George Weah Is Not 24th President of Liberia, But 25th President
President George Manneh Weah is wrong to refer to himself as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia. In many of his public utterances, including his widely watched inaugural speech at the Samuel Kanyon Doe sports complex President George Manneh referred to himself as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia.
Exactly one week following his inaugural speech, President George Weah propounded the same narrative in his State of the Nation address… he stated: “I, George Manneh Weah, your humble servant, took the oath of office and was sworn in as the 24th President of the Republic of Liberia”.
Interestingly, some members of his inner circle are also peddling this false narrative, much to the bewilderment of historians.
The assertion that George Manneh Weah is the 24th President of Liberia is false and inconsistent with the presidential enumerations of Liberian Presidents in the new and revised version of Liberian presidential history.
It is therefore imperative that this narrative is correct to avoid inconsistencies in our historical discourse. In this revised version the ranking of Liberian Presidents was reconciled and made plain by Dr. Elwood Dunn and Dr. William E. Allen; two of Liberia’s most distinguished scholars on Liberian history and culture.
In two riveting articles, first published in the 2005 edition of The Perspective online news organ and the second published in the 2008 edition of the Liberian Studies Journal, Dr. Dunn and Dr. Allen, having extensively reviewed historical documents from the repositories of the American Colonization Society and in consultation with other relevant historiographers published joint articles affirming that “President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is actually the 24th Head of state of Liberia, not the 23rd as is presently purported by the government and the media”.
Despite this sobering clarification and subsequent public acknowledgement by his predecessor Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, George Weah’s administration is still advancing the narrative that George Manneh Weah is the 24the President of Liberia. This error must be corrected to avoid unnecessary confusions.
The numerical listings of Liberian Presidents are available in many historical documents and books, including the Liberian Studies Journal.
Furthermore, if you count from Joseph Jenkins Roberts to William Tolbert ,you will see that indeed William Tolbert was the 20th President of Liberia; followed by Samuel Doe as the 21st President, Charles Taylor as the 22nd President, Moses Blah as the 23rd President and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf as the 24th President.
In such order, it is inconceivable that George Manneh Weah, who succeeded Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will also be the 24th President.
Notwithstanding, if there is a strong argument to debunk what has been established by historiographers…that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the 24th President of Liberia, such argument must be presented for review and education.
The absence of such argument or delays in presenting such argument leaves one to wonder if the George Weah-led government has engaged in a concerted campaign to delegitimize other Presidents before him.
Interestingly however, questions and legitimacies of each Liberian President have been settled and recorded in the new version of Liberian history, and based on this revised historical documents the government of George Manneh Weah must take corrective measures to claim her spot in the annul of Liberian history as the 25th President of Liberia and not the 24th President of Liberia.
Below are the corrected listings of our Liberian Presidents:
- Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1848-1856)
- Stephen Allen Benson (1856-1864)
- Daniel B. Warner (1864-1868)
- James Spriggs Payne (1868-1870)
- Edward James Roye (1870-1871)
- James S. Smith (1871-1872)
- Joseph Jenkins Roberts (1872-1876)
- James Spriggs Payne (1876-1878)
- Anthony W. Gardner (1878-1883)
- Alfred F. Russell (1883-1884)
- Hilary R.W Johnson (1884-1892)
- Joseph J Cheeseman (1892-1896)
- William D Coleman (1896-1900)
- Garretson W. Gibson (1900-1904)
- Arthur Barclay (1904-1912)
- Daniel E. Howard (1912-1920)
- Charles D.B King (1920-1930)
- Edwin J Barclay (1930-1944)
- William V.S Tubman (1944-1971)
- William R. Tolbert, Jr. (1971-1980)
- Samuel K. Doe (1986-1990)
- Charles G. Taylor (1997-2003)
- Moses Z. Blah (Aug 2003 –Oct 2003)
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006-2018)
- George Manneh Weah (2018-
Nyaquoi Gehgan Bowman is a writer and contributor to the Liberian writer series at Kiiton Press. He is a political connoisseur and ardent follower of Liberian history and politics. He is the author of Presidential Behavior of Liberian Presidents from 1847 to Present. He can be reached at [email protected]