Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee is not bothered about those who criticize him along with President George Manneh Weah. However, he has one message for his critics: “They must grow up to accept the reality that whether they like it or not, there is a paradigm shift in the administration of things around here.”
He told a roomful of journalists yesterday at the Monrovia City Hall that he is aware that many people “are in pain due to the fact that a Jefferson Koijee is the mayor of Monrovia.
“I know there are people who are in pain due to the fact that a George Weah is President of Liberia,” he added. “But they must understand that those changes were done by the popular mandate of the people.”
In a buoyant rebuff of critics of himself and the government of President Weah, Koijee advised those who are torturing themselves because of the change of leadership in the country to accept the reality that their negative expectations about the failure of the government are the strengths that keep the Weah-led administration going.
“We are all Liberians and have the mandate to lead the country, but if we should fail, there are means to make things right,” Koijee insisted in his extemporaneous speech that at times appeared to veer off track .
Returning to the subject of those who hold a negative perception about the Weah-led administration and have accused it of failing the people, Koijee was emphatic in his rejection of that notion. “George Weah is President and therefore you do not need to allow that fact to hurt you and don’t let the pain in it consume your willingness to accept reality,” he jibed.
He said George Weah’s life came in phases. “He was like a black diamond as a child until he was located and helped to move further in his profession, though many people did not think he would have been successful.
“From the soccer field, he moved on to the political scene and again many naysayers insisted he was not going to make it,” Koijee recalled.
No matter how those against the government would want it to fail, they cannot turn the people against their president, said Koijee, adding that there are people who are born to lead.
In the wake of what he described further as negative expectations about the government, he declared: “We cannot be distracted. When you said he [Weah]wouldn’t be president, we said he would make it and he did, in fact. Many called us names, we were detained and labeled as petrol bombers.”
Though he did not give the basis for his exposition, it might have come from the recent statement by the political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander Cummings, who raised doubts about the government’s growth under the administration of George Weah.
Koijee thanked God for his survival, following his recent car accident on the Kakata Highway, and where it was claimed that local residents where the accident took place managed to scoop up thousands of United States dollars that were scattered about at the scene.
In his response, Koijee instead said the local residents where the accident took place deserved praise rather than linking them to what never happened. “They came to our assistance with water and other things, and I am organizing to go and show them my appreciation.”
Koijee prayed that God would let critics of the current government live long enough to see the kind of development that the Weah-led administration will bring to this country.
He lauded the Muslim community for their promise to remain Liberians and not become like any other Muslims in other countries. The MCC feted a large crowd of Liberians at the recent end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
In a related development, the government has set up a committee comprising MCC and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, to select July 26th’s orator from Liberians between the ages of 15 and 35 years.
The assistant minister, Maminah Carr, said President Weah does not want to follow past protocol of the President being the one to nominate the orator.