–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.