Weah’s spokesman, Solo Kelgbeh admonishes critics
Concerning the way President George Manneh Weah is running the country, mainly by his choice of cabinet officials, especially those who are have tainted public records Presidential Press Secretary Isaac Solo Kelgbeh has called on critics to keep quiet and remember that Weah has the constitutional right to hire and fire cabinet officials at his will and pleasure.
But in an attempt to illustrate his point, Kelgbeh drew an analogy between Weah and Jesus Christ by saying, “Jesus didn’t change his twelve disciples. Why Weah?”
The analogy seems to drawing lots of attention on whether or not President Weah cares about the concerns, some legitimate, not only from his critics but many others who want to see Liberia progress.
Speaking on a local morning talk show yesterday, April 13, 2021, he said all those who are accusing Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill, and many other members of Weah’s cabinet, have no evidence to prove the wrong-doing of those Ministers but are using politics to poison the minds of people against the cabinet Ministers.
“The Kroll report and the Presidential Investigative Team (PIT)’s reports have long since exonerated Minister Tweah and the government in general. What else do our critics want to see or hear before they can accept that they are in error? Kroll is not a Liberian company but a foreign company directly supervised at the time by the U.S. Embassy here. Let them find something else to talk about but, as for that, we have crossed over it already and focusing on how we can improve the lives of the many struggling ordinary people,” Kelgbeh said.
Primarily, the Presidential Press Secretary was discussing plans about the third leg of the President’s county tour (citizens engagement with Weah) but he delved into responding to what he termed as misinformation that continue to circulate the corridors of the country and even beyond its borders.
“Those small groups of people, protesting around here in demand of the President’s dismissal of any of his staff, a Cabinet minister or director, is not worth giving attention to. They only make blanket statements, allegations they cannot prove and, as such, we don’t have the time to dignify their comments,” Weah’s spokesman boasted.
According to Kelgbeh, when Jesus selected His twelve disciples, including those who he even knew could betray him; he kept working with all of them.
“Peter denied Jesus and the cock crowed but the Lord did not go against Peter. He did not even harbor a trace of malice or hate against Judas who sold him to his prosecutors. Leave President Weah alone and he alone will see the reason to do what he thinks is best in the interest of the country,” he averred.
The Presidential Press Secretary named Margibi, Grand Bassa, Rivercess and Sinoe Counties as the next counties Weah will be visiting.
“The intent of the tour is to hear directly from the ordinary people and know what exactly to do for them. This tour is providing the government more opportunities to decentralize its development agenda and that is what we are doing,” Kelgbeh said.
He named the lighting of streets in some counties and some other development initiatives, including the construction of a modern hospital in Gbarpolu as achievements, not for political reasons but for the wellbeing of the people.
“This is why the President is calling on all those who have benefited from the solar lights and others to take ownership of the projects by ensuring that they are not destroyed. It is a fulfillment is his message that Monrovia alone will not be lighted but the entire country,” he explained further.
Kelgbeh said while he was not fortunate to have been part of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration and its activities, as well as those of her predecessors, Weah’s nationwide tour is different because there are immediate, on-the-spot developments the people get.
“Not everything the President has told the people that he would do in the future. Some, he ensured they were done and same or others, may be different, will be done also in other counties, depending on the pressing need of each,” he assured.
Kelgbeh added that President Weah is not sleeping, but watching all that is happening across the country and doing all that is best to make the needed impact.
“The President trains at his personal gym every morning before leaving for work. He listens to radio and even watches online talk shows and other programs. This is why he is in direct empathy with his people and is exerting all efforts to do more and put smiles on the faces of his people,” the Executive Mansion communication boss said.
Visit to Lofa
Kelgbeh informed the public through his interviewers on TBS that Lofa has been singled out as the only County to have a special time for the President’s visit.
“We will go to Lofa. Lofa is part of Liberia and the people there are our own people. We will visit a lot more of towns and villages in Lofa as compared to any other County because we want to erase the speculation that the people of Lofa hate Weah or Weah hates the people of Lofa,” he said.
He said Lofains should not be annoyed with Weah for J. Brownie Samukai, Senator elect of Lofa, not being certificated by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
“The President is a straightforward man. Things are going the way they are going because he respects the rule of law and he is not interfering with the workings of the justice system.
“It is not Lofa alone it has happened to. There are many cases around the country, but the laws are the laws,” Kelgbeh says in boss’s defense.
He continued that his own biological brother is in jail in Sinoe for a crime he has committed but he will remain behind bars even if he (Kelgbeh) and Weah arrived in Sinoe.
“Not because he is my brother. I am not happy that he is in jail but, again, I have to be a respecter of the law and stay away from any act that has the propensity to undermine the legal process. This is it and we want the people of Lofa to see things as we see them too,” he noted.
He referenced the case in Bong County when the people of that County petitioned President Weah to prevail on the justice system to free the people who were arrested and detained for the damages they caused at the MNG gold mine as an example of President Weah’s lack of interest to interfere with the justice system.
It can be recalled that when he kicked off his first county tour, Weah was engaged by the people of Bong to prevail on the justice system to free their sons and daughters from prison but Weah, in his response to their petition, said he could not do it because the law is the law and they should go through their punishment to serve as a deterrence.
Use of funds to finance projects
Kelgbeh said President Weah uses his personal money at times to fund Presidential projects.
“The claims of our critics that the President is using the country’s money to fund public projects under his office and do his projects, too, are unfounded and completely false.
“The President has his development partners who contribute to initiatives he brings forth. His wife, the First Lady, also contributes and Ministers and other friends in government, too, contribute. So let those who have nothing good to say, sit down and forget about bringing out things they cannot prove in any way good,” he admonished.
Kelgbeh said projects funded by international partners such as EU, USAID, UNDP and others are recognized as such, and at no time did Weah claim direct ownership of the funds used to implement those projects.