MONROVIA: As a process of picking up the broken pieces and rebuilding after a shock defeat in the just concluded general elections, President George Manneh Weah has told partisans and supporters of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC) that there is every reason to believe that the party will bounce back to reckoning and reclaim state power because “we have been able to bring true democracy to the people and the level of development that they cherish” just as he hinted that he will still play a key role leading the party back to its lost glory from the defeat.
President Weah delivered the reassuring message to CDCians and supporters, majority of whom are yet to come to term with how they were defeated after just a term when he made a special remark at the Forkay Klon Jlaleh Family Fellowship on Sunday, December 17, 2023 during a regular service where he normally used the opportunity to speak to members and supporters of CDC who worshipped there.
“For 12 years we fought for true democracy to come to our people and we achieved that in 2017 thereby giving hope to the Liberian people for a better country where their rights can be respected. Looking back it did not come so easy as we went through a lot of trials but with determination we remained united and got the victory we all labored for.
“But after 6 years we are surrounding this power to the people we took it from 6 years ago; that means they are taking our place and we are also going the other side into opposition. I know it is not going to be easy as some people will leave and some who love this country will remain and let me tell you it is still possible that we can come back because we brought development that our people appreciate but that can only be possible if we begin to plan from now”, President Weah told the congregation amid cheers.
He told the people that the process to reclaim state power rests with the people to first and foremost accept the reality that they have lost power “because we had it but decided to give it back by the way we conducted ourselves and the same thing has not ended even with the predicament we found ourselves”
“We must realize and that the only way we can make progress is that we had power and we misused it and here we are today. And until we begin to plan ahead for the future here, we cannot get there. You can’t talk about the future when we are destroying the present and they want me to make the sacrifice for that which I could not accept”, he said.
President Weah hinting of staying on course and not abandoning the party in its rebuilding process said CDC had a tradition of being a united force where every member “down to the common member in our party had a say” and decisions were reached on consensus “among which was the decision you took in 2011 that I should give way for another person to lead you”.
“So that is why we are saying those who are trying to by- pass how we make decision are joking. I will continue to be part and parcel of this great party because I have come to regard it as something that is dear to my heart. I will continue to remain here and see how we all can bring back this party together.
“We have been with our people and we will continue to be with our people, that is something I will can assure you of because we cannot let them down. I will have to appreciate them for the opportunity they gave me to serve this country as president, something that I did not dream of.
“It has nothing to do with me leading or not and so there is no reason of undermining ourselves. In 2011, they said I should step aside for somebody else and I did and they brought someone who had nothing and they still came back for me and I am staying here”, he said.
Looking back President said he was proud of his stewardship with all the development he brought to the country in terms of projects, some of which he was able to dedicate and presented to the Liberian people as dividends of the trust they reposed in him when “I went to them for their votes and despite all the negative propaganda, they still voted me”
President said however that it was his wish to have stayed for another term to complete “what I started which those people coming in will now come to complete and take the credit, though I will be happy because we did it for the country.
“You talk about regret yes of course we will talk about this highway(ELWA-RIA Highway), this is a project that I initiated and paid for it and wish to have dedicated it and present it to the Liberian people. It is indeed a signature project I was able to initiate after all these years and the people who did not care to do it are now coming to complete and take the credit
“Most of my colleagues told me that if there is anything you can do for your country it is the airport road, it is the face to our country.
But here are the same people that could not do the road and they are the same people now will be dedicating it. But what can we do? We are happy because it is our country”, he said.
He reminded the crowd who were all in a pensive mood and listening to him attentively that in as much as he was not happy that they are returning to the opposition within the first term of their administration but it was a good lesson “for everyone that when you have something and you don’t manage it well and decide to fight among yourselves, this is where you will find yourselves because we had no business doing what we did to ourselves”.
Towards the end of his remark, the outgoing President literally pulled tears from the eyes of most of those in the congregation when he told them that reflecting on the struggle waged by the gallant partisans over the years in opposition and their date with destiny to have taken over state power, the only regret he has and which has hurt him so much and will remain with him was the death of many young people who “even saw danger and went in it just for the sake of the struggle for us to have true democracy today”
“In all it, there is only one thing that I regreted and it has to do with the children who perished in the course of taking risk for our struggle; they saw danger and they still went into it just for the party and the struggle but those who were comfortable sat down and undermined us.
“Nobody should ever say that no one sent them and that they were just doing it for themselves. No, they did it with their clear mind to fight what we wanted to achieve.
“So they didn’t sent themselves; they did it so that we that are in comfortable position today will ensure that that CDC will exist, they did it for us and it will be a regret tomorrow if CDC dies. I have conscience and am hurt but there is nothing I can do to bring them back. People like Joshua and others are all gone, they died for the party and they died for what we can see around here today, the development that this country can be proud of.
“I can only express my deepest sympathy. They made the sacrifices for the party to exist and it will exist and the only remembrance for them is not to allow this party to die. May their souls rest in peace”, he concluded.