Editorial: “Deliberate lies and deceptions”
Editorial: President George Manneh Weah is perhaps still digesting sharp criticisms from the opposition that greeted his Annual Message delivered last week Monday, 24th January 2022 before the 54th Legislature. Criticisms and direct challenges to the President’s speech from the opposition Unity Party, Liberty Party and the Alternative National Congress provide an opportunity to dissect various aspects of the address and separate facts from falsehood.
The opposition Unity Party debunked the administration’s claim to ownership of current road projects across the country, arguing that it envisioned and consummated most of those projects during its 12 years in power. There is no doubt that the UP administration under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf negotiated most, if not all, of the major infrastructure projects before leaving office, so when President Weah brags about infrastructure development, he should accord credit to his predecessor.
Similarly, the opposition Liberty Party thinks President Weah has no reason to brag about achievements about his administration that is raddled with corruption and incompetence. The LP instead, called on Mr. Weah to do more for the people of Liberia.
Then on Monday, January 31, 2022, the opposition Alternative National Congress thru its leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings laid bare, the President’s speech, discrediting with facts, almost everything said about the economy and state of the Nation.
The reactions from members of the opposition bloc do not only provide balance, but they expose gross inaccuracies deliberately passed on to the unsuspecting and impoverished citizenry by the President for political gains.
Leaders should be careful about their public utterances and speeches because they have a way of boomeranging, sometimes negatively with unimaginable consequences. As it is usual, the Annual Message is intended to report on the overall outlook of the State, including development achieved for the past year and for the President to present his legislative agenda for the coming year.
But when issues are exaggerated or are deliberately fueled with lies for whatever motives, it would be but a while when truth comes stepping in to dispel the wrong perception created.
Those writing President Weah’s speech should be very circumspect in what they put out to the public because like the late Jamaican Reggae Superstar Bob Marley sings, “You can fool some people some time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”
President Weah should take these criticisms as helpful instruments of democracy that promote a progressive society. It is the duty of both the opposition and civil society to checkmate the government of the day for democracy to thrive.
We call on the President to take these criticisms in stride and move ahead with his governance, for he needs critics to strengthen his leadership in order to govern well.