Former Liberian media practitioner cautions compatriots
A former Liberian media practitioner has lauded his compatriots for overwhelmingly electing former world soccer icon George Manneh Weah as President, but appealed to them to minimize their expectations by not asking too much too soon.
Mr. John Mannah, a former Liberian journalist from the 1980s, instead wants his compatriots to come to their country’s aid in its hour of need.
In an interview recently, Mr. Mannah who now resides in the United States, said as a concerned and caring Liberian, “it is my appeal to all my fellow citizens to remain peaceful and respectful to our new government while it tackles the many economic and social challenges it has inherited; it is expedient to understand that it is too soon to expect too much.”
Mannah, however, asserted that understandingly the citizens are right in their high expectations of the new government to deliver on its campaign promises for which he said President Weah received over 60% of their vote; “but we are aware of the fact that the last months of the immediate past government going through a fractured economy.”
“In light of these hurdles, President Weah cut short his honeymoon and hit the ground running, and accompanied by a high power team paid his first official visit to friendly governments in Africa and Europe, and major world financial institutions for assistance to help implement his campaign promises of a government with a pro-poor policy,” Mannah.
On President Weah’s ongoing call for a referendum on granting citizenship to non-negroes and dual citizenship, Mannah was non-committal, but urged the government to concentrate for now on the more immediate pressing areas such as jobs, business opportunities, remedy the menacing underprivileged youth, especially the “zogos,” quality education, and health care for the masses who decided he was the best preference among 20 other aspirants in the last Presidential elections.
“We must never forget that despite our political differences, building Liberia will rest solely on the shoulders of all Liberians; only Liberians through a united resolve will take this country to be among other developing African countries,” Mannah challenged.
Mannah who briefly worked with this newspaper in the 1980s recalled that former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf came to power in 2006, and was faced with a similar situation now facing President Weah;”a broken economy and a broke government with near empty coffers.”
For the sake of emphasis, “I am challenging President Weah to pay keen attention to the social welfare sector of the country, which is presently in a non-functional state and plan better programs for the amelioration of the lives of our people.”
Concluding, Mannah admonished Liberians not to lose sight of the fact that Liberia will rise again and even be better under the Presidency of George Weah; “but first let us put our high hopes and expectations aside for now and give the new leader the chance to deliver on his promises.”