Apparently, there have been no lessons learnt by President George Weah from the massive defeat sustained by his CDC party during the just ended senatorial elections. Over and over again, the attention of the President was drawn to the conduct and performance of his officials which, in the view of the public, were very dismal.
Of particular concern were Ministers of State and Finance, Nathaniel McGill and Samuel Tweah, both of whom had long since been drawn into the crosshairs of adverse public opinion. Since the elections, there have been mounting public calls for their dismissal but which have since gone virtually ignored by President Weah.
Analysts say both individuals have amassed much wealth and have become very powerful to the point where dismissing them has become a very uphill challenge for President Weah, to which he appears unlikely to tackle anytime soon.
The recent display of raw and naked power by Minister of State Nathaniel McGill virtually ordering the arrest of managers of the Guaranty Trust Bank as reported in the media including the Daily Observer, suggests that contrary to widely held public speculation and expectation that President Weah is considering giving McGill the sack, he is sitting tight as ever and even in a stronger and more commanding position.
But although the fallout of his action may yet be too early to determine, analysts say that McGill’s actions only succeeded in reinforcing the impression that Liberia, under the leadership of President George Weah, appears to be gradually sinking into failed state status. And this is not good for the public image of this government as well as that of President Weah himself.
Now, whether or not President Weah realizes this remains unclear but the public impression difficult to erase, suggest that the Ministers of State, and Finance, Nathaniel McGill Samuel Tweah (respectively) are sacred cows and appear more likely than not to remain sitting tight, despite the public outcry against their stewardship.
Montserrado County District #7 Representative, Solomon George, certainly did not pull punches when he spoke to journalists recently. He made an outright call for the dismissal of Finance Minister Tweah, accusing him of being one of those responsible for the downward performance of this government. This stance of Representative George is by no means surprising, according to analysts.
The recall that Representative Solomon George stood out amongst his colleagues during the “missing L$16 billion” crisis when he called for a physical count of all monies held in Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) vaults in order to lay to rest public concerns that the money had been stolen by top officials as had been alleged by CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu.
Morlu had, at the time, claimed that he personally saw pickup truck loads of Liberian dollar banknotes being carted away and conveyed to unidentified locations from the CBL’s Waterside bank vaults. Perhaps Representative Solomon George appears likely to be joining soon, the ranks of those CDC stalwarts, amongst those, Representative Acarous Gray, who have fallen out of favor with President Weah.
While Representative George’s calls may appear to resonate with the public, there are no signs that President Weah appears likely to heed such calls particularly coming from one allegedly considered in CDC circles to be a “loose cannon”. That both Tweah and McGill are still seated snugly in their positions despite wide public outcry suggest, according to analysts, that both individuals are not going anywhere anytime soon.
But aside from Minister McGill’s actions that border on gross disrespect and disregard for the rule of law, questions are being asked just from where Minister of State Nathaniel McGill acquire such amount of money deposited in his savings account.
This is in addition to the huge sum he had reportedly borrowed from the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), which he claimed he did with supporting collaterals. But for whatever such claims may be worth, the extravagance and ostentatious display of wealth may be reasons for public angst and ire directed against officials of this government. For instance, the car his wife drives, according to analysts is a 2021 BMW luxury sedan
That the Minister would leave his high office and march to the Magisterial Court, dragging in tow the Solicitor-General of the Republic of Liberia and the Montserrado County Attorney and instruct (allegedly) the Magistrate to issue a Writ of Arrest for officials of the bank, according to some legal analysts, constitutes an act of intimidation that may have compelled the Magistrate to issue the arrest order against GT Bank officials.
Granted Minister McGill’s bank account was actually tampered with as alleged, why did he not file an official report to the Police on the matter, which would have triggered an official criminal investigation? The outcome of such an investigation would establish just who were/are those individuals involved in tampering with the account.
And in the absence of such an investigation, it remains to be seen how the Minister was able to establish criminal liability on which basis the Writ of Arrest was issued against the GT Bank officials. According to a former diplomat and lawyer, the Supreme Court’s lukewarm or apparent nonreaction to this development is a reflection of the heights to which disrespect for the rule of law has grown in this country since the advent of this government to power.
President Weah should awaken to the dangers such naked displays of power by his officials pose to the successful accomplishment of whatever development objectives this government has set for itself. By its own actions, according to diplomatic observers, this George Weah led government is by the day proving to be its own greatest enemy. By this token, suggestions that both men, having amassed such power, could at a point declare President Weah unfit to rule and oust him from power, cannot be considered farfetched nor dismissed with a wave of the hand. Against this backdrop, the public is constrained to ask: Are/were there are any lessons learnt from the results of the December 28 polls?