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Editorial: Weah gone for too long

President George Manneh Weah left here Tuesday, 31 October for nearly two months first, to attend MEDays conference in Morocco, watch the official opening program of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, honor another invitation elsewhere before coming to Ghana and then return home somewhere in December eventually.

 The President’s trip abroad is expected to last over seven weeks or nearly two months. This is happening especially after President Weah just led a huge delegation in September to attend the 77th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, where he remained until the rice shortage hit the country.

A president of a nation that would leave his people and country amid global economic and food crisis to travel abroad with thousands of taxpayers’ money for talking shop conferences and just to watch World Cup that yields no dividends for his people back home needs to rethink his leadership strategies and priorities.

While it is necessary to engage friendly nations and bilateral partners abroad for collaboration at common fronts, it is no secret that current situations inside the country, particularly in the government are worrisome and need aggressive attention they deserve.

Take for instance, gross mismanagement and corruption at the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) that are hindering conduct of the National Housing and Population Census leading to repeated postponement of the census date and lack of accountability for reported US$11 million allocated by the 54th Legislature to subsidize rice importation in order to stabilize price in the market, among other accountability issues that are yet to be addressed by the government.

President Weah is clearly ignoring and evading these critical leadership issues at home and making wide travels abroad for talking conferences when the country is beset by enormous governance and economic challenges. Lack of staple food rice, and basic social services in Liberia under a government that is ending six years in office cannot be addressed by taking scarce resources abroad to attend safari conferences.       

Liberians are enduring harsh economic reality at home characterized by lack of private investments and jobs under the Weah administration, cuts and delays in civil servants’ salaries, shrinking food baskets in homes, and poor health and education, among others.

No doubt, the country is faced with a serious leadership deficit. Liberians go to the poll periodically and elect leaders to serve and represent their interests, but it seems that both elected and appointed officials are becoming a big disappointment for the Liberian people.

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For nearly two months, President Weah would be out of the country. And while he is away as usual, not much would be done in the country. The most frustrating part is, he will return without any significant or tangible result that would impact the lives of the people.

Amidst the current global economic crisis, it is economically prudent that President Weah cut down on number of foreign travels and focus on challenges at home, rallying the citizenry with genuine commitments to moving Liberia forward rather than flying around sightseeing, while vast majority of the people suffocate in poverty.

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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