‘Heartless Government’

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President Weah challenges a fellow CDCian in the Pro-poor Day ludo competition

EFFL, others condemn CDC’s “Pro-poor Day” celebrations amidst excruciating economic hardship

“A government that merry makes while its people are experiencing extreme hardship is heartless, and unfortunately, this CDC government, which says it is for the masses, has demonstrated high level of carelessness,” The Commander in Chief (CIC) of the Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia (EFFL), Emmanuel Gonquoi has said.

Gonquoi assertions were in reference to the George Weah led government recent celebration of what it termed as Pro poor Day at a time when the country’s economy appears to be teetering on the brink of collapse  in the face of signs pointing to what growing hyperinflation with no solution from government insight.

“Our people are feeling the pinch of the economy so badly while our President and his surrogates are merry making at the other end. This is very unfortunate and it shows how insensitive our president and the government are to the plight of the masses,” Gonquoi said.

The EFFL made these comments over the weekend when the pressure group hoisted its flag at its headquarters in Paynesville.

The EFFL is a recently established radical and militant economic emancipation movement that brings together revolutionary elements, radicals, workers movements, community based organizations and lobby-groups united under the banner of  the struggle for economic emancipation.

It has outstanding support among those considered as enlightened youth, a segment of the student’s community and the disillusioned masses of the people. With the Saturday’s event, observers say the EFFL confirmed its shrewd mobilization skills with the huge crowd it attracted to its program.

The EFFL is an affiliate of EFF of South Africa inspired by the zealous advocacy of young revolutionary Julius S. Malema formerly of the ANC. It now has branches in few countries including Zimbabwe, Namibia and others.

The EFFL day coincided with the CDC’s Pro Poor Day, which Gonquoi termed as colossal failure.

EFFL Commander in Chief, Emmanuel Gonquoi: “A government that merry makes while its people are experiencing extreme hardship is heartless…”

The “Pro-poor Day,” which began with President Weah and some senior officials gathered at the Barclay Training Center (BTC) soccer pitch, was, according to eyewitness accounts,  a day of merry making characterized by the huge consumption of alcoholic beverages of all types, at the expense of masses who are experiencing the worst economic crisis experienced in recent time.

On a video recording of the celebrations, at the BTC pitch,  the President and his supporters can be seen singing songs which many in the public have characterized as  divisive and should not be sung at this moment. Many of the songs are reminiscent of the 2017 elections campaign period.

The EFFL CIC noted that the celebration was a total mockery of the true meaning of the phrase ‘pro poor.’

The CDC administration came to power on the back of what it termed as a Pro poor agenda—a concept and program intended to  reduce poverty among the masses.

With such a celebration which observers and Gonquoi say is premature, many now appear inclined to believe the assertion by the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings, that the George Weah and his CDC seem not to understand the enormity of the tasks they have taken on.

“That assertion is clearly being manifested now. The country currently has no direction,” Gonquoi noted.

Also speaking at the occasion, youthful Liberian entrepreneur and motivational speaker, Steven Kolubah, at the occasion described Liberia as an airplane that took off in flight some 171 years ago  but does not know where it is heading.

It is sad, he said, for Liberia as a country to be trekking backward in term of development.

Kolubah is not yet convinced about the ability of the CDC administration to appropriately govern the state. Noting that poverty is on the  increase, Kolubah admonished members of the EFFL to remain unwavering in championing the cause of ordinary Liberians.

“This celebration by the President is not in the interest of the masses and we consider this as mockery,” Kerkula, who is the Secretary General of the UL based Students Unification Party (SUP) said

The poor turnout at the celebration, according to Alfred P. B. Kiadii, is manifestation of the masses refusal to endorse, by their presence, what they regard as a classic betrayal of their loyalty by the government.

Kiadii, who is a student of political science at UL, said by this, the masses have started unmasking what he called the charades of the Weah government.

“And this can be deduced by the snubbing of the regime’s pro poor celebrations and the booing of the presidential motorcade by disillusioned marketers of the populous Redlight Market,” he said in a commentary.

EFFL Fighters hoisting the organization’s flag

Opposition Politician, Darius Dillon said the country’s progress has degenerated under the CDC led government, and so far, no austerity measure has been instituted to stabilize the economic hardship. “But the President deems it prudent to be celebrating who his people wallop in hardship,” he said.

He declared that President Weah spends not less than eighty thousand United States dollars on every foreign travel—unlike president Sirleaf who paid for seats when traveling abroad, Weah uses chartered flights, thus causing financial burden for the country.

He however indicated that the poor turnout at the ‘Pro-poor Day’ is a demonstration of disappointment by citizens in the CDC led administration at such an early stage

Mr. Dillon said the turnout was very poor, suggesting that those who voted the CDC to power are frustrated over the running of the country.

A veteran media practitioner noted in a commentary that the term “pro poor” has two meanings in Liberia. One of the meanings applies to the officials of government and the other to the ordinary masses.

In the first month of his reign, President Weah simultaneously embarked on the construction of what observers say is his dream home and at the same time started to reconstruct his 9th Street property while construction works were also taking place at his Thinkers Village Jamaica Resort. The President has so far not declared his assets as required by law, even though proponents of the administration say that he has not violated any law.

It can be recalled the President had, during his  inaugural address pledged to wage war against corruption as a way of ensuring accountability and transparency. But with six months gone into the administration, there are yet, no visible signs indicating a commitment to that cause. Observers maintain the President is yet to comply with asset declaration requirements and none of his lieutenants have yet done so.

At the pro poor celebrations President Weah did not present a speech  to catalogue the successes of the administration as may have been intended by organizers of the event. Rather, the President instead indulged in a few games of Ludo.

According to our reporter, after playing a few Ludo games with top government officials, he entered the party’s building and remained there where he rema until his departure for his Rehab residence.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I guess we needed Jorweah in order for Liberians to appreciate Ellen and as a lesson in gratitude. Under normal circumstances I would be condemning the formation of this kind of group, but I guess such is the time, such is the necessity. After all, isn’t this outfit reciprocal to the CDC version? Monkey see, monkey do.

  2. Liberia is hit by this “pro-poor catastrophe”; unbearable for six years.
    I’m a student of one of the renowned public school in Liberia, Voinjama Multilateral High School located in Voinjama Lofa county. Since its establishment in 1979 , the school has been tuition-free which has been a blessing to thousands of less fortunate students. But guess what, the pro-poor regime says the school is no more tuition-free and students are to paid tuition next academic year, omg!!
    Indeed this is the Black Age of our beloved country Liberia.
    Perhaps we should all forget about education and take the ball, or ludo dice, or beverages.
    Maybe with this he (Weah) thinks Liberia will be better.

    ” We shall o’er prevail “

  3. This story breaks my heart. I was in Liberia recently spending three weeks…..I didn’t do any flashy thing because I wanted to experience first hand what the citizens are going through. At the Red Light Market, I spoke with many marketers who complained people aren’t buying their goods anymore. At waterside, there was some sense of silence…people went about their business as usual, but there’s this pessimism about the economy. We drove through Vai Town and Claratown. I saw many young people hanging around stores, coffee shops and restaurants that aren’t employ. In Duala and the New Kru Town Borough, marketers were busy as usual. Many complained of the high exchange rate of the USD to the Liberian dollar. A woman selling in what’s described in Liberia as “lappa be door” complained that she has to credit most of her food in the evening because people aren’t buying. The signs of poverty pervade the country with motor cyclers everywhere trying to find passengers for different destinations. A gallon of gas was LD$485 and the exchange rate was USD$1=$149LD. I learned the rate has gone to LD$153=$1USD. Times are hard for Liberians.

  4. The mere fact that the “president” is sitting down to play “ludo”, while the masses suffered under his administration, while the economic is in a shaamble, indicates that he’s not in control of what’s going on in the country. it only implys one thing; He has no idea of what to do and that those he has appointed, are intrusted with the daily operation of the country, and at the end of day; he’s there to reap the positive outcomes if there are any. The liberian voters have themselves to blame. They voted for popularity, verses know-how, so now, they are suffering the consequences of their decisions.

  5. EJS ran Liberia for a dozen years and paid her finance minister USD $30, 000 a month while “pervasive poverty was the greatest threat to national security” according to her own Justice Minister and Chairman of the Security Sector. So, to say “we needed Jorweah in order for Liberians to appreciate Ellen” is simply untrue and outrageous. Reference necessity for a militant group to meet Liberia’s alleged abnormal circumstances under the CDC-led government, be careful with the rabble-rousing.

    We were here before the civil war: Qwinwonkpa, a soldier disobeyed lawful orders to transfer from one assignment to another, and Wonselay led an attack on LAMCO where retired Major Charles Julu was Director of Plant Protection. That’s the origin of events that would lead to bloodletting, and the blood-debts which fuelled the barbarity of our civil war. Let’s not repeat the mistake of history for the same reason – political power and economic hegemony

  6. This is just the prelude. We are inside for good for six years or more. Tears of fun and grieve will fill buckets. This is just PRO POOR talk😆😆😆

  7. I prefer to see Weah playing Ludo than pretending to be president. The presidency is way over Weah’s head.

  8. Let me see:
    Pressure Group, dressed in a militant like outfit, Red Barrett, CIC, calling themselves “Freedom Fighters”, and hoisting their flag on the soil of Liberia.
    Who are they? Where did they come from?
    Even though, Liberians are very hard to learn, but quick to forget, yet we need to be very careful about the rising of militant groups in our society. We must be able to separate freedom of expression from militant organizations.

    “EFFL, OTHERS CONDEMN CDC’S “PRO-POOR DAY” CELEBRATIONS AMIDST EXCRUCIATING ECONOMIC HARDSHIP”

    What would you suggest?
    Perhaps, that the President declared a national period of sadness throughout the Republic of Liberia. Ordered that all entertainment centers be closed, and all festivities prohibited until the “ECONOMIC HARDSHIP” is resolved.
    In Liberia, where we have to import just about everything, we should expect to go through some hardship occasionally.

  9. Let ppl hear their ear…no policy statement, zero debate, nothing tangible yet you sang “u kno book u na kno book, we will vote for u”. Just wait

  10. Economic hardship is a global issue right now. So, Liberians are not alone in this struggle. Let us learn to work together in time of hardship so that we may rejoice in the time of plenty.
    Least we forget, we are a consumer society. We produce nothing. So, Liberians need organizations that will help us solved the issue and make us productive.
    Merely challenging government with the intent to stir up trouble in the country will lead us nowhere, other then, more hardship. I leave you to reflect on the 14 years of civil crisis in Liberia.

  11. So, this day and date was planned by the “EFFL” to host a program at their headquarters in Paynesville City. The day and date happened to have “coincided” with the CDC’S Pro-Poor Day.

    Now, apart from condemning the President and the CDC led Government for hosting such a program, what did the “EFFL” had to offer the people of Liberia? Remember, the EFFL day was not planned just to talk about the CDC’S Pro-Poor Day, but the Commended in Chief and all the other speakers at the occasion had nothing to offer other then to condemn the CDC’S Pro-Poor Day.

    One can easily conclude that the CDC’S PRO-POOR DAY did not coincide with the “EFFL Day”. The CDC’S PRO-POOR DAY was not a secret. The EFFL staged their so-called flag hoisting on that same day end date just to stir up trouble.
    Thanks to the maturity of the President, and the CDC led Government, there were no trouble.

    SHAME on those that have nothing to contribute to the Republic of Liberia other then to cause trouble.

  12. Just so you know, your EFFL is not an affiliate of the EFF in South Africa! The EFF in South Africa was founded on an ideological and Political foundation unlike your EFFL. The writer of this story is making a serious mistake by comparing the Ideologically barren and undeserved relevance seekers in the EFFL to that of the EFF. As a Journalist have taken your time to ask relevant questions to this group as it relates to what alternate political philosophy and ideology is best for the country? Have you taken your time to ask them what economic model, capitalism or socialism, they believe can transform our economy from it current status to an improved one?

  13. The photo you are using to make your story is not a recent photo. You and I know that very well. As a matter of fact, everyone has leisure time and decides what he/she does at this time. I don’t think there is something wrong with the Ambassador spending his time with his supporters means that he cares less about the his people. I believe the pictoral portrays a humble character who is down to earth and associates with his people no matter their place on the economic pyramid. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Robert Sirleaf, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Amara Konneh, Alexander Cummings, etc would rather spend theirs at the Bella Cassa, the Boulevard Palace, the Palm Spring, the Golden Gate, the Golden Key and you name it , with their familiie and cronies while disassociatiing themselves from the lower class.

    • I agree see it from your point of view Curtis, but the time (current state of affairs of the country ) and place is wrong!

  14. Those guys partticipated in the plundering of the economy of the state and its people twelve years ago under the failed Unity Party administration of two of Liberia’s most notorious economic bandits. Yesterday they were NAMBO, 3F, Boakai’s THINK TANK and today they are under the disguise of EFFL which is an auxilliary of the Unity Party. As a journalist, before you put microphone to the mouth of any citizen your intent should not only be to just merely air the democratic opinion of an individual though it is their right but it will be necessary at times to independently investigate the backgrounds and records of those individuals to avoid sabotaging the ethics and principles of professional journalism. As investigative journalist, we must not run behind sensational headlines just to make money. These guys you are now paradding with as EFFL, are associates of the Ellen and Boakai’s dynasty. The question is, how could those who looted state coffers at the expense of the struggling masses of our people in just few months ago be called Economic Freedom Fighters of Liberia when in fact we should be calling for the prosecution of these
    corrupt people and their slave masters. We must be honest as Liberians and stop celebrating criminals who will decorate themselves as EFFL.

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