Liberia: “Liberia Will Be Worse If Weah Wins In 2023” – Lewis Brown
MONROVIA – Liberia’s former Information Minister Lewis Brown has predicted turbulent times for the nation and its citizens if the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) of President George Manneh Weah is given a second term to govern the country in the pending 2023 general and presidential elections in the wake of the shifting of blame on the failure of opposition politicians to hold together.
Mr. Brown recently pledged his support to the Political Leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander Cummings.
According to him, the Liberian leader has not done well for the nation and its people, and as such, it is now time opposition politicians come together to defeat President Weah.
He stated that President Weah will present a “threat” to the state and Liberians if he is given any chance to govern the country at the level of the presidency.
He made these comments when he appeared as guest on the OK Morning Rush Show on OK FM 99.5 in Monrovia on Tuesday, September 20.
Mr. Brown observed that President has disappointed vast majority of Liberians as well as his supporters as evidenced by the growing wave of hardship in the country due to the manner and form in which he is steering the affairs of the nation.
He stressed that the first term of any sitting President in countries across the world is the “best performing term” of those leaders, and President Weah is of no exception.
He observed that the CDC led-administration is only elevating the living conditions of a selective few working in government from the resources of the country, while vast majority of Liberians continue to suffer.
Mr. Brown noted that promises made to the Liberian people, especially the creation of thousands of jobs on an annual basis, are yet to be actualized by the government.
“Winning any incumbent, even a failed one, is never easy because they have the resources. What must be done is that, all of us (opposition) have to recognize that if President Weah wins again, this country will be worse than where we currently are. What we have seen over the last five years and seeing today is President Weah best performance and it is not even close to being called good enough. Imagine if he got a second term.”
“Friendship should never be over citizenship. One of the reasons we celebrated President Weah was for his football artistry. He achieved the highest that no African player has ever achieved in football. I have never seen a better football wizard with the ball at his feet than I have seen George Weah. He brought us so much joy. But interestingly, on all his professional teams, he was never the captain even though he was one of the best everywhere. It’s simply because, he’s not a leader contrast to (Alexander) Cummings.”
He said the Liberian Chief Executive has already shown to the Liberian people what he is capable of doing in governance, noting that, it is now binding on the opposition and everyone to work together to have him replace.
Don’t single out
Mr. Brown emphasized that eminent citizens and others should desist from imposing the responsibility for a change in the governance of Liberia and the improvement of the lives of citizens on a particular person or specific group of people.
He said it is the duty of all well-meaning Liberians to champion the need for a change beginning in their respective communities, instead of restricting the opposition ticket to few individuals.
He stressed that a genuine change in the governance process of Liberia should not be centered on the Political Leaders of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), the Unity Party (UP) and the Liberian People Party (LPP), Alexander Cummings, Joseph Nyuma Boakai and Tiawan Gongloe, but all citizens who mean well for their country.
Mr. Brown emphasized that the democratic removal of President Weah from power does not rely on the three opposition leaders.
According to him, the focus of every patriotic Liberian should be “stopping a failed President” from getting a second term come 2023.
“This is not about Cummings, Boakai or Gongloe coming on one ticket; this is about the country. It is about stopping a failed President. If the opposition can effectively reduce itself to three political parties, in my mind that’s a progress for our democracy.”
Reducing opposition political parties
He said the quality of democracy is not measure by the number of opposition political parties, but by the quality of those parties.
Mr. Brown added that the reduction of the proliferation of opposition political parties must be addressed.
“We (opposition) can begin to work to point out some of the challenges in the country. If we can point to the failures of President Weah and we can agree that if VP Boakai comes at top to face President Weah in the second round, he is still a better choice.”
Mr. Brown said Liberia is heading in the wrong direction and as such, his Political Leader Cummings remains the one best suited for the presidency due to the qualities of his leadership experience and the boldness of his vision for Liberia and the citizenry.
Risked Liberia with Weah
Mr. Brown was one of those who endorsed, supported and cast his vote for President Weah during the 2017 general and presidential elections over ex-Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai of the former ruling Unity Party (UP).
He previously aligned with the UP during the administration of Madam Sirleaf and was endorsed and heavily supported to contest on the ticket of the party in a senatorial by-election which brought fallen CDC Senator Geraldine Doe Sheriff to power.
He disclosed that his decision taken to support and cast his vote for President Weah was based upon the hope that “the office would make him (Weah) better, recognized and responsible.”
Mr. Brown admitted to risking Liberia and its citizenry as per the decision he made to vote for President Weah in 2017 over ex-Vice President Boakai. However, he vowed not to take similar risk in 2023.
“This government has disappointed too many people, including me. I voted for President Weah. With my own concept and philosophy, I thought he (Weah) represented something fresh or new. I have to say that, I was wrong.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Brown has called on Liberians to disengage from casting aspersion on their counterparts who worked and served in past governments, noting that, “we should stop guilt by association.”
He said citizens should also desist from stereotyping and considering counties and regions as strongholds for various politicians in the country.
He stressed that these politicians are running to become President for the entire country, and therefore, they should be embraced and supported regardless of their affiliation, tribe or region and based upon the level of responsibilities and vision they have for Liberia.
“People keep thinking about constituency in terms of the counties. This is the wrong mindset that we have. The presidency should belong to all tribes and all religions. If you are running for President and if you can own a county, that should not qualify you over others. It should not be a constituency of county or district; it should a constituency of ideas.”