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GeneralLiberia news

McGill wants Weah’s access denial probed

--Following Airport’s VIP lounge saga

Over claims of corruption, the U.S. Government sanctioned Mr. Nathaniel McGill, compelling him to step down as former President George Manneh Weah’s Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.

By Ethel A. Tweh

Monrovia, 28 February 2024: Opposition Margibi County Senator Nathaniel Farlo McGill is demanding an immediate investigation into claims that former Liberian President George Manneh Weah was denied access to a VIP Lounge at the Roberts International Airport (RIA).

Upon Weah’s return to Liberia on Tuesday, 27 February, a report circulated here that he was allegedly denied entry into a VIP Longue allegedly reserved for the presidency but was made to use the old VIP Longue at RIA.

Mr. Weah along with his family returned from Italy and had sought to use the airport’s VIP lounge he named after his wife, former Liberian First Lady Madam Clar Marie Weah.

However, it is reported that the Weahs were told to use the old VIP Lounge that had been used by presidents and other VIPs instead of the new one.

There are claims that they were allegedly prevented by protocols in charge of the facility intended for high-profile persons.

Presidential Press Secretary Kulah Fofana said the lounge in question is reserved for only the Liberian presidency, adding that Liberia has one president, Mr. Boakai.

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In the wake of the report, Mr. McGill, however, addressed a major news conference Wednesday, 28 February at his Capitol Building Office in Monrovia to express his displeasure over what has been alleged.

Senator McGill expressed frustration over what he claimed was an inhumane treatment of the former president.

The Margibi County Senator alleged that denying Mr. Weah access to the VIP Lounge amounted to ‘a serious security threat to the state.’

He said it was a baseless justification given by the Presidential Press Security, suggestions that the VIP Lounge was reserved for the presidency.

McGill alleged that Liberia has been heavily and bitterly divided since his party, the former ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) was voted out after one six-year term.

Boakai beat Weah in the 14 November 2023 presidential run-off by a narrow margin. CDCians including McGill, continue to suggest that the country is divided because Boakai won the election with a low margin.

However, in the presidential run-off, Liberia’s Constitution allows for the candidate with the highest number of votes, regardless of how slim the margin, to be declared the winner.

Notwithstanding, McGill insisted that the maintenance of the peace rests mainly on the shoulders of President Boakai’s administration.

He urged the Unity Party (UP) regime to treat those in the opposition community with dignity and equally as one nation.

According to him, the situation has a negative implication on the peace of the country, stressing that just in less than 35 days in office, President Boakai has been leading in errors.

Senator McGill who also chairs the Legislative Caucus of the opposition CDC, emphasized the timely investigation, ensuring that those involved in the disrespectful act account for their actions.

“How in Liberia we’re so hateful. Today, Joseph Boakai is President but tomorrow another person will assume the presidency. Should he be treated the same way? I believe President Boakai is not aware. All Liberians should condemn this act,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the Margibi County Senator has vowed to put the matter on the floor of the Liberian Senate during the next day’s sitting of that august body.

He accused the Minister of State of allegedly giving the instruction to prevent the former President from using the Clar Marie Weah VIP Lounge, emphasizing that such an act will not be tolerated. 

Also commenting on the alleged targeting of officials occupying active tenure positions by the Unity Party-led government, Senator McGill maintained that the sitting President of the Republic cannot remove any official serving a tenure position.

He said those that President Boakai has already nominated to those active tenure positions will be voted against by members of the CDC Legislative Caucus.

“The President should stop violating the law by nominating people to active tenure positions. Trust me, if those people come before us at the Liberian Senate, as Chairman of the CDC Legislative Caucus, I will lead their rejection and we have the number to not confirm them,” Senator McGill noted.

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One Comment

  1. Thanks to Sen. McGill for speaking out against this creeking dictatorship of a government. Our democracy has since long grown for anyone to carry us back to the days of disunity. Mr. Boakai his gang of officials who have come back to power to loot state resources need to be cautioned that Liberia is above them.

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