-Once Said Don’t Blame Past Gov’t, Later Summersaulted
By Reuben Sei Waylaun
President George Weah recent statements indirectly to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that Liberia didn’t develop during her twelve years administration seems to be a serious summersault of his previous statements that the past government of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf shouldn’t be blamed.
After taking over the leadership of the country, Liberians and staunch members of the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) including House Speaker Bhofal Chambers heavily blamed the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for allegedly failing the country despite numerous international supports throughs loans and grants.
They argued that the difficulties experienced by the Weah’s administration derived from former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, but President George Manneh Weah came in strong defense of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf saying “it was not time to blame the past administration.”
According to him, they were fully aware of the challenges of today when they were in opposition for twelve consecutive years in the country.
“It is not for us to complain about the bleak situation we inherited; or to cast blame upon previous administration. Ours is a duty and responsibility to find new and sustainable solutions to these age-old problems that have stubbornly defied solution in the past,” he once said this when he addressed the nation on the state of the economy.
He added “we are fully aware that we were elected with the expectation that we will solve these challenges. This is a task that we are now embarked upon with strong determination, focus, and commitment.”
“We fully understand the urgency and critical nature of the situation, and we are fully focused in trying to solve these problems, some of which have existed for many decades. Let us all work together to lift our people out of poverty. We will confront the challenges that have defied us for generations, with strong resolve and together, we will overcome them, and move on to achieving even greater things for all Liberians,” he added.
However, speaking when he returned from the United Nations 73rd General Assembly (UNGA), the Liberian leader who perceived that his administration was questioned when former President Sirleaf quizzed the current Gross Domestic Production (GDP) of the country in the midst of the mysterious disappearance of LRD16billion said the former President knows GDP, but couldn’t develop the country during her 12 years administration.
“People talking that we don’t know the trouble that we have caused for the country. People saying that we don’t know the GDP of this country; we don’t even know what GDP is? But the GDP they know, 12 years Doe Community doesn’t have light. They know the GDP from their fingertip but no roads from here to Sasstown. If you know the GDP, but you don’t develop your people, then who are you?” he questioned.
However, President George Weah has maintained that he inherited a broken economy and unlike the previous government has been making strides to right the mistakes of the past.
He said “everywhere was broken down, but we managed to maintain salaries. We don’t know GDP but we were able to cut salaries. Those that know GDP could pay someone US$16,000; US$17,000 respectively, even if they are not working. But we say no, this GDP got to help all Liberians so you making US$15,000 we cut it down – that is how to use your GDP, if you know GDP.”
Weah’s Victory Speech:
Speaking to his supporters after being declared by the National Elections Commission (NEC) as the winner of the 2017 presidential elections runoff ahead of former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, President Weah said there is a need to secure Liberia’s peace and work harder towards national unity and development.
“To President Sirleaf, we say thank you for the peaceful transition of power that is about to take place. We promise to follow your legacy in protecting the rights of Liberians and providing greater freedoms. Your job is not yet done as we will continue to count on you to strengthen our outreach with both development partners and investors in the direction of moving Liberia forward,” he said.