This newspaper’s attention is drawn to remarks made by President George Weah at the United Methodist Church convention held over the weekend in Gbarnga, Bong County.
At that program, President Weah, according to reports called on delegates to pray for him as there were people planning and plotting to assassinate him. However he stopped short of disclosing just who are those individuals or people scheming to kill him. The Daily Observer finds President Weah’s remarks very troubling to say the least.
President Weah’s prayer exhortations over the weekend, has finally laid to rest rife public speculations about where he stood on those allegations first publicly disclosed by CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu. Morlu had specifically named opposition figures including Charles Brumskine, Alexander Cummings, former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and others as individuals plotting the assassination of President Weah.
It can be recalled that the Daily Observer in its February 8th 2019 editorial questioned where President Weah stood on Morlu’s allegations. The editorial, noting that Morlu had not offered a single shred of evidence to substantiate his claims, maintained that his allegations were indeed grave and they warranted an urgent Police criminal investigation to lay bare the facts.
The Daily Observer’s editorial also noted that it appeared that some individuals were bent on creating a climate of fear, judging from recent past experience where a rash of incidents of mindless political violence involving officials of the CDC and government, has been treated with benign concern by the Liberia National Police.
The Daily Observer further observed that the fruits of their actions will only succeed in making President Weah a virtual prisoner of fear, hyped up by individuals with self-seeking interests.
And above all the editorial noted with troubling concern that security sources say that President Weah appeared to convey the impression that he actually believes what Morlu is telling him that plans are being hatched to assassinate him.
Now President Weah has just confirmed worst fears that he actually takes stock in the tissue of lies and deceit being spun around him by crafty individuals whose inordinate ambition is to accumulate wealth even if it means acquiring it illegally or by questionable means.
In view of this development, this newspaper is constrained to question whether it is the nation’s security and intelligence services providing such information to the President.
In case they are, then we must also question why have these agencies, including the Justice Minister who is head of joint security, failed to act by arresting and charging those involved and have them appear before a court of competent jurisdiction?
Whatever may be the case, the public has a right to be fully informed. Already a cloud of suspicion has been thrown over a number of individuals and institutions all for the wrong reasons.
Many of them are now living in fear of threat to their lives by zealots prepped by the violent rhetoric of those creating such hype and fabricating base lies with the intention to distract public attention from shortcomings of this government, whatever those short comings may be.
This newspaper holds the strong conviction that the Justice Minister, who is indeed the chief legal advisor of President as well as head of the joint security, should clear the air on this. Did he advise the President, based on security reports, that his life was at risk?
For example, was the President’s exhortations and disclosures at the Methodist Convention part and parcel of a threat mitigation strategy proposed by the national security apparatus?
This newspaper must again warn President Weah that he risks losing it all, should he continue along the path he appears to be treading. We recall that contrived coup plots, and bogus assassination attempts were scripts employed by past governments to stifle free expression and muzzle criticism of government policies.
From history we know that such contrivances have never helped the ruling establishment; instead they have hastened the advent of their nadir. And the examples of Presidents Tolbert, Doe and Taylor, all of who met an inglorious end to their rule, are still fresh, reminding all and sundry what await those who ignore the lessons of history.
But all is not lost. President Weah still has the chance to pull back from the brink while he yet has the chance. He must avoid being boxed into a tight corner by his sparring partners.
Just what will be his next move? Will he or his Justice Minister order the arrest of the plotters against this life? In such a case accused individuals will have to be brought before a court of competent jurisdiction. And the trial might not last a day or a week. It may drag into months.
Against the backdrop of deteriorating economic conditions and attending hardships, it becomes difficult to fathom just how this government is going to keep a lid on public concerns about excruciating economic conditions and yet conduct a trial replete with political overtones.
This is indeed a risky adventure which must be avoided. President Weah is urged to reflect and consider the dangers he is inclined to court. As this newspaper has repeatedly warned, President Weah should not allow others to use his hand to draw their roasted palm nuts from the fire.