George Weah is best known to the world as the only African to have won the Ballon d’or. With more than two decades gone, the international wire has not grappled with the reality that the legendary soccer star is now president of the world’s poorest country. One could argue that President Weah himself has not come to terms with the reality that unlike the soccer pitch, leading Liberia requires vision and unmatched leadership to get the right wheels turning.
The Armed Forces of Liberia could not practically repel attacks mounted by Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, or other regional countries, not to mention countries with highly equipped militaries. Think about this – if Liberia were to be attacked right now by another country, we would not, in all seriousness, depend on our army to protect us. Instead, we would appeal to the United States, ECOWAS, or the United Nations, to help us or levy sanctions against that country.
As opposition leader Alexander Cummings of the Alternative National Congress tried to point out, “leaders should eat last,” not “steal last” as had been twisted by government spin doctors and propagandist. Rather, he meant that leaders should serve their people first, and take care of their own needs last.
It has been exactly one year since newly inaugurated Liberian President George Manneh Weah sparked controversy by declaring staunch support for enacting dual citizenship and repealing a constitutional “Negro clause”, which prohibits non-blacks from obtaining citizenship by birth, ancestry or naturalization.
You will notice that I interchangeably used Charles, Chucky, Chucky boy, Charlie throughout this untypical tribute to my dear friend. It isn’t meant to confuse you but to make the point that Charles affectionately meant many things to many people.
Corruption has plagued Africa for a long time and robbed the continent of its growth and development. The effect goes beyond the impediment of overall national development and can even impact women and children.
A report of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa revealed that Africa loses on average US$50 billion every year to illicit financial flows, more than the total sum of development aid the continent receives annually.
On September 24, 2018, thousands of patriotic Liberians, out of firm conviction and love for country, petitioned your government and prominent international organizations (the U.N., A.U., E.U. and ECOWAS) through a mass peaceful protest, calling for an independent international forensic investigation into the missing containers of local currency amounting to L$16 billion.