As we are commemorating the birth anniversary of Liberia’s First Diplomat and inaugural president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts, it’s very important we retrospect about his sacrifices and services to the nation and where he took us as a republic. Nevertheless, we cannot observe this day without referencing the LIBERIAN PRESIDENCY.
Back in Kindergarten, as a curious pupil, I asked my instructor “ Who is the leader of our country?” He looked at me and answered in a cheerful and amazing manner by saying “ The leader of our country is called a President. He/she is the Head of the country and 1st citizen in the nation. He/She controls the Armed Forces and everything in the Executive. His appointees serve at his Will and pleasure. The President is so powerful that majority of the citizens see him only on Television or at national functions.”
The instructor concluded by asking “ Who all want to be president of Liberia?” And the entire K-2 class shouted with a resounding “ Me, Me, Me….” That was 15 plus years ago. I am a grown-up now. I have matriculated from the stage of asking who is a president to protesting against a government and supporting a president’s agenda that’s certain to transmogrify the Republic.
From the classroom interaction, I knew that anyone who is the President of Liberia must be a person of extraordinary distinction. Like a scholar of punditocracy will predict, the leader of any nation is usually from a supreme class. Like in North Korea, their leader is not just supreme ruler but he’s referred to as “gods.” Whether he’s elected or appointed, they’re usually a factor of extreme influence and exclusive power. Those he leads are his servants and he’s usually a Capitalistic Bourgeois.
This sad leadership reality existed in Liberia for over 130 plus years, until a native from Grand Gadeh County in Samuel K. Doe deposed the autocratic regime of the nepotistic True Wing Party in 1980. The Doe’s presidency didn’t utilize a true people’s government due to ethnic crisis and to many native Liberians, it was a replication of Capitalism being orchestrated by a Socialist.
But in 2017, Liberians overwhelmingly elected a man ( Dr. George Manneh Weah) from Gibraltar. He won 14 out of 15 counties and it’s obvious to say that Mr. Weah is the people’s president. With his native background, even as President of the nation, Mr. Weah is yet to continue business as usual when you’re President. Unlike previous leaders that will dance in elitism, Mr. Weah is “commonizing” the Presidency.
He is a president that’ll play Ludo game with the ordinary masses at his party headquarters, take selfie with his followers, cut grass for farming in Nimba County to encourage Liberians of going back to the soil, dancing on the beach with the ordinary masses, perform traditional rituals, and months ago, he amazed the republic and the world by gracing a Street Soccer. Pres. Weah went to play in the Mayor’s Street Soccer on Carey street organized by the Mayor of Monrovia, Hon. Jefferson Tamba Koijee. This is rare and historic.
The act of the president to participate in a tournament for disadvantaged youths is mind blowing. No other President in Liberia will easily do that. Only an ingrate that lacks sense of simplicity will not acknowledge the fact that a President playing Street Soccer is INSPIRATIONAL.
You can Vilify Pres. Weah for all you like because he defeated those angry opposing forces in the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) but you cannot change the reality that Pres. Weah is commonizing the presidency. Mr. Weah is taking government to the people. He is giving them hope that anyone of their kind can reach the Executive Mansion.
My gratitude to the Liberian people for entrusting a son of the soil to do what they opposing can never do. Notwithstanding, we (the Liberian people) overwhelmingly elected Pres. Weah so it’s important we stand and support his government to succeed for the forward March of our country. Thanks to the debonair people’s president, Dr. George Manneh Weah for commonizing the highest seat in the land. The ordinary people voted you to do the rare positive things and break those ancient thinking of the presidency. You have the burdens of 2.5m people on your shoulder. You should always identify their problems and do whatever you can to find solutions for the people’s problems. You must always remember that ALL PEOPLE IS INHERIT IN THE PEOPLE.
Note: Opposition fanatics will get mad because Pres. Weah is doing what they cannot do with humility and simplicity. Mr. Weah is indeed “ Commonizing” the Liberian Presidency.
This is the 14th edition of our gripping and educative writing series dubbed and styled “ Thinking Beyond the Horizon.”
About the Author:
Foday N. Massaquoi is a Columnist, political analyst, Inspirational Speaker, Youth and Civil Rights Advocate. He is also a proponent of Liberia’s progressive forwardness. He is currently serving as the National Secretary General of the CDC – Council of Patriots. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact # 0770659485.