President George Weah, keynote speaker of the 57th Commencement Convocation of the Cuttington University, has told scores of Liberian graduates leaving the walls of that university to be persistent in whatever they do in order to achieve their desired goals.
Recalling his own humble beginnings, the President narrated his life story which according to him was very difficult and challenging especially at the initial stage. Yet, he persisted and has today reached the pinnacle of success. He recalled how he grew up in Gibraltar in Clara Town, Bushrod Island, where he began playing football with the ambition to succeed at the highest level possible.
His desire to be Liberia’s President, Weah said, was something he dreamed about and pursued with persistence and endurance — contesting two times with failing results and finally ascending to the nation’s highest office in the 2017 elections.
We thought at this time to remind the President again that the persistence displayed all the way to becoming President of Liberia should characterize his drive to bring development to his people.
As we see it, a lot of independent-minded Liberians — we stand to be corrected — do not really know what the platform of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) is or its strategy for leading and directing national development efforts. In our assessment, the CDC during the 2017 elections, touted a thought invoking and inspiring mantra, “CHANGE FOR HOPE” for a better Liberia, which succeeded in building very high expectations that a real change was was at hand.
Supporters of the CDC spared little or no effort reaching out with the message that the lack of jobs, skyrocketing prices and fluctuations in the value of the Liberian dollar to the US dollar would soon be things of the past. Also, the CDC campaign persistently preached the message that portrayed the then incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai as an inept and sleep-ridden old man who had nothing to offer the country. And he was always referred to as “Sleepy Joe”.
The message apparently resonated well with the people and George Weah was elected President of Liberia. The persistence of Weah has yielded fruit; what now remains to be seen is his display of such persistence in meeting head-on the challenges of fighting corruption and running a clean, effective and responsive government just as he promised during his inaugural address.
While delivering his inaugural address in January, the President insisted that he would fight corruption to its very end but, now we see corruption creeping back into the corridors of power with the appointment of unqualified people in government and others with tainted public records.
We recall that when delivering his inaugural address, President Weah virtually delivered a lecture on the Constitution urging everyone to respect and abide by the Constitution and enacted statutes of the land. However, some statements and actions of recent do not conform to this promise.
For example, there have been some breaches of the PPCC Act which have seen the contract of loans and the awarding of construction contracts without the involvement of the PPCC as required by law. We have also seen the illegal dismissal of chiefs on orders of Vice President Taylor for not subscribing to CDC membership and the failure to conduct the by-elections for Montserrado and Bong Counties respectively.
We note that the past leadership of President Sirleaf was heavily criticized for corruption; something the Daily Observer cannot debate. To restore the people’s hope, we had thought and hoped President Weah would have instead placed emphasis on Agriculture, especially food production.
Contrary to expectation, however, President Weah, not having declared his assets as required by law, kicked off by demolishing his house on 9th Street in Sinkor to rebuild while his Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill, was reported to have bought a house costing US$200,000.
The George Weah Administration introduced a “Pro-poor” agenda that is yet unexplained, but from common sense one can deduce that it is an agenda in support of efforts to elevate the poor people. However steps taken so far have left many in disbelief, asking whether the intent to foster and promote pro poor governance is real indeed.
President Weah, having declared in his inaugural address that after elections there are no partisans but Liberians, we see today that CDC party chairman, Mulbah Morlu is roaming from one ministry to the other demanding that CDC partisans be given jobs irrespective of qualification.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor has, for the record, declared that it is time for CDCians to eat, and if anyone does not join the coalition, he/she must see him/herself relieved because “two cannot walk together except they agree.”
Prior to winning the presidency, CDCians unceasingly criticized the past government for being responsible for a host of ills including the depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the United States dollar. Today, however, having spent barely 6 months in office, the exchange rate appears to be climbing sky-high, while commodity and transportation prices have shot up and public dissent is steadily growing as economic conditions continue to worsen.
Thus, as President Weah urges graduates of the Cuttington University to be persistent, this newspaper, the Daily Observer, is also calling on him to be consistent and persistent in his inaugural pledge to make life better for all Liberians.
Liberians gave you, Mr. President, the presidency not to placate or compensate you for the extreme difficulties you might have experienced during your early years of life. Liberians instead awarded you the presidency, Honorable President (Dr.) George Manneh Weah, to lead them and meet their expectations as promised.
Please be consistent in your utterances and pronouncements and be persistent in your efforts to deliver their needs. Liberians in their numbers were persistent in their drive to elect you President. Now you must persist in fulfilling your inaugural pledges to the people of Liberia.