“I am Free To Come Home”: Talk Show Host Costa Enthuses -Praises Pres. Weah for Magnanimity, Maturity After 20-Minute Call

Controversial talk show host Henry Pedro Costa who has lived out of Liberia over the past three years in apparent exile, after having said his life was endangered, causing him to flee the country and seek refuge in Sierra Leone and later fly to his base in the United States, has vowed to return home for this year’s July 26th Independence Day program upon an invitation that will soon be dispatched to him by President George Mannen Weah himself. “President Weah said I am free to come back home because I am Liberian citizen who is free to come and go as I please,” Mr. Costa disclosed in a 20 minutes plus podcast Monday evening after he had spoken with the Liberian chief executive via telephone.

Costa said the main crux of his conversation with the Liberian leader focused on President Weah’s concern over statements that Costa had made to the effect that President Weah wanted to harm or kill him.

“This was the central theme of the conversation that we had about my situation, that’s why I need to tell you, my people. The president was concerned about the fact that my life was endangered, and that he never authorized anyone to harm me, and that I am a free man to go home any time,” Costa said in his jam-packed podcast that elicited 67,000 views and 2,300 comments.

“My man, you’ve told the whole world that I wanted to kill you. Everywhere I go, people are saying, what’s happening with Costa? I did not want to kill you. I have no intention to want to kill you,” Costa quoted President Weah as saying during their telephone conversation.

Costa further disclosed that he then asked President Weah if his government could put the statement in writing, that he (Costa) is a free man to come home and go as he pleased. “Mr. President, I hear you but can your people put that in writing and say that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice has no issue with me?”

“We have no problem with that. This is your country. You are a Liberian citizen, you are welcome to come here anytime you want to come home,” President Weah is quoted as vowing.

It was at this juncture that Costa decided to push his luck further by asking President Weah for an invitation to attend the upcoming July 26th Independence Day program.

“In that case Mr. President, I was thinking about coming in July. My plan originally was to come in December but I think I will come in July. Mr. President, when I am coming I want you to send me an invitation to attend the July 26th Independence Day program,” Costa stated matter-of-factly.

“I don’t need to invite you to come there. You are an opposition man. Everybody can come, just like Mr. Cummings or Mr. Boakai. They are all welcome to come to the program. So I don’t need to give you an invitation,” President Weah is quoted as initially responding to Costa’s request.

But persistently, Costa pushed for the personal invite, giving his own convincing reason for the abrupt request.

“I told President Weah: No, I want an invitation because I am not Mr. Boakai or Mr. Cummings. Those are big political leaders. I am not in that category with them. So I want you to invite me as a private citizen to attend the Independence Day program.”

According to Costa, President Weah finally agreed to extend him an invitation.

“Then he asked me if I was recording the conversation. I said no, I am not recording the conversation because you are the president of the Republic, I cannot record you. I will not even record someone else, let alone the president. So he said, even if you’re recording it, there is nothing I am saying here that I cannot say in public. So I asked  him if I can tell the Liberian people what he just told me, that I, Henry Costa, I am free to come home any time I want to come, that there are no issues with me?”

“You  are welcome. You can go ahead and tell the Liberian people,” President Weah is quoted as saying.

“We went on to speak on other issues, but the conversation was never about how we can get back together, and me supporting the government. President Weah said: look Mr. Costa. When I played football, people used to criticize me; when I scored some goal, they would say the goal was not a good goal. So I said, that’s nice to know that you are used to criticism,” Costa stated.

He said President Weah told him that he loves criticism, but that his critics should be fair and not biased.

“Criticize me all you want, but just be fair. I am president. I am here. I am the dump pile. Criticize me all you want. But my family – my wife and my children, don’t attack or insult them,” President Weah is quoted as stating.

How the Conversation Started

At the beginning of the Monday podcast Costa disclosed that he hadn’t spoken with President Weah in a long time, and so, because he had just spoken with the Liberian leader, he was duty-bound to inform his supporters as a measure of transparency on his part.

“When you are a leader, you owe it to you people to be accountable to them, and that is why I am talking to you about this today because for the first time in three years I spoke with our president, President George Manneh Weah.

“I am his biggest critic, and I make no apologies. I criticize because of my love for the country. I don’t hate the president, but I love my country. So that is why we do what we do. You recall that when the President came to power I decided to support his administration. Many of my supporters didn’t like it. I didn’t support him for President, but I decided that he had just come to power, so it was necessary to give him the necessary support in whatever way I could; helping to propagate their message, helping to spread the word to people. To be honest, during that period we had a cordial relationship. I had his cellphone number, we used to talk directly, and he was very nice to me. I will not lie. But then for political and policy differences and disagreements, I stepped back. You all know that. And since that time, this was 2018 November, I had not spoken with President Weah. We had absolutely no conversation. And I told you all that. So McGill, being loyal to the President as he is, because he knew that the president and I were not so cool.

“For some reason I couldn’t reach the president anymore since I pulled back my support. So I assumed that I was blocked. I couldn’t access him; I couldn’t communicate with him anymore on Whatsapp. So I assumed the president had blocked me. And I said that publicly, I did. And I still believed that the president had blocked me. But today the president told me that he didn’t block me. So I had been in touch with friends and former friends of mine in the administration. I had not been in contact whatsoever with any of them for all this while. And I told you all.

“Until recently, out of the blue, after several years, I heard from one of my good friends in the administration. He said, my man I just called to check on you to see how you’re doing. You know we go way back. You’re like a small brother to me. We may have political differences, but I just want to check on you. So I said, I appreciate that. I was pleasantly surprised by the call, and I appreciated the call because I have been very critical of these people, and I make no apologies when my criticism is fair. But the magnanimity to reach out to me, as a decent person, you have to recognize that. So he said, when was the last time you communicated with your president, your big brother? I said, how will I communicate with the president when he blocked me a long time ago? He said, no! The president didn’t block you. I said, well, that’s what I assumed. The president blocked me. He said ok, I will tell the president we spoke; and I will tell him that you said he blocked you. That was the end of that conversation.

“Then today, I am driving from Philadelphia coming back home, and on the phone, I suddenly see a number pop up: President of the Republic of Liberia, His Excellency George Manneh Weah, because I had the number saved. Before I could answer the call, the call dropped because I was on another call. So I hung up from that call and called the president back. He picked it, and we started talking.

“I said: Mr. President, it’s a pleasant surprise. He said, yes, you spoke to your man and you told him that I blocked you. I didn’t block you,” that was how the conversation started between President George Weah and his former supporter-turned diehard critic, Henry Pedro Costa.

Costa said he was actually pleasantly surprised for President Weah to reach out to him.

“He doesn’t have to call, he doesn’t have to reach out to me. Even though he’s my president, he’s everybody’s president. He doesn’t have to call everybody. I am just one private citizen. So, just reaching out shows maturity and magnanimity on the president’s part. I want to say that. I am his harshest critic. But his reaching out shows something positive about him. Whether you agree or not, that is the truth,” Costa stated confidently.

Tipped Public Reactions

The revelation from Henry Costa that President Weah had reached out to him in a mature and magnanimous fashion, clearing the air that his government had never wanted to harm Costa, and that Mr. Costa is free to come to Liberia, and that he would be even extended an invitation from the Government of Liberia to the upcoming July 26th Independence program was caused a whiplash of reactions from the public, mostly from the opposition camp. Obviously, the majority of the opposition members are not happy over Costa’s podcast.

Moriah Yeakula once served as Chief of Office Staff to opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Alexander Cummings before taking an academic sabbatical to the US to attend graduate studies in law. An avowed critic of both President Weah and Mr. Costa, Attorney Yeakula did not mince her words.

“I told you all the Fugitive was working with the Government of Liberia to destroy the opposition in order to lift his fugitive status and return home,” she fumed in a post on her social media page following Mer. Costa’s podcast.

Therry Genesis is a former official of the past Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf regime, who moved to the United States right after President Weah came to power. Genesis, who hates President Weah with an intense fervor, is understandably an ardent supporter of Costa. But now, Genesis is hopping mad.

Costa, do you still believe that Weah is an idiot or because you spoke with him, you’re now endearing him as president! I am very disappointed in you!” Mr. Genesis fumed from his base in the US.

Says Jessica Jessica S. Togba: “Like the Jewish prophets in Biblical Israel, we ever since with exactitude predicted that it was just a matter of time the truth will reveal itself and Costa would betray Oldman Joseph Boakai and set him for absolute doom before the 2023 race – only to ensure that his corrupt Weah gets reelected. He and his political godfather and merchant of death, Benoni Urey, working for Weah in disguise, engineered the death of the CPP, the once-only viable and credible alternative the Liberian people looked up to to take our country from in this disgusting mess.

“The Weah he refused to accept as his president but branded as a disgusting idiot is the one who placed a call to him and the story changed immediately – as Costa could no longer tell Weah on the call that he is a failed, corrupt and incompetent president who has changed the country for the absolute worse and the system of governance is broken down, and that every household is overburdened by rising costs of living, high unemployment, and his government is drowning in the cesspool of kleptocracy. Opposition, beware of this sellout in Costa!” Jessica blasted.

But out of the cacophony of criticisms against Mr. Costa for his endearing podcast in favor of President Weah, a voice of reasoning has been leaning towards the loquacious talk show host.

A former talk show co-host on the ever-popular Spoon Talk Show, Mr. Abdullah Kiatamba believed that there is something very positive about the Costa podcast.

“Prezzo’s phone chat with Henry P. Costa is profound. I’ll explain in a podcast on Tuesday how Costa killed five birds with one stone, and how Prezzo killed three with one stone. Costa agrees to 3 of the 5,” Kiatamba stated on his social media page Monday.

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