As President George Manneh Weah rounds up his tour of northern Liberia’s vote-rich Lofa county where he garnered notable endorsements from prominent citizens of Lofa who pledged to support his candidacy for the 2023 presidential elections, the news of another endorsement, this time from one of President Weah’s staunchest critics, renowned Liberian economist Samuel P. Jackson, has left many heads wagging in disbelief.
Mr. Jackson who has had a sort of on-off love-hate relationship with President Weah and his administration took Liberians by surprise during the weekend when he openly declared his support for the CDC standard bearer in a social media post.
“I am endorsing the 2023 presidential aspirations of George Manneh Weah. My support to his candidacy is etched in stone. I don’t expect anything in return. I support continuity for 2023 not because the Weah Presidency is flawless but because it represents the aspirations of millions of Liberians who yearn for a transition to a younger generation and is a composition of grass roots efforts that I have supported in the past,” Mr. Jackson noted.
Having flirted with the opposition camp in recent times, often joining their outcry for fiscal probity from the Weah government, Jackson says he cannot trust the same opposition because they mainly comprise relics from past failed administrations and the old order.
“I cannot support the organized opposition because it is led mostly by relics from past failed administrations and the old order,” he further observed in his post, vowing to constructively engage the Weah Administration to help achieve the goal of overcoming our development challenges.
Perhaps expecting backlash from his critics and some supporters of the ruling establishment as well, Mr. Jackson says he is not at all bothered as his conscience is clear, and he is not seeking favors for his endorsement of President Weah.
“I take this position knowing fully well it will anger many of my friends and political associates. I take full responsibility for my decision. I don’t expect many in the CDC to welcome my decision with logic and love. I know many will not trust me. But no worries. I won’t take a job with this administration. Neither do I expect to be invited to Jamaica Resorts to have pow wows with the president,” Jackson boasted.
“I do this out of my political orientation as a progressive who supports grass roots causes no matter how flawed and challenged. Anyone can attack me. I am a big boy. I am a trained combatant. I can take the slings and arrows,” Mr. Jackson averred.
The endorsement of President Weah by economist Samuel Jackson has sent his critics into tailspin, with many calling him out as an “opportunist” who is only trying to butter his bread as he did with past administrations, dating from President William R. Tolbert, Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Opposition pressure group, Council of Patriot’s Chairman Henry P. Costa, who also resides in the USA as does Mr. Jackson, has called out Mr. Jackson’s endorsement as worthless, terming his once close ally as insignificant to the current Liberian democratic dispensation.
Alieu Josiah, a resident of Voinjama City, Lofa County, expressed disgust over Mr. Jackson’s betrayal of the opposition struggle in Liberia.
“Sam Jackson is just a white collar conman. This fellow lives on the coffers of governments to line his pocket. When he came here in 2019 to launch his book, this same man criticized the opposition because he thought he would get a fat contract from government. When it failed to happen Sam Jackson ran back to the States and started cussing the same government he is today endorsing. What has changed?” Mr. Josiah wondered.
Lisa Dennis, a Diaspora-based Liberian, says she sees through Mr. Jackson’s ruse.
“Of course, Sam Jackson will soon get a consultancy from the Weah government. Watch out. He will be on their campaign time if he can control his loose mouth,” Lisa averred.