Time ran out on Oppong before he could start focusing his full attention on the challenging job he asked to be elect for: to do the people’s work as most presidents ahead of him had been assigned after they agreed to take on the duties and responsibilities they applied for.
In soccer, as in war, a leader must lead his team or army to victory – or give up the role, (job, position) to someone better trained to lead! Oppong stepped into a new job with an agenda that – almost like Donald Trump – rattled (unnerved, shocked) this neophyte, (novice, beginner) of a democracy – Liberia – almost on a daily basis.
So now it’s time for the President’s job to go to someone else. Someone who is able, willing and ready to try and show that he or she knows how to spell ‘A-B-L-E’ – ABLE to lead, instead of holding grudges against old teammates and making them pay for not supporting you to become president!
By Atty. Keith Neville Asumuyaya Best
One year, after netting the Liberian presidency, George Weah’s friends and fans remembered that their country giant had taken to the soccer pitch, like someone in search of a Ph.D., and more! Needless to say, he made it all happen on the soccer pitch, and more!
How many would have guessed, though, that surprisingly the story would change when the soccer icon found himself challenged by a new job-description that would take him away from the soccer pitch to a job in the office, instead; work he had gone out of his way to look for, and found?
Let us point out here that it often takes some time getting one’s hands into shape, after depending on one’s legs to do one’s work, for as long as Oppong spent on the football pitch. That is why George Weah – after becoming president – found himself hearing a lot of what you soon will be reading below in connection with his new job:
Work Shirked From Day 1
“Hit the ground running from day 1. Stop complaining about not finding everything perfect when you walked in. Was anything working when the president you replaced took office? Declare and place a dollar-value on your assets. Let people know how much you brought in for yourself, when you accepted the job! The Presidency does not operate as, and cannot be kicked around like a ‘free-kick,’ in the game of soccer.
Stop acting like an irascible, (quick-tempered, touchy) soccer player and obey the rules of political science and government. Presidential powers have a limit. Avoid overstepping your authority. Consult, consult, and then consult some more, before doing things you consider ‘smart!’”
Good Intentions — All
The above – and many other prompts, cautions, hints suggestions and advice – came from people everywhere, trying to get our ‘footballer-turned-president,’ to start being presidential and get his – (foot) off the football field and into the president’s office.
Dishing out these well-intended pleas, (appeals) was the world – a world that included friends, (local and foreign) parents, supporters, fans, well-wishers and more, who were concerned.
But was Oppong listening? No-o-o-o-o! He was too big a star! That’s the point at which foolishness takes center stage in the life of most stars – when it is one thing to hear, (receive information, be informed) but quite another thing to follow, (obey, comply with, or be governed by)!
Edwin Snowe Steps In
But moving ahead became a bit trickier for this presidency – or was that how the situation was supposed to improve, hopefully? Around the middle of this month, “the Bomi County Electoral District #1 Representative, Edwin Melvin Snowe, called on President George Weah to pay attention to something he believed was important – something that if Dr. Weah followed, or allowed himself to be governed by, would be good for the president, good for the people concerned, good for the nation and its people as a whole, and good for humanity!
The representative called on President Weah to “reconcile with former friends whose actions, during the political campaign period, were considered ‘unfriendly’ to Weah’s political ambition.”
In his Daily Observer appeal to former soccer-star Oppong Weah, to get back on the ‘good foot’ with his former friends, Edwin Snow referenced Dionysius Sebwe and his brother Kelvin Sebwe, who he said had been on the field the day before, playing on Weah’s team; just like old times. This is the way things had been and the way they should continue, Mr. Snow suggested.
The representative pointed out the relevance of James Salinsa Debbah to the recent history of soccer in Liberia that indirectly affected Oppong’s climb to stardom in a positive way, though Hon. Snowe did not go any farther with that.
Did it reflect badly on Salinsa that Weah did not find him in his corner during his run for the presidency? Yes, it might have pained him a little. But Weah should be “made of sterner stuff,” as poets have written. Look at where it landed him in the final analysis!
He Doesn’t Know He’s Bigger Than That?
Shouldn’t Weah have been secretly thankful that Salinsa for not being ready to step into the limelight, as Oppong did, leading Oppong’s last-minute preferment (selection) over a slightly more celebrated Liberian player, many soccer aficionados (addicts) considered more promising at the time.
What does that make the two? Old rivals who once considered each other a friend, no matter who ended up a bigger star?
But simply being able to deal with how things turned out is something that Oppong should have been able to handle with ease—for every imaginable reason—added to the fact that he was accepted as the father of his nation and people. What more could he ask?
And now, if you asked me, he has thrown it all away, only because he believes—and wrongly— that his childishness helps to (would you believe) “boost his ego?” Shouldn’t sportsmanship count for more—much more?
The bottom line, though, is that at this point in time this nation and people would be better served by people who can be trusted to do as the ordinary people need and must now demand if they are serious about them-selves and the future.