Liberia: ‘Spoilers Will Fix It’

…. Finance Minister Tweah says people who created propaganda against CDC will undo it

Liberia's Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah Jr., has said that individuals who were once responsible for spreading propaganda against the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC)-led government will undo what they did by fixing their lies.

He said some of those who told the atrocious lies against the George Weah administration have now aligned themselves with the government and expressed their willingness to help resolve the issues they had previously caused.

“We were joking last night, and some of the people who created this propaganda against the government are on our side now and promising to undo it. Man can’t talk at all,” Tweah said in a jubilant mood at a well-attended conference.

Though he did not name anyone, Tweah’s comments seem to be directed to Mr. Henry Pedro Costa, a long-time critic of the Weah administration, who recently endorsed the reelection bid of the President. Also joining ranks with the President recently is Mr. Benoni Urey and his daughter Telia, who were also very critical of the regime.

Tweah made this statement after Liberia achieved high scores on the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard, particularly in areas such as political rights, civil liberties, and control of corruption under President Weah’s administration.

“This development signals a shift in the political landscape of Liberia, with individuals who were critical of the government now recognizing the need for collaboration. The involvement of these individuals could bring valuable expertise, knowledge, and resources to address challenges faced by the country,” he said.

The country has made high marks in the following areas which Tweah described as “hard hurdles” — the Political Rights or Civil Liberties indicator, and the Control of Corruption under the  administration of President Weah since inception in January 2018.

Tweah said the latest report has now put an end to the negative propaganda which has been spewed out against the government since it took over the State.

According to him, such a significant achievement will now pave the way for the re-election of President Weah in the November 14 run-off elections.

“This change in allegiance could be seen as a positive development, as it indicates a willingness to put aside personal or political differences for the greater good of Liberia. By joining forces with the government, these individuals can bring their expertise, knowledge, and resources to address the issues that may have been previously highlighted as propaganda,” he added.

According to Tweah, the Weah administration’s involvement in problem-solving initiatives could potentially lead to more effective governance and policy implementation. With their newfound support, the government may gain access to fresh perspectives and innovative ideas that were previously overlooked or dismissed.

“However, it is important to approach this situation with caution. While some individuals may genuinely want to contribute positively, others might be motivated by personal gain or political opportunism,” he warned.

According to Tweah, “this was the only chance the opposition had to create propaganda against President Weah because they knew that if Weah is given the chance considering his popularity after 38% of the country’s voting population voted for him in the first round of 2017, and when Weah fixed the Liberian people problems, opposition would be in serious problem and CDC would be in power for a very long time.”

Tweah said the government’s biggest challenge over the last five years has been propaganda and lies packed up in the form that make people want to believe it and coming at the time of difficulties and the circumstances aided and abetted the lies because of the tough economic global situation.

“People say anything, people are angry and they will believe it and many of these people were in the media. The country has to have a media conversation about their commitment to reporting and objective truth because it has ramification to the development of the country. People just get on the radio and say anything and I am glad that fact-checkers have emerged recently, but I think they are too slow. I don’t think they are rigorous and have the platform to quickly inform the people as people say things,” Tweah said. 

Tweah however failed to admit that the government under President George Manneh Weah owes the independent media thousands of United States dollars in legitimate debts that it refuses to pay, yet prefers to pay undocumented amounts to those it considers “friendly”, to drive the administration’s propaganda machine. Even said propaganda machine is not driven by the Ministry of Information — which is grossly underfunded — but by private media entities either owned or controlled by ruling party officials. Essentially, the Weah administration does not believe in independent media, which is why it insists on trying to strangulate those that cannot be bought or controlled. 

“The only chance for the opposition,” he said, “is to destabilize his government from the beginning and not let him sit down and this is what those in the opposition started to do and the media people helped them a lot. Our country is a kind of country where anything the media says is true and so we will not allow the media to say, for instance, two plus two is five because our people will believe it.

“However, it is important to approach this shift with caution, as some individuals may have personal or political motivations that are not aligned with the best interests of Liberia,” Tweah said, stressing the need for fact-checking and reporting objective truth in the media, as false information can hinder the country's development.

Liberia's Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism, Ledgerhood Julius Rennie, also highlighted the significance of Liberia's passing of the Millennium Challenge Corporation scorecard. He stated that this achievement demonstrates the government’s commitment to the country's progress and contributes to President Weah’s re-election bid.

“This is the day that has brought to an end for me and all of us in the government, all the naysaying of the direction of which our country is heading. This passing shows the commitment of the President of where the country is heading now and the president is leading the country in the right direction,” he said.

Overnight, Minister Rennie said, Liberians heard the news of Liberia passing key components of the MCC scorecard, including economic empowerment, Control of Corruption, and civil liberties. 

“Over the last five to six years or even before the President assumed office, there has been this talk that he lacks leadership ability, and the skills to lead this country. Today, said argument has been debunked and trashed. The MCC scorecard dismisses the argument that the Liberian no longer has the ability to lead this country,” Rennie said.

According to him, the government did not write the report and in addition, the World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank and they are forecasting gross domestic growth for the country, which is good for Liberia.