One-Round Victory Echoes In Western Liberia -Weah Endorsement in Bomi, Gbarpolu, Cape Mt. Massive

MONROVIA: At the climax of his campaign tour of Western Liberia, President George Manneh Weah returned from the engagements a happy man after receiving unprecedented series of endorsements from citizens of the region with, something and echoes and heralds the CDC much-vaunted “one round victory” mantra everywhere, thus indicating that the President is poised to be re-elected on October 10, 2023.

Having crisscrossed Montserrado County with a rather momentous campaign trails  after the National Elections Commission (NEC) officially announced the commencement of the campaign August 5, President George Manneh Weah was the first contender for the presidency that left the nation’s capital. He and his coalition forces cruised their way into Bomi County on Tuesday, August 22, 2023 where he was well received by the excited citizens at Po River Bridge before visiting the districts, and some towns and communities, including Klay and Tubmanburg in Bomi County.

Meeting with the citizens in Western appeared tilting favorably for President Weah because, to his own amazement, they (citizens) to whom he had gone to solicit their votes by telling them what he has done as President were the ones highlighting his achievements over the period of nearly 6 years. And the citizens were clearly and unanimous in their views and conviction that the President deserves a second term to consolidate on the gains of his first term.

The enumeration of what the President has done thus far since his ascendency to power in 2018 persistently came from various citizen groups, including women and groups, marketing organizations, auxiliary groups, youth, chiefs, zoes, students as well as local government officials and those from the national government including Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe, Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, among others.

While the President and supporters were in a festive mood after being assured that the citizens are resolved to re-elect him, news of a tragic motor accident that claimed the lives of 3 members of an auxiliary group of the CDC, “The Girls of Weah”, filtered in, and being awestruck, President Weah suspended his engagement in the county and ordered the mourning of the fallen members.

After the observation of the mourning period, President and his campaign team returned to Bomi County on Friday, August 25, 2023 yet again to untiring welcome.

Suehn-Mecca Rally

In the Suehn- Mecca District, for instance, where the President continued engagement in the county, the citizens repeated refrains of the compatriots on the president’s achievements in six years, and they lavished praises on him for level of development executed in the county.

They however made appeals for additional developments in their communities.

The youth emphasized road connectivity to enhance movement of people and goods as well as fast track development in the county while the women made passionate appeal to the President for empowerment to support their businesses.

Senator Snowe amplified some of the requests of the citizens when he mentioned challenges in accessing GSM services as network connectivity still remains major challenge in the area.

He told the President that the people of Bomi County do not speak with two tongues and their assurance given him that they will vote for him remains irrevocable.

Earlier, the Statutory Superintendent of the Suehn Mecca district, Rev. Melvin Moore, welcomed President Weah and party to the District and said the people were excited to have an August guest like the President, and wished them a rewarding visit as they seek support to enable Mr. Weah to win the pending October 10, 2023 general elections.

Internal Minister Varney Sirleaf, son of Suehn Mecca, thanked the President for sustaining the peace since he became President, and for the construction of the Emirates Hospital in the region though located in Gbarpolu County.

He said the hospital has been of great asset to the people of the region and re-emphasized the possibility of a one round victory for the president on October 10, 2023.

He urged the citizens to shun violence and support a peaceful and credible general elections.

An agile youth organization, the Varney Sirleaf Movement for the Re-election of President George Manneh Weah, said based on what the President has been able to achieve in his first term which is coming to an end, there is a compelling need to give him a second round, and as part of a grassroots political movement, they were prepared to lead the re-election process and ensure that President Weah gets a second term.

President Weah in his response, once again thanked the people for the gesture shown him and his party during his visit and promised to address most of their requests such as road connectivity during his second term and craved their cooperation and support to make it possible.

He also spoke of the unfortunate reaction of the citizens when he introduced and endorsed Senator Morris Saytumah who is seeking re-election.

He said it was not a wrong idea to oppose a candidate if one is not pleased with their candidature but the right thing to do is to exercise the right to reject the person through the ballot box while also urging the citizens to be politically tolerant.

Bopolu City Rally

As he concluded his visit to Suehn- Mecca District, Bomi County, President Weah and party crossed over to neighboring Gbarpolu County where he was received by the local county authority led by the

Superintendent, traditional leaders, youths, women group amongst others and a sizeable crowd that also included top government officials serving at the national level from the county, among whom were Representative Alfred Korwood and others on the outskirts of Bopolu City.

Upon arrival in Bopolu City, Gbarpolu County, and after a brief traditional formalities, the Superintendent moved the president and entourage towards the traditional leaders and elders who in turn performed the usual traditional welcome that included presentation of a white cock as a blessings, and the President instead of re-embarking in his official vehicles, walked through the long stretch of a street leading to the venue of the program where the official engagement ceremony was held.

President Weah who had his hands over the shoulders of the Superintendent and Representative Korwood showing the close relationship with them, was hailed by the surging crowd, some of whom lined up and stood at both sides of the road waving and shouting battle cries.

A commissioner within the local government, Alfred Bai, said he was excited to welcome the President and his team to the County and assured him that “the good people of Gbarpolu will accord you due hospitality that your visit deserves and it is our hope that your visit here will yield the much needed result”

In his brief special welcome remarks, the Superintendent of Gbarpolu County, J. Keyah Saah, said he was equally happy to receive the president and entourage to the county and said the citizens having witnessed “outstanding developments” in the county and a number of sons and daughters from the county who are in top positions government, “the county will definitely respond positively towards the President’s re-election bid come October 10, 2023”.

“Mr. President, you are welcome to Gbarpolu County. We are happy to have you and your entourage in our county and I want to assure you that the purpose of your visit will not be in vein. The people of Gbarpolu County are grateful for the number of development projects you have given us including the modern Emirates Hospital,” he said.

Superintendent Saah who said that the President will be the first leader to ever spend a night with the people during an official visit said the county was glad with the special intervention of the President in ensuring that all the local county authorities including “the commissioners and chiefs are on the government payroll no matter how little it was”.

A representative of the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA) said they have taken a resolution to support the President’s re-election bid and come October 10, 2023, they will mobilize their members and others to ensure that a one round visit is secured.

A representative each from the Districts in Gbarpolu County also spoke at the occasion and while committing their respective support for the President, equally made requests to the President to undertake some projects that will bring relief to the people especially road connectivity.

The Chairman of the Gbarpolu county legislative council, Representative Alfred Korwood, said in his special remarks via parable that conveyed a message to the effect that the “rescue mission” which is the campaign nomenclature of the opposition Unity Party “has nothing to rescue for the people but a clear deception that they have nothing new to offer the Liberian people”.

“So we should begin to ask them what they are rescuing when we can see here that President George Manneh Weah has done more for our people than them. Have they rescued themselves? Our people are resolved to vote for you massively Mr. President and I can assure you that victory will be achieve in the first round.”

“Tarnue, as the President is nicknamed, has done something, we are not going share our joy with any opposition, we will vote for him to win in the first round,” he said amid cheers.

The Campaign manager, Lenn Eugene Nagbe, in his special appreciation to the people said CDC was grateful for the huge turnout which according to him is a clear indication that the citizens are serious to re-elect the President.

He provided civic and promotion education to the citizens on how they should vote on elections day to elect President Weah.

“You know that the President’s birthday is October 1; right? Please don’t give him anything on that day, reserve it for October 10. On that day, come out with your family, neighbors and friends to vote for the President.

“When you take the ballot paper, just count from 1 to 18. Look at this photo. He is here with the glasses in a blue coat suit with the red tie. Go in the box and mark it or you just use your finger to mark it in the box and you are done.”

President Weah who was ushered on the stage by the campaign theme song, “Yor Yor Yor”, mounted the stage beginning with a moment of silence for the late Senator Daniel Flomo Naathen who died recently in India where he has gone to seek medical attention and also for the two fallen young ladies who were members of an auxiliary group of the CDC, “Girls of Weah”.

Speaking to the people, President Weah said he was appreciative of the honor done to him for the huge reception accorded him and his entourage and also thanking them for “always believing in me even when others do not do so”.

He said while he was in the county to solicit their support towards his re-election aspiration, it was also important to thank them publicly for “what you did for me by voting for me when I had done nothing for you even when others said I had nothing and done nothing”.

He said that dismissal of his ability by others that he did not bring anything to the table during the 2017 election inspired him to do more beyond the expectations of his detractors during the almost 6 years of leadership.

“For now, our people have realized our quest for leadership at the time. The people are seeing what we have done in just 6 years, something the other people who were given 12 years could not do. We have fixed the economy; today we have free education; we have roads and electricity; you can now talk and say anything and nobody will question you, you have seen the construction of hospitals throughout the country like the Emirates Hospital in your county.”

He justified his pursuit for a second term in office asserting that he has delivered “unprecedented developments” throughout the country that can speak for his stewardship, which according to him far surpassed his predecessor “who did not do anything but you gave them 12 years”.

“Those who did not do anything you gave them 12 years; so you don’t think I can also be given 12 years so that we can compare the same number of years?”

He defended his harmonization policy which is widely criticized by his critics and said it was a necessary policy option available to the government to establish a realistic and fair salary structure for the country and stop the distortion of compensation given to civil servants which come with a huge burden of unjustified high cost of governance.

“So the harmonization was the best thing we could do at the time to maintain a stable economy; to have a realistic pay system for government workers. It came a time, some drivers were making more than some senior government officials in some ministries and agencies. Drivers were making more than some doctors in the country.

“We made sure that a clerk in one government office gets the same salary his friend is getting in another government office. And very importantly we were able to save some money that we are using to offer free education, paying the WASSCE fees, constructing roads and bringing other developments.”

He discounted the opposition who are clamoring to unseat him democratically, saying people should be able to make judgment about promises made to them by first looking at the pedigree of those making promises to determine whether at any time they were of any help to themselves or to others.

“We should begin to ask ourselves whether those who are promising a better Liberia have even helped themselves with a better life or they have ever helped others to succeed. You spent 20 to 40 years in government but nothing is there to show; you can’t show anyone whose live you have changed so how can you change or rescue the country”, he said.

President Weah assured the people that his second term will bring more developments not only to Gbarpolu but the entire country and just like in 2017, they should endeavor to work towards his re-election “and I can promise you, you will not regret; we have to change the country”.

Gbarma Rally

The President also visited Gbarma District where another well attended program was held and at which time he received an overwhelming endorsement for his first round victory was over-emphasized.

While committing themselves to his re-election bid, the citizens also made an appeal to him to do everything in his means to complete the Brewerville-Gbarpolu road which also extended to the newly constructed Emirates Hospital.

They also highlighted the challenges faced with network connectivity from the GSM companies and appealed to the President for his intervention in the area. They thanked him for delivering on his promise of a modern hospital for them which is not operational.

President Weah in his response thanked the citizens for trusting him in 2017 to vote him massively when he did not do anything for him and now that they have seen what he has done, they should re-elect him so that he can continue to do more for them and the country.

“I want to be re-elected and so I have to do these things to merit your support. There is nothing that is too hard for me because I am a record breaker; my works speak for me. Your road will be priority number one when I am re-elected”, he assured them amidst cheers.

Upon completion of his tour in Gbarpolu where the President also visited Gbarma District, President Weah and entourage moved back to Gbar Jacket township, Senjeh District where an impressive program was held. There, President George Manneh Weah made an emotion-laden appeal to the citizens about his intention to leave an enduring legacy of service to the nation which will ultimately kill off the stigmatization and mischaracterization meted out against him as a “mere footballer” which will also go beyond him but create a positive impression for any other footballers or sportsmen not to be judged by their profession when seeking office but what they can offer the country.

President Weah made the statement on Saturday, August 26, 2023 when he spoke to the people of Gbar Jacket, in Bomi County, during his last lap of his tour where citizens had turned out in their numbers to welcome him and to endorse his second term bid.

“I want to leave a legacy in this country so that when I leave the high office and retire from public service, it will be said that I did not only African to win the Balon d’Or but also that I am the only former footballer who served and developed his country,” he indicated.

“I want to stop this form of stigmatization where people will refer to other former footballers coming after me and people just call them mere footballers. In the United States and other parts of the world, you have ex- basketballers, tennis stars, former track field champions, and the list goes on but when they vie for positions they are not referred to in a simple way we do in Liberia.”

He told the citizens that his desire to re-contest was to fulfil his promise to the people that at the end of his tenure, Liberia will not be the same way he met it and that it will witness unprecedented development.

He used the occasion to announce the appointment of Sylvester Taylor as the Commissioner designate of the District, adding that his formal appointment with all documentations will be made through the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs.

Also speaking at the occasion, Senator Edwin Melvin Snowe who had being with the President throughout the tour of the Western Region commended the President for approving the creation of the Gbar Statutory district adding, “What you have done, Mr. President, our people will not forget. It will go down in history because you have given them a sense of belonging for them to decide their own destiny, discuss their own development path, and our people will remember you on October 10, 2023”.

Representative Finda Lassanah, who also spoke lengthily at the rally, said her admiration for the President has even grown more as a listening person and who does not waver or disappoint on every promise made.

She assured the President that come October 10, 2023, the people will turn out in their numbers to give him a resounding victory.

The Superintendent of the County and Chairman of CDC in the county expressed delight for the president’s numerous contributions to the county and its people, naming several undertakings including the Emirates hospital, the construction of the nurses’ quarters, paying of WASSCE fees among other.

He said the creation of the Gbar Statutory District will further endear the President to the people.

In a symbolic show of love for the President and commitment to his re-election bid, the Fula Community donated an amount of L$50,000.00 towards the campaign and vowed to avail themselves of any task possible to ensure that the President is re-elected.

Mr. Isaac Konneh, a staff of the Mano Oil Palm Company who welcome the President and presented a symbolic key of authority to him, said citizens of the community have always been supportive of the President because of his commitment to uplift people and to spur development in the country.

President is currently touring Grand Cape Mount were the echoes of one-round victory are still hovering over the region.

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