By Julius T. Jaesen, II
Today as president Weah celebrates his 54th birth anniversary, Liberians in rural and urban communities are enquiring what Liberians have achieved in three years into Weah’s administration. They are deeply concerned and demanding the administration of Weah to state whether the president was successful in lifting himself economically at the expense of the country’s wealth or Liberians are the ones his administration lifted out of the dungeon of poverty.
But according to what Parrot Newspaper has gathered as birthday tributes are outpouring in our newsroom from Liberians from all walks of life clearly suggest that the Weah’s administration succeeded not in lifting the people of Liberia out of unbearable hardship but the president did well in amassing wealth at the expense of the struggling people of the country. Citizens all around the country when talked to by the Parrot News vomited out their growing frustration in the Weah’s administration and indicted the president in the court of public opinions to be self-seeking.
Like the Bible judicially describes Lucifer (Satan) in St. John 10:10 as a thief who comes only to steal and kill and destroy, in similar manner, Liberians who spoke to the Parrot Newspaper in annoying moods labelled George Weah as Lucifer’s reincarnate who too only comes to steal, enrich himself and subjugate Liberians to excruciating poverty and hopelessness.
Just in less than three years, Weah now owns mansions almost everywhere in the country. Liberians can see the bulletproof mansion Weah built in less than a year on 9th street Sinkor and the massive development at his Jamaica resort as well as his Rehab residence. While the public hospitals are closing down and health workers are on go-slow for just benefits, Weah is riding bulletproof vehicles. For this, Liberians in their tributes full of tears considered as president Weah as leader who is grossly insensitive to the plights of the struggling people who voted him in power.
Today, according to UNICEF, among most African countries, Liberia is far behind in its education system and has one of the world’s highest rate of out-of-school children with 15 to 20 percent of 6- to 14-year-old kids that are not in school. The report also pointed out that in addition, only a third percent of preschoolers have access to early education learning programs, and 54 percent do not finish primary school. Yet, with all these, Weah and his selected few officials continue to milk the wealth of the country and proud themselves in opulence and extravagance while children are dropping out of school.
It is no doubt that Weah is frustrating the poor people’s hopes and aspirations. This was not the change they voted for to see a president benefits more from the wealth of the country and while the people for whom power is derived wallop in the cesspool of poverty and deprivation. Liberia now stands under president Weah as one of the 21 countries with the highest stunting levels in the world. One out of three children under the age of 5 year-old is stunted or too short for their age because of a lack of proper nutrition. Besides, malnourished children are at a higher risk for death from diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria. According to the World Health Organization, 45 percent of deaths among children under the age of 5 are related to malnutrition. But yet, Weah says he has food aplenty but no appetite. Why a careless display of deep-seated insensitivity and inhumanness.
Resoundingly, Liberians today confirmed on the 54th birthday anniversary of Weah that Weah is a cruel leader who has benefited from the wealth of the country than the general citizenry have benefited. But what pains Liberians is that in the face of the damage that Weah and his cabal of criminals have caused the country, they now ganging up to perpetuate themselves in power according to them for 24 years. Imagine the place Liberia would sit among the comity of nations.
Under Weah’s Liberia, about 90 percent of people under the age of 5 die because of water crisis. Access to clean water could decrease infection, disease and death but water is now a luxury in Weah’s Liberia.
In the government’s Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development presented to Liberians and our international partners, it was promised that they would create one million jobs for Liberian, especially our vexing youth population that are grossly underemployed and unemployed. According to the United Nations, 85 percent of the youth population is unemployed. About 35 percent of males and 42 percent of females are unable to find jobs due to lack of skills and training. According to the International Labour Organization, the future for African youth relies on the right policies and programs that will create employment opportunities. But despondently, Weah’s government appears clueless to addressing herself to the right policy prescriptions that will address the challenges this administration faces when it comes to youth unemployment that poses a threat to the nation’s stability and peace. All they care about is how he Weah and his team can loot and plunder the country.
Liberians who spoke with Parrot recommended that president Weah should use his birthday occasion to take a sober reflection on the change they advocated for as to whether it is the same change they are seeing and enduring under his administration. Yet, they are right! Socrates, in Plato Apology, accentuated a monumental statement that says, “An unexamined life is not worth living”. So, like Socrates postulated, let Weah as recommended by Liberians who now feel the brunt of economic hardship reexamine what his administration has done to Liberia and its people in the last three years and alter course or quit the nation’s presidency. Our people can no longer bear this shame and pain. Yet, they can no longer live on wrangled bellies while Weah and his boys bash in wealth.
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