By Tina S. Mehnpaine – Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Liberia’s President, George Weah has openly accused the country’s former Vice President of trying to incite instability. Weah said Friday, December 20, 2019, on state-owned radio and television network, Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS), he was disappointed in the former Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai
Boakai is among those calling for a permit to allow citizens to protest against the government on December 30 to demand President George Weah steps down, National Telegraph has been told.
“Boakai can never say that George Weah is a wicked man to him, Boakai spent 12 years of his life as a Vice President. He got sick almost to die. He didn’t have any support. The only person that came to his aid is George Weah, how can George Weah be wicked to Boakai?, Weah told LBS Director Legerhood Rennie and John Kollie in Monrovia.
Joseph Nyumah Boakai Sr. was Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985 and served as Vice President of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
President Weah alleged that Joseph Boakai incited a June 7 protest and has continued to cause problems for his government. The President also mentioned Representative Yekeh Kolubah, Montserrado County district#10 lawmaker as one of the major planners of the December 30 protest. He urged Yekeh to do the work of a lawmaker and not a civil activist.
“Yekeh is a Lawmaker. He’s not a Civil Rights activist. So he should concentrate more on the lawmaking for the people. He can still make an impact. He doesn’t need to be on the street causing civil disturbances. When people don’t have understanding you don’t even need to approach them. I know Yekeh very well. Yekeh used to carry arms before, I know who he is. So it doesn’t bother me,” he said.
President Weah also said Henry P. Costa, the lead campaigner of the December 30 Protest does not have the mandate of the people to ask him to step down. “Henry Costa went to Election for a district Representative seat and could not even secure 500 votes,” he said.
The President said he’s not going to waste his time negotiating with them to call off the protest or to look into reasons why they want to protest, adding that it was because of the unsuccessful negotiation that led to massive June 7 protest. “No one can tell me to step down, not even the Boakai, not even Cummings not even the Urey nobody” said President George Weah.
Despite countless calls from the opposition to change some officials of his government, President George Weah in same interview on LBS compared himself to a coach that is building a strong team who could not just change or sack any player because of problems.
“I am the leader of this country, I have to evaluate. You know I did critical thinking in school and I hope that would encourage Liberians to do critical thinking. We have to go for information, process them, evaluate them before we make decisions. There would be a lot of issues here,” he said.
President Weah stated that the present Economic issue is not just Liberia, adding it’s global and his strong team is working tirelessly to solve the problem.
“We’re the government and we have economic issues and citizens are concerned with the economic issues. I think we have a great team that will solve the problem and you know economic issue is global it’s not just Liberia. I don’t think any economic issue should disrupt the peace that we enjoy,” he said
The President also responded to the question that citizens want him to dismiss Samuel Tweah, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and Nathaniel McGill, Minister for State and Presidential Affairs.
“Well that’s their opinion. Every citizen has the right to criticize the government, to criticize the ministers that they don’t like, that they believe are not working,” he said. He also said that Samuel Tweah is doing a great job and making sure to settle debt that they inherited.
He went on to say that “If you get in Samuel Tweah position now and in a month’s time you have problems; money is not coming in because people are not paying taxes and your budget shortfalls and you can’t get money in the coffers in the month, should I sack you? Is that what you’re trying to say,? he quizzed.