-As he visits Zodee Town, Tehr District
Julijuah, Tehr District Bomi County- It seems like President George M. Weah is not a political novice at all – at least not as many of his political foes may have adjudged him. This is becoming apparent by the day as he has in recent times chosen the bases of opposition politicians to throw political jabs at them.
This was the scene in Zodee Town in Tehr District near Julijuah, the home of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf on Tuesday March 23, when Mr. Weah threw jabs at both Mrs. Sirleaf and former House Speaker Alex Tyler after seeing the disconnect between their successes as national leaders and the huge underdevelopment of their home towns.
Weah: “This district was established by the President of the Republic of Liberia and the Speaker of the Republic of Liberia…And for me, these are the things I consider as opulence – when you live with people and you change their lives that’s opulence. But when you live with people and because of opulence you don’t want to change their lives than it is bad.”
The term opulence according to the Cambridge dictionary means the quality of being expensive and luxurious. The American Dictionary defines it as being rich in appearance; showing great wealth.
Both President Weah and former President Sirleaf spared off over the term OPULENCE in December 2020, after the later used the term to describe the former’s lightening of his Christmas tree.
Mrs. Sirleaf tweeted on December 21: “The opulence displayed at the lighting of the Liberian President Christmas Tree was indeed impressive, but with the country’s difficult economic climate it is an affront to the thousands who have not been paid and are hungry.”
In series of responses President Weah said: “Madam former President, let me refresh your memory about what Opulence is: Opulence is when Chevron gives 10 million USD or CSR and you gave it to your son to squander.
Opulence is when you have 4 billion in Foreign direct investment, but leave Liberia in abject squalor and poverty; Opulence is when you have 11 budget shortfalls in 12 years and yet spent tens of millions of failed projects like the Executive Mansion repair fiasco, Opulence is when after 12 years of billions of dollars of Foreign Aid, you still leave the country with 1 billion dollars debt that my government is now paying back.”
“There are a 1000 more examples, but let me leave you with these for now. Opulence is not when you use an old Christmas Tree and Choirs to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus.”
On Tuesday Mr. Weah reminded the people of Mrs. Sirleaf home time of his knowledge about opulence. “So, trust me, I believe in opulence because I understand what is called opulence. For me, opulence is when you live somewhere just how you live that’s how the people must live-that’s what I believe in. I listened to the former President’s Cousin (Chief Sekou Johnson), and am sure he is disappointed just how we are disappointed.
But for me I can tell you, we are the ones you put in power, we will do our best, and we will do our best and you will not be disappointed.”
Bomi County is situated in the western part of Liberia. It is one of the closest to Montserrado County and has produced two presidents and two speakers – jailed ex-president Charles Taylor being the first and Mrs. Sirleaf. And two House Speakers -Samuel D. Hills under the regime of slain President Samuel Doe and former Speaker Tyler under Mrs. Sirleaf.
The County is known for its rich ores mined by the former Bong Mining Company, during the administration of late president William R. Tolbert, who was toppled in the April 12, 1980 bloody militray coup. The company was later taken over by the Chinese under the name Western Cluster but yet is so backward in infrastructure.
The particular district in question, though no different compare to the rest is home to former President Sirleaf and it lacks basic social services, including high schools and housing for nurses posted in the area. It’s adjacent Suehn Statutory district.
A cousin of Mrs. Sirleaf, currently Chief of the Traditional Elders Mr. Sekou Johnson, bemoaned the lack of development in their district, while requesting President Weah’s intervention.
By Othello B. Garblah