‘Liberia Not Functioning The Way It Should’

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Liberian peace activist and Nobel Peace Laureate, Leymah Gbowee

— says Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee, questions President Weah’s leadership ability

Liberian Nobel Laureate and peace activist, Laymah R. Gbowee, has been known for years for her outspoken stance against corruption in government, as well as misplaced national priorities. When she was invited to serve as the 2019 National Orator for Liberia’s 172nd Independence Day celebration, she held back no punches and took no sides. In that speech, she cautioned Liberians of all political persuasions — and lack thereof — that we all had an inescapable responsibility to make Liberia work and move the country forward.

Barely a year since that speech, not much has changed, it seems. In a recent interview on OK FM in Monrovia, she criticized Liberian lawmakers for signing documents into law without performance of the required due diligence.

“Who signs documents, pass a bill, and then when the actual spending starts happening they go on social media to say we didn’t know that’s how this money business was going to be. Do they read at all?”

Although Gbowee did not name any lawmakers specifically, her comment comes a month after both houses of the Legislature signed into law a recast budget that contained US$25 million as government’s contribution toward a US$30 million for coronavirus food package without reading it.

Later, some of the lawmakers began criticizing the very document after it had been passed and disclosed that the US$30m for coronavirus, the food package was a loan.

“What we are going to get out of this particular thing,” she said. “Because nobody understands what the hell is happening. The executive is at loggerhead with the legislative and those in opposition…, and you know it says that a house divided against itself will never stand.”

Gbowee, who is not afraid to speak truth to power said Liberia is currently a dysfunctional country — and is not functioning the way it should — under President George Weah, who appears to be weak when it comes to showing leadership.

“We have a dysfunctional country. I’m sorry, and Liberia is not functioning the way she should function.” Gbowee said recently in an interview with OK FM.

According to Gbowee, there is a serious global pandemic happening, under which a civil society group just did a survey that reported that about 40 percent of health institutions in Liberia lack personal protective equipment (PPEs).

“It is God that is on the extra watch for Liberia because everyone here is just going by the mercy of God. There is no leadership. How many times have we heard the president’s voice during this coronavirus crisis?” she asked.

Gbowee argues that every citizen needs to hear from the head of the country because the leader’s “voice portrays the leadership, even if what he says will be written by someone else.”

“Where is that voice? During the Ebola crisis — and I’m not comparing good or bad — I’m just saying President Sirleaf was consistent in talking to the people. If you watch the global news… presidents and leaders are out there talking in different countries of the world.

“Where is President Weah’s voice? Leadership matters in these times, as the father needs to get up and show authority, the one that she says Liberians do not see,” Madam Gbowee added.

However, the number of confirmed cases of the virus is now far higher in the country than they were initially when Mr. Weah first declared the State of Emergency in early April, which had the country placed under lockdown.

As at Friday, July 24, Liberia had a total of 1,115 confirmed Coronavirus cases, 453 of which are still active. However, 631 cases have recovered, while 71 have died.

34 COMMENTS

  1. Every leader has his own style. If frequent press appearances by a precedent was solving problems, America would not have any problem and Liberia would not have had almost 5000 Ebola deaths.

    • That would have been more had not been for the for leadership role. In fact through her all the three countries benefited.

    • During such a time it us important for a leader assure his people that all is being done to curb the spread of the virus.The voice of the leader is very important in such times and it has nothing to do with style of leadership

  2. Look Leymah Gbowee, you just shut that thing you call mouth. Do you think inheriting a post-war torn deteriorated economy is that easy as when you stripped your useless backside naked to be noticed?

    You claim to be Nobel laureate or whatever. What do you know or have you done for your country as others who are Nobel laureates? Absolutely nothing?

    You do not know a damn thing besides that social work course you attended, and then when your backside gets ready, you come on air to spew pupu from your backside you call mouth.

    Your silly self claim to be extolling President Sirleaf now because she is not the President. When she was the President, your backside had nowhere to rub its smelly and useless self but on the very President Sirleaf, until she had to tell you to follow or get your empty ass out of the way.

    Again, Do you think inheriting a post-war torn deteriorated economy is that easy as when you stripped your useless backside naked to be noticed?

    • Why you and your stupid government hit the fucking truth?
      Madam Gbowee said the truth about this useless leadership called government and you are insulting her.

    • Fatou Massaquoi is not your name, and your abusive outbursts reflect one thing: YOUR UPBRINGING. You are a loudmouth political appointee at the Ministry of Information. It’s sad that you’d hide under the cover of internet technology and drag the noble Liberian/African name “Fatou” in the mud simply because you aren’t and you don’t want to be man enough to reveal your identity.

      One simply has to cover his eyes with the cloak of ethnicity and partisanship to be unable to see that Liberia is not functioning as it should. Leymah refuses to be economical with the truth so as to appear to be politically correct. She is calling out the PARALYSIS & MALFUNCTIONING OF GOVERNANCE as seen in Liberia today. To counter her assertions, come forth and tell us how this current administration is stronger and is functioning better than past administrations. That’s what intelligent people do.

      You and others who love the government are like the seasons; you come and go. Those of us who love the country are like the mountains, the rivers and the Pyramids; we stay through the ages, defying all odds.

      • Alston C. Armah, it is YOUR MOTHERŚ UPBRINGING to which you are referring, since of course, your paternity is in doubt! And you know it!

        We have never ever stepped in the Liberian Ministry of Information, nor have we ever worked with such ministry.

        Go to UNITAR and you will learn about my more than a quarter of century service therewith as a public international civil servant. We are an adult. And we choose whatever language we prefer for the given reason.

        • Your vitriol coupled with the invective you are spewing out points only to one thing: You need a HUG and a COLD GLASS of WATER to calm down. I will go higher, and not lower in the gutters with you. I am sending you many hugs and a glass of cold water virtually.

          • Alston C. Armah, you, your hug, and your glass of water, just get out of our way. Do you think we or anyone would just get out to deal with another person, even because of any personal hatred?

            When Joseph Boakai, Benoni Urey, Alex Cummings, Darius Dillon and the rest of their CoP gang were openly happy they were about to succeed in their violence and destruction across the country and drag the democratically elected President throughout the streets, did you hear anything from that slime Leymah Gbowee?

            And she claims to be a Nobel peace laureate? Even former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf who could have naturally been silent, reverberated her criticism against the dangers of the plot of oseph Boakai, Benoni Urey, Alex Cummings, Darius Dillon and the rest of their CoP gang.

            Did you hear that vain hypocrite sending out any warning to CoP, even while the Chairman of the former ruling party was putting his political comfortability on the line for the sake of peace and democracy, the fool Leymah Gbowee kept silent and never one day thought to write any of her rubbish.

            Quite recently, when CoP carried out such violence on the Tubman Boulevard, did you hear Leymah Gbowee? It is you people who have not read through the duplicity of people who mask their selfishness behind concern for country, when they (eg. Leymah Gbowee, ACDL ETC) are simply wolves in sheep clothing.

            We are a woman just as Leymah Gbowee, but she should know that there are many Liberian women who are far far far intelligent than her who are still in agonies from these same wolf in sheep clothing satanism in which she is engaged against the nation.

    • Fatou, you are quite right. This girl is a piece of mess. And she seems to be intellectually poor, and politically ignorant in terms of knowledge and experience. And this is made evident in this statement from her below:

      “The executive is at loggerhead with the legislative and those in opposition…, and you know it says that a house divided against itself will never stand.”

      Very stupid girl. In her idiocy and ignorance, she expects a political arena consisting of independents, opposition parties, a ruling coalition and a ruling party, opposition coalitions to be as some family re-union; when even WITHIN PARTIES OR COALITIONS the antagonistic politicking is generally so overwhelming to the zenith!

      For Example, Sulunteh, a Vice Standard Bearer for a major political party out-crying political betrayal on the part of his party and coalition.

      As far as I am concerned and as I said the last time, she Leymah is just a piece of shit smelling all over the place!

    • If you have personal matters with Leymah, wait for another occasion to have it sorted out. Whenever this woman is commenting on national issues, you always come out insulting her, not even differing on the issues, but out right insults, did she take your man from you? I think she is beautiful and educated then you.
      You are aware that this govt. is not performing as it should do, but you are insulting your fellow female because she dare talk; you have a man in this govt, that is why you are always angry, when Leyman talked about it’s bad practices.

  3. Calm down Fatou Massaquoi. She’s talking about a national issue here and you are engaged in a personal attack, that’s counterproductive. Even if every leader has his or her own style of communication, the case with Liberia is different. When leadership is lacking, it has a devastating effect on people. Do you know why the USA has the highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world? Just take a look at the leadership led by President Donald Trump.

  4. Don´t tell me about any calming down. No sound individual would say the foolish and stupid things the fool is saying about a government which inherited a deteriorated economy in a war-torn country, but is doing its best constructing roads throughout the country, providing free education for college and university students, and is keeping the peace and needed national stability in the absence of the UN Peace keeping Force or any international force! I do not have any business with meddling into the internal affairs of the USA or any country.

    That stripper is not talking about any national issue here. Her ass must be thinking all of us Liberian women are pretenders and strippers like her. Again what that stripping ass Leymah has to show, but her stripping backside as compared with other female Nobel laureates? NOTHING!

    She is simply a hypocritical pretender who is vain. And in her empty head and inferior complex is been used by political flunkies and those rejected at the polls.

    Her immoral and ignorant self knows absolutely nothing about leadership but wants to deceive her stupid self publicly via such vain posturing that she has ideas about governance, simply because what she does in private (stripping her backside to the highest bidder), she did it in public and got more money than she usually got in private.

    • Take her to court and proff her wronged
      Stop insulting this Madam .
      This fucking government under George weah have failed us ok.
      You plunged Liberians in to a deeper hardship and you don’t want to be told about the nonsense you have put us in.
      You never insulted yet, wait you and Weah will be behind bar and be insulting …

      • James Brown Fatou is right! Lemah Gbowe deserves to be addressed the way it is for spewing the rubbish she did.
        Ellen got all the money, all the international support,, $16 billion Dollars donor aid money. What did she do with all of that? Nothing!
        But here is the case of a struggling economy in a pandemic, building roads, awarding free education to universities and colleges, yet lemah with her silly self will bleat foolishness and want her go free?
        This lesbian stuck all behind Ellen selling her body for money, enjoying, how can she foolishly compared Liberia of then to now?
        Does the country have the peace keepers that hauled in minions of US Dollars from the UN? Are the INGOs still working and aiding in the economy?
        Lemah Gbowe is fronting for stupid Cummings and the rest of the losers who want to destabilize the country using Yeke and Dillion as undergrounds therefore she deserves to be addressed the way it is.

        • Did know that Lemah Gbowe is playing the new Ellen Johnson in Liberia?
          She has headquartered in Ghana recruiting new rebels. That’s where the Cummings, Yeke Kulabah, Tiawon Gongloe, Dillon, Coasta, Alaric Tokpa and Kofi Woods, meet under her leadership to foment strategies to destabilize the country.
          But it will catch up with them and may they fall their swords!

  5. Miss Fatou Massaquoi,

    You are right! Weah is doing his best. Roads are being built while Weah’s critics complain. Are Weah’s critics being hilarious?

    Covid-19 will definitely slow things down in Liberia. That’s too bad! In any case, Liberia will be okay. Like his critics, I want the very best for Liberia too. But one thing that Weah’s critics fail to comprehend is that when Weah came to power, the Treasury of Liberia wasn’t as good as it was during the Ellen Johnson years. If there’s no money, what can anyone do?

    The lawmakers are making huge sums of undeserved money every year. But our public schools are short on desks, textbooks and enough space. Strangely, no one blames the legislators.

  6. Who is Weah that cannot be told the truth, Ellen left the domestic debt at 789 million today under less then three years this president has risen it to 1.5 billion and u want ppl to say hosanna in the highest ..This is the worst president ever he is not fit to even be wheel barrow association president .What president prioritize road over health? Why should a president built more hospitals when the existing ones are running out of medication?? Poor managerial skills

  7. Emmanuel,
    It’s a shame if President Johnson-Sirleaf passed on a debt of 789 million to her successor. Frankly, there’s nothing there to be proud of. Yet in your condemnation of Weah, you seem to suggest that 1.5 billion dollars is worth looking at as opposed to a debt of 789 million dollars.

    I don’t know where your figures have been obtained. But for purposes of this discussion, let’s just assume that you are right.

    Question:
    Have you forgotten to subtract 1.5 billion dollars from 789 million dollars?

    If you multiply 789 × 2, you will get $1.578b. Given this scenario, Weah did not cause the national debt to rise to $1.5b. You can make the case that under him, the debt has risen.

    Let’s consider some factors:
    If President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf paid bills and all civil servant employees by borrowing money from foreign sources, the 789 million bucks you’ve mentioned, had to go up. Why? Because when money is borrowed, interest is involved.

    Comrade Emmanuel, you have a right to criticize Weah and anyone. However, the truth must be told. Unfortunately, some critics of Weah are so badly disgusted with him that there’s no room in their hearts to compromise.

    Do you think I am proud to see Liberia in the dungeon?

    Do you think I like to see a dirty city in Liberia?

    Are you happy to see our public schools operate without sufficient textbooks for students?

    Do you think it makes sense for Liberia’s legislators to earn $15,000 to $16,000 per month?

    Conclusion:
    I don’t mind if Weah is criticized. I do mind when he is being unfairly criticized. Nine times out of ten, Weah is unfairly criticized.

    In my view, a single person (in this case, the president) should not be held accountable for the decadence of the country. I strongly believe that the legislators’ incomes must be cut in half! In the real sense of the word, the Liberian lawmakers are not positive role models.

  8. Llemah Gbowee you are rich (Nobel prize) but that doesn’t imply intelligence! Where was your voice when you were licking Ellen’s butt? Nothing has changed and nothing will change have you looked at Liberian history? Sorry instead of reading you were stripping that big butt! Liberia will ever change because all we do is talk. Why don’t you name the government officials?you scared just like you were scared of Ellen and weah!you are a coward who lives comfortably without treading on anyone’s toes! STATE NAMES CALL OUT NAMES YOU COWARD

  9. Whether Gbowee is right or not. I always tell people, ” As a leader, what you say matters”. It can make things good or bad. You need to work harder in the time of crisis and when you speak positively, it encourages people even if you can’t solve the problem God will steps in to help you.
    So it’s right to say weah should have been speaking. Evening if he can’t speak will, Liberians voted him, so they must listen to him whether its foolishness or not.

    I don’t hate weah but the truth is, I told people before 2014 that weah can’t take leadership of senator nor president but they didn’t believe me. Now its happening.
    I wish I could have told weah to stay way from this politics thing for him to listen becuz he would know what to do or say when hard time comes.

    But the real time is not too far, I pray that God help him when the time comes, when he make a big mistake that many will wonder but it will be too late. I am praying for it to pass over him.

    May God help us, help weah, and Save our country and people.

    Amen.

  10. Kae, even if President Weah or any countryś President spoke 24/7/365, the losers of the election and their supporters will unreasonably disagree, criticize, and condemn, everyday. Thatś politics!

    Have you forgotten what Alex Cummings told you about proving 100, 000 jobs in 90 days? Or Benoni Urey after stealing and stealing and stealing, wants to be President today or tell people his fellow corrupt and inept Joseph Boakai should be President.

    They will tell you how they can provide millions of jobs for everybody faster than a speeding bullet. And even make everybody go to heaven in one prayer, and even saving the world.

    You see what they did to Wilmont Paye because of his conviction in one becoming president via majority opinion, and not via a hidden agenda at the risk, cost, and expense, of the people and the growth and progress of the nation.

    This is politics; of course bad politics! They will unreasonably disagree,! They will criticize and condemn everything, not because they are interested in the welfare of the people and the development of the country.

    Have you forgotten what Amos Sawyer, Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson said when they wanted power? You see these other ones today telling the electorate that all of the unprecedented developments being carried out by President Weah in just two years are not necessary.

    So Kae, Kae, even if President Weah or any countryś President spoke 24/7/365, the losers of the election and their supporters will unreasonably disagree, criticize, and condemn, everyday.

  11. WOW! Firestorm over what exactly? Corruption in Liberia? Criticism of President Weah? Lack of leadership? I wish people will not resort to insults in a public forum when addressing national issues. It’s better to disagree on the issues. Disagreement doesn’t mean the opponent is an enemy. State your point and you may be able to convince majority to follow you. To that end, I would register a criticism of the article in question without insulting the writer or President Weah, both individuals have brought great pride to our country. President Weah and Gbowee deserve our respect and honor. We can disagree with them or even criticize their policies but please don’t insult anyone. I hope others would follow suit.

    The writer isn’t clear about the exact problem she aims to address nor the specific solution she craves. Is it Covid-19 response? Leadership of Liberia? Disagreement between the Executive and Legislative? Is it Liberia not functioning the way it should? Exactly when in our 173 years of existence did Liberia not function the way it was designed to function? .Tolbert? Tubman? Barclay? Benson? JJ Roberts? Beyond the lack of specificity, Ms Gbowee, like President Weah or anyone else isn’t flawless. Instead of insulting her, those opposed to her can easily write about the many instances of inconsistencies and her failure to use her good offices to defend defenseless and poor Liberians, especially women and children. That will be a topic for another day.

    • “The writer isn’t clear about the exact problem she aims to address nor the specific solution she craves”, because the writer IS A DECEIVER. And “deceivers speak in generalities” as it is said in Latin . “Dolosus versatur generalibus”!

      Compare what other female holders of the Nobel Peace Award did before, during, and after becoming a recipient of that award with that which Leymah Gbowee has done or is known for; and you will see that being a recipient of an award she actually does not deserve, being a recipient has “gotten into her head”.

      And now drunk with such psychological intoxication, she has chosen to be a de facto opposition opportunist bent on the intent of undermining incumbent governments with periodic misleading and inciting kinds of propaganda or disinformation (“How many times we heard the president’s voice during Coronavirus”, Liberia Not Functioning The Way It Should’); not fully truthful, and at times, entirely untrue.

      But this is the same individual here in her pretense of concern for country, but was very silent when even foreigners, the former Chairman of former ruling party, and a former President, and others from the clergy etc. were together with the international community breaking their necks with sleepless nights trying to prevent the blood-bath machinated by Joseph Boakai CoP, and others who wanted to oust a government and become national leaders outside the ballot box.

      • “The writer isn’t clear about the exact problem she aims to address nor the specific solution she craves”, because the writer IS A DECEIVER. And “ a deceiver DEALS in generalities” as it is said in Latin . “Dolosus versatur in generalibus”!

  12. Sr. Engineer, Geophysicist: Peter Curran (Yarkpajuwur N. Mator 2017-Independent Presidential Candidate)

    Liberia has never gone right. The Know-Hows are not there.

  13. Always a pleasure to have reverends intervene in debates sometimes when things are going offhand. Thank you Rev. KRUA!

    From reading Fatou Massaquoi’s critiques of Leymah Gbowee all the time, I can gather that she really didn’t like the symbolic and strongly emotional message Leymah sent to Liberian warlords and unpatriotic politicians by stripping before the world.
    If this should be the only reason for your abhorrence for the Noble Laureate, then on behalf of Leymah, allow me to apologize to Ma Fatou.

    But Ma Fatou, like other martyrs, Leymah’s action was an ultimate expression of a powerless mother to make gruesome men to reflect on God’s creation. The world understood her pains and love as a bearer of life, and so humbly, she was reminded that her action did not fall on death ears or did not go unnoticed.

    However, if there is something else under the sleeves, please keep it private because everything this laureate Leymah stands for or declares is factual and unattackable. In every country, the presidents are on the frontline with medical teams, first responders and security apparatuses but in our country, our president is in the studio making music for COVID-19 victims, wow!

    Look, who is currently ruling Liberia? We have NEVER heard this guy making public statements on the COVID-19 like other world leaders. Tell me what has Leymah said and which is NOT correct?
    So, its now you guys know that taking over a war-torn economy is a challenge? Do you think Weah agreed with this statement when he was in the opposition? NO, Madam! Just think again!
    Ooooooh, now we should understand and side with Weah, it’s a double standard and deceitful game, Ma Massaquoi.

    You people should rather tell your honorary doctor doctor doctor Weah that if he really loves Liberia as he has exhibited in the past, let him forget about the 2023 elections for us to usher in someone with a respected signature and proven career paths to begin the sustainable development of Liberia. like other regional countries.
    If Weah stays on with a constant annual budget of half a billion dollars, you can give him 12 years, NOTHING sustainable will begin in Liberia, believe me!

  14. Torli Krua

    Very good thoughts Krua:

    I think if any of us was to ask Dr. Gbowee to give some particulars about the leadership gap in our country today, and how it has led to failures, in my opinion she will, with no doubt, make an eloquent presentation on such topics.

    However, I personally do not think answers or responses such as these would belong in this kind of forum because they would be very lengthy, and this forum calls for only brief remarks in about two to three paragraphs.

    Moreover, one could make the technical case that Dr. Gbowee had already made a convincing and compelling delivery on why she said, “Liberia not functioning the way it should.” How? To answer this question, one only needs to go back to her July 26, 2018 oration. She was given a thunderous, national applause because of the way she forcefully laid out and dissected the problems that are leading to the national paralysis the country is facing today.

    In recent memory, no speaker had given such a rousing address to the nation, and it was met with such a national consensus because of how detailed and comprehensive she analyzed the issues. Her analysis touched nearly every faucet of the problems that bedevil the nation.

    Truly, you are right. She does not deserve such insults! She is a Liberian just like everyone of us, and even though her education and experiences have catapulted her to where she is in life today, that does not mean she should be denigrated for always adding a critical voice to the national debate.

    What’s your thought on this ?

  15. Nobel Laureate Gbowee’s father Joseph Gbowee, a U.S-trained Telecommunications expert, worked with NSA before and after the coup, and I got to know her when she was a kid. Naturally, as a father, too, I have admiringly followed her impressive trajectory, and even applauded the no-holds-barred call for unity delivered on July 26, 2019. However, this statement about “How many times we heard the president’s voice during Coronavirus” is just an unnecessary and unfortunate “picking fuss” as my neighbor would say.

    The same way “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so too one song equals fifty speeches at home. Put another way, the “Coro” recording of GMW reportedly leads other African countries as a public awareness measure. Moreover, the 12 military hospitals he built (according to once Coronavirus patient UP senatorial aspirant Hon. Brownie Samukai), have proven to be indispensable in the fight. As for the complaint about lack of sufficient PPEs – while Godfather America looking for some – let’s stock that under shelf “political theatrics”.

  16. Posted at 8:32 PM EST on Monday, July 27, 2020

    Here’s how I see it. I think all of us love Liberia in our own special way. Weah and his supporters love Liberia. Those opposed to Weah love Liberia. Persons like yours truly — who prefer to be NEUTRAL and INDEPENDENT of all Liberian political entities — also love Liberia.

    So, really, I think the real problem here is the fact that the pro- and anti- factions are on a warpath. Any criticism of Weah, whether or not from Leymah Gbowee, elicits angry responses from some of his supporters of the internet.

    On the flip side, there are some Weah opponents who may accuse him of contributing to global warming for something as innocuous as expulsion of flatulence.

    What neither side has done is pause and absorb the other side’s position. Nope. They’re too busy firing at each other.

    People, take the time off and get to understand each other. All of these angry exchanges are not necessary. Also, nobody has a monopoly on the cursing thing. I’ve had my share on other forums in the past. These days, I just deride those who resort to curses.

  17. Posted at 8:58 PM EST on Monday, July 27, 2020

    Here are few things to think about.
    —————————-

    #1. Whenever Leymah Gbowee speaks, some mention her past about stripping naked. Fine !!! But what about the time George Weah also stripped naked for a commercial ?

    If you think I’m making it up, go to YOUTUBE. In the search engine, type “George Weah naked”. Up pops a result with caption “Roberts Noir-George Weah”. It is an Italian cosmetic commercial. It dates back to 1996 when he had hair. That’s close to the time Leymah Gbowee and others stripped naked.

    Think about it the next time you bring up her past public stripping during protest to nudge Liberian warlords towards making peace.
    —————————-

    #2. As for you people who oppose Weah, I have a few questions for you. Have you ever reviewed his “Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development”? If not, just type the term “pro poor agenda for prosperity and development pdf “ in GOOGLE, it will take you to the document which is available on the Executive Mansion’s website.

    It is a 168-page document dated November 20, 2018. Have you read it? If so, please tell us what you think. If not, then what yardstick do you rely on to assess the Weah administration on fulfillment of its promises?

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