Soccer Legends Turn Their Backs on George Weah’s Presidential Bid

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Spokesman of the SOCCER LEGENDS who have decided to support Vice President Boakai's presidential bid, Dionysius Sebwe, center, with Kelvin and Ben Saydee yesterday

Declare support to Vice President Boakai as the right leader after Ellen

Describing Liberia’s democracy as ‘fragile,’ a spokesman for Unity Party Soccer Legends, Dionysius Sebwe, told journalists yesterday in Monrovia that it is incumbent upon “all of us as citizens to choose the right leader for this country based on qualification, competence, experience, and maturity,” when they declared their support to Vice President Joseph Boakai’s presidential bid.

Sebwe, who played alongside George Manneh Weah, James Salinsa Debbah, among other Liberian soccer professionals, said the decision to vote for a presidential aspirant must not be based on friendship, popularity and certainly not on tribal or ethnic affiliation.

“We must at this juncture of our democracy sustain the gains we’ve made collectively as a people despite our fundamental differences,” he said.

Sebwe, who said he represents former Liberian professional players, including Ben Saydee, Boye Charles, Ezekiel Doe, Papee Sumo, Pewu Bestman, Sam Chebli, among others, said they have decided to declare their support of Vice President Boakai because of their belief that he would develop sports, particularly soccer, in Liberia.

As an example, he said Vice President Boakai continues to support youth empowerment and other youth activities, especially the ongoing historic National High School Football and Kickball Championship.

“This tournament seeks to promote sports and education as an inseparable component of youth development,” Sebwe said. “Due to the inaugural sports tournament, most high schools are experiencing unprecedented enrollment, with the entry of high school drop-outs and new students.”

He said their decision not to declare their support of their former colleague, Senator George Manneh Weah’s presidential bid, “is one of conscience devoid of any prejudice; it’s a decision to support the strong foundation of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration.”

He explained that the former professionals overwhelmingly supported the senatorial ambition of Senator Weah because “we believed that the Senator as chairman on sports would have used his tenure at the Legislature to put forward important legislation to strengthen our democracy, impact the lives of those at the bottom of the economic ladder and aggressively support and promote sports development across the country.”

He regretted that Senator Weah demonstrated lack of substantial progress in developing the game that had given him so much prominence on the national and international scene.

“George Weah’s lack of interest in supporting sports, particularly football, has to some extent contributed considerably to the dismal performance of the national teams; no legislation on sports policy or the development of the youth of the country; no strong advocacy or representation for an increase in budgetary allocation for other sporting disciplines; and he has not utilized his huge international football network to benefit the younger generation of football players,” he said. “We continue to uphold, despite our political differences, the undeniable truth that George Manneh Weah is one of the greatest football players Liberia has ever produced.

“We do love him as the great football player; however, equating his popularity or his exceptional athletic ability to political leadership or effective governance of this country is disingenuous to the Liberian people,” he stated, adding that he hopes that at some point in the future, Senator Weah would demonstrate the kind of leadership “we or the country seeks in a future president.”

Sebwe clarified a statement by Ambassador Boakai that Liberians should not turn over the country to a football player, which he said was not in any way directed at all former and current football players, but to a former professional football player; in this case, George Manneh Weah, who has not genuinely achieved the level of experience, education or sound wits associated with occupying the highest office in the country.

He assured Liberians that all former professional players will continue to serve Liberia in the various capacities, including the political process, and support Vice President Boakai as the next President of the Republic of Liberia.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. An anonymous philosopher once said, “A leader of men must make decisions quickly; be independent; act and stand firm; be a fighter; speak openly, plainly, frankly; make defeats his lessons; cooperate; co-ordinate; use the best of any alliances or allies; walk with active faith courageously toward danger or the unknown; create a staff; know, love and represent the best interests of his followers; be loyal, true, frank and faithful; have a high intelligent and worthy purpose and ideal. Do justice; love mercy; fear no man but fear only God.”

    This philosophical statement of what it takes to be a leader is true: only if George Weah and the other want-to-be president and lawmakers could pass this anonymous philosopher leadership test.

    However, George Weah was given the opportunity by his constituents to develop his leadership skills when he was elected to the Liberian House of Senate. On the contrary, George Weah squandered his golden opportunity to exemplify his leadership skills as a Senator.

    George Weah’s dismal performance and his nonchalant attitude in carrying out his senatorial responsibilities demonstrate his lack of understanding of the complexities involved in executing his senatorial duties.

    George Weah former football pals have witnessed his poor performance in his execution of his senatorial duties. Therefore, they have concluded by saying, “We do love him (George Weah) as the great football player; however, equating his popularity or his exceptional athletic ability to political leadership or effective governance of this country is disingenuous to the Liberian people.” His former football pals deemed it fit to put their love of country above individual friendship.

    These Liberian Soccer Legends recognize that George Weah lacks the requisite skills, temperament, leadership trait, decision-making ability, critical thinking skills, political astuteness, intellectual sophistication, and humbleness to run a complex, fragile, economically bankrupt, ethnically divided, politically corrupt, educationally backward, infrastructurally dilapidated, overpopulated capital, financially mismanaged, minerally exploited, and last but not all, agriculturally deprived country like Liberia.

    Dionysius Sebwe and the other Liberian Soccer Legends love for Liberia is greater than their love for Senator George Weah. No matter who we intend to vote for, let’s all put our love of country first above any individual regardless of whom he/she is.

    May God bless Liberians as we make this critical decision on October 10, 2017, that could make or break Liberia!!!!

    • Are we supposed to divorce VP Boakai from all of the failings of the past government, and promote him from Vice President to President?

      • Boika’s excuse is that he was only VP in name.He claimed according to his supporters that President Sirleaf ran the government almost singlehandedly except in some cases with her family and friends.

      • Edward Dunn & Elijah A Barnard, read article 50 & 51 of Liberia’s 1986 constitution and read over both of you statements. Boakai has never distanced himself from the UP led government. However, the vice president performed duties assigned to him with exceptional leadership thus meriting the promotion to lead this country going forward.

        The vice president role is an assistance to the president and the president can decide to take the assistance or ignore. There’s no clause in the constitution that says the Vice President should do this or that except that which is assigned to him. Boakai and his supporters know that the world over, the vice president role in any government is to assist the president when he’s asked. For instance, William R. Tolbert served as vice president under Tubman for 19 unbroken years and if the both of you can point to tangible achievements of Tolbert even prior to the 1980 coup d’état, I’ll rest my case.

        As a vice president, it is only prudent for you to be humble and modest in dealing with the president and matters of the state. The vice president’s only duty in the senate is to cast a vote when there’s a tie and preside over deliberations. He doesn’t write policies, he doesn’t appoint any member of the cabinet or fire.

        Chapter IV: The Executive

        • Designation of commander in chief Article 50
        The Executive Power of the Republic shall be vested in the President who shall be
        Head of State, Head of Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces
        of Liberia. The president shall be elected by universal adult suffrage of registered
        voters in the Republic and shall hold office for a term of six years commencing at
        noon on the third working Monday in January of the year immediately following the
        elections. No person shall serve as President for more than two terms.

        • Deputy executive Article 51
        There shall be a Vice-President who shall assist the President in the discharge of his
        functions. The Vice-President shall be elected on the same political ticket and shall
        serve the same term as the President. The Vice-President shall be President of the
        Senate and preside over its deliberations without the right to vote, except in the case
        of a tie vote. He shall attend meetings of the cabinet and other governmental
        meetings and shall perform such functions as the President shall delegate or deem
        appropriate; provided that no powers specifically vested in the President by the
        provisions of this Constitution shall be delegated to the Vice-President.

        • By law, the VP performed his ceremonial duties and did what he had to do base on what the President asked of him. However, not once did he ever speak against the ills of corruption; one of the most burning issues in the country. It’s as if he’s been tone deaf to the problems facing the country over the past 12 years. He falls asleep at public events, so how would he be able to do the work as president? He’s been in government for over 30 years but he has yet to say what his accomplishments are. Mr. Boakai is a good man but I would not vote for him based on his record.

  2. You counldn’t have said it any better than how well you have laid it outrightly, my fellow countrymen. Thank you so much for Thinking Liberia, Loving Liberia and Building Liberia. Tarpeh

  3. I like weah so dearly, he was there for the people of Liberia during the civil war but that doesn’t mean that he can be a president. Weah ability of been a great president of Liberia was proven as a senator, he couldn’t pass a bill to improve sports in Liberia how can he improve the life of Liberians? Electing George for Liberia will be like Trump for the U.S

    • Exactly! I said the same thing last night to my children. So I’m saying this to all potential voters Take a good hard look of the US leadership under Trump, then envision each presidential hopefuls as President of Liberia. When you’ve done that just remember my people when you elect a President, you’re not only electing a President, you’re electing hundreds of his appointees too. Vote Wisely..

  4. You boys are not in the interest of this country: supporting Boakai is like supporting another hardship for our people.
    You guys are making Sen. Weah more Famous and courageous in this struggle. Weah don’t need you support to be a president. He has been blessed already.
    We will vote for him come October 10.

    • Change? are you sure weah is bless already? what he did with the millions of dollars he got from playing football? He gave it to the jamaican woman? what is Weah company he establish in Liberia? where is his Football Academy? others football do greats things in their and they are not thinking of presidency in their countries, Samuel E’to of Cameroon and Didier Drogba of Ivory coast, Let God help Mama LIBERIA

  5. Senator Weah has always stood the grounds against the stormy weathers in his life. These so-called professional footballers didn’t match the strong wind of WEAH in their days of fame on the football arena. Their vindictive and jealous mindsets kept them down even in the game. George Weah, is Liberia’s next president after President Sirleaf. God is the divine protector.

    • They supported him as senator if you read the article and followed his campaign as senator for Montserrado. However, the presidency is another ball game that Weah is not qualified to performed. They’re not jealous of him as you claimed..

  6. Deba and others don’t know what to say about Weah anymore. Y’all be talking while we winning votes. #ChangeForHope
    #Hope_Is_Alive

  7. seriously, those who are referencing the constitution to support Boakai willful inability to perform as second in commend should also realized that their is something called leadership trait and conscience, and Boakai lack both. He sat there for twelve years without taking initiative to help his people when they needed him most. In his own weak way no matter what the constitution says he should have done sometime/anything to help his people but instead he stood for nothing and fell for everything. God bless Liberia and Liberians

    • Felton. I cant put it any better. Been the second in command is an understatement. Joseph Boakai has been in government for more than 50 years. He worked under Tolbert, Doe, Taylor, Ruth Perry, Gyude Branyt and as you stated and was completely mute for 12 under this tyrannical reign that brought war. untold deaths, mouth watering corruption, poverty and reduced our women to prostitution.

  8. Hello there Gbartu, have you taken time to chronologically recount William R. Tolbert’s governance and style of leadership in Liberia? To mentioned that W.R. Tolbert did not achieve anything prior to the 1980 military take over is disingenuous. Even though Tolbert presided over a one party state, something he inherited politically, he had given grounds and allowed oppositions to speak out. Whatever free speech the Liberian populace excise today was sanctioned by Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr., an unfamiliar phenomena in Liberian politics. Of course then came the tyrannical military junta with all its suppression of free speech. Tolbert’s vision was to establish a multi party democracy in Liberia because as he was speaking against foreign authoritarian governments he needed to put his house in order.

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