‘Shameful and pitiful’
–Government replies to opposition's criticisms
By Kruah Thompson
Liberia’s Information Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie says it is shameful and pitiful for political party leaders to say they have not seen any progress made by President George Manneh Weah since his rule.
“For the former Vice President Joseph Boakai, Mr. [Alexander B.] Cummings, and other political party leaders to say they do not see any progress that has been made by the president is shameful and pitiful,” Mr. Rennie said Wednesday, 1 February 2023.
Rennie particularly questioned opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC)/ Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) political leader Mr. Cummings about what he has done for Liberia.
“What has Mr. Cummings done for Liberian?” Rennie asked during a live chat with the media which was aired on multiple local broadcasters across Monrovia.
The government chief spokesperson argued that it is a joke on the part of Mr. Cummings and all the other political parties that have failed to see the progress President Weah has made through his first term in office.
On Monday, 30 January 2023, Mr. Weah delivered his sixth and final Annual Message at the Legislature and used the occasion to announce his second term bid.
Following the president’s sixth annual message, Mr. Cummings alleged on Tuesday that President Weah ‘lied to Liberians’ with broken promises, no hope, no change, and no security.
Cummings alleged that under Weah’s regime, the country runs itself, and prices go up as the hard times keep getting harder.
“To put it simply, after six years of Weah’s leaderless presidency, the State of our Republic is weak with no jobs, broken promises, no hope, no change, and no security,” Cummings alleged Tuesday, 31 January 2023.
And Liberia’s former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s former ruling Unity Party (UP) said President Weah’s 6th Annual Message was completely unrealistic, insincere, and abuse of the difficult living conditions of Liberians.
UP Vice Chairperson Mrs. Dabah M. Varpilah told a major press conference Tuesday in Monrovia that the state of the nation presented by President Weah failed to capture the real issues that Liberians are facing.
This October, Liberians will go to the polls to elect lawmakers and a president to rule for the next six years beginning January 2024.
Mr. Weah says he will be on the presidential ballot again to battle his opponents for his re-election in the pending polls.
His information minister contended that despite the political rhetoric from the opposition to fool Liberians here and in the diaspora, the facts remain that the president has made monumental progress in a certain area.
“Since the president took over in 2018, we have made monumental progress in certain areas of the country, and we are still making progress in some areas,” he noted.
According to the Information Minister, there are no success stories that can be told about Liberia without mentioning President Weah’s role played in the development of the country.
He added that after listening to all of the press conferences held Tuesday by the opposition to respond to President Weah’s annual message, one thing he did not hear was that President Weah has maintained peace and security.
Minister Rennie pointed out that when Mr. Weah took over the broken economy in 2018, there were more losses at that time.
He said domestic revenue was at the lowest collection, banks were not giving loans, the government was not credible to credit, and the Central Bank reserve was low.
Minister Rennie also claimed that the inflation rate at that time was skyrocketing, and the Liberian dollar was depreciating against the foreign currency, especially the USD.
He detailed that health workers were seeking inclusion, doctors were making below US$500, and teachers and university students were looking for attention.
He claimed that there were many challenges facing the administration, but through the leadership of the president, the country started to show some signs of progress.
To address the situation at that time, he said the government had to take some strong economic decisions to go the length in addressing the challenges through reform measures.
“The president took some hard decisions to get the country to where it is today and [his] effort must be appreciated,” Rennie argued.