Special Feature

From Where I see Weah Government

President Weah’s Government Officials: Are they Old Wine in a New Bottle? Government linesmen/women are normally appointed by the president, and vetted by Parliament and paid by the taxpayers. Their paramount objective is to help the president stimulate the affairs of the nation from their individual’s administrative domain. Since the 80s, government officials have been recycled from time to time from one government to another. Some of these recycled officials are sometimes sincere, hardworking or highly fraudulent in their deportment.


Liberia has gone through a daunting task with rampant corruption being at the center stage of every emerging government. Corruption in Liberia has not been practiced by African Antelopes or Zimbabwe's giant elephants. Corruption has been practiced by the very government officials appointed by the president to assist him/her carry out the day-to-day’s operations of the government zealously.

The employ government officials served at the pleasure and dictates of the President. Government officials are humans like us. They loved the good life, pageantries, and booties. Despite their selection to work for Liberia, the Liberian people expect so much of President Weah's officials by embarking on extraordinary initiatives in a relatively different context characterized by doses of honesty.

The appointees are expected to enact tremendous innovations that will be incomparable to the tasks and duties of their predecessors in past governments. The new officials are expected to expose corruption, punish corruption and announce corruption in their various Corporations, Commissions, Ministries, and Agencies. They should endeavor to report any form of corrupt within their rank and file. The new officials are expected to work in alignment with President Weah’s expectations and holistic goals in the fulfillment of their salient sacrificial services to the people of Liberia. How achievable this will be, is the guess of the devil.

But President Weah is three times likely to lose the fight on corruption if, and if only those who he is appointing are not ready to stand shoulders to shoulders with him in his quest to challenge corruption head-on. The appointees should be able to walk in the shadows of President Weah's thinking on how corruption can be defeated. In order for President Weah to fight corruption successfully, his appointees will need to make a tremendous sacrifice. They will need to first change their lavish lifestyles by cultivating a measurable and sound ethical work habit through the banner of unquestionable patriotism and absolute commitment to President Weah and the people of Liberia.

Some of the appointees are already “old wine in a new bottle” in the eyes of the Liberian people who are a testimonial to the devastation of corrupt government official in Liberia over the years. Some will be accepting President Weah’s offer with the intent to live big time life as they did in previous governments. Others are coming to the new job either to pollute the office with unethical practices such as womanizing and other nefarious activities within the limit of their individual’s official domain. Some will demand money from others to offer them jobs, while others could effectively transform their offices into hotels and motels with the intent to exploit innocent opposite sexes for little or nothing. Rampant corruption is not only about stealing or embezzling money from government coffers. It is also about how government officials conduct their persona through the demand of administrative decency and political cordiality that are reflective of the Weah’s team.

President Weah’s eyes will not be everywhere at the same time checking on his appointees to do the right thing. But the appointees are under official obligation to live up to expectations not to bring disgrace to the Presidency. They will need to enforce a self-administrative disciplinary mechanism within the scope of their individual’s offices that will help push back on corruption by embarking on the following actions: First, all appointees should be compelled by President Weah to develop a plan of action on how they will go about tackling corruption within their various Ministries, Agencies, and Commissions and Corporations. Second, each appointee should sign a written memorandum of understanding with President Weah, declaring that he/she will proceed to Prison for twenty-years, and his/her properties will be confiscated if, and if only the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Fast Track Court Courts on corruption find him/her guilty of rampant corruption. Third, each Corporation, Commission, Agency, and Ministry should be Audited by the General Audit Commission in every six-months to ensure transparency and accountability. The Weah’s government should engage the professional services and the protections of staunched whistle browsers on corruption in Liberia.

Can President Weah Defeat Corruption?

President Weah proclamation to the world in his inaugural address: “Corruption Will Have No Place in My Gov't” sounds promising, but yet a complicated dinner to have. H.E. is aware that the late President Doe did murder 17-government officials in the name of fighting rampant corruption, yet he became corruptible. Former President Sirleaf declared in her 2005 inaugural address: “Corruption Would be Public Enemy Number one as we Strive to make Liberia a Post-Conflict Success Story”, yet corruption became her closest companion for 12-years until such marriage ended on January 22nd, 2018.


President Weah is vividly aware that fighting corruption is a process and not an event. However, for the President to successfully subdue corruption and be triumphant in the process, he must first be a shining example as a corrupt free president in the Executive Manson with a very clean slip to exhibit to the world and the Liberian people by sincerely accounting for his 85-million he earned during his football career outside Liberia.

There are strong indicators that President Weah’s political proclamation: “Corruption Will Have No Place in my Government.” This proclamation is challenging, but hopeful. The President official utterance was emphatically dead on arrival giving the unbeatable fortitude of rampant corruption in Liberia. If President Weah truly wants to redeem the Republic of Liberia and its citizenry from the raft of rampant corruption several questions arose: What was President Weah's measurable plan of action in defeating corruption at the CDC? When President Weah served the people of Monsterrado County as Senior Senator, what was his plan of action recommended to the House of Senate to tackle corruption? For the purpose of political expedient, can President Weah disclose the financial reports of the CDC within the last 13-years? Have Liberians asked themselves as to why President Weah did not Audit Former President Sirleaf if he is truly sincere and committed to fighting rampant corruption in Liberia?

The CDC has been a shadow government in waiting for the past 16-years. The CDC has not been using stones or sticks to run its massive operations, programs and activities. The CDC has been surviving enormously on individual's dues and huge external and internal donations from Liberians and businesses at home and abroad. What are the records of those smart exchanges, disbursements, and savings? Is President Weah lamenting that the CDC's officials and line officers including himself are corruption free in the CDC?

Ironically, if the founder of CDC, who is now Head of State and the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia is uneasy to unearth his blueprint plans he once used to curb corruption within the CDC's rank and file, how then can Liberians President Weah’s official proclamation with smiles? Most Liberians may not easily take President Weah by his presidential proclamation on corruption: "Corruption Will Have No Place in My Govt't"? President Weah's proclamation is indeed conspicuously self-defeating. The proclamation is not measurable and achievable by any stretch of political imagination.

When corruption becomes a way of life or the norms rather than the exception, it becomes a daunting task to deal with. Corruption in Liberia is a deadly weapon. It is a life or death game. Liberia has witnessed the transition of generation of very corrupt officials in many past governments. For example, the late Former President Doe did produce a set of corrupt officials in the early 80s. Those corrupt officials took permanent residence in all the Interim governments in the 90s. Those corrupt officials from the then list of Interim governments also migrated to Former President Charles’s government.

The late Doe’s corrupt officials, the Interim government corrupt officials’ and the former President Taylor corrupt officials, did cross-over into Former President Sirleaf’s government and spent extra 12-years recruiting new members of other government officials known as: “The Liberia’s generation of highly corrupt officials” who are standing-by patiently to pollute the young Weah’s government. It is believed that 9 out of every 10 Liberian government officials in Liberia are carrying the corruption disease with them.

There are strong signals that President Weah is three times likely to employ some of the disease-carrying corrupt officials either from the late Doe's era, the chain of interim governments era, the era of the Former President Taylor's government or from Former President Sirleaf’s era. Today, corrupt is a systemic disease in Liberia. The fight to weed corrupt officials will be an uphill task for President Weah's government, but in all Liberians, should remain optimistic about President Weah in the process.

Can President Weah Defeat Corruption?

President Weah proclamation to the world in his inaugural address: “Corruption Will Have No Place in My Gov't” sounds promising, but yet a complicated dinner to have. H.E. is aware that the late President Doe did murder 17-government officials in the name of fighting rampant corruption, yet he became corruptible. Former President Sirleaf declared in her 2005 inaugural address: “Corruption Would be Public Enemy Number one as we Strive to make Liberia a Post-Conflict Success Story”, yet corruption became her closest companion for 12-years until such marriage ended on January 22nd, 2018.


President Weah is vividly aware that fighting corruption is a process and not an event. However, for the President to successfully subdue corruption and be triumphant in the process, he must first be a shining example as a corrupt free president in the Executive Manson with a very clean slip to exhibit to the world and the Liberian people by sincerely accounting for his 85-million he earned during his football career outside Liberia.

There are strong indicators that President Weah’s political proclamation: “Corruption Will Have No Place in my Government.” This proclamation is challenging, but hopeful. The President official utterance was emphatically dead on arrival giving the unbeatable fortitude of rampant corruption in Liberia. If President Weah truly wants to redeem the Republic of Liberia and its citizenry from the raft of rampant corruption several questions arose: What was President Weah's measurable plan of action in defeating corruption at the CDC? When President Weah served the people of Monsterrado County as Senior Senator, what was his plan of action recommended to the House of Senate to tackle corruption? For the purpose of political expedient, can President Weah disclose the financial reports of the CDC within the last 13-years? Have Liberians asked themselves as to why President Weah did not Audit Former President Sirleaf if he is truly sincere and committed to fighting rampant corruption in Liberia?

The CDC has been a shadow government in waiting for the past 16-years. The CDC has not been using stones or sticks to run its massive operations, programs and activities. The CDC has been surviving enormously on individual's dues and huge external and internal donations from Liberians and businesses at home and abroad. What are the records of those smart exchanges, disbursements, and savings? Is President Weah lamenting that the CDC's officials and line officers including himself are corruption free in the CDC?

Ironically, if the founder of CDC, who is now Head of State and the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia is uneasy to unearth his blueprint plans he once used to curb corruption within the CDC's rank and file, how then can Liberians President Weah’s official proclamation with smiles? Most Liberians may not easily take President Weah by his presidential proclamation on corruption: "Corruption Will Have No Place in My Govt't"? President Weah's proclamation is indeed conspicuously self-defeating. The proclamation is not measurable and achievable by any stretch of political imagination.

When corruption becomes a way of life or the norms rather than the exception, it becomes a daunting task to deal with. Corruption in Liberia is a deadly weapon. It is a life or death game. Liberia has witnessed the transition of generation of very corrupt officials in many past governments. For example, the late Former President Doe did produce a set of corrupt officials in the early 80s. Those corrupt officials took permanent residence in all the Interim governments in the 90s. Those corrupt officials from the then list of Interim governments also migrated to Former President Charles’s government.

The late Doe’s corrupt officials, the Interim government corrupt officials’ and the former President Taylor corrupt officials, did cross-over into Former President Sirleaf’s government and spent extra 12-years recruiting new members of other government officials known as: “The Liberia’s generation of highly corrupt officials” who are standing-by patiently to pollute the young Weah’s government. It is believed that 9 out of every 10 Liberian government officials in Liberia are carrying the corruption disease with them.

There are strong signals that President Weah is three times likely to employ some of the disease-carrying corrupt officials either from the late Doe's era, the chain of interim governments era, the era of the Former President Taylor's government or from Former President Sirleaf’s era. Today, corrupt is a systemic disease in Liberia. The fight to weed corrupt officials will be an uphill task for President Weah's government, but in all Liberians, should remain optimistic about President Weah in the process.

Government and Opposition: A Lesson from History

The greatest political problem with which the emerging CDC government will have to contend is that of the relationship between government and opposition. The problem has its roots in the collaboration experienced between the state and opposition parties. The state, starved of resources, becomes somewhat introverted, excluding opposition parties from the political governance process. Too often the state leaders are only concerned with their own private welfare. Opposition parties, particularly in the past, never really engaged the government or at times they bypassed it as a survival strategy.


When Liberia entered the age of the one-party state characterized by centralized rule, political pluralism was curtailed and remaining opposition institutions were co-opted, harassed or banned. At the apex of this highly centralized state there usually resided a presidential-monarch enjoying the power of personal rule. These autocrats have had little to fear by way of formal political challenges to the leadership. No constitutional mechanisms remained to unseat them. Opposition parties were forced to accept the leadership of whichever faction of the state elite was in the ascendant.

The last two decades of the twentieth century brought a tidal wave of multi-party elections to Liberia. Some of big politicians perished in this exercise, but many more survived.

The two multi-party governments that have emerged from the political upheaval of the 1980s and 1990s certainly retained many authoritarians’ reflexes from the past, yet the UP-led government was relatively accountable to the people. A resort to exclusive personal rule has been discouraged by the restoration of legal-rational institutions.

In this process, opposition parties were brought back into the constitutional political process and once again permitted to participate. This improved relationship between government and opposition parties will not guarantee, but dramatically increase, the possibility of bringing a brighter political future to our country. It is still a gloomy reality, however, the new government cannot start with a clean slate.

The division between government and opposition parties cost our country dearly, and today we find ourselves still at the beginning of such a dialogue.

In Western Countries the function of the opposition is to compel thought, to expose some of the dangers of the policies of the government and to exhort the government to change these policies which are dangerous. But in Liberia, few opposition parties can claim the achievement of either compelling thought or persuading governments to change some of their policies. This does not mean that Liberians have not grasped the essentials of party democracy; this only means that governments have still to learn to trust the intentions of oppositions either because the latter once co-operated with the enemies of freedom or because leaders of rival parties have not had the opportunity of knowing and trusting each other. Since opposition in the initial years of multi-party democracy, achieves a few positive results, and since it frays nerves on both sides, there seems to be a strong case on this score alone for inviting leaders of opposition parties to participate in government. Working together in this way would have the effect of building up mutual trust between the leaders of various parties. Once distrust has been removed, the winning and losing parties can revert to their respective functions of proposing and opposing and there would be a reasonable chance that the views of the opposition will not only be listened to sympathetically but also acted upon where necessary.

When multi-party elections reached Liberia, a great hope for change was anticipated. Examples of some very important elements of change anticipated in Liberia include but not limited to:

• Need for a credible opposition to consolidate our young democracy.
• Need for a strong civil society because new or mended political

leadership is hardly more democratic than their predecessors.

• Need for stronger economy: severe economic problems could

lead to loss of legitimacy and even the collapse of pluralism

itself.

• Need for a separation of the state and ruling party, a distinction yet to emerge, but essential if a level playing-field is necessary for parties to compete.

Unfortunately, for us all these requirements remain as stumbling blocks. In particular the confusion created by the merger of state and ruling party is unhealthy. This unhealthiness is indicated by such symptoms as intolerance on the part of governing party towards opposition parties, a tendency towards strong-man or iron-lady government, indulgence in smear campaigns and political instability.

Remember: it is better to light a lamp, than to curse the darkness!

By Tom Nimely Chie

President George Weah Inaugural Address on Liberia’s New Foreign Policy Agenda

Indeed Liberia has deeply changed the political pages of modern democracies across various continents by making history as the first sovereign state in the world to elect and sworn in office an acclaimed international soccer legend as President of the Republic, while in 2005 Liberia became the first African country to elect a female president. Interestingly this unique history of Liberia started in the 60s when the nation produced the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly. The three Liberians are President George Weah, former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Mrs. Angie Brooks Randall.


The expectations of Weah’s leadership are sky-high among Liberians who believe are positives that the president will deliver on his promises of equality, rule of law, unity and better living standard for the poverty-stricken population. Interestingly, the excitement and enthusiasm that engulfed thousands of Liberians at the Sports Complex in Paynesville and others whose queued for miles to get to the venue signified a new dawn in the pages of Liberia. President Weah has risen from the slums of Clara town, outside Monrovia to the nation's highest office after two unsuccessful attempts in 2005 and 2011 for the presidency.

Just like his predecessor, Johnson-Sirleaf, the Weah administration has inherited a task of removing greater number of poverty-stricken Liberians from abject poverty, provide electricity and safe-drinking water to greater population, ensure paved roads across the country, create jobs and quality education and affordable health care, among other pressing necessities.

But in his thrilling inauguration address as 24th President of Liberia, Mr. Weah said: "I am a humble today to be at this stadium that made me, I have spent many years of my life in stadium, but today is a feeling like no other, I strive to be excellent, and I can be successful.”
The address has been described as one of the best inaugural orations in modern history that addressed many pressing issues and reawaken hopes and motivation of the poverty driven people of Liberia.

The Tuesday’s occasion made Liberia the focus of international attention and at the same time captured on the front pages of global leading newspapers and in the headlines of top television and radio stations across the globe when former president Johnson-Sirleaf peacefully transferred power to President Weah, with thunderous cheers echoing through the stadium and across the country; something that hasn’t been done in Liberia’s 74-year of history.

The exciting speech was greeted with thousands Liberians waving flags and dancing through the various streets and communities across the country while others from the homes and entertainment centers followed the historic occasion via radio and televisions transmission.
In an astute speech of optimism, President Weah used the historic inauguration to set forth his administration foreign policy and domestic agenda constructively as he reached out to friendly countries and Liberia’s international partners especially to Washington, Beijing, European Union, ECOWAS, African Union, United Nations, World Bank International Monetary Fund and Arab League countries, among others.

From an analysis of the speech, President Weah’s foreign policy to some degree is contrary from that of former president Johnson-Sirleaf regime’s foreign policy. However, bother leaders foreign policies centered on the cultivation cordial friendly relations with governments, United Nations, Multilateral institutions, regional and continent bodies and members of the global system.

The past years of the nation’s dark history, the country was viewed by the outside world as a failed state, but the extraordinary display of diplomatic modus operandi and good leadership for the former administration, Liberia has since regained its status among the comity of nations.
The speech which was sharply delivered by President Weah also focused good neighborliness, respect for international orders, ensuring the prevalence of sub-regional and by extension guaranteed continental and global peace and security and respect for sovereignty. Generally, the address avoided too many big promises; instead his speech was people centered issues driven. Like former president Johnson-Sirleaf, President Weah vowed to root out.

An analysis of the inaugural address shows that the CDC led-government foreign policy is formulated solely for national interests and its primary and obvious objectives entailed the maintenance of national security and the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the promotion of peace and harmony based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, and respect for international orders. It also centered on securing the much-needed strategic partnerships with international players.

During the occasion, the president reiterated that his administration will build on the gains made by the former regime of Johnson-Sirleaf especially in the areas of free speech and press freedom, stability and peaceful co-existence but vowed to root out corruption.

Thunderous cheers echoed through the stadium and across the country, President Weah used the profound address to praise his predecessor Johnson-Sirleaf for laying the foundations on which he said Liberians can now stand in peace, stressing that "United, Liberians are certain to succeed as a nation, warning that divided the we are certain to fall.

Interestingly, the speech touched the relations between Liberia and the United States of America and seeks the United States continue support in various aspects based on both interests that tied to Liberia and America. The speech recounted Washington support to Liberia, describing the United States as Liberia’s oldest and reliable partner. The United States has also led the international efforts to end the armed conflict in Liberia through its financial support for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL.

Besides, the Weah’s foreign policy also reflects Liberia’s relations with European Union and reiterate his administration desire for continue ties with EU, attributing his achievements to Europe. He also detailed some assistance the EU has rendered Liberia and continue to render the state the state; he has committed his administration cardinal ties with EU.

Still on foreign policy, the address documented Liberia-China productive and mutually rewarding relations, reflecting on the numerous supports Beijing has rendered Liberia in the areas of general economic cooperation, infrastructure development, agriculture, energy, education, culture and health and security development. The president used the occasion stress the maintenance of closer and stronger ties friendship and economic partnership with traditional allies and friends in the Middle East and revealed that Liberia is going to open of new avenues of engagements and mutual solidarity with other states.

With wild applauses from millions of Liberians and foreign dignitaries at the stadium, came the much awaited presidential policy on the fight against corruption; saying that his first priorities would be to root out corruption and pay civil servants "a living wage," and encourage the private sector. He admonished the public to show solidarity for the tasks that lay ahead, saying with the collective determination of all Liberians and God above, his administration succeeded Queued for miles to get at the Sports Complex in Paynesville, the crowds singing, dancing and waved the national flag as they enthusiastically waited for the “country giant” president Weah to be sworn in office.

Meanwhile, foreign policy takes into consideration emerging events across the globe since foreign policy formulations and implementation takes into consideration domestic policy of a state because politics deals not only with government or state but also several dynamics that occurring at other states levels.

While international relations is a strategies of self-interest adopted by a state to protect national interest and respect to its sovereignty including independence, regulation, power, authority, government with the much needed goal in international system. Let us not forget that foreign policy and domestic policy are both interconnected because foreign policy formulation is originated from the inner of state programs which determines government developmental priories based on budgetary appropriation.

Liberia’s Foreign Policy is firmly rooted in its political ideology of liberalism and democracy while the guiding principles of Liberia’s foreign policy has been the maintenance of national security and the preservation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country, the promotion of peace and harmony based on the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.

The fundamental thrust of Liberia’s foreign policy objective before the mid-1960s was predominantly the maintenance of national independence, due to threats posed by the former colonial powers to the Lone Star of freedom and Liberia’s support to independence movement in Africa. The foreign policy objective, during the colonialism was the independence of African states and a devotion to economic, social and political development across the continent.

Liberia’s international stature and standing among the comity of nations improved immensely from the failed and pariah state situations of the 1990’s and early 2000 to a responsible and well respected member of the International Community. This new status of Liberia ensured particularly during the former era of Johnson-Sirleaf administration.

It is expected that new administration will understand that diplomacy today takes place among multiple sites of authority, power, and influence; at its essence is the conduct of relationships, using peaceful means, by and among international actors, at least one of whom is usually governmental. The typical international actors are states and the bulk of diplomacy involves relations between states directly, or between states, international organizations, and other international actors.

Political pundits have forecasted that the overwhelmed election of President Weah will translate into the creation of jobs that young Liberians desperately need, and improve of livelihoods and a basic ample income distribution for the bigger population.
Those that will be accorded the task to positively drive president Weah’s regime foreign policy and international relations should understand that diplomacy goes far beyond sparkling red and white wines, champagne, ceremonial dinner and soliciting financial and other hand-outs for personal enrichment.

This can be achieved if the rightful individuals with the education and academic credentials, technological skills are given the task to deliver. This requires a strong background of the diplomats from a multidisciplinary perspective since professional diplomacy is an appropriate instrument to perform this synthesis, to the extent that it can use its persuasive techniques in favor of businesses and investments and, simultaneously, prove to be politically and economically profitable to Liberia.

By: Josephus Moses Gray
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Profile of President-elect George Oppong Weah

Ambassador George Oppong Weah, was born October 1, 1966, in Claretown, Monrovia Liberia. He is a soccer star turned politician. He was named African, European, and World Player of the Year in 1995—an unprecedented achievement. His talents on the field were equaled by his activism on behalf of his homeland, where he worked to bring an end to a long civil war. Weah was elected president of Liberia in 2017.


Weah learned his football on the dusty streets of Monrovia before playing for Invincible Eleven, Mighty Barolle, Bongrange Bonguine, and Young Survivors of Claretown.

After leading Young Survivors, a team without a coach, into the first division, Weah signed a three-year semiprofessional contract with top Cameroonian club Tonnerre of Yaoundé, which won its league in his first season (1987) with the team.

Shortly thereafter, the promising 22-year-old striker was signed by AS Monaco of the French first division. In his five seasons with Monaco (1987–92), he scored 57 goals, and the team won the French Cup in 1991. His exceptional dribbling and shooting skills made him a crowd favourite, and his uncompromising work ethic and technical ability landed Weah a lucrative contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG). In his most acclaimed season, he led PSG to the French Cup, to the league title, and to the semifinals of the 1995 European Champions League. Subsequently he transferred to AC Milan (1995–2000) in Italy’s Serie A, helping the club win the 1996 and 1999 league titles. In January 2000 AC Milan loaned him to Chelsea of London, where he made an important contribution to that team’s Football Association Cup triumph. At the end of his career, he played briefly with Manchester City and Marseille in France. Weah scored more goals and played in more matches than any other African professional in Europe.

Though Weah established a new home for his family in New York City, he maintained close ties to Liberia, where he is known as “King George” and enjoys considerable popularity. Wracked by poverty and civil war in the 1990s, Liberia was able to sustain the Lone Star—the national team—only with the assistance of Weah, who played for, coached, and to a large extent financed the team. In 2002, after the Lone Star nearly qualified for the World Cup and then performed poorly at the African Cup of Nations, Weah retired from football.

Following the ouster of Pres. Charles Taylor in 2003, Weah returned to Liberia as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations. In 2005 he ran for president of the country as a member of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) party. After winning the first round of voting, he was defeated by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of the Unity Party (UP) in the runoff election in November 2005. Weah initially challenged the election results in court, but he dropped his case the following month.

Weah faced Johnson Sirleaf again in the October 2011 presidential election, but this time as a vice presidential candidate running on the CDC ticket with presidential candidate Winston Tubman. Johnson Sirleaf and Tubman emerged with the most votes, but—as neither garnered a majority—a runoff election was held on November 8. Less than a week before the runoff, however, Tubman cited CDC complaints about irregularities in the first round of voting and withdrew from the race. He also urged his supporters to boycott the election. International observers, who had previously declared the first round of voting to be free and fair, said his allegations were unsubstantiated. Johnson Sirleaf was reelected by a wide margin, although her victory was clouded by the withdrawal of the Tubman-Weah ticket from the race and by low voter turnout.

In December 2014 Weah ran for the position of senator of Montserrado county under the banner of the CDC. He handily defeated his nearest opponent, Robert Sirleaf (one of the president’s sons), taking 78 percent of the vote to Sirleaf’s almost 11 percent. Two years later, in an effort to consolidate opposition strength in preparation for the 2017 elections, Weah’s CDC merged with two other parties to form the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). Weah was the CDC’s candidate in the October 2017 presidential election, with Jewel Howard Taylor, senator for Bong county and former wife of the ousted president Taylor, as his running mate.

Weah was the top vote getter in the first round of voting, winning about 38 percent in the October 10 poll. He and his nearest challenger, Vice President Joseph Boakai, who represented the UP and received about 29 percent of the vote, advanced to the November 7 runoff election. The election was indefinitely postponed, however, after the Supreme Court ruled on November 6 that the electoral commission could not hold the poll until the commission had finished investigating allegations of fraud and incompetence filed by the third-place winner, Charles Brumskine, and his Liberty Party (LP).

The LP’s complaints had the support of other political parties, including the UP. Furthermore, the UP alleged that Johnson Sirleaf had interfered in the electoral process to Weah’s benefit—a charge which she denied. After the electoral commission concluded its investigation and dismissed the LP’s allegations, on December 7 the Supreme Court dismissed an appeal filed by the UP and LP and ordered the runoff election to be held. The election was held on December 26, and Weah won an easy victory with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Letter To President Trump from former US Ambassadors to Africa

January 16, 2018

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,
As former U.S. Ambassadors to 48 African countries, we write to express our deep concern regarding reports of your recent remarks about African countries and to attest to the importance of our partnerships with most of the fifty-four African nations. Africa is a continent of great human talent and rich diversity, as well as extraordinary beauty and almost unparalleled natural resources. It is also a continent with deep historical ties with the United States.
As American ambassadors abroad we have seen Africa’s complex and rich cultures, awe-inspiring resilience, and breathtaking generosity and compassion. Even as some nations have faced challenges, we have counted among our contacts dynamic entrepreneurs, gifted artists, committed activists, passionate conservationists, and brilliant educators. We learned of novel solutions to complex problems, helped American companies find partners critical to their success, and counted on African military and intelligence officials who often assumed real risks to help achieve outcomes critical to our shared security.
We know that respectful engagement with these countries is a vital part of protecting our own national interests. The United States of America is safer, healthier, more prosperous, and better equipped to solve problems that confront all of humanity when we work with, listen to, and learn from our African partners. We also know that the entire world is richer because of the contributions of Africans, including the many Americans of African descent.
It was one of the greatest honors of our lives to represent the United States of America abroad. It was also a privilege to live in and learn from the diverse and spectacular countries of Africa.
We hope that you will reassess your views on Africa and its citizens, and recognize the important contributions Africans and African Americans have made and continue to make to our country, our history, and the enduring bonds that will always link Africa and the United States.
Sincerely
Mark L. Asquino – Equatorial Guinea
Shirley E. Barnes - Madagascar
William (Mark) Bellamy – Kenya
Eric D. Benjaminson – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Michele Thoren Bond – Lesotho
Parker W. Borg – Mali
Aurelia E. Brazeal – Kenya, Ethiopia
Pamela Bridgewater - Benin, Ghana
Reuben E. Brigety II – African Union
Kenneth L. Brown – Ivory Coast, Ghana, Republic of the Congo
Steven A. Browning – Malawi, Uganda
Edward P. Brynn – Burkina Faso, Ghana
John Campbell - Nigeria
Katherine Canavan – Botswana
Timothy Carney – Sudan
Johnnie Carson – Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Phillip Carter – Ivory Coast, Guinea-Conakry
Herman Cohen – Senegal, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Frances D. Cook – Burundi, Cameroon
Walter L. Cutler – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tunisia
Jeffrey S. Davidow – Zambia
Ruth A. Davis – Benin, Director General of the Foreign Service
Scott H. DeLisi – Uganda, Eritrea
Christopher Dell – Angola, Zimbabwe, Deputy Ambassador at AFRICOM
Harriet Elam-Thomas – Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Gregory W. Engle – Togo
James F. Entwistle – Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Robert A. Flaten - Rwanda
Robert S. Ford – Algeria
Patrick Gaspard – South Africa
Michelle D. Gavin – Botswana
Donald H. Gips – South Africa
Gordon Gray - Tunisia
Robert E. Gribben – Central African Republic, Rwanda
Patricia McMahon Hawkins - Togo
Karl Hofmann – Togo
Patricia M. Haslach - Ethiopia
Genta Hawkins Holmes - Namibia
Robert G. Houdek – Uganda, Eritrea
Michael S. Hoza - Cameroon
Vicki J. Huddleston – Madagascar, Mali
Janice L. Jacobs - Senegal
Howard F. Jeter – Botswana, Nigeria
Dennis C. Jett - Mozambique
Jimmy J. Kolker – Burkina Faso, Uganda
Edward Gibson Lanpher - Zimbabwe
Dawn M. Liberi - Burundi
Princeton N. Lyman – Nigeria, South Africa
Jackson McDonald – The Gambia, Guinea
James D. McGee – Swaziland, Madagascar, Comoros, Zimbabwe
Roger A. Meece – Malawi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gillian Milovanovic - Mali
Susan D. Page – South Sudan
David Passage - Botswana
Edward J. Perkins – Liberia, South Africa, Director General of the Foreign Service
Robert C. Perry – Central African Republic
Thomas R. Pickering – Nigeria
Jo Ellen Powell - Mauritania Nancy Powell – Uganda, Ghana
Anthony Quainton – Central African Republic
Elizabeth Raspolic – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Charles A. Ray – Zimbabwe
Fernando E. Rondon – Madagascar, Comoros
Richard A. Roth – Senegal, Guinea-Bissau
Robin Renee Sanders – Republic of the Congo, Nigeria
Mattie R. Sharpless – Central African Republic
David H. Shinn – Burkina Faso, Ethiopia
A. Ellen Shippy - Malawi
George M. Staples – Rwanda, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Director General of the Foreign Service Linda Thomas-Greenfield – Liberia, Director General of the Foreign Service, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
Jacob Walles – Tunisia Lannon Walker – Senegal, Nigeria, Ivory Coast
Melissa F. Wells – Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Zaire (Congo-Kinshasa)
Joseph C. Wilson – Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe
Frank G. Wisner – Zambia, Egypt
John M. Yates – Cape Verde, Benin, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Permanent Charge (3 years) Zaire, Special Envoy for Somalia
Mary Carlin Yates – Burundi, Ghana, Sudan
Johnny Young – Sierra Leone, Togo

Africa's 'Miracle Pastors' Must Be Held Accountable

Botswana has reportedly closed down the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church of the Malawian self-acclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, citing concerns over 'miracle money' claims. Bushiri's church taught its members that they could make money through acts of magic. The government stated that this teaching violated the laws of the country. This is just one incident among many – recently, there have been many reported cases of abuses and controversial claims by Africa's self-styled pastors, priests, prophets, men and women of God.


In this piece, I discuss why African governments are cracking down on fraudulent miracle pastors and their churches. Their bogus claims and promises deceive, fracture, and extort vulnerable Africans, many of them already in precarious situations that cannot tolerate superstition as the prescription to ameliorate them. 

Reckless and irresponsible Claims Miracle pastors make bogus and absurd claims to demonstrate their divine anointment and supernatural powers. They get their Christian devotees to believe that their counterintuitive declarations are actually direct revelations from God or forms of infallible prophetic verbiage. Despite no medical training, many pastors claim to know the cause and cure of diseases, of death and other misfortunes. They release prophecies pretending to know or predict the future. For instance, Bushiri once claimed that he cured people of HIV and brought the dead back to life. In one of his most notorious acts, Shepherd Bushiri released a video where he supposedly walked on air.

Pastor T.B Joshua and Reverend Enoch Adeboye of Nigeria have made faith healing claims as well as releasing prophetic declarations on the outcome of elections and football matches, aviation accidents and the death of presidents. A Zimbabwean prophet, Paul Sanyangore said he had a direct phone number to Heaven that he used to talk to God. Another pastor claimed that he had taken a selfie with the angels, visited hell and killed Satan. Many African pastors openly and publicly declare that God had spoken to them or that God sent them a message to deliver to their church members.

Drama and Deception
African pastors do not stop at making baseless and unfounded propositions. They dramatize, stage-manage and create scenes that make people believe that their claims are real and factual. The miracle pastors indulge in manipulative and fraudulent schemes to demonstrate the presence of God, their supposedly divine anointing and supernatural powers. Pastors fake being in conversation with God or in communication with the angels or holy spirit. They literally and habitually lie to the face of their congregants. Pastors organize 'faith healing' more accurately described at fake healing sessions. At these events, persons who have been previously briefed or bribed pretend to be blind or lame and subsequently 'receive' healing.

These fraudulent men and women of God organize sessions of exorcism where they fake the expulsion of demons in the form of reptiles or insects from the bodies of their members. One of the aims of these deceptive schemes is to obtain and dispossess gullible folks by trick.

Extortion and Exploitation
Miracle pastors in Africa peddle schemes that make people believe that they can make money through miraculous means. They extort money from their members by marketing 'miracle' money narratives in exchange for cash. For instance, Nigerian pastors have a miracle money scheme known as 'sowing a seed'. These pastors urge their members to 'sow a seed' by giving money to God. They make their church members, most of whom are living on less than $1 a day, believe that the money that they give to God has a multiplier effect. The more they give to God, the pastors claim, the more they will get in return. Furthermore, pastors publish in their bulletins names and testimonies of people who sowed seeds, gave money to God and had returns in proportion to the money, the seeds, that they had sown.

Motivated by these miracle money schemes, church members sometimes go to any length to get money to 'sow a seed' in their churches. They borrow money from friends and family members. People take loans to sow a seed and expect returns that will never come. There have been cases where people used money that was meant to take care of their families, some public funds or money that belong to their workplaces to sow a seed in their churches.

In addition, African pastors market all sorts of materials, water, handkerchiefs, olive oil, and soap. They designate them as holy and by so doing invest them with extra market value. Pastors compel their members to purchase and use these worthless and sometimes harmful 'holy' materials in order to receive divine healing or to enhance their fortune and luck. The time has come for African governments to investigate and shut down these illegal businesses.

Confusion, Division and Conflict in Families
Miracle pastors cause an incredible amount of disruption among African families and communities. They use their prophecies to fuel hatred, suspicion, mistrust, division, and conflict, turning family and community members against each other. African pastors use their so-called prophetic powers to point out those who are responsible for poverty, lack of progress, illness and death in families and communities. Those so identified are often attacked or killed in instances of mob violence.

In one particular case a few years ago, a Nigerian Catholic priest popularly known as Father 'No Nonsense' visited a community in Ihitteafoukwu, in Mbaise in Southern Nigeria. The youths invited this miracle pastor to conduct prayers against unemployment and lack of progress. During the prayer, Fr. No Nonsense claimed that demons preventing the youths in the community from making progress resided in nearby trees. He pointed out some of the trees that hosted these demons and instructed that they should be cut down. Some youths went around felling trees that they believed could be harbouring evil spirits. The demon-tree cutting exercise turned into an opportunity for some youths in the community to settle scores. They felled the trees of neighbours that they hated or envied.

In another case, a member of the community protested after some youth relatives felled a tree in his compound. The youths attacked him with a machete and he shot one of them in the leg. Subsequently, a mob of youths invaded the man's apartment, looted his property and burnt down his house. Such mayhem linked to the prophecies of miracle pastors is a frequent occurrence. African prophets poison family relationships. They instigate quarrels and disputes that linger in various communities.

Abusive and Dehumanizing Treatment
Miracle pastors also subject their members to inhuman and degrading treatment. Pastors abuse and humiliate their congregants publicly and privately, while claiming to be praying for them, or when they are 'exorcising demons'. There have been reports of pastors who ordered their church members to eat grass. Some pastors have told their congregants to drink gasoline or bleach. Other pastors have sprayedinsecticide on churchgoers. Another pastor ordered female members to strip naked and he marched on them. The same pastor declared a snake had become chocolate and gave it to the members of his church to eat. A Ghanaian Bishop who claims that he could enlarge the male private organ has been caught in videos caressing the penises of men. Finally, a South African prophet allegedly expelled demons by inserting his hands into the vagina of the congregants.

Death and Health Damage
The activities of some African miracle pastors have also been linked to the deaths or illness of church members. Many churchgoers who are HIV positive died after they discontinued their antiretroviral treatment following instruction from their pastors. Recently, a sick child died at prophet Mboro's church in South Africa. The mother of the child took the girl to prophet Mboro to be healed. The girl eventually died, having not been treated with conventional medicine.

A Nigerian community banished a prophet after a woman who came to seek spiritual help from him died. She died from health complications after the prophet poured a liquid substance on her genitals. Many Africans continue to die or suffer serious illnesses as a result of deceptive miracle pastors. The pastors present themselves as medical doctors, as health experts, and their churches as hospitals. Unfortunately, African governments have done little to address these fraudulent acts.

As a result of the aforementioned factors, miracle pastors are wreaking havoc in families and communities across the region. They peddle falsehoods and propagate baseless and absurd claims. Prophets extort money from their church members using all manner of shady schemes. Miracle pastors fuel hatred, division, and confusion in the society. They perpetrate criminal atrocious acts that damage the health of their church members or lead to their death. Other African governments should emulate the government of Botswana by tackling miracle pastors and shutting down their churches and illegal businesses. Governments should expose the fraudulent schemes of these charlatans and make them accountable for their crimes.

By Leo Igwe

Morocco: A Beacon of Hope for Christianity in the Middle East

Throughout history, Christianity has played a central role in the Middle East and North Africa. Distinct sites from both the ancient and modern times demonstrate Christianity’s unique and vast place in the region. Tragically, Christianity’s cultural and contemporary position in the region is persistently under attack.


According to the World Watchlist Report (2017) (https://www.opendoorsusa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/2017-World-Watch-List-1.pdf?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) , the persecution of Christians is worst in Libya, Iraq, and Syria, and is worsening in Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Algeria. The attack on Christianity is most visible by examining the number of Christians who now call the region home. A century ago, Christians made up over 20 percent of the region's population, while today they comprise under two percent.

Continuously, extremist groups destroy renowned churches, and kill those who worship there. For example, in 2015 the first ever attack on a church in Yemen occurred when the Catholic cathedral in Aden was completely destroyed by militants in affiliation with Daesh (ISIL). This attack was followed by the killing of 16 Catholics assisting victims of the country’s civil war at a Sisters of Charity Center in Aden. Until today, multiple attacks on Yemen’s Christian community occur every year, and in 2017 it was ranked the ninth worst country for Christians in the world.

Yemen is not the only example of a country experiencing newfound violence upon Christians. In Libya, 21 Christians were beheaded in 2015,while the number of Christians continues to decline as they are targeted in attacks by multiple extremist groups operating within the country’s borders. Iraq’s Christian population has dwindled from over one million to around two hundred thousand in the past seventeen years.

Within the past two years, it is estimated that over eight hundred Christians have been killed because of their faith in the Middle East and North Africa, and this does not include the Christians amongst the thousands of civilians that have likely been killed in attacks that were not faith related, including the detonation of explosive devices in public areas, attacks using motor vehicles, and other terrorist attacks as have been seen in the region.

Furthermore, governments oftentimes suppress and persecute those who simply wish to practice their faith freely. Sacred texts are banned by governments, as is the long standing practice in Saudi Arabia, where bibles are confiscated upon entry to the country. Similar practices have been carried out in Libya, when former president Muammar al Gaddafi was in power, and it is still carried out by the various groups in control of different sections of the country.

Subsequently, such actions have been reported to have occurred by national or local authorities in nearly every country in the region, even if it is not state policy. Furthermore, Islamist movements ranging from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, have expressed support of such actions. A unique exception among Islamic parties to the seemingly widespread persecution of Christians is Morocco’s Party for Justice and Development (PJD), which supports a ban on foreign missionaries, but is vehemently opposed to any ban on Christianity. (https://www.hudson.org/research/12286-islamism-and-the-state-in-morocco?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID])

In short, the disturbing rise in violence against Christians in the region is dire. Iin 2007, not a single targeted attack on Christians was recorded. Starting in 2008, the number of assaults on Christians has increased annually, reaching over fifty violent assaults in 2015 (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/why-the-middle-easts-christians-are-under-attack.html?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) . Consequently, Christianity’s presence nowcontinues to dwindle (https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/883141/christian-persecution-all-time-high-middle-east-copts-syria-iraq?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) in the Middle East, where the religion began millenia ago, and thrived until recently. Consequently, once vibrant Christian communities are now abandoned, and the vast majority of the region’s citizens are not aware of both the historic and modern Christian communities in their respective countries, nor have they had a personal relationship with someone who practices another faith.

The Kingdom of Morocco, at the westernmost edge of the region, presents a unique opportunity to preserve and even restore the role of Christianity. Christianity has been practiced in Morocco for millennia, originating during the days of the Roman Empire in the fourth century (http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/morocco.htm?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) . Today, the kingdom is home to a sizable Christian community that continues to grow, despite some repression including confiscation of bibles, accusations of cooperating with foreign missionaries (an illegal practice in the kingdom), and a lack of places to worship (https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/269150.pdf?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) , as many large cities are home to one church. In 2014, it was estimated that the Kingdom is home to more than 380,000 Christians.

The unique place that Christians, and in fact all religious minorities play in Morocco is underlined in the Marrakesh Declaration, a religious document supported by the King of Morocco, His Majesty, Mohammed IV, which states that all religious minorities must be able to freely practice their respective faith (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/03/01/middle-east-regimes-are-using-moderate-islam-to-stay-in-power/?utm_term=.d0e0c369d961&mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) . In comparison, neighboring Algeria is home to around 100,000 Christians, and the conditions of religious minorities in the country continue to worsen. (https://www.ecoi.net/local_link/256856/381906_de.html?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID])

Along the Atlantic coast, in the city of Essaouira, there in a Franciscan church that has fallen into neglect and ruin, with a history dating back to the eighteenth century. In many ways, this church is emblematic of the Kingdom’s distinct historical experience, built by the Portuguese, and utilized by the French, Arabs, and others. It is a special representation of the multiculturalism, respect, and diversity that is part of Morocco’s identity and codified in its Constitution. Unfortunately, today this collapsed church in Essaouira is unable serve as the beacon of an exceptional past and present.

In a region of the world where christians continue to be targets of terrorist attacks, and governmental policies that oppress christians are becoming more common, opportunities should be seized to preserve Christian heritage sites in the Middle East and North Africa. This is especially true when preservation leads to advancing human development. In the case of this church, it will be dedicated to local civil associations, to provide them a work and meeting space for education and inclusive development planning of community projects. The King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, is a champion of cultural projects that are a “driving force” for dialogue and development. These projects require leadership at all levels.

The High Atlas Foundation seeks to restore the Franciscan church in Essaouira so that it may serve as a reminder of the central role that Christianity has, and continues to play, in Morocco and the region. However, we do not simply wish to restore the building. The city government will transfer the church to civil society to serve as a location for public workshops, family education, and a meeting point for interfaith relations and development stakeholders. Restoring the Franciscan church in Essaouira will not only preserve the Moroccan cultural past, but can serve as a catalyst in the Kingdom’s strive to set an example of religious and social integration toward shared prosperity in a region where these very values are being fundamentally challenged.

Richard Bone supports communications for the High Atlas Foundation (http://highatlasfoundation.org/?mc_cid=783eea7e8f&mc_eid=[UNIQID]) from Washington, D.C., where he currently studies International Affairs at the George Washington University.

The Franciscan Church in Essaouira, Morocco was once a lively center of faith and community. Today, it is crumbling and not accessible to the public. Photo by the High Atlas Foundation

By Richard Bone

V.P. Boakai’s Defeat: Who Are Responsible?

By Wednesday night, December 27, 2017, the political atmosphere in Liberia was charged with mixed feelings of tears, joy, and discontentment. For some, it was a feeling of overwhelming hilarity that revealed a promising future for Mama Liberia. For others, it was a feeling of leaving Liberia and never to return. It was also a feeling of death and a lost hope in the future of Liberia. It was certainly a feeling that changed the face of politics in Liberia for many years to come. But there was another feeling. That feeling was associated with disappointments, endless tears, political deception and a dampening moment.


It was a feeling of hard truth, tolerance, perseverance and hard-earned political maturity exhibited by Ambassador Boakai to have acknowledged a political defeat openly in the presidential race that caught the eyes of hundreds and hundreds of Liberians including Liberians who did not vote for him. It was a feeling that spoke to the melancholy nature of an ensuing 2017 tension oriented presidential race that definitively lifted the dying political spirit of Ambassador George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah who won the golden keys to the doors of Liberia’s presidency.

It was a feeling that shut the doors on Dr. Boakai's longstanding political career in Liberia after many years of dedicated and sincere services to the outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But the million-dollar question that still lingers on the minds of well-wishers, sympathizers, and supporters of Dr. Boakai, is: “Who is responsible for his presidential defeat? It has been unearthed from numerous sources that Dr. Boakai was defeated on multiple occasions long before the elections began in earnest. Amb. Boakai was used as a sacrificial lamb by the outgoing President Sirleaf in many different ways.

Historical narratives speak to so many undisputable and dependable corroborative source that pointed directly to President Sirleaf who willfully forsakes Dr. Boakai at the time when he needed her most during the presidential race after serving her for more than 12-unbroken years of unquestionable loyalty as a stable and unwavering VP. President Sirleaf abandoned Dr. Boakai during the heat of the campaign trail for unspoken reasons, this too was another form of betrayal of her own VP. When the President’s son, Robert Sirleaf did cross-over to the CDC, it raises a red flag in Amb. Boakai’s campaign, but President Sirleaf kept tightlipped on the many.

President Sirleaf has enormous influence on her son Robert Sirleaf. Robert Sirleaf’s decision to take up membership in the CDC did not happen in isolation or unknowingly to President Sirleaf. She certainly approved her son’s decision, because she was also a silent sympathizer of the CDC party. Because of President Sirleaf’s Son departure from the Unity Party (UP), to the CDC party, some UP’s members also defected to the CDC’s party as well. But the President has remained conspicuously quiet on the defection of her son and the migration of few other UP’s diehard members to the mighty CDC party.

On a very sad note, President Sirleaf was not seen physically with Dr. Boakai campaigning publicly together. They were not on TV advertainments, radio publicity platform and even on social media jingoes together as they did in 2005/11 presidential races. Many Liberians believe that President Sirleaf deliberately held back her influence and moral support in order for VP Boakai to suffocate politically in the race which did happen under her watchful eyes. Even the Executive Manson's Press Secretary, Jerolinmek Matthew Piah, in June 2017, when he helplessly struggled to painstakingly twist his tongue in denouncing the long-running rumors that President Sirleaf did not approve Dr. Boakai’s presidential ambition in practical terms.

On another serious note, Dr. Boakai’s running mate, James Emmanuel Nuguay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was also a complicated element responsible for the defeat of the VP in the presidential race. Some members of the Unity Party complained to be apprehensive about Nuguay’s sudden selection as vice running mate to Dr. Boakai. Some confessed that Nuquay was very combative and intimidating during the presidential race. He lacks interpersonal communication skills and poor manner of approach. One insider says that Nuguay spoke rudely to some UP’s partisans. Nuguay’s actions were also responsible for the mass exodus of most UP’s partisans to the CDC party during the heat of the campaign.

Nuquay was regarded as a dangerous outsider in the UP party. He nonetheless managed to exert his political influence and power to seize the vice-presidential nomination at the displeasure of most UP’s partisans during their convention, calling him a “stranger” and a “gravy seeker”, several partisans lamented. What was more important, is the idea that Nuguay was not an impressive marketable vice-presidential material. Another source said that he didn’t have the require charismas as a strong vice standard-bearer. His poor and devastating interactions drove away Dr. Boakai’s immediate supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers from electing him as President of the Republic of Liberia.
Many of the UP’s veteran defectors predicted that Nuguay would have undermined Dr. Boakai had they succeeded to win the presidential race in Liberia. Nuguay was a severe political impediment and a staunched stumbling block and a total embarrassment and a potential disaster to Dr. Boakai’s presidential vision which was also a sign of deep betrayal and defeat to Dr. Boakai’s presidential ambition. There was another segment of grave concerns as it relates to the defeat of Dr. Boakai. That segment has to do with the sons and daughters of Lofa County.

The sons and daughters of Lofa County also let Dr. Boakai down terribly. But other Lofans also accused the VP of abandoning other districts in Lofa County. Lofans in other districts in Lofa County felt Amb. Boakai didn’t care for them. There was undivided loyalty among and between the people of Lofa County regarding Dr. Boakia’s candidacy during the elections. But one young Lofan from the Lorma tribe in Lofa County, who pleaded to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said: “most Lofans from the other districts in Lofa County deliberately refused to vote for Amb. Boakai, because he was always interested in his tribal people, that is the Kisi people in Foya district. When the VP was in office from 2005 up to present, he didn’t one day visit any of the other districts in Lofa County apart from his beloved Foya district where he visited more than 64 times according to my records. Most Lofans, finally consented that they had been marginalized by the VP’s lukewarm attitudes towards the rest of Lofan in the other districts the VP never visited, not even once”.

“I see this as the promotion of tribalism on the part of Amb. Boakai. The Oldman puts his tribal people, that is the Kisi people above the rest of the other districts in Lofa County, was in mind was a terrible political mistake. Even most of we the young people from Lofa County did not feel the presence of Dr. Boakai in our lives as a father for all Lofans. He was rather a father for few Lofans, that is the Lofans in Foya district which is Dr. Boakai’s district. These are some of the problems associated with the defeat of Amb. Boakai in the presidential elections to the point that most of we the young Lofans had no other choice but to embrace George Weah, with the hope that he George Weah will think about we the young Lofans in Lofa County, since the VP’s Boakai did not have any plan for young Lofans.”

When asked about the huge victory the VP obtained in Lofa County, she replied: “That was just a peanut vote. George Weah wouldn’t have gotten any of the votes in Lofa County if the VP didn’t divide the people of Lofa County by abandoning we the young people in pace of his tribal group from Foya district only.” “I want to let you know that all of these problems took place long before Amb. Boakai ever decided to run for president for the Republic of Liberia.”

“Let me say that some of Amb. Boakai’s campaign officials were told about these problems in Lofa County, but they simply decided either hide the news from him or they were not willing to help the VP move forward. They kept the information until the VP felt from grace to grass. But the VP himself was aware of his own problems in Lofa County.” The lady re-interated. All of these ugly undertakings were nothing short of mere political games to stab the VP in the back. These are some of the reasons why Dr. Boakai was defeated long before the elections were held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.

By: Jones Mallay–Opinion writer, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Cell:401-5

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