-Despite “Weah, Cronies In Charge Of Economy”; Opposition Political Parties Indict Weah, Say Liberians Are Spectators In The Economy Contrary To Assurance on January 22, 2018
Four collaborating opposition political parties have indicted President George M. Weah that he has allowed those described as his ‘cronies and foreigners’ to take complete charge of the Liberian economy.
Upon taking the oath of office on January 22, 2018, the Liberian leader in a resounding tone assured Liberians that they wouldn’t be spectators in their own economy.
However, addressing a major news conference following the president’s state of the nation address Monday January 28, 2019, the four opposition political parties said the Liberian leader has allowed Liberians to be spectators of their own economy which has resulted to total hardship during his maiden regime.
The four opposition political parties include the Alternative National Congress (ANC) of Alexander Benedict Cummings, the Liberty Party (LP) of Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, Unity Party (UP) of Joseph Nyuma Boakai and the All Liberian Party (ALP) of Benoni Urey respectively.
“For over one year, we have endured tremendous hardships imposed on you by what is evidently one of the worst governments on the Planet. We thank God almighty for his providence and leading, and for preventing Liberia from sliding right back into violence despite provocation from fanatics and diehards of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). We also extend thanks and appreciation to our international partners and friendly governments for their continual contributions to the peace we all enjoy,” they said in a statement.
As predicted to be a ‘free fall address’, the opposition political parties said President Weah failed yet again to assure the Liberian people that he is committed to serving as president for all.
In a statement read by the chairman of the Unity Party, Wilmot Paye, the collaborating parties said President Weah pledged to end corruption, as president for all Liberians and change the unacceptable trend of Liberians being spectators in their own economy is contrary to the pledge made on January 22, 2018.
“From all indications, not only are Liberians spectators in their own economy, but they are now also effectively bystanders in the affairs of their own country. The President, his cronies and a handful of foreigners are the main actors and participants in the Liberian economy. And even more appalling is that some of his foreign “business” partners have horrible criminal past in their countries,” they added.
According to them, public corruption has galloped out of control. They further said “governance is characterized by skullduggery, bigotry, hypocrisy, falsehood, abuse and misuse of public office and power. Violation of the Constitution and laws of Liberia has become commonplace and is pervasive throughout the administration.
The President and his officials are above reproach, violating laws and tearing down systems and procedures with impunity.”
“Despite his declaration in early 2018 that he inherited an empty treasury, a claim later refuted by his predecessor, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President Weah and his officials have only worsened Liberia’s woes. Daylight robbery motivated by insatiable greed is on the rampage. This has caused a total loss of confidence and trust in the governance system.
“Liberia is now a society Balkanized into those for and against George Weah. Those perceived to be against Weah are viewed by senior members of the administration as enemies of the state. But in his message Monday January 28, 2019, the President ignored the deepening division that he has caused in the country. His message showed no indication that his administration was committed to reconciling Liberia. Nevertheless, the President tried to deceive the world that Liberia is either still the country it was when he assumed office more than one year ago,” they said.
They further said the President’s message Monday January 28, 2019 portrayed Liberia, a country whose economy is already in free fall, as being “better”.
The collaborating political parties accused the Weah’s administration of not caring about how many of Liberians sleep hungry, how many Liberians are barely surviving, and how grim the prospects are for this economy to recover in the foreseeable future.
“The president and his officials have destroyed whatever was left of the economy after the Ebola crisis. Yet, while you waited to hear some meaningful policy prescriptions for resuscitating the bleeding economy, he said nothing substantive to rekindle our hopes, reassure businesses, ensure investor’s confidence, and once more regain the respect of Liberia’s bilateral and multilateral partners. This is what a serious leader would do in difficult times.
“With this attitude and posture, it is easy to predict that the Liberian economy will deteriorate further. This is worrisome. The country needs an immediate remedy. The administration does not seem to have the slightest idea of what to do in order to alleviate the suffering and hardships they have imposed on you within one year, which will only continue to intensify. The president’s message to the nation today was a waste of time because it failed to even hint at any concrete solution,” they further added.
The aggrieved opposition political parties said the economy is declining exponentially and it is time to act, saying “otherwise, Liberia could be doomed forever. Today’s message has heightened fears and dampened whatever tinge of hope was left as you waited to hear any practical policy prescriptions on how to revamp the economic, return to good governance and avert further financial disasters that still lie ahead.”
“We must act with some urgency to prevent the situation from degenerating into a humanitarian catastrophe. This has validated previous doubts about his capacity to. We do not think you should continue to take him seriously at all. The president failed to assuage Liberians. The president and his cronies are celebrating while businesses are closing down, food prices are soaring and the prospects of jobs for young people graduating from colleges and universities grow dimmer, gloomier and grimmer.
“Meanwhile, sick people are being turned away by hospitals and clinics and left to die at home because there are no medicines and such basic pieces of equipment as syringes. This is not a creation of the Opposition. We are not the one destroying the Liberian economy. Liberians know who is destroying this country in a manner never experienced since the civil war ended,” they further lamented.