By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
President George Manneh Weah says he couldn’t be the sacrificial lamb to allow a fresh round of war, torture, and civil unrest in Liberia that would have seen innocent people being killed only to satisfy the desires and interests of colleagues, loyalists and stalwarts of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
Instead, Mr. Weah blames executives, partisans and supporters of the ruling party for blundering by allowing the election to slip away which caused their defeat on 14th November 2023 Presidential Run-off Election here.
He maintains that the concession to the opposition Unity Party (UP) will allow Liberia return to peaceful democratic transition of power from one administration to another.
He points to division among CDCians, fighting one another for power, while losing unity and harmony, as a primary cause for them losing the election and he as President, didn’t want bloodshed in Liberia.
President Weah, speaking here Sunday, 26th November while attending worship at his private Forkly Klon Jlateh Family Fellowship Church in Baptist Seminary community, ELWA, Paynesville, for the first time, opening up on why he chose as a sitting President to concede defeat with a narrow margin in an epic election.
Mr. Weah lost to his main rival Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai of the opposition Unity Party (UP) 50.58 % to 49.28 %, instantly conceding defeat just before pronouncement and declaration of winner of the election by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
The CDC Standard Bearer reveals that the Coalition has been self-destructing characterized by internal wrangling without pursuing a common goal of winning the election.
He notes that CDcians refused to heed call to unite; rather, campaigning against one another, ably losing focus on the poll, something, he describes as disunity that highly attributed towards their defeat.
He asserted that the greater danger the party faces is that even those whom they took from the ghettos and empowered have refused to listen or take advice.
“People had asked me: Mr. President, what has happened and I don’t have to answer and can only try to answer because it’s what it’s, and I’m sure you will understand that it’s almost impossible for fifty (50) persons to pass through a single-narrow-door at the same time. There must be one at a time like the Bible says – a Children of Succession. If one person’s there, let the person be there until they are removed; then the next person comes in, but in CDC, everybody wants to be there at the same time, fighting each other.”
“We cannot be together in unity with defeat; there was complete disunity, where some people fielding candidates against our candidates because they feel they have small funds. We were fighting each other that is what happened”, President Weah laments.
It sounds so painful for a man who won popular votes in 2017 after giving the Unity Party serious work for their money in two previous elections – 2005 and 2011 respectively while he was in opposition.
But Mr. Weah maintains that he recognized the defeat in the just-ended election and didn’t want war that would have resulted in innocent people dying in cold blood just to be declared winner in an election.
“We couldn’t sacrifice our children, friends, families, for people’s desires; I didn’t take a decision, as I recognized we were defeated because we defeated ourselves and there was no need to fight.”
Meanwhile, he says if CDC must make a stronger comeback in 2029, there should be unity among CDCians, as they cannot be divided and achieve victory.
“I hear somebody saying in 2029, we will bounce back; we will only bounce back if we are sincere to ourselves; stop the division, apply the rules and support the party and those on the party’s tickets”, Mr. tells CDCians, who are still recovering from their defeat.
The ruling Coalition’s dream for a second term in office was cut short on 14 November by the UP, a party they took power from in 2017.Editing by Jonathan Browne