President George M. Weah Labelled Critics “Enemies of the State”: the last Sign of a Looming Dictatorship
“My people, don’t listen to those criticizing me for lobbying for loans. Those doing so are enemies of the country. The loans I am taking will be able to complete the roads in three years. When I am asking partners for loans any of them who tell me that they want complete the roads in six years, I can say no because I know in the next six years, if I don’t do anything for you, I will not be re-elected.”—President George M. Weah.
By Alfred P. B. Kiadii, r [email protected], Contributing Writer
Just under six months, President George M. Weah is gradually validating the claim made by critics and including this writer that he doesn’t have a thick skin to tolerate dissenting opinions against him and his regime. The true character of President George M. Weah is being revealed, much to the chagrin of his supporters and others who slandered us when we articulated that the former AC Millan striker is nothing but an implacable, illiterate dictator who is destitute of knowledge to govern the country.
Such statement emanating from President George M. Weah shows an acute lack of knowledge and creeping signal of a looming tyranny. The President, by his statement, has acquiesced the insults hired lackeys and lousy mercenaries of the regime hurled at decent compatriots who are critical of the misrule of the kakistocracy governing the homeland. His statement goes to indicate that soon the regime will commence cracking down on alternative voices.
Any country which is edging closer to dictatorship commences with the disregard for the rule of law, the crackdown on critical voices and forcing the independent media into self-censorship, followed by naming places and buildings after the megalomaniac dictator. After those have been done, the last weapon a regime unveils to move into full tyranny is to brand decent compatriots as “enemies of the state” and slap them with the charge of treason.
In Liberia, for instance, President Weah has shown all of the symptoms of a rising dictator. He started with the total disregards for the rule by his Minister of Finance in Samuel Tweah refusing to allot funds to conduct the by-elections in Bong and Monsterrado counties in compliance with the 90 days stipulation of the Constitution of Liberia, followed by launching a spiteful campaign of slander and vilification against the independent press. Then he complemented it with naming structures and days after him like the phantom 14th Military Hospital, the Weah for Clean City, and the Clar Weah Market. He consummates it with the last weapon in his arsenal by labelling critical voices against the kakistocracy of a regime as “enemies of the state.”
Make no mistake, we the first to articulate that the homeland is grossly underdeveloped, and the government should take careful but deliberate step to transform the country. But we make this call with a proviso, which goes to say our quest for the development of the homeland must not be done in reckless disregard for the rule of law. Neither must it be done in ways that will further cripple and compound the paralyses the republic is fraught with. It is against this backdrop that we oppose the two loan deals that smell of sulfur, with the halo of developmental urgency around them.
We echo two declarative statements which serve as the basis for our criticism against the kakaistocracy which governs the homeland: Mr. President, we say to you that patriots are absolutely offended when their country is being misrepresented. In addition, Mr. President, to paraphrase from an Arab Sister, when a building is destroyed it can easily be rebuilt, but when a country is destroyed, it is gone forever. These two pointed statements indicate why we have chosen to struggle against this implacable kakistocracy governing the homeland.
Mr. President, we say to you that by us openly condemning the two ill-fated loan agreements your administration entered into with Group EBOMAF and Elton in no way suggests that we are “enemies of the state.” To even make such statement indicates that you are not a champion of freedom of speech and that you are in stark disagreement with pluralistic democracy. In other words, since we have not supported you flouting the laws, building three exotic palaces under mysterious circumstances, etc. means we are ‘enemies of the state.” This is the height of folly from a man who carries himself as a democrat.
By your statement, Mr. President, you have stood reasoning on its head, and has made a messy meal of logical thinking. We wouldn’t argue that your statement against critical voices is purely based on ignorance, but it is part of a schematic strategy to make us appear as sour grapes, complete with hate for you and your regime. Such political playacting by you and elements of your variety is so cheap and lacking in every regard.
How does one being critical of a regime which engages in money laundering amounts to being ‘enemies of the state,’ or having a devilish agenda? You see how it so easy for you to openly discharge your prejudice and bias, in the most outrageous of forms. Your misrepresentation of our views against your regime has made us to believe that you are struggling to grapple with the dichotomy between enmity and political disagreement.
It is redundant to even say much. To unmask your travesty of reasoning, one only needs to counterpoise your statement against itself to expose the destitute of logic resident in it. And we have elected to do so by posing the following questions: How has being critical of your regime amounts to being “enemies of the state”? By your definition of “enemies of the state,” could we say every person who writes a post on Facebook against your regime is an “enemy of the state”?
In addition, by your reasoning it would go to say every political active person who openly criticizes you is an enemy of the state? The sequential pattern doesn’t follow reasoning in the least, and it seems to us that you have won the dubious distinction for making generalizations that border on childish absurdity.
If you don’t know the “enemies of the state,” Mr. President, bear with us so we can walk you through and enlighten you on them. One enemy of the state is to sign loan deals that smell of money laundering and terrorist financing. The real “enemies of the state” are the Shaw, Bright and others of their variety who play pivotal roles in the inner cycle of your kakistocarcy of a regime—elements whose conducts in the public sector leave nothing to desire except rampant plundering. The “enemies of the state” are the entire NPFL parasitic cabal which US intelligence has indicated formed partnership with al Qaeda to extract blood diamonds from neighboring Sierra Leone, in the late 90s and early 2000s. The “enemies of the state” are worsening living standards, pervasive inequality, an all-time high exchange rate—all have being manifested in the homeland since you became President. Much more the twin evils—widespread unemployment and permanent inflation currently running amok in the homeland are “enemies of the state.”
Instead of the usual scapegoating, with its attendant outburst of unfettered, disjointed stream of consciousness. It would make more sense when those structural and fundamental imbalances mentioned above are tackled, coupled with your regime placing transparency and accountability at the center of governance. We say to you those are the “enemies of the state”—not constructive criticisms from progressive forces who disagree with your government.
Kiadii studies Political Science with emphasis in Public Administration at the University of Liberia. He is the Secretary General of the Movement for Social Democratic Alternative (MOSODA). You can reach him through Cell#: +233552176627, or [email protected].