President George M. Weah has recommitted himself to the responsibility of making Liberia better by tackling the huge challenges that are weighing the nation down.
Addressing thousands of partisans, supporters and well-wishers at the headquarters of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) Wednesday October 25, 2023, the Liberian leader noted, “During the campaign period, I had the privilege of visiting your towns and villages, listening to your concerns, and experiencing the challenges you face, despite the many developmental activities we have already undertaken.”
Weah added that he was fully aware that there is much more to be done, which is his responsibility to address. He pledged to continue working tirelessly to do so, if granted, the privilege of another six-year mandate.
The CDC Standard-bearer noted, “I have heard you. I have heard your voices. My administration has worked tirelessly to improve your lives and develop our beloved country. While we acknowledge that there is more work to be done, let us not forget the progress we have made.”
He assured Liberians that he understood their desire for more development, and he assured them of his government’s full preparation to do better and greater things in the second term.
“To every Liberian whose vote we may not have gotten and all other stakeholders in the country, let me also thank you for your contribution to the growth of our democracy and assure you of my unwavering resolve to build a prosperous nation for all, regardless of political, social or religious affiliations,” the Liberian Leader said further.
He extended a hand of friendship to all Liberians, hoping that they would understand that this government has done more in a short period of time; and as such wants them to join him to together continue on the path of development.
According to him, his next term will be dedicated to completing Liberia’s road infrastructure, making sure to fulfill the pledge of ensuring the country’s capital is connected to every nearby county through fully paved roads.
He announced that his government will continue to grow the economy in order to provide more jobs for Liberians, including creating jobs in the small and medium enterprises sectors and in key sectors like agriculture and manufacturing.
“We will expand the capacity of the Liberia Electricity Corporation to reach more homes while enhancing industrialization and the creation of jobs,” he promised.
“Having reconstituted the Liberian Anti-Corruption Commission – which now has seven independent commissioners – we will accelerate efforts to fight corruption and ensure accountability across government. The new LACC – which has already been given unprecedented powers – will have my full backing to independently fight waste, fraud, and abuse of public resources.
We will similarly continue to empower every integrity institution, including the IAA and the LACC, while making sure that they work together to move the fight against corruption to a new level.”
President Weah assured Liberians that he would also double efforts to address concerns about livelihood, employment conditions of civil servants, and youth empowerment.
“As a start, we will re-examine the Beach & Waterways Program and bring it back under the supervision of the Liberia Maritime Authority,” he intimated. “This is intended to abolish the ad hoc approach that has affected this crucial program, which is a source of income for thousands of young people.”
The CDC Political Leader said his government at its inception five years ago increased the salary of medical doctors, but did not extend it to all of our public sector workers including clinical health workers, mainly nurses, midwives, physician assistants, lab technicians, the security sector and teachers among others due to budgetary challenges.
He however pledged to effect appropriate cross-cutting increments in order to impact every public sector worker performing critical service, including those in the security, education, health as well all other sectors, with a view of ensuring improved working conditions so that salary/wages commensurate with prevailing economic conditions.
“We also intend to accelerate efforts to ensure Traditional Leaders are all added to the government payroll,” he divulged.
The President also announced the end of voluntary workers’ programs both in the health and education sectors, declaring that all health workers and teachers currently volunteering will be placed on the payroll beginning January 2024.
He continued: “Since 2020, we have placed thousands of voluntary teachers on the payroll, and next year, my government commits to placing the remaining voluntary teachers on the public wage. Beyond 2024, my government further commits to hiring additional teachers to continue to close the teacher gap.”
According to him, the government continues its policy of subsidizing public schools and will also subsidize the payment of registration and graduation fees for all students.
“We shall also ensure that the WASSCE FEES payment is made perpetual by pushing through with new legislations, and explore our Tuition-Free Policy for Grades 1-6 in all public schools, in addition to the implementation of our campaign promise of establishing a Nationwide Cadet Program for young graduates,” he indicated.
As to how the government will pay for these policy changes, he disclosed that government over the past 5 years has increased domestic revenue by more than 120 million US dollars, out of which the Government was able to finance the 2023 elections, which cost 53 million US dollars.
“Considering that we will NOT have another election until six years from now, we can use some of this increase to enhance the welfare of public sector workers in health, education, as well as the security sector with the aim of improving living conditions,” he said.
Speaking directly to the youth, Pres. Weah said the 2023 elections are about young people and that his second term will be to deliver for these young people, to work harder, so that they can have the Liberia they dream about.
“I remain confident in our ability to lead Liberia into a brighter future. With your support, we can finish what we started and continue building a stronger, more prosperous nation. I look forward to seeing you again on the campaign trail, where we will join hands and hearts in the spirit of unity and progress.”
President Weah acknowledged how Liberia has come a long way with a promising future ahead, appealing to Liberians for a 2nd term opportunity to build on progress made and “to address our challenges, and make Liberia an even greater nation in the coming years”.
Addressing CDCians and independent voters directly, the Standard-bearer used the time to thank his supporters for their unwavering support, which he said has brought the party to the forefront of Liberian politics.
“Together, you have made the CDC the most potent and popular political force in Liberia,” he said. “Your gallantry and dedication have been instrumental throughout our political history.”
He also thanked members of the Governing Council, National Executive Committee, the National Campaign Committee, the Youth and Women Wings, First-Time Voters, and all Auxiliaries
President Weah acknowledged that his supporters’ efforts may not have secured a one-round victory, “but they have propelled us to the forefront of the political landscape, and elevated us to the top position among our political competitors.”
“And now, as the process of vote tallying has come to an end, it is clear that we are still in a strong position, and your support has not gone unnoticed. Your commitment and loyalty to our cause have made us proud. We are now poised for the next step, and we recognize that, with our collective effort, we can cross the finish line to victory.”
The President of Liberia and Standard-bearer of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) has delivered a rallying speech to Liberians in which he hailed his countrymen and women for the peaceful and mature manner they conducted themselves during the October 10 polls.
The Liberian leader said the mammoth turnout and peaceful participation in the elections have added remarkable feathers to and solidified the country’s democracy.
President Weah acknowledged that such a peaceful and orderly conduct of the elections epitomizes Liberians’ dedication to democracy while terming the exercise of their right as a testament to the strength of the Republic.
“To all Liberians who participated in the exercise of their constitutional right to vote, I thank and appreciate you for helping to consolidate our democratic credentials as a nation,” President Weah asserted.
Addressing the Nation and partisans Wednesday at the CDC Headquarters, the President also commended the National Election Commission for what he calls its “tireless efforts in successfully implementing this massive democratic endeavor in a peaceful, credible, fair, and transparent manner.”
Also, recognizing the role of partners, President Weah said: “I also want to express our appreciation to our international partners who have observed this important process. Your presence and support underscores the importance of these elections not only to us but to the world.”
Judging from the success of the October 10 polls, which is almost single-handedly funded by the Liberian Government, Dr. Weah appealed to Liberians to continuously ensure that the peace of the nation was sustained while at the same time solidifying democracy.