By Jeremiah Jefferson Kringar Harris Sr.
George Weah’s New Dispensation has steered the reins of our national Ship of State since the inaugural festivities in January, 2018. As we enter the beginning of the ninth month of Weah’s presidency, an agenda has now begun to take shape with a view to prioritizing the ultimate eradication of abject poverty, and altering the inaccessibility of large segments of the country, particularly the southeast, due to substandard highways, by the massive construction of roads as a conduit to national unity and enhanced economic development throughout the nation. Succinctly put, this agenda, though timely and ambitious, is overdue by several decades.
It would be foolhardy to deny that George Weah has a mandate to redirect the trajectory of events in this nation’s immediate future, in a shape, manner and form favorable to the welfare of the masses given his election to the Presidency by a landslide, despite the sham resort to the nation’s highest court by elements of the defeated opposition, under the pretext of the rule of law, to deny him victory, and, in the process, muffle the clamor of the downtrodden masses for change after 12 years of unbridled Unity Party leadership; even the most inept simpleton would see this as an attempt to render illegitimate the results of a hard fought free and fair election.
The malaise in the nation, permeated by the stench of the nasty polarization and hopelessness that had overtaken all segments of the populace, especially the disadvantaged, necessitated change vital to the restoration of hope to the people. The massive turnout by voters, culminating in Weah’s overwhelming victory, attests to what was common knowledge in Liberia; that there was an urgent need for a life jacket to rescue the nation from the demons of hopelessness who were drowning it in a river of despair, thus strangulating the essence of the national soul and destroying its existence as a body politic by mesmerizing the psyche of the teeming masses to embrace the subtle ploy of a failed and out of sync political establishment.
The people have spoken with one voice which must now be heard throughout the length and breadth of this land, being driven not by selfishness, arrogance and blind ambition, but the divine ordination of the HIGHER POWER. Consequently, the idea of change in this nation is not subject to debate or compromise; it is a fait accompli (an accomplished fact). The elections are long since over now and the roadmap for the path to the next level of Liberia’s historical evolution has been literally cast in stone.
However, overly ambitious members of the opposition have chosen the route of denial to resist the reality of the peoples’ mandate by deliberately attempting to derail any initiative to implement meaningful remedies devised by the CDC Government to bring relief to the nation, like for instance, the proposed highway system that is envisioned to link the entire country from coast to coast. The rationale is that the successful implementation of any of the core objectives on Weah’s agenda would fatally wound their chances of gaining the presidency in the elections of 2023 and ultimately ensure his reelection for six more years.
As they see it (the opposition), a 12 year pause in an opportunity to gain state power would be anathema to their presidential ambitions, given that by then the fitness for public office of many of their most politically attractive aspirants would have been rendered moot by the hands of time. Therefore, out of desperation, they have now concocted a subtle ploy, deliberately orchestrated by an unseen hand, to prematurely discredit Weah’s government at every twist and turn in its embryonic stage, by tagging it with a stigma of failure to ensure his defeat in 2023. But is this strategy worth a grain of salt and would the public be deceived into buying it? I think not; that kite cannot fly, the tailwind is just not strong enough. The people of Liberia have a nagging thirst for solutions to the nation’s problems and not the renaissance of outmoded tactics of confrontation, a faulty formula which created the inertia of the past, to the detriment of the nation.
President Weah’s resolve to build a system of highways, designed, in essence, to ensure accessibility to all parts of the country would, unarguably, be a milestone of his administration, a boon to national development and guarantor of the growth of a vibrant economy whenever it comes to fruition. However, can this be achieved within the three year timeframe that he has given himself, being mindful of the constraints of time and the fact that this could be a key theme of his platform for reelection in 2023?
Failure cannot be an option as this could expose the cards in his hands to the caprices of his opponents in the gamble for the presidency In 2018. In view of the initial projections that the government would need almost a billion dollars to bankroll the project, and the ongoing but almost successfully concluded negotiations to finalize the two loans being sought by the government to start the project, will it be possible that this could commence on schedule in time for its completion in three years as anticipated?
All things being equal, it appears that the answers to all of these questions, in the final analysis, would be in the affirmative. However, it shall not be an easy ride given the determination of some misguided elements of the opposition to dupe the public into visualizing the sequence of events surrounding the loan negotiations as questionable, most especially the ones being negotiated with the Elton Finance Corporation of Singapore and the Eboumaf Corporation of Burkina Faso, owned by a millionaire Burkinabe Entrepreneur, based not in Ouagadougou where there is no money, as the skeptics would have us believe, but in Paris, where he undoubtedly has considerable investments that would guarantee his ability to provide the almost half a billion dollars that he has pledged.
Interestingly enough, the CEO of the Eton Finance Corporation visited Liberia recently with all of the pertinent documentation which emphatically verified the legitimacy and capacity of the Eton Corporation, without a modicum of doubt. This categorically debunks the irrational theory of the somewhat disjointed opposition being erroneously disseminated all over social media that the Burkinabe magnet lacks the financial resources to live up to his pledge and that the Eton Corporation lacks legitimacy. This makes it glaring that the opposition needs to be coached in how to make a lie look good. They blundered badly in this one; small wonder then that they failed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, leading to a resounding loss to the CDC.
If this nation’s nascent democracy is to prevail, given the many hurdles and challenges that provoke national unity in this period of reconstruction, let us remember that ignorance masked by arrogance and framed with nihilistic propaganda is anathema to unity and reconciliation. The opposition parties must reconcile their overwhelming defeat with the morals of their national political consciousness and love of country. For love of our common patrimony we must exile the demons of disunity from our national psyche and work together for the common wellbeing of our people. God help us all.
AND SO YOU HAVE IT.