MONROVIA: As the ongoing national campaign season gets to the decisive point towards the ensuing 2023 general elections, President George Manneh Weah yesterday has taken further his aspiration for re-election when he stormed Lofa County where he told the citizens that despite the outcome of the 2017 general elections in which he lost in the county, the positivity derived from the what happened then was that at the end of the day, the people of Lofa have seen development through their sons and daughters he appointed in his government.
Addressing an unprecedented crowd in Zozor City, Lofa County during a political rally held yesterday, Monday, September 25, 2023 on the first day of his campaign tour, President Weah told the people that while there could be an interpretation of a loss for him in 2017 as per the official results released by the National Elections Commission (NEC), his own understanding was that the people of Lofa actually voted for him.
He said he disregarded the result from the exercise in the county and took on the spirit of being a nationalist and looked beyond everything and accepted the fact that to lead, he must be able to see himself as a leader, bearing no grudge against anyone for making their choice. He said when others took it otherwise by looking at the percentage of votes he garnered in Lofa County, he knew that at the end of the day, “we are all Liberians and I am still your son”
“In 2017, when the results of the election were announced, they said Lofa County did not vote for me. The rest of the 14 counties voted for me but only Lofa County did not vote for me. So I asked the question, why? No one wants to answer me but I said yes, Lofa County voted for me because I looked at the record of Lofa county, Lofa county voted for me, that is why in our government you have your sons and daughters from Lofa county,
“Lofa County it is not the matter of the percentage you gave me but the whole idea of voting for me. Whether by 5%, 10% or 50% you voted for me, I am still your son and that is why today you see the unprecedented development around your corridor. You look around me, you have your children around me, you see the Finda Bondo, you just name them”
He said it was obvious at the time in 2017 that it was going to be difficult getting out the votes in Lofa because “your uncle, your father was in the race and it was were your attention was but after what we have done in the past years, you can see that at times it takes a friend to make you successful not your people alone.
“I know you voted for some people who have been working in government for 40, 50 years without impact but we have done a lot for our people for the short time we are in power and you can also see the level of development in Lofa because of the people we brought in our government. These are your sons and daughters from Lofa and they are contributing to the development of the place because of the vision we have for the country. That is what they are bringing to you and you didn’t have these things from people who have been in government for 40 to 50 years”, President Weah stated with a tacit reference of the Standard Bearer of Unity Party, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai.
While asking for their support towards the actualization of his reelection bid, President Weah told the audience that most of the things he promised to do in 2017 when he was seeking for election were fulfilled in his presidency and others are ongoing and it was on the basis of his performance, he was seeking the support to continue in office at the expiration of his first term.
“In 2017, I asked you to elect me so that I can connect this country with the neighboring countries, I said elect me so your children can have free education, so your children will have free WASSCE, I said help me so we can build more hospitals, I said elect me so we can continue to have peace, I said elect me so that young people to work in government so they will know what government is
“Ladies and gentlemen, everything I told you in 2017 is what I am doing, I promised you good roads, good hospitals, free education, As president of the nation, as father of the nation, as brother and friend , I have come again to seek your support”, he said.
“We should forget about tribalism, we are one people. Not that because I am a Kru man, we cannot fix Lofa, that is not possible, every part of this country is important to us.
“That is why I have come to you, to seek your support for re-election so that I will continue to do what I have started”, he said.
He chided the opposition Unity Party and its rescue mission mantra and termed them “A resting team” because they have got nothing new to contribute to the nation building process beyond the gimmicks and rhetoric.
“They are a resting team not a rescue team, we are your rescuers, we are the rescue team, the country was bad, we fixed it so we are a rescue team. How can they say they are a rescue team when during their time, they did not give you free education, I gave you free education because during my time, I could not afford school fee
“I don’t want to bluff, but there is no one in the race today who will do better than George Manneh Gbekugbeh Forkay Kloh Weah”, he said.
He said he was hopeful of a resounding victory with a huge turnout from Lofa County “because I have shown to them that I mean well and have done what others before me have not done”.
He said his second term promises to be better as he has laid the foundation for a prosperous Liberia. He then urged the people to vote Moses Kollie the senatorial candidate for the county on the ticket of the party and all other candidates so that “they will stand by us to push all the projects we want to carry out for you in the national legislature otherwise the other people who don’t want these projects will stop them”
Also speaking in a brief remark, the senatorial candidate, Moses Kollie told the President that unlike in 2017 where CDC performed poorly against the UP, 2023 will be a new ball game and the pendulum has changed dramatically for the ruling establishment and President Weah will benefit bountifully.
He said at some point in time in the county especially during the 2020 Senatorial bye election, certain politicians in the county who were bent on keeping the pace of development down, resorted to all kinds of tactics such as age old tradition to deceive the people “but unfortunately our people have seen light and have chosen development over tradition”
“Mr. President, I just want to let you know that action speaks louder than words. When we came here in 2017 we saw the narrative but now it has changed. This land, Lofa county, has changed and it is ready to work for your reelection. Those things that happened in 2017 will never happen again. We have worked for two years and the people have seen our work. Election is not an event and I can assure you that come October 10, 2023, the people are going to come out to vote for you massively.
“For the women and the youth that have spoken today, it is from the bottom of their heart just as the majority of the people are in this thing to reelect you.
Jesse Koboi, the Campaign manager for CDC in Zorzor District said he was excited to welcome the President in the county and to assure him of the resolve of the people to re-elect him. He said over the years, there is a new narrative of how things are unfolding in the county especially with the appointment of several prominent sons and daughters from the county who are making meaningful impact in the county.
Chief Fred Howard led a group of other chiefs and elders in Zorzor to welcome the President and entourage and said they were wholeheartedly happy to welcome them and assured the President that his visit will be very fruitful as the citizens have decided to support his re-election bid on the strength of the development strides he has been able to achieve over the years.
President Weah who was welcomed by a jubilant crowd who had been waiting since the morning hours arrived in Zorzor after he had attended a similar political rally in Salayea District. He is accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Clar Marie Weah, Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor, Internal Affairs varney Sirleaf, National Campaign Manager Lenn Eugene Nagbe, among others.
President Weah is expected today to depart Zozor District for Voinjama for a political rally with Citizens of Electoral District #4.