Liberia: Be Wary Of 419 National Airlines Project
A rebirth of the dream of the old Liberia National Airways under President George Manneh Weah may just be a dream for now. The jet plane that was bought does not exist and may not even take off and passengers will fly at their own risk. After much publicity, pomp and pageantry surrounding the launch of the new airline dubbed, “Lone Star Air,” we have yet the see a physical jet plane on the runway at Roberts International Airport.
Instead, standing in front of President Weah was a replica toy plane planted on a baked cake-airfield that was decked in colors of the Liberian flag of red, white, and blue. So where was the airplane when tradition mandates the president cutting the ribbon and mounting up the stairs for a test flight with government officials and members of the Press? A “419”?
So here we go again under President George Manneh Weah with another “419” national project worthy to be called the “#14 Weah Lone Star Airline.” Maybe President Weah’s economic adviser and Liberia’s famous airplane/aviation guru Emmanuel Shaw needs to explain this one.
Was President Weah duped by Shah and his foreign mafiosos again because we have traveled this road before about President Weah’s fantasy projects? Come ride with me.
Landlocked Burkina Faso is poorer than Liberia but President Weah made us to believe that a company in Burkina Faso was going to loan Liberia $500 million to build 50,000 low-cost housing units and then build Dr. Weah’s promised coastal highway from Monrovia to Harper, Maryland County. How many of these low-cost housing projects have been constructed by the company, EBOMA in Burkina Faso? And how many miles of paved roads are there in Burkina Faso? A “419”?
Then it was off to Hong Kong to shop for yet another loan of $500 million from a non-existent company to fulfill Weah’s dream road project. But the first problem was locating the company in Hong Kong because it had no physical street address. Another “419”?
Then came the big one, the Mother of All Trips that would bring to reality President Weah’s ultra-modern George Weah Coastal Highway. A high power delegation took off for Beijing, China to shop for the biggest loan yet: a whopping $2.5 billion. And what would China get in exchange for its money?
Weah’s CDC-led government was willing to mortgage our iron ore-rich Mount Wologisi worth an estimated $50 billion; and not only the iron ore but the Chinese would have unhindered access to our gold, diamonds, and forest timbers. We are told Liberia’s Stepmother, the United States put a stop to the deal.
And because we Liberians lack the technical and geological know-how, the resource-greedy Chinese would be the ones to estimate how much worth ($-dollar-wise) of iron ore the Chinese dig out and export each year. Another “419.”
Then it was off to Dubai to the oil-rich Arab Sheiks of the Middle East seeking “Arab Investors” for his vision of Weah’s new “Monrovia City” to be built on the swamp. The Arabs flew to Monrovia in a planeload dressed in their traditional white robes to seal the deal. But first thing first.
They wanted to be elevated to diplomatic status, and they were granted each the prestigious diplomatic status. They bought our diplomatic passports like hot cakes as our new Consul Generals. But who were these Arab investors-turned Ambassadors?
Later we learned from the United States and Israel that the ” Arab new investors” were fronting for Islamic Jihadists, ISIS, Talaban, Islamic Fundamentalists and whatever was leftover from Bin Laden’s terror group, Al Qaeda —all seeking to do harm to America, Israel and US allies.
In fact, and according to the Americans, President Weah was so emboldened by his new diplomacy that he sold our diplomatic passports to South American drug cartels and their hired drug runners in West Africa including to a Nigerian wanted by the United States but Weah made the Nigerian his Consul General in Mexico. This brazen move by Weah poses a threat to US National Security Interests that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself issued an undiplomatic warning to President Weah. Another 419.
And this is how we arrive at this latest 419 bogus airline fiasco. But buyer beware and Liberians will fly at their own risk. Because the head of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority warned Liberia and President Weah that he Weah was dealing with fake people trying to sell planes to Liberia and Weah. Just a thought and not a sermon.
Jerry Wehtee Wion
Washington, DC, USA