“Liberia’s President Weah Marks 30 Days Without Immediate Plans”

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FrontPageAfrica should be a respectable news magazine. At least, I have always thought so.

However, when the haste to criticize or the desire to sell papers supersedes due diligence the public confidence in a noble institution may be menaced.

As a friend and proponent of fearless reporting and the media in general, I have hoped that the FrontPageAfrica paper would have maintained the respect of not just me but well-meaning Liberians.

The story “Liberia’s President Weah Marks 30 Days Without Immediate Plans For Country” is more a work of fiction, a rush to criticize and less of a narrative worth reading. But, you know, I read it. I read the story because of the traction it appeared to be gaining on social media.

The author of story revealed so much: backing arguments with facts is not the interest of the paper, impressing with knowledge about the United States is more important than comprehension of the history of the Presidency in Liberia and paying attention to a Presidency which started with securing grants for road work and connectivity of the country is not a priority. It saddens me that the paper will descend to such low.

Let’s look at the “argument” proffered by the Paper in defense of its sensational headline. The Paper traces the emergence of “100 days plan” to President Roosevelt. Why is such important here?  It further asserted that President Sirleaf laid out a 100-day plan. Who cares?   President Weah and the Minister of State McGill spoke about their 100-day plan. But, then, why this headline?

Yet, the headline carries that “President Weah Marks 30 Days Without Immediate Plans for the Country”. How can the President speak about the connectivity of the country and not have a 100 Day plan? How can the Minister of State catalog the first “100 days deliverables” and yet the President not have a “100 Day Plan”?  Is a contradiction in the editor’s narrative not conspicuous?

There is so much that FrontPageAfrica could be involved with other than a fruitless campaign to disparage what is obviously the most aggressive government yet in Liberia’s history relative to engaging the challenges facing the country.

Why not talk about the relief delivered to families regarding the reduction in the price of rice? Why not hail the announcement to pay the WAEC fees? Why not talk about the securing of $25,000,000 budgetary support?

Why not share the news about the proposed East-West Coastal line highway or the $12.3 million promised by the government of France?

The facts are easily discernible. The truth is that President Weah has attracted to the country, in less than 30 days, what some leaders could not do throughout their Presidency. FrontPageAfrica should be sharing this news.

Think about it: if $37,000,000.00 could be brought in within 30 days what can we expect in 500 days, 1,000 days or say 2,200 days? Do the Math. This government is on pace to attract $2.2 billion in assistance (not loan). Just think about what this could do for Liberia.  

Having dilly-dally, the paper in a typical FrontPageAfrica way unraveled its own argument about the lack of a “100 Day Plan”- it switches to opine that President Weah’s plan was unrealistic. Oh, I thought he did not have one! Look, you cannot have your cake and eat it. FrontPageAfrica cannot be serious.

The desperation to sell a paper should not blind you to the positive changes unfolding in Liberia in just 30 days. You must understand that for a dispirited, marginalized and impoverished people what matters are not the big speeches and long narratives of the  “100-day deliverables”, the “Vision 20-20”, the Millennium Challenge”  and the rest.

What matters are the ability to purchase rice, the freedom from worrying about the payment of WAEC Fees, clarity about the connectivity of their farms to markets and leaders who understand the plight of the ordinary people.

The young CDC led government has presented more than a “100 Day Plan”- the government has started to restore hope and transform lives. FrontPageAfrica must open its eyes and discard the lenses of evil.

Isaac Saye-Lakpoh Zawolo, Maryland – United States,
Member, CDC-USA

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