Liberia’s Traditional Leaders Sound Warning To Opposition Politicians ‘Preventing Developments’; ‘Undermining’ George Weah-led Government

NTCL Chief Zanzan Karwor (with glasses) and other chiefs pose for a photo shortly after the news conference

MONROVIA — The National Traditional Council of Liberia (NTCL), through its Chairman, Chief Zanzan Karwor, has blamed the growing wave of hardship and the lack of investment and job opportunities in Liberia to the negative use of young people by some opposition politicians in the country.

Chief Karwor observed that some opposition politicians (who he did not name) are allegedly in the constant habit of undermining the developmental gains being made by the George Weah led-government, instead of rallying around national leadership to move the country forward.

He added that these politicians normally used young people to engage into staged protests or engaged into violent activities to scare away or discourage potential investors from investing in the country.

He made these comments at a news conference held in Monrovia on Thursday, March 4, upon his return to Liberia from Ghana.

Chief Karwor had gone Ghana to attend a meeting organized by the leadership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). 

“In Liberia, our children or the youths are not the problem; the politicians are our problem. They are the ones making development to not come here. When they want jobs-and they do not get it and their friends get it-instead of them helping to lift their friend up with development, they can’t do it. They start to create problem”.

“When elections finished, they grabbed few youths, gave them something and they get on the streets to intimidate and harass the Liberian government. We are tired and we will not allow anybody to hurt us in this country”.

Chief Karwor pointed out that traditional leaders will very soon petition the National Legislature to pass a law that will prevent opposition politicians from orchestrating chaos or instability if they do not become successful during future elections.

“When the politicians in Liberia are not using our children or causing trouble, jobs will be available; more people will come in Liberia to invest in agriculture; they will come with plenty money and everything”.

Chief Karwor hinted that the proposed petition will also be totally against the undermining or “fighting” a person who wins the presidency, regardless of status.

“We are the Council-and we say fighting one another can make Liberia to go nowhere. Liberia is behind. When someone is fighting you, you will not make your mark on development; but when no fighting is there, you will make your mark”.

He stressed the need for Liberians to respect their leaders, including those elected and appointed for the sake of peace and tranquility in the nation.

Chief Karwor used the occasion to call on opposition Liberian politicians to rally support around President Weah to move the country forward and patiently wait for their time to lead the nation.

He urged them to engage into developmental initiatives, including empowering youths and women, instead of waiting to ascend to state power before helping to solve the numerous challenges confronting those they intend to lead in the future.

“When it (NEC) says John Brown wins, I advise all political parties to close their mouths and start helping the people in the country and when the time comes for election, than you can pick up”.

Chief Karwor observed that it is now becoming habitual for politicians to renege on helping a sitting government to ensure sustainable developments across the country for the benefit of the citizenry.

“Let’s try to lift this President up and wait for his time to finish. Nobody should get on the streets. If you fight to win, the six years we don’t want problem. We will help you to do your development. But if that six years not finished; any party who will create problem, all the indigenous people will move on your party. Your give chance let my son (Weah) few time finished”.

Go back to the soil

Commenting on the just ended ECOWAS meeting held in Ghana, Chief Karwor pointed out that the gathering was intended to encourage and empower chiefs, youths, women and others to engage into agricultural activities.

According to him, a resolution was reached for African chiefs and traditional leaders to take the lead in encouraging their people to engage into farming activities.

He called on Liberians to go back to the soil in a bid to improve their living conditions and help move their country forward.

Chief Karwor, however, challenged chiefs and elders across the country to denounce acts which intend to create unfavorable conditions that would hinder developments, support agriculture, or create jobs by collectively being supportive of government’s developmental agenda.

He reminded his colleagues to desist from playing the role of opposition politicians to undermine the growth and development of the society.

He added that all chiefs and traditional leaders should remain neutral and desist from acts that have the propensity to cause confusion or instability in Liberia.

Call for unity

At the same time, Chief Karwor has called on citizens to unite and hold together if Liberia is to be on par with other countries in terms of economic and infrastructural growth and development.

He observed that though Liberia remains the oldest country on the African continent, the nation lacks development as compare to Ghana in the sub-region.

Chief Karwor furthered: “The way I see Ghana. We got to do something. When you go to Ghana now, you want to forget about Liberia”.

He used the occasion to commend President George Manneh Weah for the commencement of a tour across the country.

He added that though the Council was not officially opportune to be on the trip with the Liberian Chief Executive, the presidential tour will help address some of the constraints residents in the leeward areas are faced with.