Nation Anxiously Awaits Weah’s Assurance

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President George Weah is expected to speak on prevailing national developments, including the state of the economy and the recent report submitted to his office by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the US$25 million mop-up exercise

-As he addresses nation today

An anxious nation, it appears, is virtually on pins, waiting to hear from President George Weah, amid the precarious state of an economy characterized by high unemployment, rising commodity prices, falling real income and the ever plummeting value of the Liberian dollar. Liberians also want to know what the CDC-led government is doing to improve or remedy the economic fragility that the country faces.

Other pressing national concerns, such as the ever-increasing tension, and perceived security vulnerability, are issues which Liberians want the President to address or at least provide some reassurance to the people that things will not get out of hand under his watch. Unfortunately, it appears this wait has been much too long.

But if news filtering from the Executive Mansion is anything to go by, the President, will be speaking to the nation at mid-day, May 30, 2019. “President Weah will address the nation Wednesday, May 29, 2019 at 12:00 noon,” a release from the Executive Mansion said on Monday, May 27.

The President’s address, the release noted, is expected to speak on prevailing national developments, including the state of the economy and the recent report submitted to his office by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) on the US$25 million mop-up exercise.

The last few months have witnessed an unprecedented but disturbing hike in the prices of basics commodities on the market, resulting to hardship and undermining the government’s Pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development.Liberians appear worried that the country is sliding into economic uncertainty under the CDC government which ascended to power in January 2018. Many are also questioning the way the country is being governed.

Politicians are of the opinions that poor governance, mismanagement and corruption are also scaring off investors, while frustrated donors are reportedly withholding funds. Yet the government has claimed that everything is well on course, much to the consternation of a doubting public.

The Liberian dollar has drastically depreciated against the US dollar since Weah took office in 2018. Inflation has soared as high as 28 percent and, according to Mark Nagbe, a petty trader at the ELWA Junction, “These are the issues we are expecting the President to address, because the economy of the country is in a bad state, and we expected the President to speak ever since, but better late than never”.

Nagbe added that it is in such a difficult time that a leader stands out. “He tries to inspire his people and give them hope, but it has been sad that it has taken the President too long to speak out on those issues. President Weah needs to man up, because he is now leading a whole nation,” he said.

For Emmanuel Guannu, an address from the President will bring assurance to an already perplexed and weary nation. “The President’s address, I believe, will help calm the tension that has engulfed the nation. The people need to be spoken to, because they need to know what their government is doing,” he said.

Sardia Wilson added that the nationwide address inspires and brings about a sense of direction for a nation that does not know what is actually happening. “It is inspirational and assuring when a leader speaks to a nation that is as anxious as we are, practically not knowing where we are headed as a nation in such difficult conditions,” she declared.

The country is on edge in the run-up to what promises to be a mass protest on June 7, entitled “Save the State”, that is being organized by a group of citizens dubbed Council of Patriots (CoP).

There appears to be consternation among some Liberians, who fear that June 7 could ignite bloodshed given expressed opposition to the planned June 7 protests by some officials and supporters of the Government, some of who are reportedly armed but, organizers continue to assure the public that the protest will be void of violence.

Many of the President’s supporters are hoping that his address will focus on the state of the economy, and how he intends to swiftly introduce measures aimed at remedying the current harsh economic situation fueled by a steep rise in the exchange rate between the Liberian and United States dollars.

The last time President Weah addressed the nation was almost a year ago when the country was also being faced with a similar situation which, unlike now, was not spiraling out of hand. He at the time announced austerity and other measures to help halt the skyrocketing prices of commodities and steep rise in the exchange rate between the Liberian and United States dollars.

It was during that address President Weah announced an immediate infusion by the Central Bank of US$25 million into the economy to mop-up excess Liberian dollars—a move that has since worsened the economic situation as a result of the fraudulent manner in which it was conducted.

Nation Waits as Timothy Plays?

News broke from within government circles that the President was to speak to the nation last weekend — a pronouncement which had long been awaited by the Liberian people — a flare of hope among Liberians both at home and abroad.

This news was precipitated by an earlier pronouncement from Minister of Justice, Frank Musa Dean, that he had made several recommendations to the President in regard to the findings of the recent GAC Audit Report, and that President Weah would have spoken shortly thereafter.

“The President should have spoken to the nation on last Friday (May 24), but was postponed again to Monday. Commerce and Industry Minister, Wilson Tarpeh, did not address a planned press conference at the meeting, because he had thought that the President would have spoken on the same issue on Friday,” a government source said.

Government sources later indicated that the address would have been on Monday, but this schedule was missed. Impeccable sources informed this newspaper that the President could not address the nation on Monday, because he had an earlier schedule to watch his son, Timothy Weah, who is currently on national duty with the USA U-20 soccer team, play against Nigeria.

The encounter, which was the second for the American team at the 2019 Under-20 World Cup that is being held in Poland, ended 2-0 in favor of the USA after a brace from Tim’s teammate, Sebastian Soto.

Other information had it that the President could not address the nation on Monday, because his speech was not yet finished.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Important Issues…

    1. The value of the Liberian dollar plummets,

    2. Unemployment is way too high,

    3. Food prices are out of control

    There are some in the Liberian community who want us to believe that the above issues exist as a consequence of Weah’s inability to govern. Although the LD (Liberian dollar) is weak, although unemployment is high and although food prices continue to rise, it is highly unfair to blame Weah entirely.

    Here’s why…
    The value of the Liberian dollar was at an all time low during the Johnson-Sirleaf presidency. The Liberian dollar began to tumble in 2013. Nothing was done by Johnson-Sirleaf to prevent the LD from going rock bottom.

    The unemployment issue in Liberia is a sad reality. However, once again, there was high unemployment during the Johnson-Sirleaf years before she democratically passed the baton of presidency on to George Weah. One of the reasons why Weah won heavily, and not Boakai, is that most Liberian voters believed that Johnson-Sirleaf preferred to hire educated Liberians over uneducated Liberians. So it defiles common sense when the critics claim that unemployment exists because of Weah’s poor leadership skills. There was high unemployment before Weah became president. It’s a fact.

    The fact that food prices are high in Liberia is undeniable. But the sad truth is that local food production was incredibly low when Johnson-Sirleaf was president. While in Liberia a few years ago, I couldn’t buy good carrots or fresh tomato at one of our major market houses. During her presidency, local food production was not made a top priority. But during that very time, Johnson-Sirleaf sanctioned the payment of high salaries for all lawmakers.

    Reality check….
    Weah is the current president. He has a firm psychological resilience. He is being counted on as president to fix the Liberian economy. I am sure sooner or later, Weah will deliver the goods. I know it is tough in Liberia. I cannot make excuses for Weah neither will I pretend that the hardship issue is a ploy.

    Less than 2 years in his presidency, Weah’s critics are demanding a complete turnaround of the Liberian economy. Protest demonstrations are being planned by the opposition in order to prove that Weah is ineffective. Things don’t work out like that. In America, the elected congressional leaders and their senate colleagues do the bidding on behalf of their constituents. Strangely in Liberia, the opposition doesn’t rely on or lobby their elected lawmakers to bid on behalf of them.

    For instance, does the Alternative National Congress (ANC) have a representative in the Upper and Lower Houses?

    Hopefully, things will improve. God willing, we will be fine.

    • Hney – It seems like you’re predicating an improvement in the economy on false hope. What economic fundamentals has George Weah’s administration put into place that would improve the economy? To turn around an economy, the government has to make critical investments and that’s not being done. This government is totally incompetent and lost.

  2. Amid fulsome uncertainty, fear, and foreboding which equally affect perception of public safety and investors confidence, an affirming address by President George Manneh Weah will be a booster: I join the nation in praying for one.

    • Your man George Weah likes to hide in his hole like a possum but the heat is building up and he must come out of his hiding place to explain to the people how in hell he plans to fix the mess. What a jackass of a President.

  3. Citizen,
    In my above posted comment, a sense of false hope was not offered. I laid out the issues fairly and squarely.
    Before Weah became president, the seeds of the nation’s economy were not planted by Johnson-Sirleaf. As a consequence of poor planning, the Liberian economy did not produce jobs for most Liberians during Johnson-Sirleaf’s presidency.

    I am an optimist. I strongly believe that there’ll come a time when the Liberian economy reboots from its rock bottom status to something better. I feel that way because in 2009 when Obama became president, he inherited a weak economy from George Bush jr. I recall with pinpoint accuracy how Obama was badly treated. The Tea Party was formed. The Affordable Healthcare was renamed (Obamacare) by the Obama’s enemies as a way of scarying the American people. But, a good portion of the Americans stood behind Obama. At least two years later, the Obama government became victorious economically. Although Liberia is not the USA, it could happen in LIBERIA. That’s my prayer.

    Citizen, I notice that every time you talk about Weah, you follow your accusations up with a diatribe. Would it be possible for you to debate the issues as persuasively as possible without using a negative adjective to talk about Weah? Or do you think that I am trying to curtail your free speech? On the other hand, I am critical of Alexander Cummings. I have 0% confidence in him. But never have I referred to him as a jackass. Alexander Cummings is a businessman-turned-politician. But irrespective of how I disagree with him politically and economically, I will never refer to with the types of adjectives you use to describe Weah.

    In conclusion, I think you’re a good guy. We have a difference of opinions. But let the debate continue.

  4. CORRECTION……
    SHOULD BE OBAMA’S ENEMIES.

    Should not be as it is written…the Obama’s enemies. Nope! See the 2nd paragraph.

    Thanks

  5. Good day to all of you, the commentators, as yet and to the other concerned or unconcerned fractions of the entire citizenry of our “supposed to be” one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. I have commented on many other issues akin to the situation Liberia and its peo- ple found themselves in yesterday, the condition in which they find themselves in today and that of the one they will find themselves in tomor-row, if certain vital steps are not immediately taken in order to eradicate the spoilt practices and or the unpatriotic behavior of corruption and impunity; and on past governments plus the Weah’s reign. Thus, to contribute anew to this very saga of President Weah, I have this to ask before going further: is it a confirmed and pro- ven fact that he is constructing a multi-million compound, when Liberia and its children are in an unprecedented mess? If this hearsay is cor-rect, then I see no rational point that anyone with sound judgement would try to defend him. Notwithstanding, we all could help with sincere and uplifting suggestions, if he is himself willing to buy any potential proposals in that direction. The simple logic behind this my view is that, our common birth place does not belong to only a person amongst us, not even George as head of State. If a person or group of individuals are in the habit of thinking this way, then something is wrong with their sense of understanding. With no intention of arrogance and pretentiousness, I am back after 45 years outside Liberia to offer my quota towards the enhancement of the land we all genuinely inherited, but one has got to listen to what I have to contribute. The CIC is or should be able to know from where I am getting at or speaking on. // Gonyanue Blah/30052019 – Paris, FRANCE

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