Liberia: Narcissism Becoming Visible In the Presidency; Not the Right Way as Leader




IT IS BECOMING GLARINGLY clear that narcissism has crept into the nation’s Presidency. And, this is coming at the detriment of the entire nation, including its population, who often line the streets to hail the politicians who ascend to State power and most times forget about those masses. These are the people who elected them into those positions of authority, influence and affluence. This narcissistic deportment has to be far from the Presidency of Liberia. 

YOU MAY PROBABLY BE thinking why did we start today’s editorial with such ‘big word.’ Let’s attempt to provide the psychological meaning for the word before we proceed further to the main point of our editorial.

PSYCHOLOGICALLY, NARCISSISM is extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one’s own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type. In other words, it means making oneself more important than all others in spite of any circumstances.

NOW, WITH THIS AS A BASE, you have probably heard or read the big news development that began to sweep across Monrovia, yea Liberia on Monday night. The discussion on this development is going to be talked about for eons, far behind the lifespan of this present Liberian administration.         

THESE BIG INTERNATIONAL NEWS outlets, including sports portals, reported as lead story the news that the former English-based football club, Arsenal manager, Mr. Arsène Wenger, is expected to travel to Liberia this week, to be honored with one of Liberia’s highest honors.

HIGHLIGHTED IN ALL OF THESE news organs’ reports is that the honor that would be bestowed on Wenger is as a result of the crucial role he played in the footballing career of President George Manneh Weah.

EXPECTED TO BE HONORED also along with Wenger is another gentleman, who played a somewhat not-so-important role in the football legend’s soccer career. This man is Coach Claude Le Roy. 

IT WAS A TIPOFF FROM WENGER’S friend Le Roy though that first brought Wenger’s attention to George Weah, while he was at Cameroonian side Tonnerre Yaoundé. A Liberian government spokesperson, whose name those major, international news outlets didn’t disclose had told Reuters that Wenger and Le Roy will be honored by the government of Liberia on Friday, August 24, which is National Flag Day, for their role in Weah’s footballing career, before he became President of Liberia.

WEAH, THE SOCCER PLAYER, spent four years at Monaco, where Wenger served as his manager, before he (Weah) moved to join Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) – where he played for a further three years.

A VERY SCINTILLATING FIVE-year spell at the Italian football club AC Milan followed, before Weah moved on to stay a while at England-based Chelsea and Manchester City.

THE SOCCER STAR WENT on to become the only African yet to have been named Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year, few years after he was signed by Wenger in 1988 when he, Wenger, coached the French football team Monaco.

THE FORMER ARSENAL coach and his friend Le Roy are expected to be inducted into the country’s Order of Distinction and be given the title of Knight Grand Commander of the Humane Order of African Redemption – the highest rank possible in the country.

WHEN THE NEWS OF THE honoring began to spread widely on Tuesday, August 21, it generated a lot of mixed reactions and everyone gave their opinions.

THE AWARD CRITICS ARE SAYING that the honor should not be given to Wenger or Le Roy just because of the role they personally played in the footballing career of the President as an individual.

LET’S PAUSE HERE A BIT and inform everyone that the President has broken no law by deciding to honor these two men or Wenger, the prominent among the two. By the power vested in the President of the Republic of Liberia, he/she has discretional power when it comes to bestowing honor on whom the President thinks it is due.

HOWEVER, THIS DISCRETIONAL authority the Chief Executive is given by virtue of being the President, has to be exercised with prudence, taking into accounts the timing and all other vital things surrounding that honor.

SO, THIS KNIGHT GRAND COMMANDER of the Humane Order of African Redemption title, which the nation can bestow upon Liberian and non-Liberian alike, should not be about the personal connection between the President and Wenger or Le Roy.

THE PRESIDENT AND HIS lieutenants, who are going to craft the citations for his guests, should also recognize the contributions these two astute sports gentlemen — Wenger and Le Roy — have made to Africa as the award also covers the continent.

UNDER WENGER, SPECIFICALLY at Arsenal, at least 16 African players, including neighboring La Côte d’Ivoire’s Kolo Touré, Cameroon defender Laureno Bisan Etamé-Mayer and Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu.

BUT FROM WHAT WE HAVE read so far from pieces of information that were given to those international news organs from the Liberian Government, it is just about the personal relationship the President has with these French men.  This is NARCISSISITIC on the part of the President, who only wants to satisfy his ego, thereby ignoring the greater good of the entire nation.

IN ONE OF PRESIDENT WEAH’S previous interviews, he described Wenger as a father-like figure, who “took care of me like his son” at Monaco. He further stated that “besides God, I think that without Arsène, there was no way I would have made it in Europe.”

MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR personal relationship with Wenger is acknowledged but this should no longer be about you as an individual, especially when it comes to these national honors.

YOU HAD THE MEANS and power to have honored these men for the personal role they played for you when you were in your previous post as Senator of Montserrado County.

GOING AHEAD TO CONFER the Order of Distinction on the two French men just because they personally aided your career is not the right decision.

THIS ONLY SHOWS THAT, like your predecessor, you are only mainly concerned about your feeling and once it is satisfied, everybody else should fall in line in spite of how they feel.

THIS IS HOW A NARCISSIST thinks and acts. Liberians don’t want any Chief Executive having such personality in the Executive Mansion. It’s no longer about the ‘people’ being “patient,” while you satisfy your ego.