Editorial: The paradox of Pres. Weah’s reconciliatory message
In his 5th Annual Message to the 54th Liberian Legislature on Monday, 24th January President George Manneh Weah rallied Liberians not to allow politics divine the nation to the extent of destroying it.
But this is exactly the posture the President has adopted.
Mr. Weah is allowing politics to blind his eyes to reality that this country is so divided to the extent that reasoning among Liberians as one people does not count anymore.
The President disappointingly led his entourage of ruling party officials to kick-off the celebration of Liberia’s Bicentennial at the Providence Island in Monrovia without inviting the opposition bloc and the religious community but blamed it on organizers of the program. Liberia’s 200 years of existence as a country is not owned exclusively by a six-year administration but all citizens irrespective of social, economic, political and religious affiliation so they should be involved.
When President Weah constantly ignores cries of the people of Lofa for their Senator-elect, Brownie Samukai to take his seat in the Senate and restitute soldiers’ money that he expended on official purpose, which has effectively denied that county from being fully represented under his administration then what does genuine reconciliation mean to this government?
Others may argue that the issue of Senator-elect Samukai is a rule of law matter that the President should stay clear of. Rightly so; but true reconciliation goes deeper than mere lip service especially, when citizens are on bended knees, begging for mercy.
The administration hides under the rule of law and go after perceived enemies, but looks the other way when endemic corruption is practiced from the highest office down to the National Port Authority, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and other public entities under its watch because of nepotism and partisanship.
As Head of State, the President has neither called for a meeting with the opposition nor solicited their views and perspectives on matters of state. He seems more interested in throwing jibes and going to studio to produce music than uniting Liberians yet he is calling for unity.
From Lofa to Bong and Nimba Counties citizens are aggrieved but they have no opportunity to sit in a town hall meeting with the Leader of the Land to express their grievances yet he asks Liberians to walk in peace continuously.
The road to peace, reconciliation and unity is like a triangular path where all sides should come together to discuss, instead of the leader standing far away or sitting in his comfort zone and sending olive branch.
Genuine reconciliation requires an open mind, a listening heart and sincerity for national healing to take place. The talk should be matched by action.