From what it appears, President Weah’s latest jabs at his predecessor, former President Sirleaf suggests that that bad blood evoked by her comments on the lighting of the Christmas tree last December is still lingering, indicating that it has not gone away.
“The opulence displayed at the lighting of the Liberian President Christmas Tree was indeed impressive, but with the country’s economic climate, it is an affront to the thousands who have not been paid and are hungry”. Those were her exact words contained in her tweet following the ceremony.
And those words appeared to have angered President Weah such that he came back fighting, accusing former House Speaker Alex Tyler and former President Sirleaf of having done nothing for the people of Bomi, despite having spent 12 years in office.
As it appears the bloodletting may not go away soon because according to analysts, someone, somebody has to be blamed for the worsening economic situation and the seeming inability of this government to reverse the slide.
It is within this context that the repeated jabs thrown at former President Sirleaf can be understood.
The Daily Observer recalls that on numerous occasions before his ascendancy to the nation’s highest office, President Weah had repeatedly declared himself a proper fit for the job although many critics felt otherwise.
In a popular campaign song, President Weah is likened to baboon with the prowess to “burst the rock” unlike monkey, referring to President Sirleaf.
Three years and a little into his six-year term, it appears President Weah is groping in the dark for answers to the nation’s economic dilemma.
His economic flagship program, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, on closer scrutiny appears to bear very strong similarities to that of former President Sirleaf’s Agenda for Transformation.
Like his predecessor, President Weah pledged an uncompromising fight against corruption. But three years into his six-year tenure, corruption appears to have grown in leaps and bounds and there are little or no indications that President Weah will bring it under control.
And from all indications, the Liberian people are not prepared to accept excuses from President Weah. They trusted in him and they voted him into office hoping for a change in their lives for the better.
But it appears their hopes have been dashed as times have since become harder and life is growing more difficult by the day.
And talking about debt which he inherited and which President Weah maintains government is trying to pay, such talk sounds hollow in view of the rising debt being incurred by this government from the IMF and World Bank amidst concerns of transparency and runaway official corruption.
Time and tide, it is said, wait for no man. It was just yesterday when the nation was mired in the euphoria of change. The euphoria is now long gone, and the people are demanding respite from the increasingly difficult and worsening economic situation confronting them.
With a little less than three (3) years remaining to the end of President Weah’s term, overcoming the challenges will indeed prove a daunting undertaking especially as he mulls a second-term shot at the Presidency.
He needs to get down to the business of governance and take charge as the leader of this nation rather than allowing others to lead, which could be dangerous.
Throwing jabs at the former President and blaming her for the country’s economic woes certainly do not appear to hold any promise of an upturn in the lives of the Liberian people which they desperately seek.
As the saying goes, point an accusing finger at someone and the rest of the fingers point to you, is true today as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.
Such appears to be the situation with the Executive Mansion renovation project on which, according to President Weah, millions had been spent without concrete results.
But three (3) years into the Weah presidency, renovation work on the Executive Mansion is still not complete. No one knows for sure how much has been spent on the renovation since President Weah assumed office.
Truth be told, President Weah had the opportunity to conduct an audit of the government he inherited. Despite an avalanche of calls from the public urging him to do so,
President Weah spurned those calls, declaring instead that his primary concern was the protection of President Sirleaf’s interests.
Now, whether he has done a good job at that remains unclear. However, the increasing tendency as of late to cast blame on President Sirleaf for the economic problems confronting the nation, suggests that more of such outbursts will be coming her way particularly as the economy continues on a downward slide.
And as characteristic of ruling classes, throughout history, they always seek out scapegoats on whom they can place blame for their misfortunes when they fail to deliver on their promises to the people.
This ruling class is of no exception. Attacks on journalists and on the media in general as evidenced in several cases on record, appear likely to continue in view of the impunity which has attended the actions of state security officers.
President Weah has often declared that he has done more for Liberia’s development as compared to any previous President of Liberia. But if the results of the December senatorial elections are anything to go by, many Liberians do not appear to share this view.
But that could change within the remaining 33 months left to the end of his first term, especially if he succeeds in turning things around for the better.
Should he fail to do so however, he will more likely than not lose to the opposition in the 2023 elections. “A word to the wise is sufficient”.