Weah Defends Decision to Reject Anti-rape Petition

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President George Weah: "I am working to make sure we determine what happened through the investigation."

 …As gov’t develop a roadmap to punish rapists

President George M. Weah has defended his decision not to personally receive the anti-rape protesters’ petition during their three-day protest last week, stressing that it was the protesters that never wanted him to get their message heard.

The protesters had refused earlier to present their petition to Gender Minister Williametta Saydee-Tarr and her deputy Mamensie Kabba based on mistrust.

According to the President, his presence at the protest never mattered, as demanded by the protesters, as much as that the petition that was not submitted to his deputies.

“Whenever you have issues, and you want to bring it to me and I cannot receive it, I have a deputy to receive it. So if you do not give your message to the deputy that I sent, then you do not want me to know what the issues are about.

“If you are marching on the street to raise your voice about a particular cause and I am not available to collect your concerned note or documents, for the respect of the country and the leadership you people elected, you should have given the note to the person I sent. It is not about who receives it but the message,” President Weah added.

His comment is in relation to the refusal of protesters to present their petition to Gender Minister Williametta Saydee Tarr and her deputy Mamensie Kabba, on an accusation that the two officials are aware of the rape problem and are directly responsible to act to end it, but are doing little or nothing to address the issue.

“Whosoever receive it [the petition], is not what you [are] looking at but the message going to the person you want to get to. So going forward, people work with me. So whenever I send them, give your message to them,” President Weah said. “It will come to me. Take heed to that and continue to be respectful. If you do not respect what we are doing as your leaders, then we will behave the way….we will always treat you good.”

The statement by the President yesterday comes less than a week after he had applauded the anti-rape protesters, who gathered to demand concrete actions from the government to stop rape — even though it ended in chaos as the joint security police brutalized protesters.

Meanwhile, after three days of a nationwide protest against the increasing rape cases in the country, President Weah, who did not receive the protesters’ petition, says his administration is poised to institute rigid punishment for rapists with the aim of ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) across Liberia.

President Weah, whom the public had criticized for being inactive in addressing the issue of rape and refusing to receive protesters petition directly, defended his administration’s record on the issues and its action to combat SGBV.

He added that long before the protesters could decide to take to the streets, his administration has already “initiated a cabinet-level decision on rape and had constituted a special board to explore ways and means by which the government can combat the rising tide of rape and other and SGBV cases.”

“The issue of rape is sensitive and I believe that we can be successful in ending it in Liberia and protect our young men and women. Again, we continue to engage those responsible to make laws to change what needs to be changed to protect our citizens,” President Weah said.

According to the President, his administration will play its role to help stop rape, but said a joint effort is needed to address the issue of rape in Liberia, stating “The Legislature needs to be totally involved to end rape.”

According to the Liberian leader, the media is needed to create more awareness about rape in partnership with the government. He said Liberians are serious about ending rape now and it is important for collaboration and partnership.

President Weah added that he supports the decision to stage a three-day campaign in Monrovia, which was aimed at creating awareness on rape, especially calling the attention of stakeholders.

According to a document presented to President Weah, violence against women and girls remains the most widely reported crime in Liberia.

The document indicated that SGBV remains a deeply rooted problem that has obstructed and devastated many lives.

Liberia’s Minister of Gender Children and Social Protection (MGCSP), Williametta Piso Saydee-Tarr, said the first action against rape or fighting rape is the holding of a national conference.

“We are considering a holistic approach. We have been meeting as a task force to look at this issue in a scientific way. This is not just a supervision issue. We have a taskforce made up of Justice Minister, Internal Affairs Minister, Labor Minister, Youth and Sports Minister, and Gender because the issue of rape is cross-cutting,” Minister Nagbe said.

The government is expected to hold two days conference in Monrovia on Thursday and Friday, September 3-4, 2020.

Author

  • Anthony Kokoi is a young Liberian sports writer who has an ever-growing passion for the development of the game of football (soccer) and other sports. For the past few years, he has been passionately engaged in reporting the developments of the game in the country. He is an associate member of the Sports Writers Association of Liberia (SWAL). He is a promoter of young talents. He also writes match reports and makes an analysis of Liberian Football.

12 COMMENTS

  1. THIS HEADLINE IS SILLY FALSEHOOD AND YELLOW JOURNALISM. The President död nöt reject the anti-rape petition. It is the anti- rape protesters who rejected presenting their petition to the President through his PRESIDENTIAL REPRESENTATIVE- HIS PROXY THE MINISTER OF GENDER TO RECEIVE THE PETITION.

  2. August 29, 2020 George ” applauds ” the anti-rape protesters, source, Daily Observer. Today, September 1, 2020, Weah defends decision to reject anti-rape petition. August 29, 2020 , George was sorrowfully crying before his international AidPartners and the supporters of his regime like Mr. True or False Nationalist about how he “applauds” the anti-rape protesters for coming out. How he George has been working along with the Justice Ministry, Gender Ministry, and other locals stakeholders. September 1, 2020 , George happily “defends” his reason for not going to the protesters to accept the petition. George was lying the first time when he said that he “applauds ” the protesters for coming out to march against the heinous acts of rape. Knowing full well he was not in favor of the protest that has put him and his regime on the spot, and in the spotlight as a clueless lair, that had nothing meaningful to say to the protesters about the heinous awful crime of rape in the country where he is the ruler of them all. He happily stands by his actions and his refusal not to accept the petition. And then have the audacity to boast about his actions with smile on his face. Sure it is George, the Corrupton-in-chief, the Feminist-in-Chief, the Country Giant-in-Chief, it is George who will never hurt a fly. It is George who loved everyone. But it is the same George who sent out his CDC political police force to beat up on defenceless women and children for embarrassing him through protest in the eyes of the International Community. That is the George your having met yet. But your think that your know all about George. But what is certain is that, What Your Do Not Know About George Will Not Hurt Your. But Will Feel It. Killing your softly with is smile .

  3. James Davis, I doubt you ever went back to school after your high school graduation in 1975; if every really completed your high school education as you have claimed here.

    Mr. highly likely high school drop-out, go back to grade school to be taught the connotation and denotation of words. And then you would not spew such rubbish or use such diction/word as “refusal.

    Now, get this beaten into your grade-school head that in officialdom, when officials delegate their colleagues, subordinates, representatives, or those with full powers (as was with the case of the Gender Minister in whose province the matter centers), such decision or action is absolutely an indicia, assertion, or demonstration, of appreciation and acceptance, and not a “refusal” as your grade-school empty skull is doomed to comprehend.

    • But so far your book and educational knowledge have proven useless to the citizens, living on cassava and roasted coconuts. Living on less than 2.00 Liberian dollars daily . As a political propagandist of both the regime and George, you failed with your education to inform George to leave well alone. But silly George will always come out speaking garbage. Just to show of the limitations of his 5th grade education. August 29, 2020 , someone did a good job in his play by play speech. September 1, 2020 , silly George has messed it all up. How silly can he get before the eyes of the International Community that always wants to stand by him ? Cause he is the person that the Liberian people presented to the world as their President. And you Mr. True or False Nationalist of the regime speaking Bullshit as education. This 5th grade graduate called George is being laughed at in the sub-region. Comparing his self to that of the Presidents of Ghana and Nigeria. Clueless. Your propaganda has not changed the minds of any Liberian, not even George cares about your propaganda. Just wasting your time. August 29, 2020 and September 1, 2020 were your stupid response from George. One day he “applauds” the protesters, the next day he comes out defending his actions for not meeting with the protesters. Just plain stupid. James Davis will always call a spade a spade. George as a 5th grade graduate, and approaching 60, George is never going to learn anything new or meaningful. Your really inside there ooooooooooooooo.

      • James Davis, even if it were the case here where the Daily Observer or its editor weren´t the one engaged in daily propaganda against Dr. Weah who beat the Daily Observer´s or this editor´s candidate corrupt, inept, old and ugly Joseph Boakai, and it were anyone, that does not alter the reality that you need to go back to school or at least attain some amount of requiem of the burning issues of society, or at least the principles of domestic and international governance.

        Your comment supra mirrors, and indeed, evidences that spewed from one with poor immaterial faculties and a grade-school mentality – such of which the disinformation or propaganda of this editor or a given news outlet feeds.

        • Taking on the Daily Observer that hopes to make you as a propagandist of the regime to work hard in implementing and improving the image of George. Well, as a propagandist, what you do not, and what the Daily Observer knows will not hurt you. The Daily Observer and James Davis both can not be wrong.

  4. One Lost, Forever; No Love

    Mr. James Davis, has Mr. George Weah ever done anything good in your world? Every one can criticize a chief, supervisor, leader or a president. Your criticisms of Mr. Weah has no limit. Since I been reading your post starting Sept. 2017, Mr. Weah has not done anything right. Maybe you are not happy because he is president?
    Ummmmmmmm!

    • George did something right August 29, 2020 when explained his reasons and applauded the protesters for their actions. George explained to the community of nations how hard he is working to bring some sort of changes and justice to the victims of rape. September 1, 2020, George “defends” his actions happily for not meeting with the protesters. He is not educated enough to know when to leave well alone, and move on. Would you like to have the job of Mr. True or False Nationalist ? Telling George everything about him is right, better and understanding ? Well, request for it. But it is a tough hard job when George will not listen to reason. Good luck trying to get George to listen. Good luck on that. James Davis is just calling a spade a spade.

      • Mr. James Davis,

        I like how you call a spade a spade, even if I dont agree with you all the time. Your use of puns and colloquia drives home your point.

        You communicate well, even if you are a “5th grader” as some of the “book people” on this forum claim you are. you communicate way better than them. their style of communicating is so spew filth and use big words that, at time, I am sure, they themselves become confuse with their big words that what they are trying to communicate become lost to even themselves.

        President Weah is not perfect, James Davis. He has made some mistakes since his ascendency to the presidency and I dare say he will make some more, but he is a good man and I am sure with time, he will become a good leader. I am asking you to cut him some slack.

        Be safe out there.

  5. James Davis

    President Weah didn’t “reject anti-rape petition”. And only God knows why, among all ECOWAS nations, we, Liberians, think that a Head of State must personally receive petitions from street protesters. Lest some forget, Chapter 111, Article 17 of our 1986 Constitution says, “All persons, at all times, shall have the right to assemble and consult upon the common good… to petition the government or other functionary for the redress of grievance…”. I don’t see anywhere this organic law requires a President’s presence during protest.

    However, I’m not amazed that you cannot help expressing your ethnic hatred by abusing the President at any given opportunity. On this very website in 2018, you responded to Information Minister Eugene Nagbe with your great grandfather’s ethnic slur: “Peace was in heaven until the Kru man got there”. Apparently, your forefathers wanted southeasterners to bare their buttocks to be flayed and that rejection got your goat even now.

    President Weah is right that he had highlighted the gravity of rape before the CPP/COP alliance and enabling supposedly civil society groups turn it into a political potato to provoke security sector overreaction that might have engulfed the nation. After all, that’s why you and like-minded support agent provocateurs and anarchists such as Hon Yekeh Kolubah and Pedro Henry Costa. Tellingly, the vaunted petition didn’t include implementable proposals on tackling rape; stop selling hate, seriously.

  6. It is disheartening that this platform have been turned into red pepper words today where ethno politics also interplay.

    By virtues of hierarchical command line, is not only President Weah made up the government of this Republic. That is why the government is been represented from all angles of this country from the functionalities of cleaners to ministers or directors. All work in the interest of the president. So, the president is found everywhere you think in government. President Weah applauding protesters at first as claimed by James Davis, this applauding was a enamel or metaphorical which James Davis was lacking to understand. Unless for Liberia, security precaution is very important. Gender minister being proxy for President Weah, that could not stop their message from reaching to the president. For instead, if the president was in sick bed, they could force him from his sick to come and receive petition? Politicians are miscarrying this action of the president to the public for their own aggrandizements.

    But thank God their message is well conveyed to president who has started to act upon it by alloting $6m to fight rape cases.

    My reservation to this cause is that, even though I am a parent with two beautiful kids, but rape is part of natural human crime which by may be carried out by both sexes through sexual appetite. So, trying to eradicate such issue will be somehow difficult to gain fruitfulness. Our president should be psychologically strong enough in responding to issues or pressure. $6m is a good sum of money that could be used for other developmental aspects like our roads which are now more challenging even than the rape we are fighting against. Our people taking two to three weeks on roads to reach their respective destinations, or may that is not part of human sufferings since it is openly believe to be governmental issue to fix roads. Committee or policy analyst that would be responsible to amend or modify this this rape law should be very careful, they should not back down to public pressure, or else, more people most especially men will targeted and be prosecuted innocently as in the case of mob violent.

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