Skeptics and the opposition community have described as “Belated” President George Weah’s August 2 denunciation of the violence that took place on July 30 in Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County where Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah, and Alternative National Congress political leader Alexander Cummings narrowly escaped harms through the help of the Armed Forces of Liberia and the Liberia National Police.
Scores of people in social media posts and comments have pointed out that the President’s denunciation of violence has no impact since it was not done immediately when the incident took place on July 30. The President’s silence on some key national issues including violence and high rape cases in the country has raised public concerns in recent days.
For the Zwedru violence, skeptics and the opposition community believe it to have been a planned and sponsored setup meant to intimidate the opposition and make others into praise singers of the President and the ruling party.
The coming of President George Weah on August 2 to condemn the violence in Zwedru is accordingly a way to restore his battered reputation in an “Unprecedented appeal for an end to politically motivated violence across the country.”
The President in two violent incidents in 2018 and 2019 did not make any move to condemn the violence that marred two by-elections in Montserrado County District #15 and District # 13 that led to injuries.
In an Executive Mansion release, the President reiterated his objection and detestation of violence and unrest in Liberia—“recalling that the country witnessed so much of it for long at the expense of peace and normalcy.”
The President added: “The 14 years civil conflict which left over half a million Liberians and many more traumatized and displaced is sufficient lesson for all Liberians to eschew violence and trouble which the President said has got no place in Liberia’s fledgling democracy.”
President Weah’s denunciation of last week’s violence against opposition leader Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, and Montserrado County District #10 Representative Yekeh Kolubah was his most unequivocal denunciation of political violence since the country began to experience violent instances in elections in his administration.
At his Forky Kloh Jlaleh Family Fellowship on August 2, 2020, President Weah called on all Liberians to be peaceful and adhere to the tenants of democracy as violence is not the answer to Liberia’s development challenges.
“If you love me, if you support me, please be peaceful and developmental,” the President said in reference to the hostile Zwedru resident’s action. “Remember that I promised the people of Liberia that my administration will maintain zero tolerance for violence but will maintain the peace, build roads, and improve the lives of all.”
President Weah described the recent happenings in Zwedru City as undemocratic and promised to bring to book those to be identified as culpable; something critics say is a cosmetic talk.
“This country witnessed too much instability that did not benefit us as a nation and people. Hostility is not the answer,” the Liberian Leader warned further. “We must focus on maintaining peace and adhere to the law. With peace, we can develop our country.”
He added: “Everyone has the right to move about freely in any part of the country. There are ways under our democratic system by which citizens reject people whose behaviors or political ideologies do not match theirs. Either you stay away from assemblies where they are found or you vote.”
He asked the Ministry of Justice to quickly investigate the incident in Grand Gedeh County.
“Liberia will never return to its ugly past; certainly, not under my watch as President of the Republic,” the Liberian Chief Executive maintained.
The call for an investigation into the matter in Zwedru is being described by the Council of Patriot leader, Henry P. Costa as a “For nothing” statement that will yield nothing at the end of the day. Costa in his Facebook post said since the Weah Administration took over and violence by his loyalists began emerging, President Weah has been perpetually silent and taking no action against even his own officials including City Mayor Jefferson Koijee who had been alleged of leading some of the violent campaigns.