MONROVIA: Continuing on his long stretch of campaigning activities to entrench his reelection bid in the hearts of the citizens, President George Manneh Weah yesterday urged the residents of Montserrado County Districts 2 and 3 not to “make any mistake to take us backward” by voting the opposition, but instead they should turn out on election day to vote him and all candidates of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). The Liberian leaders also received huge endorsement from a socio-cultural group, Nimba Kwadho and others including first time voters, women and youth groups in the districts.
President Weah, who was accompanied on the tour by his wife, Mrs. Clar Duncan Weah, as well as a strong team of top government officials and senior partisans of the CDC including Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance and Development Planning, Ambassador Dee Maxwell Saah Kemayan and Samuel D. Tweah, Jr, as well as Senator Saah Joseph, CDC Campaign Manager, Lenn Eugene Nagbe and Campaign Spokesman, Cllr. Kanio Bai Gbala, among others, was received by a jubilant crowd of partisans, supporters of CDC and other residents of the two districts. He thanked them for leaving their various busy schedules to turn out and listen to him as he made his case for re-election.
“I must first of all thank you for turning out to be part of this historic gathering. You will indeed be remembered for leaving your busy schedule to be here to listen to me as I come back to you to ask for your votes for re-election. You did not only do me an honor but also yourself and our dear country as I ask you to join me to build our country, to fix our economy, to unite our people, and to take our country forward.
“It has taken some 6 years since I went to you and appealed to you for your vote and you respectfully voted for me to be your president. I have never let you down and I lived up to the expectation of the bargain as I delivered development projects that are beneficial to the country and its people.
“Now, people are saying why is he begging the people if he performed in his first term. This is the thing, I was written off when I went to the people for their votes, people were saying I don’t know anything but the people still trusted me and elected me and I did something though people said I don’t know anything.
“So, there is nothing wrong to say I didn’t show you anything at the time and you elected me; but this is what I have done and please give me another chance by looking at what I have done so that I can do bigger things”, President Weah said amidst cheers.
He told the audience that he has repositioned the country on the right trajectory after those “who are opposing me spoiled this country” and there was no need to return the country in the past where development eluded the people.
He said he has always followed a life philosophy that when opportunity is given anyone it should be justified by performance because in that way, everyone plays their part. He said in the past, apparently referring to the past administration under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, opportunities were not given to the younger generation to prove themselves worthy of doing something for themselves and the country but were instead condemned and scorned.
“During my playing days, I sought opportunities to improve and advance myself and I performed to justify why I was seeking those opportunities. I was seeking the opportunities to be a senator and then president in this country. I got all these opportunities and my performances have shown that I have justified why I was looking for the opportunities.
“In the past, our students were criticized as not being serious; of failing in their studies and not making progress but then they did not find solutions to why the students were failing.
“We have given them the opportunities with the free WASSCE fees, with the tuition free initiatives in our higher institutions and you can now see how our students are coming out in flying colors in the WASSCE and the number of students in our universities and colleges increasing every year because we have removed the obstacles and everything is changing for the best.
“But these people will only criticize you, they will not give you any opportunity, they will not help you; and giving them the chance to come back to power will be like bringing them back to keep you down. That is what they know best and that is what they want to do again. They have nothing to rescue”, Weah said.
President Weah scolded the opposition especially the Unity Party and accused them of being desperate to return to power at all cost “because they want to erase what I have done in 6 years that is challenging their 12 years in power”.
“They are afraid that if I am re-elected as President my 12 years will be more than their 12 years that they can’t show anything tangible for. So, what they are doing is to be desperate to come back to deny you the development I am delivering to you.
“They are all over the place lying and promising something that they are not capable of doing. So, what they are not able to do in 12 years that they can do now? What can they rescue? I say nothing. Nothing they can do for you.
“They said I know nothing; I don’t have the experience but I have done something that I can show you. I have built more roads, I built the 14th Military Hospital, I built the Emirates Hospital in Gbarpolu. I have done a lot in 6 years than any other leader in this country and the records are there”, President Weah said and received huge applause from the audience.
Earlier in the program, President Weah received a huge endorsement from a socio-cultural group, Nimba Kwado, assuring him that the group with a membership strength of more than 200,000 persons will do everything in its reach to ensure that the President gets a one round victory in the pending October 10, 2023 general elections.
In a statement read by its President, Mr. Z. Isaac Dahn, the group said its decision was a reaffirmation of its earlier endorsement of President Weah on March 10, 2023 when the leadership and majority of their members decided to support his re-election bid for “his numerous development strides not only in Nimba County but on a larger scale throughout the country”.
“We stand here today to reaffirm our earlier decision taken on March 10, 2023 to support Dr. Dr. George Manneh Weah, Development giant, Bad Road Medicine, Darkness Medicine, for a one round victory on October 10, 2023.
“We are going to mobilize our members who are more than 200,000 throughout the country to come out and vote for President Weah so that he will continue to do what he started in his first term”, Mr. Dahn said.
Several other groups including women and youth groups as well as first time voters and various auxiliaries of the CDC endorsed and committed themselves to re-elect President Weah at the program
Also speaking at the occasion, the representative candidate for CDC in District # 2, Kokulo S. Borvor said he was excited to fly the flag of the party and added that the re-election of President Weah remains the top priority of the people of his constituency, vowing to deliver at least 40,000 registered votes out of the 61,000 plus voters in the district.
He gave the President a traditional title of “Tarnue” of District #2 which he said in Lorma means “town owner” for the capable leadership and development strides exhibited over the years.
In his special remarks, Senator Saah Joseph of Montserrado County said the re-election of President Weah was non-negotiable as the development projects delivered to the people of District #2 by the President which included but not limited to the Johnsonville Road, the Mount Barclay Road, the number of schools rehabilitated and constructed, among others will be key factors why the people will return the president on October 10, 2023.
At the end of the program in Johnsonville, President Weah and entourage walked a long stretch of the road all the way from Johnsonville to District #3 to the admiration of the thousands of citizens and residents along the corridor linking the two districts as he waved to the people and was cheered on as he made his way to the venue of the program.
At the program in District #3, like in District #2, President Weah thanked the people for the honor done him by turning out to listen to him. He reiterated his appeal for their votes as he seeks his re-election, promising to do more in his second term.
He promised to expand the pace of development and promised to build a new park just like the Invincible Park and others in West Point, Clara Town, at the venue that the program was held, describing the place as “historic” having played on the pitch when he featured for the Young Survivor Football Club of Clara Town, District #14.
He urged the people to be continue to be peaceful and respecting each other’s right to co-exist while encouraging them to be supportive of government’s initiatives that will transform the lives of the people.
Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor who had introduced the President said the reason why the one round victory was imperative was to ensure that resources that could be channeled to other viable developments would be used to hold a second-round election when the race is narrowed between Mr. Weah and any other opposition candidate. She also said the general election was more about the first-time voters who deserve a better future and should rally around the president’s aspiration to seek re-election so as to bring more progress and prosperity to the country.
The representative candidate on the ticket of CDC, Mr. Samuel Kofi Jones III was introduced to the crowd who gave him thunderous cheers as he mounted the stage to speak, calling for unity and focus as they approach the general elections.