In the wake of the July 26, 2022 violence perpetrated in the full glare of the media by followers of the CDC-COP against students of the University of Liberia who were brutally wounded and dehumanized, President George Manneh Weah has disowned the CDC-COP group, stating categorically that as the founding father of the Congress for Democratic Change, now the Coalition for Democratic Change, the CDC does not have any CDC-COP within its rank. President Weah has therefore ordered his minister of justice and the entire national security apparatus to immediately arrest all those involved in the violence incident of July 26, 2022 and ensure that they face the full weight of the law. But in the wake of the president’s mandate, Liberians are now saying that President Weah’s move is only meant to counter the widespread condemnations of the July 26 violence, and to boost his image as a peace campaigner on the cusp of his first state visit to the United States of America.
Issuing the mandate Monday, August 1, 2022 during a Nationwide Address following the ghastly July 26, 2022 violence that marred the celebration of Liberia’s 175th Independence Anniversary, President Weah in the strongest term denounced the violence that occurred in the early hours of July 26, when Liberians at home and abroad were just preparing to celebrate such an important day for the country.
“Violence is totally unacceptable. I have stressed in all my public engagements the need to maintain the hard-earned peace that we now enjoy. This is a cause for which I have lent personal sacrifice – as an Ambassador of peace.
“So, if you claim to love me or follow my political ideology, you cannot do so with violence. Anyone or group that has my image on a banner in support of me and my government must be peaceful, respectful, and tolerant,” an obviously infuriated Liberian chief executive fumed, noting that one cannot support a man of peace by being violent.
In the same breath, President Weah disowned any knowledge of the CDC-COP, the same group that was seen on social media at the forefront of the July 26, 2022 mayhem, and even brazenly hosting a post-violence press conference.
“I also want to stress, as the founding father of the Congress for Democratic Change, now the Coalition for Democratic Change, that we do not have any CDC-COP within our organization,” President Weah stated emphatically, noting, “When you come to join us, you become a CDC partisan of peace, democracy, and development.”
“Therefore, I have mandated the Ministry of Justice and the entire national security apparatus to immediately arrest all those involved in the violent incident on July 26, 2022 and ensure that they face the full weight of the law.
“I have also instructed the Minister of Health to ensure that all those who sustained injuries during the violent attack be given the best medical treatment at the expense of the government,” President Weah declared somehow solemnly.
But the citizens, upon hearing their president’s official statement on the July 26 violence, say President Weah is not being sincere, and they have expressed their views why they think so.
“This is bogus. Weah is not genuine in what he says. He is only saying this on paper because he wants to attend the conference in the US. This is the same Weah who did nothing when Telia Urey was attacked and nearly killed. This is the same Weah who did nothing when Yekeh and Cummings were attacked and nearly killed. This is the same Weah who sits and does nothing when his CDC police failed to provide security for peaceful citizens during the protest on June 7 led by Henry P. Costa and the Council of Patriots. Nobody trusts what he says. He’s saying this as a campaign tactic because 2023 is around the corner,” says Mr. Larry Putu, a critical voice within the Liberian political landscape.
As for Meahkeeh Sendo, reacting to a social media post, “George Weah, if you had begun such a statement with realistic actions ever since to curb ills, no one would criticize you, but we will view this as hypocrisy unless we see justice. It’s all because Joe Biden has invited you the first and last time, but you never meant to do or say this. Just be prepared to do the right thing by allowing free, fair and transparent elections. It may save you.”
As for Montserrado County senator Abraham Darius Dillon, President Weah’s statement that the CDC has no knowledge of any CDC-COP group is cowardly.
“It’s a shame and a cowardly act for President Weah to disown the CDC-COP. It is un-presidential and cowardly,” Senator Dillon stated last evening on his “Welcome to the Reloaded” podcast.
“It is not the president’s responsibility to ask the police to arrest. The police should have done their job and not be cowardly. The president is a village tyrant,” says Sam Varney Jones.
It can be recalled that the former Council of Patriots Youth Leaders in September 2020 resigned from the Council of Patriots and formed the CDC’s Council of Patriots, after their suspension from the original Council of Patriots.
The group immediately joined the governing Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) at the Party Headquarters in Congo Town where they were formally welcomed.
Since their incorporation into the CDC, the CDC-COP has maintained their unique name and held several press conferences at the CDC headquarters wearing their regalia with the inscriptions “CDC-COP” emblazoned.
“How can President Weah come out today to disown the same group that was weaponized by the ruling party against the opposition,” say Mustapha Manobah of Bensonville.