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Editorial: Weah’s solar light politics

Editorial: While over a million Monrovia residents are without electricity and pipe-borne water, rendering them vulnerable to criminals and other deviants, President George Manneh Weah seems busy with early campaign ahead of the 2023 elections, erecting solar panel lights with campaign slogan “Weah 2023” in few communities here and there, much to the fury of critics.

Many believe the action clearly demonstrates President Weah’s obsession with winning a second term in office than addressing long-existing managerial and technical lapses at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) that is creating serious insecurity issues across the capital and its suburbs.

Besides, the “Weah 2023” solar panel activity is nothing but pre-campaigning which is in breach of the election law of Liberia. Those leading this campaign on behalf of the President should be called to book by the National Elections Commission to desist immediately.

Rather than touting his personal horn, President Weah should direct his attention to most important issue of ensuring that the Liberia Electricity Corporation executes its statutory function of delivering electricity to the more than 2 million population of Monrovia and rest of the country. Liberia runs an 88-Megawatt hydropower Plant but distribution of electricity across the country remains a serious challenge for the government.  

The LEC has been found wanting in every capacity, ranging from poor managerial skills, theft, bribery, compromise, ineptitude and inefficiency, among others. This is a serious embarrassment not only for the government but the entire country.

Does President Weah realize that international partners, including the United States, European Union, Japan and others that contributed to purchasing a new turbine for the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant are regrettably disappointed in our inability to properly manage the facility?

Since its installation and subsequent inauguration under the previous administration up to the present government, the LEC has been unable to efficiently distribute power, which has crippled the economy.

In January, Senate President Pro-Tempore Albert Chie revealed here that the Government of Liberia was indebted to the West African Power Pool from neighboring Ivory Coast, totaling US$9m and added that due to the debt, Ivory Coast is reneging to send power to Liberia.

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We believe these are urgent issues that the Weah administration should address, instead of politicizing a crucial service like electricity. Supporters and sympathizers of the President who think the solar light politics is the way to proceed, are doing him and the Liberian people a serious disservice.

This is unsustainable and President Weah knows very well, but he tries to take Liberians for granted by prioritizing his personal quest to get re-elected than the people. Immediately after taken office in 2018 amid high expectations from Liberians, Mr. Weah rather embarked on reconstructing his private residence in Sinkor, Monrovia and constructing 10 additional duplexes opposite Baptist Seminary along the Robertsfield Highway in Paynesville. Many had thought that he would have hit the ground running with his economic plan for the country.

With barely one year to ending his first term, the President should be seen exerting sincere effort in solving the electricity problem that is crippling the economy and the entire country instead of prioritizing his personal interest at the expense of the people he leads.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/dppl-protests-against-weah-2023-solar-light/      

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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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