How Weah appointed Dr. Yarsuo Weh-Dorliae
From making a presentation to landing a top job
By Lincoln G. Peters
What appears to have been President George Weah pulling one joke back at Dr. Yarsuo Weh-Dorliae at the Monrovia City Hall on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, turned out to be real.
From all indications, neither President Weah nor Dr. Weh-Dorliae had gone to the Hall on Wednesday to scout a new staff or get appointed. Both men were just simply honoring their invitations to the one-day symposium to remember the lifestyle and works of late Dr. Amos Sawyer-a true progressive.
But things turned out differently-at least positively for both men. Dr. Weh-Dorliae had just completed a brilliant presentation outlining Dr. Sawyer’s achievements at the Good Governance Commission as the President nodded his head throughout the presentation.
Thus, the moment came when Dr. Weh-Dorliae directly addressed President Weah urging him to push for the signing of a decentralization bill currently before the National Legislature and in return he would campaign for Weah’s second term bid in 2023.
President Weah also responded by saying I will make you the Governance Commission head then.
Dr. Weh – Dorliae has worked as commissioner when Dr. Sawyer was then chairperson of the Governance Commission during former President Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf’s administration.
The Commission during their tenure at the GC came up with policy papers that were embraced by the previous regime and those policy documents have contributed to the governing system of the country today.
Part of those policy documents is the Revenue Sharing Bill which is currently before the Liberian Senate. This Dr. Weh-Dorliae vowed if it is passed, he will be a campaign manager for President Weah in the 2023 elections.
He explained that the late Dr. Sawyer spent his whole life working on the Revenue Sharing Bill.
“Mr. President, I challenge you, Mr. President, if you can pass that Revenue Bill and if you demand gender sanctity at every local government level, I will be your campaign manager,’’ Dr. Weh-Dorliae said further.
The statement was a direct declaration of support for President Weah. Something, Weah did not take lightly since one of his rivals in person of Mr. Alexander Cummings was sitting right there.
As if his comment was not enough to move the President, he added that the institution that is managing governance in the country does not need people that need jobs.
Instead, it needs to get the right people that will do the policy analysis and development analysis to work in the way for the sustainable development of the country. He said this is what the GC needs to do.
After saying that he urged President Weah to look at the GC and revise it to carry this country forward.
He said the country needs critical thinking Liberians who can do statistical and economic analysis and evidence-based conclusions that will support and develop this country and make it look like other places around the globe.
The statement by Dr. Weh-Dorliae brought light and excitement to the hall, particularly the campaign aspect.
So, when President Weah took the platform, he laughed and jokingly said the campaign that Dr. Weh – Dorliae had promised to run for him, his man Alexander Cummings would not like it.
At that moment the President announced that he was appointing Dr. Weh-Dorliae to head to GC to continue the realization of Dr. Sawyer’s dreams.
According to Dr. Weh – Dorliae, when Dr. Sawyer was at the Governance Commission, they established and developed the national policy on decentralization.
He said they developed the Local Government Act that President Weah has signed tin to law, and the country now has the Revenue Sharing Bill which will abolish centralizing all the funds that government receives in Monrovia.
“So your Excellency, the Governance Commission is that institution that Dr. Sawyer led for ten years. For much night, we worked, [thought], strategized and set up, and talked about all the policy and things to do to make the GC great and effective by developing caretaker capacity at the GC,” Dr. Weh – Dorliae explained.
“That place supposed to be Dr. Sawyer’s vision which needs to think about our broken institutions in Liberia. The GC is not the place someone comes with big degree because degree can always cut it.”
“Because I am looking good does not mean I can be commissioner for GC. Many people who came to the GC we must coach them,” Dr. Weh – Dorliae continued.
He suggested that in abolishing the centralized system in Liberia’s governance system, they created a participatory government and decentralized governance through the GC under the leadership of Dr. Sawyer and his able team.
According to Dr. Weh-Dorliae, the centralized system of governance in Liberia led to the country’s civil unrest.
But he said when Dr. Sawyer and others met in Accra, Ghana, it was proposed that the system of government in Liberia be changed because it’s a colonial system.