What Is Your Agenda, Mr. President?

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President George Weah’s warning to his cabinet ministers that those who fail to strictly execute his agenda will be fired, has left the public wondering just what is his agenda which cabinet ministers must strictly execute or risk dismissal? 

This is because it appears to the public that President Weah, has on numerous occasions before threatened dismissals for those officials who have failed to perform yet, to date no dismissal has been effected.

Although there were wild public speculations about an imminent changing of the guards. Such change the public speculated would have seen the dismissal of two key officials.

And those key officials were named on various radio talk shows as Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and Presidential Affairs Minister, Nathaniel McGill.

The very dismal performance of the economy under the watch of the Finance Minister Tweah has without question drawn him into the crosshairs of adverse public opinion.

Critics say his corrupt handling of the US$30 million Liquidity Mop-up infusion exercise as well as the mystery surrounding the alleged missing L$16 billion, all occurring under his watch should constitute sufficient reasons for his dismissal.

Further, the increasing economic hardships being felt by the people continue to fuel public demands for his dismissal.

As for Minister McGill, he has been accused of being associated with a string of human rights abuses, the most recent being the electoral violence in Gbarpolu County intended to intimidate popular female senatorial candidate Botoe Kanneh.

Both individuals, according to CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu on a leaked audio, are the two most hated public officials in the Weah government.

Similar sentiments were expressed, also on a leaked audio, by Bong County Superintendent Esther Walker.

But to the dismay of the public, both individuals continue to enjoy the confidence of President Weah and the band plays on.

In his exhortation to his cabinet President Weah further declared that agriculture is the second flagship program of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

And he called on the Minister of Agriculture to ensure that all government farms are cultivated stating that he will lead his entire cabinet to plant rice and other crops by April of this year.

He is further expected to attend this year’s agriculture fair in Gbarnga on February 12, 2021. While not announcing a shift from emphasis on road building, it appears that from his remarks, the President’s attention has now shifted to Agriculture.

But realistically speaking, this second flagship program of the Pro Poor Agenda for transformation has very little chances of success if budgetary allocation to Agriculture remains below 5 percent of the national budget.

In 2013, budgetary allocation to Agriculture was a mere two (2) percent of the national budget and this was despite and Africa-wide consensus that spending on Agriculture should be raised to at least 10 percent of the national budget.  

In the 2020-2021 draft budget, an amount of US$6,213,564 is allocated to Agriculture. Out of this amount, compensation to employees account for US$4,182,180.

It can be recalled that from September 13-14, 2013, two-hundred delegates including Nigeria’s agriculture minister and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met in Monrovia to discuss Africa’s record on implementing the 2003 Maputo Declaration, which recognized the critical role of agriculture in equitable development and committed to allocating at least ten percent of government’s budget to agriculture.

This has not been met and, as if to make matters worse, 19 percent of the country’s farmlands have been concessioned out to foreign predatory investors to plant oil palm. This has meant the forced displacement of thousands of people dependent on subsistence farming for survival.

This has also meant increased and heightened risks to food security, the environment, and the rights of affected communities. Friends of the Earth Liberia has reechoed these concerns by calling on the African governments including the Liberian government to undertake public investment in agriculture.

Friends of the Earth Liberia has stressed that rather than prioritizing interests of predatory investors and investments based on large scale acquisition of land that forcibly displace entire communities, “Our government must seriously engage with this event and be willing to critically self-reflect about how successful its efforts to promote farming in Liberia have been over the past decade,” Says Friends of the Earth Liberia programme manager Nora Bowier.

Now as to whether President Weah’s second flagship program will succeed in attaining food self-sufficiency in view of such low budgetary allocation to agriculture remains to be seen.

According to critics, his premier flagship program, “ROADS”, just like the second flagship program, AGRICULTURE, appears to be on shaky grounds, given the barrage of media reports on very bad conditions in the countryside, particularly in southeast Liberia.

Grand Kru County is, according to reports, one of the most affected counties with large areas being effectively inaccessible by motor vehicle. It is in Grand Kru, according to sources that the President will come face to face with the harsh realities there as regards food insecurity and a dangerously threatened environment.

According to sources, most locals have abandoned subsistence farming and are engaged in alluvial gold mining .

It is also in Grand Kru, President Weah will have the opportunity to see the damage being wrought on the environment by alluvial miners, including West African migrants.

Reports of the proliferation of foreign drug dealers trading drugs for gold, child prostitution and hordes of Chinese nationals involved in illegal mineral exploitation in Grand Kru, is something to which President Weah’s should come face-to-face, except he chooses not to. Against all the above, this newspaper is constrained to ask, just what is your agenda, Mr. President?

2 COMMENTS

  1. Then he calls himself Gbekugheh!

    What Gbekugbeh are you, Dr. Dr. Dr. Weah? Stop impersonating titles!
    If I call myself Gbekugheh, I will run the country mostly from my home village like Houphuet of Cote d’Ivoire, Eyadema of Togo, etc.
    Our Liberian Gbekugbeh should have his home in Grand Kru, a farm in Grand Kru and at least a football field in Grand Kru. In so doing, you attract many people to your home county, eventually bring about development.
    Your cabinet ministers, who see you doing such, will follow suit by building in their various counties or villages, all contributing to giving a facelift to Liberia.

    If each cabinet minister undertakes such basic development in his home county, roads and electricity will easily follow to the joy of other inhabitants who will directly and indirectly benefit from a son-president or son-minister.
    Dr. Dr. Dr. Weah neither has a hut nor a farm in his home county, yet he wants his cabinet ministers to make farms, where? In Monrovia or Margibi or Bong? And then when I (mano man) become president tomorrow and start developing my village, you will begin to yell above all rooftops “oh, they’ve forgotten about us, they don’t like us, etc.” NONSENSE!

    You said, ‘oh the Congau people mistreated us, we want our country’. Now you have your country and building all your 4 mansions in Monrovia, the Gbekugbeh has become a Congau or city boy overnight?

    Dear Webmaster Admin, the Pro-Pocket Agenda for Pauperization and Dehumanization (PPAPD) of Liberia, if not clear to you, is well known to some of us: It is our time to steal; what did the other people do?

    No Liberians should ever daydream of Weah getting rid of Tweah and McGill; it means there is no more Weah, for these are the two who make Weah.
    The only thing Liberians should do is to learn from the many mistakes we have made in the past and vote out these disco dancers in 2023, period!

    I wish the Pro-Pocket Agenda for Pauperization and Dehumanization of Liberia a perpetual doom!

  2. The theme of this commentary is: “What is your agenda, Mr. President?” Unfortunately, I would say Weah does not have one and for the following reason: An agenda, like a plan, is usually followed by a strategy and then the implementation of the strategy to achieve goals.

    On the other hand, Weah has made it explicitly clear to the people that working with the Liberian citizenry does not require a strategy because he knows them better than any president who predates his administration. So, what would be the need for an agenda? None!

    This fallacy lays bare why the country is being run so recklessly with no regard for the prudent management of its resources and the accompanying negative consequences of widespread poverty that are felt being by the masses.

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