The Daily Observer has, since President Weah assumed office, continued to warn him about the inherent danger in allowing others to lead for they could lead him to an uncertain and unkind fate. It has continued to urge President Weah to take charge and lead. Despite such persistent prodding and pleading to President Weah to curb excesses and corruption in his government, it appears that such pleas are falling on deaf ears at least, it seems, for now.
His tenure of six years may have from the onset, appeared to be several light years away. To the contrary, in such a short space of time, President Weah has already clocked three (3) years — half of his six-year tenure. Three years of his stewardship of the nation has not produced the much hoped for upturn in the lives of the people which he had pledged to do. Instead the material conditions of life for most Liberians have worsened.
The Daily Observer is not unaware that much of the problems being experienced now were inherited. But President Weah now has the task to set things right. However, those to whom he has entrusted the tasks of turning things around for the better appear clueless as they continue to register one failure after the other. Moreover, they all appear driven by blind self-interest and greed. And this is coming at high cost to the people.
Perhaps President Weah, being a novice to politics and being surrounded by a host of parasitic praise singers who continue to suck the life blood of the nation, is still trying to find his footing. But so was former President Doe, a barely literate soldier though. But Doe had many shortcomings notwithstanding. However he was nonetheless generally and widely perceived by Liberians as a decisive leader in charge of the nation, quite unlike President Weah who despite his world acclaimed status and popularity as a mercurial football star, is not publicly perceived in the same light.
And this seeming lack of leadership at the highest level is not going unnoticed by the people. In retrospect, secretly recorded off the cuff remarks by Bong County Superintendent, Esther Walker declaring that the government of Liberia is being run by a triumvirate made up of Minister of State Nathaniel McGill, Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson Koijee, clearly suggested at the time that President Weah was in her eyes, little more than a titular head of state and government.
And of course, her uncensored remarks created and provoked intense public debate about national decision making and earned her a dismissal although, she was later reinstated to her post. The point being made here is that there seems to be a growing sense of public unease and irritability about the gross lack of accountability and the direction in which things appear to be heading under the leadership of President Weah.
Such is creating a potentially dangerous disconnect with the people as confidence in the leadership of President Weah continues to erode. And it appears that nearly all his top officials and advisors are afflicted by a group-think psychosis which impairs their ability to engage in critical thinking and reflection, and most of all to dare tell the President the truth for fear of falling out of favor with the leader.
And so the purveying of lies and half-truths has become standard fare of this government’s information dissemination strategy. This is largely because officials of the CDC led government are finding it extremely difficult reconciling themselves to what is fast becoming apparent-that after three years, the CDC government appears more likely than not to be voted out of office.
Thus, it is leaving no stone unturned apparently to ensure that such a possibility never obtains, and it appears that all options are on the table including the use of reactionary violence to wheel opposition elements in line. The inclusion, for instance, of former rebel generals as part and parcel of national security forces to quell public demonstrations is well documented and reflective of such thinking.
And this is because just the thought of losing such perks and privileges becomes so unsettling that they could go at any lengths to ensure that they maintain their grip on power. Perhaps this can explain why any little criticism of this government whether or not well intended is greeted with knee-jerk responses suggestive of high levels of intolerance.
Perhaps it can also explain why there appears to be a concerted effort to fill the National Elections Commission (NEC) with surrogates who they believe can guarantee their victory at the polls in future elections especially the senatorial elections as well as the 2023 general and Presidential elections.
From examination of the facts and circumstances and from hindsight and from the experience and lessons of history, the Daily Observer is of the firm opinion that those considering and contemplating such prospects of stealing elections results are courting disaster because there will definitely be push-back and some may come from the least expected sources.
In short, the patience of the Liberian people, this newspaper warns, is being severely tested and could reach breaking point should President Weah fail to make a change in direction. Very difficult times, it is forecast by experts, lie ahead for the Liberian people in view of the looming and imposing economic hardships induced by World Bank/IMF Structural Adjustment Polices (SAPS).
And eventually, public resistance, as experience from other countries shows, popular resistance to such imposed hardships could put paid to CDC dreams of victory at the polls in 2023 and well before then, the senatorial elections due sometime later this year.
President Weah has a choice to make as leader of the nation. He will have to be decisively bold and to change things around, take hard decisions which, if not taken, could lead to his eventual undoing and in the process, earning for himself, a place in history shared by villains.
This is just an ABIDING CONCERN, Mr. President.