must take the lead and articulate his policies with sense and clarity to the nation.

I don’t think the Liberian people intentionally voted for a bo-bo to be president.

A statute cannot replace competent leadership, either.

Mr. Weah, prove yourself; the ball is in your corner.

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