MONROVIA – As the political campaign intensifies coinciding with the usual throwing of jibes at political opponents, President George Manneh Weah has outlined reasons to seek a second term in the ensuing presidential and legislative elections in Liberia, with a plea on Liberians to see him as their future and the only one best suited to lead and develop the country.
By Obediah Johnson, [email protected]
Liberians are expected to go to the polls on October 10 to elect their new leaders, according to a timetable released by the National Elections Commission (NEC).
President Weah said Liberians should give him a second term to enable them carry on a fair comparison of his 12-year stay in power as compare to his predecessor, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of the opposition Unity Party (UP).
This, according to the Liberian leader, will clearly shows Liberians and others “who is the best President.”
He made these assertions on a campaign trail in districts # 5, 6,11 and 12 respectively in Montserrado County over the week end.
President Weah said a second term mandate will also afford him the opportunity complete works he has already started, claiming to have adequately performed in his first term as compare to his predecessor.
He bragged that though the former ruling UP failed to provide free education to citizens despite its 12 years in power, his administration has fulfilled that in a short period of time.
President Weah said the payment of WASSCE fees, the holding of tutorial classes, free education for thousands of Liberian students by his government are still being considered as “doing nothing” by his political opponents.
According to him, the opposition UP and Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) cannot “rescue or fix” the nation as being widely proclaimed by it political leaders across the country.
“They call themselves rescuers, what are they coming to rescue? They call themselves ‘fixers’; what are they coming to fix? I say to you family and friends, I am your candidate. Elect me for the second time and you will see whether I am capable or not. I am a talk and do. You gave me my first six years and I performed. I’m asking for another six years so you can compare my 12 years with their 12 years to make a decision to know who is the best president.”
“The 12 years they stayed and they told you that you should not vote for us, but in the 12 years, if you look at their record and our record in the five years, you will see that we are the best people for you. We have come here today to ask you to re-elect me or give me a second term so I can finish my works and leave a legacy. I do not want to repeat what was repeated. But I can say to you, they told you that I have done nothing, but I have done something.”
President Weah urged citizens not to give ears to claims being raised by the opposition that they are suffering in the midst of free education and developing economy.
“I have built more hospitals than any other presidents since 1847 in this country. I have built more roads. I will make sure I develop this land. They have nothing to tell you; do not listen to what they will say. When they are talking about development and who can develop this country, there is no match (to me).”
I’m your future
He, however, considered himself the “future” of Liberians.
He stressed that Liberians, especially first-time voters, should not consider anyone who spent more than 40 years in government as their “future.”
Speaking further, President Weah observed that Liberia belongs to all its citizens and as such, his government will continue to promote true democracy.
He said the promotion of press freedom under his administration is unprecedented, while no political prisoner is behind bars.
President Weah claimed to have reconstructed the Executive Mansion following over 15 years of being neglected and abandoned by his predecessor since it was gutted by fire in 2006.
He said despite the efforts applied by his government to give a facelift to the national symbol of the country, the former ruling UP and other opposition political parties are pursuing citizens to have the CDC replaced.
“This government is the right government; people that have spent 12 years and have done nothing and we stayed five years; even the Executive Mansion got burn and for 16 years they could not fix it. I came in less than four years, I rebuild the Executive Mansion because I knew that the Mansion represents that country.”
President Weah said the opposition will continue to criticize him and his government, but they are still unable to clearly tell citizens what they intend to do differently from what his government is doing.
He urged elders and young people to be mindful of those who go around telling lies to acquire state power.
“Our government, we are very honest people and we are kind. When somebody is sick, we carry them to hospital, if they don’t have vehicle, we buy it. But when we buy those things, they can’t tell you, but when they take the gifts, they say we are corrupt.”
“This is our time; this is our moment. First time voters, you are doing the right thing to support this government. Anything that’s spoiled in this country, they spoiled it so; they are not coming to rescue anything.”
He used the occasion to disclose that roads being constructed by his government to link neighboring countries are about 85 to 97%.
Injustice to democracy and development
He said it will be a complete injustice to democracy and development for opposition to convince Liberians to vote him out of office as a result of the tremendous works he has done during his first term.
“We came here, we never had more hospitals. Today, George Weah that knew nothing has built more hospitals than any President in this country. The George Weah that knows nothing, but he knows how to construct and pave roads in your communities. The George Weah that knows nothing knows how to build houses for people to live a better life.”
The Liberian Chief Executive further used the occasion to express thanks and appreciation to Liberians for reposing confidence in his leadership.
He encouraged them to turn out en masse and vote to guarantee a one round victory for the ruling party.
President Weah urged young people to prepare themselves to take over the leadership of their country.
“They did not rescue you in 12 years, they cannot rescue you now. Everyone that is telling you they can rescue you, we are rescuing them. How will they rescue you when they never gave you free education? They told you that you are not educated, I gave you free school. Today you have more children going to public universities; the numbers are going up and it is good for our children.”
He called for partisans and supporters of the CDC to ignore provocations, remain peaceful, and avoid getting into confusion with their fellow compatriots from other political parties, noting that, “I will not let you down or make you shame.”