“Weah Loves Gossip” -Rep. Suacoco Dennis -Says President Ostracized her for her Critical Voice

MONROVIA – As President George Manneh Weah concludes his tour of the nation’s most populated county which encompasses 17 districts, one of his staunchest critics in person of Representative Rustonlyn Suacoco Dennis has accused the Liberian chief executive of undermining her administration with the intent of turning her constituents against her leadership. According to Representative Suacoco Dennis, President Weah listens to gossip to inform his political decisions, a tendency that undercuts national development programs especially for districts whose representatives are from opposition political parties.

Addressing the media recently following President Weah’s tour of District #4, Representative Suacoco Dennis narrated how President Weah has chosen not to work with her based on her critical views on how the Liberian president is running his government.

“If you can recount the Duport Road Market, it was a makeshift structure. When we just took over, he and I talked about it. And he said to me, ‘When I was senator, I had some money left in my office, and I think I can use it for the Duport Road Market’. So, I said, thank you Mr. President, because that place is like the capital city of our district; to change that makeshift structure, it was a good idea. He said to me, in 30 days, my Representative, you’re going to have your market. We shared pleasantries.

“So, while preparing to go for the market program, somebody from his side called me saying I can’t come because it’s tense here. The president swore to his mother he doesn’t want to see you. If you’ve been following the Liberian politics in District 4, you will get to know it is from that Duport Road Market that the president of Liberia made the remark that nobody will insult him and will walk free on the streets of Monrovia. So, he was told that I had insulted him.

“The president loves gossip. He should take his time to work in the interest of the people, the challenges that are in Liberia. He’s very playful at times; very playful. We all can play sometimes, but this is just annoying. The president lives by gossip. He has nothing substantial to offer. He just gossips, talks. It’s not exciting to be given the opportunity to sit near the president. I don’t know how gossip reaches him. 

“I have never, ever insulted George Weah, and I challenge everybody. I am too grown for that; I am too big and decent for that. I am just critical, and that’s my nature, even to myself. So, at Duport Road Market I wasn’t invited, the president started to show muscle. And then somebody told me I have to go and beg the president; and I said, tell him sorry for what?

“So, I sent him a text and he sent me a text back. And he said, they told me you can cuss me. I told him, come on Mr. President, what do you mean by they say I can be cussing you?” I said I am too good for that, I am hard; I am critical, but insult, no. Only limited people can insult,” Representative Suacoco Dennis said.

Narrating further, the Montserrado District #4 Representative said she also had a falling out with President Weah over the mysterious death of Princess Cooper.

“You see the Princess Cooper girl that died, George Weah wants the police report to say she died from tuberculosis. Then I went to the President’s house on Saturday and said, President Weah, don’t mind the Liberian people, nobody can die for free in this country. The girl died and it was tuberculosis that killed her. He gave me $2000, then I went in my district and gave the people $50, $20, $100. That’s not leadership. We have to grow from this stage in Liberia that citizens will have to stop depending or looking up to leaders or from their pockets. What we need as citizens of Liberia is for jobs to be created, and everybody will go and work and be able to feed themselves. So, I decided not to do that, and decided to do my work according to my terms of reference.

“George Weah cannot tell me that everybody will be stupid. He can’t tell me that everybody in the legislature will be mute. I hate being stupid. I read carefully every paper before I sign. The way we can sign bills in Liberia, there will be a time people will sign documents here and the country will be a laughing stock.

“I am not part of his party. So, I told the president in a communication again. I said, Mr. President, this country has a history. We fought for a multiparty system. 13 men were killed on the poles in Liberia. They are innocent according to law. They were not tried. There were no competent courts that tried them. They did not confront their accusers. They never had an opportunity to defend themselves.

“Mr. President, you have 73 districts, and out of those districts there will be some that will not be in your party. If I were you, I would look up to my opposition districts first,” Representative Suacoco Dennis lamented, noting that President Weah and his CDC people can look for unnecessary attacks, just to get bad governance labeled on them.

 “Why look for poor Suacoco, someone who’s willing to work with you?  Because of my advocacy, George Weah came to the district, he doesn’t want to be bothered with me. But that’s multiparty democracy. Whether you like me or whether I like you, we should show the people that we are able to coexist despite the fact that we are different from each other.

“There is a lady that they pulled from on the street. Nobody in the district knows this CDC lady that the superintendent called from in the street. She presented the district to the president. She said, ‘Mr. President, you know our district is underrepresented’. The president took the stage and said my district is underrepresented because I don’t want to bow down to him, and that I don’t want to work with him. The president was misleading the people. He was false in his assertion. He lied to the people of District #4,” Rep. Dennis said.

She said thereafter, she wrote a communication to the president and asked him rhetorically that, granted she, Rep. Suacoco doesn’t want to work with President Weah, that’s why District 4 is underdeveloped; but is there a district among the 73 districts that is developed, and only district 4 is left over? “Of course, the answer is a big no,” she stated.

The Genesis of the beef

The Montserrado County District #4 lawmaker who serves as Chairperson on Claims and Petition at House of Representatives, said she chose to address the issues through the media because President Weah and his paid agents were going about spreading falsehoods against her to make her look bad to her constituents in the district.

“First of all, I am going to demystify what the President did in my district, in electoral district 4 in Montserrado County. As a matter of fact, next week, I will be on radio programs, I will do a lot of press conferences to dispute those falsehoods from those paid agents, those impoverished citizens that George Weah has got no plans for, but he just uses people like tools and rags. No matter how we are talking for them, they have not gotten to a point to know they are enslaved.

“Currently the president is on his county tour of Montserrado, which is the largest County with 17 districts. So, the president of our beloved republic of Liberia decided to make our county the last, which in all fairness is reasonable.

“We’ve been planning for the president’s visit within our respective districts since February. Almost like six months, the president should have been in our various districts, so we’ve been planning for the president’s visit in our district. The reason is, we want to give the citizens the opportunity to interact with the chief executive, with their leaders. Sometimes the problems are not entirely the executive or the lawmakers. Sometimes the problems are beyond what we think or what we feel.

When we received information that the President would like to visit our district, we immediately began the process. I selected a venue that can take up to 1,500 persons. The venue was sealed since February, and it has been on a standby for us.

“Preparation for the president is no joke. I can remember during the groundbreaking ceremony, I had to bring the president in my district. It cost me almost US$7-8,000. The district is populated, you have to bring people from one point to another; you have to do transportation, the whole scenario about the Liberian political culture. It’s not like a town hall where you have to go and talk about policy. So, we do understand that it is an expensive venture in the first place.

“Bearing in mind what happened during the groundbreaking ceremony, we started early preparation for the presidential visit in our communities, in my district. I have about 42 communities in my district. So, you have to mobilize people, bring them together and give them the opportunity to see the president and engage with him. It was very welcoming and everyone liked the idea.

“On the second time we received information that the president had to postpone the county tour and everything was paused. The third time we received information about the president coming, it wasn’t for our involvement, it was just for our acknowledgment; we just needed to know the president is coming to the district, and would be working with the district lawmakers. All lawmakers in the 17 districts in Montserrado County had problems with the late timing, and the lack of resources. However, we were still willing in the interest of our people. It was like US$2,500 with 20 bags of rice. In the interior it’s a lot but a district like ours that has the size of a county. Whatever the case, we agreed as a county caucus, that the local government for the district development council would be the one to handle that.

“So, I informed my district development council on Saturday about the President’s visit and I encouraged them to work along with the superintendent of Montserrado County. By the way, the superintendent, she started very calmly. In fact, she said to me that my district would have been the first district the president would visit, and we shared pleasantries and we laughed about that. So, all of a sudden, things twisted. In an unusual vein, I was told the president does not want to see Representative Suacoco Dennis because she’s a critical voice in the government; she has been raising some key national issues, and they don’t want them to be raised. And I think those that were affected were Districts 4 and 17. Most of the opposition lawmakers’ districts were the ones that were actually targeted by the superintendent.

“And then the tension started to build up. CDC mobilizing, passing around my homes, throwing jibes. But I said, no, I am not going to get into any chaos because President Weah is coming. So, the Superintendent lost her cool and started to be very vocal against Hon. Hanson Kiazolu and I. So I said, Madam Superintendent, you go ahead and do as you were instructed to do, because in the beginning, you were very calm and modest, but you have been instructed to do something and I know that you are working by the will and pleasure of the president. What is so big about the president coming in the district for which everything has to turn bloody, political?” Representative Dennis lamented.

It can be recalled that during President Weah’s tour of District 17 in Brewerville, Representative Hanson Kiazolu of the Unity Party did not attend the program although his name was listed in the official program itinerary.

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