‘Demeaning for Weah’
--Gongloe raises concerns about the president's U.S. trip
By Lincoln G. Peters
Presidential hopeful Cllr. Tiawan Saye Gongloe says it’s so demeaning and unprecedented that Liberian President George Manneh Weah is allegedly undergoing an alleged international criminal investigation.
While there are no details about why Mr. Weah is in the United States, the renowned Liberian Human Rights lawyer has alleged that the incumbent is being probed in the United States over alleged corruption and drug trafficking.
On 17 March, the Executive Mansion issued a release saying Mr. Weah had left the country for international engagements in the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.
It said as part of his engagements, he was due to meet with key United Arab Emirates (UAE) and U.S. government officials, Liberia’s development partners, and would-be investors.
Cllr. Gongloe, a presidential hopeful, wonders where in the United States is President Weah and what is he doing there.
Gongloe demanded a prompt answer from the Ministry of Information to avoid public speculation and mitigate the many concerns.
Last week, Liberians were eager to know why Mr. Weah and a handful of his officials sat down for a meeting with the top brass of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at Langley, Virginia.
He was accompanied to the US by Foreign Minister Amb. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Justice Minister Cllr. Frank Musah Dean, Defense Minister Maj. Gen (Rtd). Daniel Ziankahn, Commerce Minister Mawine Diggs, and Information Minister Ledgerhood Julius Rennie.
Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah and Liberia Maritime Authority Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe formed part of the president’s delegation to the U.S.
However, there have been rumors here that not all members of the delegation were allowed in the briefing with the CIA on Wednesday.
Addressing a forum over the weekend at the Center for the Exchange of Intellectual Opinion on Carey Street, Cllr. Gongloe said it was so demeaning for the president to be investigated as a suspect of international crimes.
He claimed that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information is yet to address the public concern and speculation relating to the president’s visit to the United States.
“Today, as enlightened as I’m, I don’t know the purpose of the President’s trip outside of the country. It should not be hidden and kept in secrecy because when it’s in secrecy there is speculation,” said Cllr. Gongloe.
“Today, the speculation is that our President is being investigated by the Central Intelligence Agency of the US,” Gongloe alleged.
Gongloe contended that the reason associated with the speculation is that Liberia has been characterized as the central point for drug trafficking to the rest of the world.
“And that the President is a direct beneficiary of … drugs trafficking and has to answer for the extra-judicial killing,” he added.
Cllr. Gongloe said it’s very troubling for the country and the government.
He added that the government’s silence is a failure of its national duty to the state and its people because the people have the right to know about the government and its functionaries in keeping with Article 15 (C) of the 1986 Constitution.
Based upon the constructional provision cited, the presidential hopeful said the government should be able to explain to Liberians all that is happening in the country.