President George Manneh Weah, currently under mounting pressure to pay salary and improve governance is being advised to allow dissatisfied Liberians express their grievances thru public protest, rather than denying them the right as enshrined in the Constitution.Former Vice President and current leader of the ex-ruling Unity Party Joseph Nyumah Boakai says it is important that aggrieved citizens exercise their constitutional right of assembly and freedom of expression, and the government is obliged to provide security and protection.
In a daring letter to President Weah, the man defeated twice at the polls by the former soccer celebrity in 2017 further urges the Weah administrating to its obligation to civil servants, currently planning go-slow in demand of monthly salary, saying “these patriotic citizens have played their part. They deserved the dignity of their labour and the right to provide for their families.
This is the first time the 75-year-old statesman, who served as Vice President for two terms under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has been so frank to the Weah administration on prevailing economic situations in Liberia.
We challenge the ruling Coalition government to take the letter in strive and begin to act to addressing citizens’ concerns, because this was the social contract they signed with Candidate George Manneh Weah (now President) at the ballot box in 2017.
A local group under the banner Council of Patriots or CoP recently wrote the Ministry of Justice, requesting for security for its planned protest dubbed “Weah must step down” slated for 31 December. The CoP is led by talk show host Henry Costa.
In its 07 June protest held in Monrovia, the group read several counts to the government subsequently, calling for respect for the rule of law and honest fight against corruption, among others.
The government cannot continue to turn blind eyes on these issues especially when they ways in which it conducts its activities in public leave room for suspicions. Mr. Boakai also points to US$25 million that the administration from the reserves to mop up excess liquidity in the economy plus the 16 billion newly printed Liberian bank notes that is yet to be properly accounted for.
We consider the call from the former Vice President as a voice of wisdom, coming from an elder who had served two previous administrations and has wealth of experience, working in government unlike Mr. Weah.
President Weah should put ego aside, and listen to aggrieved citizens, including civil servants so that, together a common ground can be reached for the good of all and posterity.