‘I Was Embarrassed With Questions From My Colleagues at UNGA’

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President Weah delivers a special statement on Monday, September 24, 2018, at the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, UN Headquarters. (Photo Credit: Executive Mansion Photo)

–Admits President Weah

President George Weah says he was embarrassed with questions from several heads of state at the just ended 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, who wanted to know what was going on in Liberia about the L$16 billion that was alleged to have gone “missing.”

President Weah made the statement on Sunday during an Intercessory Service at the Dominion Christian Fellowship Center in Congo Town where hundreds of his supporters and government officials assembled to welcome him back home shortly after he arrived in the country.

He did not mention names of presidents or heads of state whose questions had him embarrassed at the UNGA. However, the President told the congregation that, while serving in the Senate, he refused to even affix his signature to the document that authorized the authorities of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to print money for the country.

“I refused because, considering the campaign period, it was unnecessary to print any money to replace the mutilated ones,” he said. He said he did not sign the resolution that also sought to print the second batch of money.

On those who, he said, wish his administration to fail, he rhetorically asked, “If you wish for me to fail, how does that help you, will that develop your life? I am from the school of thought that says failure is a learning process,” President Weah said to a round of applause.

He emphasized that Liberians should continue to pray for good things for the country as his government’s failure will not augur well for the country and the citizenry.

According to Weah, even journalists who made the disclosure of the ‘missing L$16 billion’ will also form part of the investigation team to trace the whereabouts of the money.

Weah, taking an apparent swipe at President Sirleaf, said although he inherited a broken economy without knowledge of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), “but I have succeeded in reducing salaries of government officials.”

He also indirectly commented on former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s recent comments regarding the “missing” L$16 billion.

Madam Sirleaf told the BBC that President Weah has put the reputation of the country at stake, questioning his government’s understanding of Liberia’s GDP.

Weah said it was unfortunate for anyone to think that he was not aware of the country’s GDP, adding that knowing a GDP of a country is meaningless if such knowledge cannot help in transforming the lives of the people.

Meanwhile, observers in Liberia say the freezing of Liberia’s account by the U.S. Federal Reserve System is likely to trigger a hike in the exchange rate and impose increased hardships on the Liberian people, all because, according to them President Weah is treading softly with his officials, some of who are reported to be deeply involved with the missing billions but are freely moving about with impunity.

It now remains to be seen whether such pressures from the U.S. Federal Reserve System will spur action on the part of this government to bring culpable officials to book in a speedy manner. President Weah, who has since failed to act on the recommendations of the Special Presidential Committee set up to probe former officials involved in the NOCAL-ExxonMobil bribery payout scheme, has however pledged this time to take firm actin against those involved in the disappearance of billions of Liberian dollar  banknotes.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Well, George Manneh Weah, you are a thief, hence you were embarrassed at the just ended UNGA. You ranted on Sunday that during the Ebola crisis, a little kid was killed in West Point…and when CDCIANS went on a protest for the killing of the kid, you had to calm them. Well, did you also tell the CDCIANS that you received some bribes from higher ups in the Ellen government to quell the protest? A kid got killed…….yet you went ahead and made a deal with the Ellen government to be paid handsomely. Did you tell CDCIANS about this deal or money? Now you see why a majority of the Liberian people would never trust you? You are nothing but a thief and a con-artist. Because mistake Liberians made was to elect a semi-illiterate person like you. Your sins would find you out soon brother.

  2. I guess those leaders hate you cause according to your supporters, anyone who questions your governance and things happening under your watch hates you.Some of those leaders are tired of giving or helping Liberia without seeing results

  3. Weah should be embarrassed because this government is totally dysfunctional and dishonest. Mr. Weah needs to get it together because the Liberian people and the international community are losing confidence and trust in his leadership. Is the government trying to cover up the truth?

  4. Christopher Luke, get over it, GMW received a mandate and with the continued support of our vast majority Country-Congo poor, he will deliver as promised regardless of resistance – at every turn – by you and like-minded reactionaries. Please, restrain the ingrained habit of seeing realities in our current political space through lenses of elitist condescension, such as class, Ivy League schools’ connectedness, or old family wealth. They erect barriers to the mutual respect and coexistence we would need to plan together for progress.

    It saddens that elites intimately familiar with how racism, not only sapped some of the potential of the U.S, but also doomed her to irreconcilable polarizations, refuse to see that group-interest bigotry has kept Liberia backward, underdeveloped, and dangerously divided. Oh well, words won’t change prejudiced minds, yet few of us can’t afford to stop trying.

  5. Christopher Luke, get over it, GMW received a mandate from the people and with their continued support his pro-poor policy agenda will be implemented regardless of resistance – at every turn – by reactionaries like you. Boneheaded elitist
    group-interest kept Liberia divided, backward, and underdeveloped for over a century; can’t you guys understand that the current political realities have come to stay? Framing the dark-skinned President E.J Roye for theft didn’t make our mulatto Oligarchy retain power permanently; so, henceforth, the vast majority Country-Congo downtrodden will decide who becomes president, not a cabal of self-absorbed elites.

  6. Clearly it is inarguable that the current administration’s initial response to the story on the alledged missing money was poorly coordinated. As a result, it not only created confusion, but received a strong rebuke, as would be expected, from the prior administration.

    One thing that was clearly missing was the lack of foresight into developing a clear objective for a public relation strategy that would’ve managed both short term and long term reputational risk of the administration. A firm, government or individual’s reputational risks can impact one’s credibility, hence the ability to entertain critical partners required to invest in one’s given enterprise. That’s why firms across spend billions of dollars managing reputational risk; be it managing the media exposure of its version of a story through a verified centralized channel and spokesperson, mandated training and procedures governing all employees behaviors on a given story and unambiguous transparency to stakeholders of “need to know” facts.

    The President need to stop whining every time someone from the prior administration make a comment that is really not relevant and has no impact on him carrying out his Party’s platform he ran and won on. But the tit-for-tat response undermine the very thing he’s endeavoring to achieve, and that is reconciliation. He needs to respond in a way that reflect on the democratic foundation on which he took over that gives him a chance to finish or move forward with the unfinished goals of the prior administration in lifting the living standard of all Liberians. As such, he avoids undermining his predecessor’s accomplishments, especially since she is the most highly regarded Liberian politician by Liberia’s international support partners including the United States, but she can become an ambassador, sort of, to help bring credibility to his administration. There’s no need to garner support for oneself by undermining your predecessor. It achieve nothing. No wonder, his counterparts we’re questioning him at the UNGA. No one is asking former President Ellen Sirleaf about it. She understands how to manage reputational risk, from her corporate experience and that’s why she came out initially to protest the government initial response. And since then, she’s met with world political and international business leaders, and recently with the first daughter of the United States, a close and personal confidant of the U.S. President. All of that brings benefit to Liberia and Liberians.

  7. Larry Emerson, yours is one of the most insightful perspectives, except on a minor point. Apparently, one motive for the disinformation tactic directed at discrediting GMW was to force him into establishing an economic crime court for EJS’s tenure, an action he has, rightfully, repeatedly resisted. So granted that there was overreacting and confusing messaging from his officials, EJS should’v been the statewoman by calling him rather than – of all people – FPA’s Rodney Sieh. So it was comedy of errors all around, and we hope this serves as an eye opener. Truth be told, it doesn’t take rocket science to fathom that dividing both is a tempting endeavor for many who opposed their preelection alliance.

    Regardless of what anyone thinks about EJS, I agree with the 1974 decision of President Gerald Ford to pardon his predecessor Nixon for the sole reason that making a formerly elected President “a criminal defendant might unleash ugly passions”. And especially for what the diplomatic Ford left unsaid, President Nixon appointed him: Diabolical ingratitude is a taboo in many cultures, after all.

  8. Moses! Moses! Your never-ending song about Weah be given a mandate has become quite irrelevant in view of President Weah s very embarrassing performance since January 22. A political mandate is supposed to mean something noble and sacrosanct, and to be handled with absolute dignity and solemnity.
    Yes, Weah did receive a mandate, but it was a mandate to help raise his people from the debilitating ashes of poverty Into an invigorating sunshine of prosperity.
    But what do we see? Unfortunately, we are not seeing President Weah helping his poverty stricken, but only himself and his sycophantic cronies.
    Less than a week after assuming the Presidency, Weah began constructing several palaces, villas, resorts, mansions, cabanas – all for himself thus surprising even those who had supported his political ambition with all they had. Then unabashedly, Weah labelled even his well meaning critics as “enemies of the state.”
    But Moses, let me tell you that, for a leader, greed is incompatible with greatness; otherwise, Joseph Mobutu of the erstwhile Zaire would have been more esteemed than the eximious Mandela.Then is it not exasperating that even this early in his leadership tenure Weah has already chosen to be another Mobutu, and not another Mandela – the revolutionary icon he professes to adore?

  9. Mr. Emmanuel Saingbe, you didn’t vote, but 62 percent of the electorate did give him a “mandate”. As for the defamatory claims, I won’t go there.

  10. Mr. World Best you always giving the older one courage to abuse we the youth of this country. In all your campaign period 2005 – 2017 people said the younger ones are crazy and no nothing because they fall under the canopy of an uneducated footballer and you kept making us shame why? For now even we the motorcyclists you don’t have plans for us forgotten that we devoted our time behind you and our brethren also lost their life for your love. Right after election you hired people to record name of those who want scholarship and other who want job at the Party Headquarter but since February to October nothing have been heard. Stop making fun out of us mehnn God will make way for Liberia one day.

  11. to our Dynamic President Dr. George M Weah. i want to tell you thank very much for referencing God by going to His present immediately after your returned from ably representing Liberia. this proved that the fear of God which is the beginning of Wisdom is upon your life. thank you very must for the clarity made by you regarding the printing of Liberia new bank note while serving as Senator but Mr. president i would like to recommend that you kindly bring to law any one that will be connected to this 16 billion saga if there be any guilty after investigation. do not also for get about the Economic crime court, Judiciary Court and World crime Court as it will protect the present and future generation. thank you very much may God continue to be with to move this country foreword.

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