First, what is a money monger? A money monger is a peddler or hawker—someone promoting something undesirable, contemptible (disgraceful, shameful) or discreditable.
Is that what we expect of our politicians, even those who say they want to be our president? Surely not! For what such people would end up doing is selling any and everything they can get their hands on, including the country.
And we know that there are enough people around here with more than enough money to buy anything, including our entire government. And we know they are already doing it.
Remember that this newspaper has often quoted Lebanese and other foreign businesspeople who, after treating a Liberian badly, even brutally—such as was done by a Lebanese boy to a Liberian at the Mamba Point Hotel a few years ago—have boasted to their poor, hapless Liberian victims, “Take me anywhere; it is you who will leave there, not me. We have got the Liberian government in our pockets!”
We have repeated such an ugly quote many times and we know of no government official from any of the three branches—Legislative, Executive and Judicial—who has challenged or asked us to prove such a shameful and despicable boast.
Why are we writing this editorial? Out of anxiety, fear and even trepidation, which means that if we are not careful, something sinister, or terribly evil is about to happen that could sink our country for good. That is why we feel compelled to write and publish this editorial today.
Last week’s alarming story about the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) presidential standard bearer George Weah’s alleged attempt to peddle (sell) for money the party’s legislative candidacies is fresh in all our minds. And we Liberians are so apathetic that we did not realize the seriousness of this despicable intent until a young, talented Liberian, Kanio Bai Gballa, in deep disappointment and desperation, resigned from the CDC. “I visualize myself as a man of personal conviction, consistency and honor,” he declared on the day he resigned.
Kanio was frightened by the alleged call by his own standard bearer, George Weah, to boldly and shamelessly demand money from his incumbent partisans, to protect their seats from being contested in the party primaries.
What else could George Weah not sell were he to be elected president of Liberia?
We at the Daily Observer have constantly striven to keep our people informed about current events and developments around the world. Just last week we published two highly positive stories about Africa. The first was from Nigeria, one of whose leading entrepreneurs, Mr. Dangote, announced plans to make Nigeria a net exporter of rice within the next five years. The second was an announcement that Kenya, a country that got its independence in the 1960s, over 115 years after Liberia, had been declared “one of the most favorable destinations for top organizations looking to establish their headquarters in Africa!
Are we Liberians concerned that we are at the bottom of the development ladder in Africa and the world—in everything including agriculture, education, energy, healthcare delivery, roads and other infrastructure?
Yet, here is a man, George Weah, who for the past 15 years has been trying to become president of Liberia; here is he, not the least bothered about the country’s woeful standing in African development, but about money mongering—making money in the most shameful way, selling candidacies to his own partisans because he has a presumed popular following among the people.
It seems to us that at this pitiful stage we Liberians and our country are in, all of us who have some intellect, some talent, some managerial expertise and other advantages, would use these to the best of our ability to move our country forward. Not Mr. Weah, whose only talent is his football prowess that has won him popularity.
And what is he doing with it— squandering it in a vain hope of seeking an office—the presidency—for which he and his supporters know he is totally unqualified. Yet they, among whom are some highly educated people, are pushing him to run. Why? Heaven knows; but we can assume, to use his ineptitude to further squander our meager resources.
We hope and pray that his latest revealing of himself as a money monger has shown Liberians his true colors, and that Liberians will tell him truthfully that he is not and can never be the president we so desperately need.
Liberia wants, needs and demands something better—someone who understands and knows the desperate, even shameful plight we are in as Africa’s oldest republic—someone who will use every fiber in his being, every ounce of his intellect and every particle of his experience to lift Liberia and move her FORWARD.