Liberia: Pres. Weah Urges Opposition to Remove Him Through the Ballot and Not Through the Streets with Protests


MONROVIA – Just two days after members of the opposition bloc staged a rally against the government, President George Weah received a rousing welcome from a multitude of supporters despite being heavily criticized for being out of the country for more than a month.

Thousands of Liberians on Monday turnout at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) to welcome and escort President Weah to the Coalition for Democratic Change headquarters.

By Edwin G. Genoway, Jr. (231886458919), [email protected]

Monday’s turnout for the President outnumbered that of Saturday’s ‘We Tiya Suffering’ rally which was intended to draw the world’s attention to the ‘misrule’ and the ‘sufferings’ Liberians are enduring under the regime of President Weah. The rally was led by Alexander Cummings, standard-bearer of the new Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) and the Alternative National Congress.

However, the ‘We Tiya Suffering’ rally was largely boycotted by other members of the opposition bloc who criticized the CPP’s Lewis Brown for “lacking the moral ground” to organize such a protest against the government.

In his return remarks, President Weah urged members of the opposition bloc to refrain from devising means of destroying the country. He said the opposition community must stop buying sympathy from the disenchanted youth in the country.

“Do not break down the country with your too many protests, it is the common people you are harming; if you feel we are not doing well go to the ballot box and not the streets,” Pres. Weah said.

The Liberian leader said it is unfortunate for those who destroyed the country in the past to be calling for protest.

“They’ve been serving government since 1979 and they have not changed anything, they served as government officials in the past, they served as Agriculture Minister, they served as Vice President and still they didn’t fix it, we are the ones fixing it and they want to destroy the country,” he said.

President Weah said even though, those calling for protest against the government are the wrong messengers, his government will continue to provide democratic space and protection for everyone that will want to speak to their government through protest.

“I want them to know that we are on record for protecting our democracy and human rights; we provide the space for those that get on the streets to protest, we even provide them protection and food,” he said.

President Weah said every Liberian is free to protest if they feel disenchanted but encouraged whoever wants to protest to seek a permit from his government.

President Weah also questioned Cummings’ silence on the arrest of his bodyguard who was arrested during the ‘We Tiya Suffering’ rally with a firearm.

“Everything I do he will give speech, I travel he gives speech, I don’t travel he will give speech. I am wondering why now Mr. Cummings is not talking about the arrest of his personal bodyguard who was caught with arm, when he sat at SKD witnessing his lawmaker insult ministers and the presidency, he did nothing but clap his hands,”  the president said.

He added, “Anything would’ve happened, this is the kind of thing that can prevent us from allowing protest but we are the protector of democracy and free speech,” he said.

President Weah said his stay out of the country from November 1, 2022 which took him to Morocco, Egypt, and France, before traveling to Qatar to watch his son play in the US soccer team at the World Cup, and then attending the US-Africa Business Summit in Washington is in the interest of the country and its people.

Pres. Weah’s office framed the trip as being in the country’s interests, pointing to his meeting with the Qatar emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani where he secured a verbal commitment for the funding of a highway in Liberia described as “critical national infrastructure”.

While he was away, members of the opposition contended that his foreign travels offer no tangible benefit to his country and called on the Ministry of Finance to detail the cost to taxpayers.

“We can’t find any political leader anywhere in the world who has stayed away for this length of time [for non-health reasons],” Alexander B Cummings said in his criticism of the President’s travels.