MONROVIA – Liberia made history last week when President George Manneh Weah, the country’s 24th President conceded defeat to his archrival Joseph Nyumah Boakai following the presidential runoff election on Tuesday.
By Gerald C. Koinyeneh – [email protected]
This brought a sigh of relief to millions of Liberians at home and abroad and drew huge commendations from the international community. Following President Weah’s concession speech the United States applauded Liberia and called “on all citizens to follow President Weah’s example and accept the results.”
But what do Liberians make of the results and their expectation, FrontPageAfrica spoke to several voters in Monrovia and Paynesville and also surfed the internet to gather their views.
Alvin M. Kanneh, Unity Party’s Deputy Coordinator, Montserrado District #4: “The Liberian people voted for change. The citizenry expectation is for Amb. Boakai to bring that positive change that we so yearn for. I believe that the Rescue Mission will bring a change in the first 200 days. He will bring that positive change. The system has to be audited. People who misuse the Liberian people’s resources should be investigated and made to pay for their crimes. And the new ones that are coming will have to declare their assets.”
Adolphus Doer, supporter, CDC: “My thanks and appreciation to President Weah for being so patriotic. This has shown that Liberians have decided to practice what is democracy. But there is a proverb that [the late] Jones Dopoe gave. ‘Power does not lie in the hands of a man forever.’ He should also remember that when President Weah won in 2017, we were all in the streets jubilating, but today he is gone. So, it’s a warning shot to President-elect Boakai. As you get there, do the will of the Liberian people. Don’t overstep your power. I am kindly asking you that when you get to power, please invest in agriculture, education, health and security. These are things that make society move on smoothly. These are things that make citizens live better lives. Ambassador Boakai, the Liberian people have voted you massively. Please do their will.”
Gibson Gayflor, supporter of the CDC: “President Weah surprised Liberians and the world by accepting the results and congratulating the incoming president Joseph Nyumah Boakia. I just want to say thanks to the President for those kind words he said. I am a CDCian. I feel hurt. You see President Weah was not to lose this election but the people around him did not do well. All we ask from this government is to do a good job and protect the peace.”
John K. Toe, motorcyclist and UP supporter: “President George Weah did well as a President, but it’s time for him to go and rest small. You know everything for him da [is] one term. I am a little bit disappointed in the CDC Government. I worked in this government at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for years, but didn’t get paid. My wife got sick and I took her to the Jackson F. Doe Hospital in Monrovia but I didn’t have any money to pay her medical bills and she died. That’s the painful guilt I am living with today. I got so frustrated and I left Grand Gedeh and moved to Monrovia. To survive, I have to ride a motorbike. That’ why I am so happy that I was part of the campaign that removed this government. Now, I am hoping that the new government will pay my money. My expectations: improved road connection, education, health and agriculture.”
Nemenlah Gleekia, Liberian based in U.S.: “The President has finally conceded. And that’s a good thing for our democracy. And we want to say thank you to President Weah, and thank you to the people of Liberia for making him a one-time president. Because he was very irresponsible when we trusted him with the helm of power. But at the end of the day, Liberia is bigger than George Weah and any of us. That’s our county development fund I am interested in. The ones we just elected, we will hold all of you accountable. We will keep decency, but we will hold you accountable. How come we pay all these men, then after three to four years, no county development fund. They just take our money and they get away with it. And there will be no sitting. This time it got to stop. We will use the same data as [Senator-elect] Amara Konneh.”
Beatrice Snyder, youth advocate: “Firstly, I would like to thank every Liberian for maintaining the peace, and appreciate the government for the Democratic process. The elections were free and fair with 99.09 credibility in my opinion. My expectations are many but these are the most important ones: reconciliation, inclusiveness (every citizen should be included in long- and short-term development. Public and private entities should be disabled friendly for persons living with disabilities, capacity Building, education, food Security national security, press freedom, development and a better policy making for Mama Liberia.”
Jeremiah Tamba Nemour, youth leader and UP supporter: “The outcome, where sitting President George Weah lost to opposition leader former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai by a slight margin, has left me reflecting on the democratic process and the choices made by the electorate.While elections are a fundamental aspect of democracy, the closeness of the result underscores the diversity of perspectives within our society. It is my hope that the new leadership, under Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, will work towards unity and address the concerns of all citizens. Firstly, I believe that fostering national reconciliation should be a top priority. Given the close margin in the election, it is crucial for the new leadership to work towards unity and bridge the gaps that may exist among the diverse segments of our society. A concerted effort to bring people together will contribute to a stronger and more cohesive nation. Secondly, I am eager to see the implementation of Vice President Boakai’s AREST agenda. The emphasis on Agriculture, Roads, Education, Sanitation, and Tourism aligns with key areas that can significantly impact the well-being of our citizens and the overall development of Liberia.”
Christina T Barleah, Supporter, Unity Party: “I hail from a great county called Mount Nimba, specially Nimba District #6 Tappita District). First, I will appreciate God the almighty, it’s by his grace that got us as winner. The elections were free, fair and transparent. I would like to appreciate the National Elections Commissions, the European Union, the Spoon FM family, journalists and all Liberians in and around the world for their entire effort. I want to see a new Liberia with transformational leadership. We voted Amb. Joseph N. Boakai and Senator Jeremiah Koung not because of political parties’ affiliation, but because of the betterment of our future and country at large… Abraham Lincoln was recorded in history as one of the best presidents America ever has. Please lead well to leave a legacy. They should have the spirit of forgiveness, with unity success is sure.”