FEATURE ARTICLE

Yahaya BalogunMonday, February 5, 2018
[email protected]
Arizona, USA

WEEP NOT FOR PRESIDENT GEORGE WEAH

want to congratulate president George Weah, the brand new president from Africa, and from Liberia. George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah is a Liberian politician, who became the 25th President of Liberia in January 2018. He is a retired professional footballer who played as a striker. He has won many international laurels for his country.

In the sub-saharan africa, Liberia is the first black African nation to gain her independence from the from the American Colonization Society on July 26, 1847. Liberia is a country ravaged by internecine war that literally, and almost brought the beautiful country into extinction. The First Liberian Civil War was an internal conflict in Liberia from 1989 until 1997. According to a report, the conflict killed about 250,000 people.

In a nutshell, the pogroms in Liberia also consumed the young and old at their prime. The Liberian war was a defining moment in the ugly period of the country's history. The interventions of the ECOMOG with the prominent role Nigeria played, and that of UN forces halted the country in self-inflicted problems from obliteration. The war has since become history, but the scars the war left behind are oozing out corruption and disenchantment. Corruption is the identity and menace of african nations. The immediate past president Serleaf Ellen Johnson, an American trained technocrat was a consequential president. Her presidency energized the youth of Liberia to redefine their role in their affairs after the war. Liberian youths were aspirational with great expectations of a bright future. Under Serleaf, corruption was expected to be the public enemy, corruption was re-crafted, with the help of the Liberian politicians. Serleaf's son was also said to have been involved in oil-bloc scandals that are yet to be resolved.

In retrospect, the voice of the Africa's first female President was aspirational on January 16, 2006 when she declared from the podium to deliver her first-ever historic address, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf made a solemn pledge and declaration in the following lines: "…Fellow Liberians, we know that if we are to achieve our economic and income distribution goals, we must take on forcibly and effectively the debilitating cancer of corruption. Throughout my campaign, I assured our people that, if elected, we would wage war against corruption regardless of where it exists, or by whom it is practiced…Today, I renew this pledge. Corruption under my Administration will be the major public enemy. We will confront it. We will fight. Any member of my administration who sees this affirmation as mere posturing or yet another Liberian leader to play to the gallery on this grave issue should think twice. In this respect, I will lead by example…."

After 12 the years of locusts under the reign of Ellen Johnson Serleaf, John Weah, the soccer legend also campaigned under the pretext of combating the scourge of corruption in Liberia. Weah's inaugural speech to the Liberian people was also laced with aspirational messages, and to tackling the scourge of graft and corruption.

The antecedents of President Weah was premised on a man journeying from obscurity to clarity of a promising future! George Weah, unlike other African footballers, has a sustained vision for Liberian people. He was able to manage his accumulated wealth through investments. His greatest investment was on the people of Liberia. He invested heavily in his people. While his country was still being ravaged by war, president Weah singlehandedly sponsored his country to world cup. During the Libyans horrifying and heinous crimes against their African brothers and sisters, Weah mobilized his wealth again to airlift his people out of the dystopian nation-Libya. Weah never gave up on his hope and aspirations for his country.

We have moral and patriotic lessons to learn from a man who evolved from grass to grace. Whatever has happened to a man in the past, whether by commission or omission is an instrument for future development. President Weah had contested in the past and lost to the outgoing president. In spite of the gracious loss, he remains unfettered. Weah believes in the courage of his convictions, he followed his dream with unhindered optimism away from negative nuances and side distractions of life.

President Weah should be cautiously optimistic based on the elevated and curved curse of corruption and misgovernance in Africa. He should beware of the Cassius of Monrovia, and come not near the Brutus in Liberia, he must have an eye with the descendants of Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor. All the Any Government in Power-AGIP must be weeded out of presidential palace in Monrovia. President Weah must replace AGIP, and he must partner with the envisioned Liberian youths who have impeccable credentials in order to succeed.

President Weah should wear moral armor against African unpleasant history to protect his integrity. Weah should be armed on his left hand with the failures of Samuel Doe, the self-inflicted negative nuance of history bedeviled Charles Taylor, and the misplaced priory and corruption infested administration of Ellen Johnson Serleaf. All these will consciously guide him from falling into the cursed, political infidelity and immoral identity of African leaders. In his right hand, George Weah should be weaponized with the arsenal of good governance by making his government an all-inclusive administration. He should use the historic mistakes and failures of his predecessors to rewrite Liberian ugly history.

The good thing is that, president Weah has started on a good note. He is somehow envisioned of the future of Africa. He seems to be acting like the true son of the soil of Africa. His abrogation of the aged obnoxious law in Liberia that discriminates against the people is a step in the right direction. Though, we are being cautiously optimistic of the future of Africa. With good and honest people around him, he might be on his way to building the much touted African renaissance. We wish him well.

Literally, weep not for president Weah for the mundane and challenging problems ahead of him. Weah must be reminded the challenges of his new present position. His new position is a mantle of leadership that requires tenacious mindfulness and visionary outlook. He must realise that consistency and enforcement of expectations provide the basis for effective governance. At a period Africa is undergoing political and economic upheavals, he should partner with the government of Nigeria and other african countries drawing a clear lines between corruption, good government and accountability. We wish President Weah a tumultuous but blissful run of a defining moment in Liberian history.

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