Weah: ‘We Will Not Fail You’

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Certification of President-elect George Manneh Weah.

President-elect George Manneh Weah has assured Liberians that the days to worry whether the country will move forward or not are over, noting that he and his team will work in unity to fulfill the promises they made to the nation.

Weah spoke yesterday at the program marking the certification of those who won the October 10, 2017 presidential and legislative elections as well as his winning of the December 26 runoff election, which was contested by him and Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai.

At yesterday’s ceremony, the NEC certificated 66 of the 73 representatives-elect, and the President and Vice President-elect.

“We will not fail you, because you have given me the opportunity to serve; and therefore, I can assure you that with Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, the 54th Legislature and all other friends coming aboard in my government, we will do your job that calls for change,” Weah said to rousing applause in the James Fromayan Conference Hall of the NEC.

“Your decision to elect me as your President is not for us, but for the forward march of our country,” the President-elect said.

Before yesterday’s ceremony, Weah had posited that his government will not be a government based on friendship, but one that is dedicated to the common good of the masses.

“The government under my leadership as president will not be for friends or my family. It will be a government for the Liberian people,” Weah assured.

Commending the NEC, Weah sees his ascendancy to the Presidency as something that speaks to the world that democracy is alive in Liberia.

“The Liberian people resolved that this time I lead them. And the good thing about me is that I am not just a man who just retired from sports, but one who has also served in other capacities. I grew up from the ghetto and moved into the real society; and the good things of life which I have used over the years is to change the lives of many of my friends and others I did not even know,” he said.

He told the gathering that his visit to Vice President Boakai on New Year’s Day was not to make news, but to acknowledge in action that the campaign was over and an effort to align with Boakai and all other well-meaning Liberians to move the country forward.

Commenting on the other 19 presidential candidates, Weah said shortly after the NEC announced him as the winner,  “I called all of them for lunch, where we trashed  any thoughts of hate for each other in case there was any.”

Freedom of speech

Aware of the fear of suppressing the prevailing freedoms of speech and of the press under his regime, Weah said, “whether in your offices or anywhere else, feel free to speak out your minds. Don’t be afraid, because our democracy is alive, and so we will work hard at all times to protect your rights of freedom of speech and others.”

He re-emphasized that the quest of the CDC-led government is to work for all Liberians and move the country forward, and called on Liberians to unite.

“Let this day be a day that Liberians will unite. Let this day be a day that all of us, regardless of our political differences, will sit in our offices and elsewhere to discuss issues common to us,” he said.

He called on the 54th Legislature to make good laws that will help government impact the lives of citizens.

Meanwhile, United States Ambassador to Liberia, Christine Elder, said the US government is impressed with Liberia for proving to the world that democracy exists and that people are willing to settle disputes through the court system.

The US envoy also acknowledged that those who fell short of winning the elections should rally alongside the winners to build the country.

“So many people are striving for public office but everyone cannot win at the same time. Therefore, those of you that have won should find ways and bring aboard your opponents at the polls so that they too in some way may contribute to the building process of your country,” she admonished.

“The United States Government is with you as you steer the affairs of your country. We will work with the incoming government to improve the living conditions of the citizens, who are struggling to get on par with others blessed by good leadership,” Amb. Elder said.

Farid Zarif, the UN Secretary General Special Representative, said Liberians have made not only a remarkable history, but also performed a miracle by closing the chapter on the nearly a century old record of not having a peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another.

Zarif urged the incoming government to do well by improving the living conditions of the people, noting, “I see no reason why Liberians should be poor. You have all the resources. The minerals are under the earth, the water, the bushes yet your country is poor. Do not disappoint your people,” he cautioned the President-elect.

He commended Liberians for defying all the expectations of doomsday and expressed confidence that as citizens who love their country, Liberians are no longer prepared to resort to their dark past.

The NEC chairman, Jerome George Korkoya, said although the going was tough, he is pleased that the exercise ended by ushering in a new leadership.

Representative Hans Barchue, who spoke on behalf of the certificated representatives-elect, said they will work hard to deliver the needed developments.

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

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David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

12 COMMENTS

  1. I blessed God for the successful and peaceful electoral process held in Liberia. Thanks to NEC and all the supporting partners who help to reawaking our fragile democracy. I believe in the New Leadership that I supported to the fullest from the onset of their entire process. CONGRATULATIONS TO LIBERIA, we’re willing to provide our professional expertise to help improve the Livelihood of all Liberians and rebuild our nation. Aloysius P Gwaikolo, Sr. a Cuttington University trained Agricultural specialist and US training Environmental and water resource Engineer.
    Thanks

  2. Congratulation on winning the presidency!!!

    Be aware Mr. President-Elect: after 170 years of independence, Liberia plantation mentality still exists.

    Liberia Economy runs on a big Pyramid Scheme (Pyramid Economic Model) where the poor majority at the bottom of the economic ladder, do all the hard labor (plantation work); while, the 1% (government elites, the well-connected, and the greedy politicians) at the top reap all the benefits.

    If Liberia’s plantation mentality is not reverse, expect corruption, unemployment, un-development, and the poor economic conundrums in Liberia to continue unabated!

    Good luck Mr. President-Elect in reversing this old-aged economic divide in Liberia!!!

  3. Congratulation Mr. President-elect, George Weah:

    Your manifesto, or your platform is coming in bits and pieces (talking about unity, talking about freedom of speech, and calling on all Liberians to help rebuild Liberia). However, the jubilation will be over pretty soon. What are your policies to these major questions listed below as you’re about to take the oath of office on Jan. 22nd, 2018.

    1. What development plans and economic policies would you put in place to attract foreign and domestic investments?
    2. How do you plan on creating jobs to reduce the high unemployment rate in Liberia?
    3. How do you plan on balancing our fiscal budget and increasing revenue?
    4. How do you plan on paying Liberia external/foreign debt?
    5. What are your education policies to make sure no child is left uneducated in Liberia?

    6. What are your decentralization policies to attract development in other parts of Liberia?
    7. What are your policies towards agriculture development and food security?
    8. What are your policies towards urban and rural electrification/pipe-borne water, sanitation and sewer system in Liberia?
    9. What are your policies towards Liberia’s modernization: manufacturing raw material extracted/ produced in Liberia?
    10. What are your policies towards making the 15 counties more autonomous to make them less dependent on the central government?

    11. What are your policies to reduce the power of an “imperial presidency” that is detrimental to economic growth, individual liberty, individual growth and prosperity?
    12. What policies would you put in place to encourage free enterprise and boost free market economy?
    13. How do you plan to strengthen the security sector: military, police, and other law enforcement agencies?
    14. How do you plan to protect Liberia’s porous border to limit illegal migration and protect Liberia from radical/militant/terrorist groups from infiltrating the country?
    15. How do you plan to cut down on government waste and crackdown on corruption?

    16. What are your health care policies to avoid another Ebola crisis or a major health catastrophe?
    17. How do you plan to encourage meaningful research and development at various universities?
    18. How do you plan on controlling inflation and strengthening the Liberian Dollar against the U.S. Dollar?
    19. How do you plan on strengthening the criminal justice system and reducing the abuse of power?
    20. What are your short term and long term job creation policies?

    21. What are your national unity and reconciliation policies?
    22. What are your foreign policies in continuing bilateral relationship with foreign nations?
    23. What policies will you put in place to protect Liberia’s forest and fauna from depletion?
    24. How do you plan on cracking down on illegal mining and protecting the environment?
    25. What social programs and policies would be put in place to protect and help Liberian children?

    26. What policies would be put in place to strengthen public transportation around Liberia via road/air and rail?
    27. What policies would be put in place to strengthen youth vocational and technical training?
    28. What policies would be put in place to protect freedom of the press, religious liberty and individual constitutional rights?
    29. How are you going to protect and respect the separation of power?
    30. How are you going to protect Liberia’s territorial water from foreign fishing vessels?

    31. What policies/incentives/subsidies are you going to put in place to encourage farmers to increase food production?
    32. What policies are you going to put in place to guarantee free public education to every Liberian child up to secondary school?
    33. What policies are you going to put in place to rehabilitate Liberian non-dangerous criminals to become productive citizens?
    34. What policies will you put in place toward land reform, low cost housing and rural development?
    35. Last but not all: What policies will you put in place to protect our beaches from sea-erosion, trash and other public indecencies (defecating on public beaches)?

    It is very difficult to govern a country like Liberia that went through total destruction: the rule of law; public utility; employment; education; infrastructures; moral codes; religious beliefs; traditional beliefs; the tax system; national pride; children welfare; equal rights; women rights; religious rights; health system; Liberian hospitality; the economy; the political system; human development; and so on; have to be strengthened by this new Leadership.

    Mr. President-Elect, George Oppong Weah, your leadership can either make Liberia better, or break Liberia into pieces?

    “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. May God bless you in these difficult times!!!!

    • Alpha Conneh, you made my day. That is exactly what we need to hear from our president elect: The solutions to the many issues you highlighted. We dont want people telling us “we are going to improve the lives of the Liberian people”. We are more concerned about “how” you intend to do it.
      And one thing I m concerned about is that the president elect and his associates continue to offer high expectations to Liberians. I dont think this is good. They need to be realistic. The challenges, I assume, are more than the opportunities. Some of the promises made, like for eg free health care for ALL Liberians, MIGHT not even be achieved in 12 years. So my advice to the team is STOP raising our expectation of dramatic change, or the day reality sets in we will feel you are nothing different from your predecessors… Think before you speak. Dont assume others had the chance but completely refused to do it. They face enormous challenges, although I fully agree that some of them did not love this country. But beginning a new govt with too much promises is definitely not the best of ideas.

      • Give Senator George Manneh Weah a break. He is just president-elect and Liberia, your country, is one hundred and seventy (170) years old. We should be concerned with what he is inheriting. After all the noise in the market place is quiet down, and he is settled down in his new position after inauguration day, he will begin to gradually revealed to the Liberian people his team that will work with him in the Executive Branch of Government to begin working for the people who hired him, the Liberian people.

        He will quietly get the best advice from some of his closest and trusted men and women who were with him during the toughest of times and continue to be with him. He will also listen to some of the cream of the crop who may have joined him lately. Manneh is a team player. He has been a team player all his professional life. In all his teams, he has also been a leader par excellence.

        We all have to pray for him to succeed. If he succeeds, Mother Liberia succeeds! Let’s be patient and give the Almighty God chance to work this miracle. The noun form of being patient is patience.

        With God above our rights to prove, we will over all prevail!

        MUNYAN, MUNYAN, CDC MUNYAN, MUNYAN!

      • Alpha, thanks for your input. You jotted down what many Liberians are thinking about. Even if a veteran politician were to take over the country, he or she would have had some serious initial planning to do. Where do you start running a country that has so many problems? Your outline of the problems in our country could help planners categorize and prioritize what needs to be done first. I hope the Weah team has someone reading some of these nice recommendations online. The Executive Mansion’s website should have a space for suggestions.

  4. Congratulations Mr. President – Elect, GMW, thankfully as someone who knows that the scourge of poverty is a human right concern, Justice Minister Counselor Benedict Sarnoh correctly described it as the greatest threat to national security, you would give it your unfettered full focus. After all, the vast majority Country – Congua poor people certainly comprise your true and faithful base. (For example, opponents in the US can say all they want about President Trump, but, undeniably, he has the back of his base, and therein lies his bragging rights).

    Moreover, now that most Liberians also know 1) Jobs, vocational training, 2) Ariculture, galvanized food production, 3) Education – reenergized public school learning from preschool to twelve grade, with access to resources of functional libraries, and 4) Roads – farm to market, are all readily achievable solutions in reducing pervasive poverty, the national imperative ought to be about ways and means to pay for them: Sources of funding.

    However, instead of rushing to World Bank, IMF, EEC Bank, etc., why not do the following?

    Like, for example, a), cut down on wasteful spending in the annual budget through wage stabilzation for those in the higher echelons of government and state corporations; b), Keep the lid on graft in income – generating institutions, so that tax revenues won’t go into the pockets of individuals; c), Know how much exactly Mama Liberia gets from her extractive industries gold, diamonds, Iron Ore, etc. which make foreigners and few officials instant millionaires and multimillionaires; d), let GAC, LACC, PPCC and the Criminal Justice System (Justice Ministry LNP,BIN and so on) do the job of investigating and prosecuting without fear or favor; and e) don’t go crediting more luxury cars for new appointees – too much traffic congestion already.

    For instance, if small new African countries such as Botswana and Riwanda are doing a great job of improving the lives of their citizens, ancient Liberia can too. EJS inherited a mess, and she has, at least, managed to resurrect some institutions, and provided contours for several useful ones; IRA, NASCORP, MARITIME, etc.; let’s build on what we have, and put every dime to better use.

    In his 2015 essay for “Foreign Affairs” magazine entitled “The Looting Machine: Warlords, Oligarchs, Corporations, Smugglers and the Theft of Africa’s Wealth”, Tom Burgis wrestled with wonderment at the waste of resources and labor on our continent. He highlighted poor political leadership, unethical foreign corporations, widespread avarice, bad advice by Western institutions such as the touted structural – adjustment policies which favored disinvestment in national education, health care and other vital services, as few of the most pernicious drivers of the continent’s underdevelopment and shameful searing suffering.

    To end, GMW, Liberians know what the problems and pangs of poverty are, and they know that with a team of committed and dedicated public officials, you can tackle poverty. That’s why putting together your government requires choosing principal policy implementers who aren’t coming to learn on the job. A leader, no matter in what human endeavor, is as good as the team around him or her. So, granted that the Coalition for Democratic Change is the result of an essential polygamous political marriage, that doesn’t mean those in the marriage shouldn’t find some good cooks, homemakers, servants and so on to make it a successful and productive union.

    Remember, in the final analysis, blame for failure of the government will be put squarely on your shoulders alone, nobody else. Time is essential; the downtrodden are awaiting your leadertship with hope and enthusiasm: You can do this!

  5. May God bless Mama Liberia and the newly elected Leaders for good governece to improve the living standard of the citizens.

  6. With the RIGHT minds and “RIGHT ATTITUDES in place, The Hon. G. M.Weah Administration will succeed; to the appreciations of Liberia’s People. #1 AGENDA, eliminate wasteful spendings Remember! Natural resources rich Liberia is rated as the World’s Fourth Poorest Nation. Liberia can no longer afford such luxurious compensation packages for Government Officials. “Cut our coats to our measurements.”

    • Yep, you are right Mr. Freeman. Our country is still rich in natural resources but our leaders need to stop giving them away for almost nothing. The government needs to re-examine agreements with multinational corporations across the country. LAMCO left valleys and environmental hazards for the Nimba people. Nimba does not look like the richest county that economically sustained the country for over 40 years. LAMCO had some government officials on its payroll. Now we have Mittal Steel which is yet to fulfill its second promise to build the road from Ganta to Yekepa. Why can’t we try Tolbert’s ideas?

      President Tolbert wanted a steel plant in the country – Meffergi. I still remember this in the late 70’s. He wanted us to process some of our resources locally and sell them on the world market like other countries. Our factories could employ our people. Our woods are taken raw out of the country. Here’s my list:

      1. Industrialization requires a serious power grid.
      2. Roads, communications technologies/infrastructures -secure, reliable and efficient local and international
      delivery systems like postal service, etc.
      3. Infrastructures that will give a facelift to the major cities – decent office buildings, etc.
      4. Sanitation: Working water and sewer system – in all buildings across the country.
      5. Decent roads across Liberia
      6. Replace shanty towns in Monrovia with decent low-cost housing with inside toilets so no one will use
      surrounding rivers. lagoons, etc. as toilets.
      7. Develop a new national development plan to be used across the country – how to build houses, what
      goes to them and where to build them. Residential areas, commercial areas, malls shouldn’t be in the
      same place.

      8. Stopping corruption is actually NUMBER ONE on the list. Corruption will not allow you to raise needed
      funds for any projects.
      9. Education should be next to the fight against corruption. Power grid with at least 1500 megawatts should
      be number 3 on your list. How? Ask the Chinese for help. Send people to Botswana, Ethiopia, Rwanda,
      Mauritius and Singapore to find out how they pulled it OFF.

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