By Alexander Benedict Cummings, political leader of the Alternative National Congress
Under President George Weah, Liberia has become too dark, and too dangerous. Liberia’s darkness is not only in the lack of electricity, it is also in rising crimes, runaway corruption, and unbearable and worsening economic hardships. Too many people are unfairly suffering because of the incompetence and irresponsible leadership of President George Weah.
On April 28, SN Brussels, one of only two flights to Europe from Liberia, came close to crash-landing at the Roberts International Airport (RIA), due to the lack of electricity at the country’s only international airport. The plane, reported to be low on fuel, had to abort landing at the dark airport to return to Freetown, Sierra Leone. This is the second time in less than 3 months that a cross-continental flight have had to abort landing at the dark RIA.
We thank God for the safety of the passengers and crews whose lives continue to be threatened by the incompetent and irresponsible leadership of President George Weah. President Weah has spent more time partying and playing football than leading the country.
It was telling, and a national disgrace, that the two flights which aborted landing at the dark RIA went to neighboring Freetown, Sierra Leone for rescue. Like Liberia, Sierra Leone has seen its share of war and destruction. However, at the moment, the difference in the development of the two war-weary nations is in the levels of incompetence and irresponsible leadership of the Liberian presidency and administration.
President George Weah has not only failed and continue to embarrass our country, but also he has made our country dangerous to travel to, and even more dangerous to live in. On almost a daily basis, mysterious deaths and unsolved murders are being reported. Streets and communities are unsafe due to rising unemployment and crimes. Senator Weah who declared himself unable to pay child support has become a President buying properties and building private cities for himself and his family. Officials in his administration are following the bad examples of the President as stealing in the government reach new and shameful levels.
Like President Weah, administration officials are shamelessly displaying unexplained wealth while Liberian families are struggling to find food to eat, pay rent, buy fuel and gas, pay hospital bills and pay children school fees. Too many Liberians are becoming beggars in a country blessed with so much riches.
While the Weah administration officials are matching their bossman in displaying unexplained wealth, civil servants’ salaries are being cut and delayed so that they cannot even pay their way to work over the working month; MCSS is being told to raise its own money to improve government schools; doctors, nurses, teachers, police and other service men and women are underpaid and under-resourced to do their works; public hospitals and clinics are without medicines and beds; and schools are without much-needed support so that the quality of education to our children is amongst the worst in the West African subregion.
Obviously, President Weah was not ready to be President. Even worse, he continues to show that not only will he not change, but under him, Liberia will only get worse, and the suffering of Liberians will only get worse. If governments were corporations, George M. Weah would be fired!
On the football field, George Weah brought our country so much pride and joy. But as President, he has made Liberian lives miserable; he has made living conditions of Liberians unbearable; and he has made our country too dark and too dangerous. President Weah has betrayed the trust of the Liberian people, including the young people who saw hope in his remarkable story, and the CDC which saw a change leader in him. This sad reality of incompetence, inability and betrayal, all Liberians must now come to face together, not as parties but as a nation made dark and dangerous by a boy-king.
We may like Weah for the footballing memories. But we cannot like him at the expense of Liberia. It is time to love Liberia more.
In 2023 therefore, we must thank President Weah and relieve him of the heavy burden of presidential leadership we placed on his unready and incompetent shoulders. We must vote President Weah out and set to rebuild and reorder our country.
2023 is time to begin the process of real change in Liberia – to end the stealing in government, to light up our country, and to make our streets and communities safe again. With real change, we will unite Liberians, improve living conditions, lower the high costs of living, and gainfully employ Liberians by creating jobs and paying decent living wages and salaries.
Liberia deserves better. Liberians truly deserve better.
Real change is coming!