Presidential Press Secretary Sam Mannah has responded to demands by people calling themselves ‘Sons and Daughters of Grand Gedeh County’ to redirect their political agitation because, according to him, President George Weah is not appointing people to positions based on tribal connections or geographical locations, but rather on their qualification and honesty.
Weah, Mannah said, wants an all inclusive government that will be void of tribal sentiments and class system, noting, “Liberia is bigger than a county.”
Mannah told the Daily Observer via mobile phone that the government has already appointed the Minister of Gender, a Grand Gedean, and others including the superintendent, who will in turn formulate the county’s governance body in consultation with the county’s caucus.
Over the weekend the ‘Sons and Daughters of Grand Gedeh County’ expressed discomfort with President Weah’s silence in addressing their call for equal opportunities regarding appointments in government.
Their expressed discomfort came in the wake of President Weah’s appointment of almost all the ministers and a deputy ministers at various ministries to the exclusion of Grand Gedeans even though there are a good number of them who are said to be well-educated and qualified to hold some top positions in government.
D. Kelvin Clay, president of Grand Gedeh youth and student movement, at a recent press conference in Monrovia, said the citizens are not happy with President Weah’s exclusion of the people from Grand Gedeh in his administration.
To that, Mannah said the President appreciates all who supported him during the campaign period, “but let them be aware that the campaign is over, and it’s about time to focus on rebuilding the country with all, irrespective of specific place of origin.”
“We don’t need a group of oversea Grand Gedeans to occupy government positions, because we have qualified citizens from the county on ground who, during the campaign processes, delivered the county to the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC),” Clay said.
Clay recalled that during the 2017 representative and presidential elections, Sen. Weah (then) promised to give the country back to the common people, “so this is why we all stood the test of time when former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf deliberately excluded us in some ways from the benefits of her administration, including road connectivity. We vigorously campaigned in 2017 ensuring that Weah got the presidency, but today we are about to be left by the wayside again.”
While Clay acknowledged, however, that Weah has appointed Kai G. Farley (former Representative) as Superintendent of Grand Gedeh, he noted that that lone top county position is not sufficient in comparison to the sacrifices the people of the county made to ensure that Weah won the presidential runoff election.
“We the youth and students as well as a lot of our elders had sleepless nights and tough days in ensuring that our voter registration cards were safe and protected from evil-minded people. We saw Weah as the best alternative for our beloved country, more so having followed you carefully from the days of former President, Samuel Kanyon Doe, a Grand Gedean who was murdered,” Clay said.
In a related development, journalists from the Liberia Media Initiative (LMDI) recently paid a visit to Tuzohn, the home town of slain President Doe and sought the views of the residents on President Weah’s pro-poor governance policy.
Majority of the speakers at the LMDI dialogue said they were becoming impatient with Weah for his failure to appoint people from their county, who are said to be qualified, to top governmental positions.
One lady, who claimed to be a sister of President Doe, said her brother contributed to making Weah who he is today, and that the people of Grand Gedeh consider Weah as their own son.
She wants Weah to pave the major roads in the county and provide jobs for the people of Grand Gedeh in return for the sacrifices they have made over the years to make him become president.