Open Letter to President Weah
Dear President Weah,
I write to draw your attention like the French would say – to the “Raison Doctrine” upon which our political movement – the Mighty Congress for Democratic Change was founded and the extent to which I believe our revolution has been hijacked by stowaways and men whose marauding and monstrous greed for wealth is destroying our country, our movement, and as well your legacy as President.
Mr. President and leader of our revolution, may I inform you that our party – the Congress for Democratic Change was founded as a rejection – a reaction to and a protest against the annihilation of our political space by men who marauded that space, collapsed our country, looted and plundered our resources and subjected our people to acute hardship. It was on this note and grounding belief we organised this great movement to reject the political class that orchestrated economic terror against our people for almost 133 years. That was the raison doctrine upon which we established our movement in 2004 to serve as a pathfinder and bastion of hope for the underprivileged and dispossessed masses of our people who live in New Kru Town, West Point, Soniwein, Bussy Quarters, Doe Community, Logan Town, Dweakehn, Woelownken, Gbeapo District, Potupo, Webbo, Grand Cess, Jaedepo, Sanquin District, Pleebo Sodoken, Karluway and the rest of the other parts of Liberia.
For twelve years, Mr. President, many Liberians, like me, stood and walked behind the CDC at the peril of their lives because they believe that you were an embodiment of the change they aspired. Several professionals like me lost their jobs in government only because we identified with you and the CDC. Other Liberians in the Diaspora abandoned their comforts, resigned their lucrative jobs and came to struggle to bring you and our CDC to power. Mr. President, you are aware that in this journey to transform our country through the CDC, we lost several of our compatriots and partisans who sacrificed behind our movement for a better Liberia. Today, I am not even sure that our government and party are helping the relatives and children of our fallen compatriots and martyr comrades in the struggle.
Mr. President, contrary to what we see in other political parties, ours was different. We as supporters of you and our movement used our meagre resources and earnings to print our own t-shirts with your photo and went all out to canvass for your presidency. We walked distances to campaign with you without getting a dime in return contrary to what is seen in other parties. This, for me, Mr. President, was a quintessential display of unmatched loyalty and commitment to a cause. A selfless cause. A cause for a better Liberia. It was never a cause intended to enrich a select few as we see today.
Today, Mr. President, after five years of your presidency, I am convinced beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not the Liberia men and women of courage laid down their lives for 12 unbroken years in the opposition. The change we promised has been hijacked and thwarted by some of your cabinet officials. The hijackers and stowaways have conditioned you and placed you into a cage or an alternative universe that is far removed and bereft of the harsh economic reality and pain our people go through daily. They have made you to believe that you are delivering on your policy promises and our people are happy. They have also lured you in the fantasy and illusion that you are the best President Liberia have ever had.
Mr. President, many Liberians, particularly Cdceans, saw your 2018 election as the “second coming” of “Jesus Christ” to rid Liberia of the unimaginable misery and state-sponsored corruption that has become a cancer on our nation’s progress. This is why many of our people, especially Cdceans, screamed “Hosanna” to the sky when you said in your inaugural address that the mandate you got from Liberians who elected you en masse is to stop corruption. Contrary to this pledge, Mr. President, you are during very little to fight corruption. Today, the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services is embroiled and knee-deep in the web of corruption and your Minister of Finance, Samuel D. Tweah, sits at the height of the corruption at LISGIS and many other areas of our government – including the 25 million that was intended to mob up excess liquidity of the Liberian dollars on the market.
Whilst Minister Tweah and his patrons of state-looters action to eat our census funds has forestalled the smooth conduct of our housing and population census, yet Liberians and the International Community are left with little hope that your administration will take any action to prosecute Tweah and his likes other than the mere dismissal of Wilmot Smith like we saw in the case of Nathaniel McGill, Cllr. Syrenus Cephus and Bill Tweahway – whilst Samuel Tweah – the Corruption-In-Chief King Kong in our government still sits at the Ministry of Finance in spite of the MCC scorecard and many indices which pointed to fiscal policy failure under his watch. Today, Mr. President, we see Nathaniel McGill who has been designated by the US Treasury Department on multiple charges of corruption walk in the streets like a free man in our country and is even nursing political ambition to run in Margibi after stealing from the poor.
Mr. President, these are the people whom after your ascendency to the presidency, abused the revolution we wasted our sweet and blood for by appointing their sex mates and relatives – most of whom many of our partisans are far qualified and competent than. In some instances, they even sold lucrative government’s jobs to their friends in the diaspora who have no history of the struggle we went through for 12 uninterrupted years, lest to mention the qualification and technical competence for the job.
Mr. President, I therefore call on you to remove yourself from the cage and illusion Tweah and his likes have placed you in that have detached you from the economic reality overburdening almost every household across the country. Mr. President, your legacy matters. Time is running out! We didn’t come to power to enrich a corrupt few.
Mr. President, you told us during our heyday in the opposition that we were not aspiring for the presidency because of personal gains. Mr. President, you assured us that we were venturing into politics for our people who cannot afford to take their children to school and hospital. The fight was for our people who are victims of the 14 years of horrendous genocide. Regrettably, Mr, President, after 5 years, our 12 years of struggle has turned into struggle for selves and gains against the overarching agenda of our revolution. Failed student advocates and their patrons, including the loudmouth Tweah, have hijacked our revolution and are bent on destroying your legacy and our country.
You are a good man and a leader filled with love and courage, Mr. President. Today, Mr. President, it is difficult to believe that you are the leader of unrelenting valour and courage we knew then. Those corrupt and wicked officials you bestowed your trust in have turned you away from the man Liberians knew you to be. They have placed a veil on your eyes that is inhibiting you to see the suffering on the faces of our people.
Ordinary Liberians and hardworking civil servants with take-home pay that is barely enough to feed their families and pay rent are unable to endure the intolerable hardships of life because of the wanton corruption and abuse of public office orchestrated by some of your officials which – inadvertently – is rotting our government, Mr. President and undermining our great movement. As the slogan “Change for Hope” fails miserably to deliver on its promise, our once-joyous households are quickly sinking into poverty and misery. There is no longer any optimism to be found in the slogan “Pro-Poor;” rather, it has become a catchphrase of despondency set to a tune of sorrow.
Mr. President, it is ironic that the bulk of the young people who voted you in office are the ones who are today paying the hike in tuition fees and public transport while corrupt cabinet officials of government drive in expensive cars and eat in five-star hotels in Liberia and abroad. If our businesswomen, who voted for you and whose livelihoods depend on imports, have to struggle under an unfair tax system, they and their children will be less likely to commit to our reelection efforts and our once cherished movement – the CDC. Frustratingly unpleasant, the suffering people in the homeland can only watch in dismay and misery as their situation worsens.
Once known as the “Glorious Land of Liberty,” modern-day Liberia has been jolted into reality by a “masterminded enterprise” of unprecedented economic crimes, conducted under the pretext of “representative democracy” but in reality representing the traditional “come grab and go” business model. This political strategy has done nothing except lowering the quality of life for the average citizens, cut off their access to essential social services, and laid our country bare at the peripheral in the international community. You cannot, Mr. President, allow this intolerable level of wickedness to continue, especially when it has been enhanced by your appointed officials you have the power to dismiss.
Mr. President, I write this letter cognizant that those corrupt officials and their patrons in our government will come after my life, but I do it out of courage and love for my country and party. I know that sycophancy is at epidemic proportions in Liberia. Several others in our government and party know that we as a government and party are letting our people down. We have failed the hard expectations of our people who looked to us in 2017 for a better Liberia pregnant with golden possibilities – a country that the world can look to as a prime destination for investment.
President Weah, it is hard time we will look you in the face to tell you that the King is “Walking Naked”. I am not the only partisan who is expressing these sentiments. Many other partisans express these same sentiments on a daily basis. They wish everyday of their lives that they would have that same access they had during our 12 years in opposition to look you in the face and speak truth to power. And so, since they no longer enjoy that access as corrupt officials of government are preventing them from seeing you, in a few years ago, they expressed these grievances and sentiments in the midterm senatorial elections by overwhelmingly rejecting our party and candidates in counties, especially Montserrado, once considered as our strongholds. There, Mr. President, we were of the hard expectation that our devastating and humiliating defeat through the ballot in the midterm elections held three years into your administration would have woken you up from your slumber – rolled your sleeves and stopped you from listening to Tweah and his likes that are deceiving you that all is well. We thought that you would have by now dismissed underachievers in your government like the voodoo zombie economist Samuel Tweah and his likes and attract qualified Liberian patriots in and out of our party to deliver on our policy promise and to have the hope we promised our people who voted us in power lighted.
Mr. President, upon your return to the country, I employ you to take the necessary actions to save our country and movement (CDC) and protect your legacy. Your popularity is fast diminishing as we approach 2023. As a government and party, we are not doing anything worthy of our people’s trust to request from them a second term in 2023 other than Tweah and his patrons misleading you that we can leverage on the current deep-seated division and fight amongst the opposition. Our people deserve better and our country needs not to be considered a laughing stock amongst the comity of nations. So, Mr. President, to leave behind a legacy, you will have to free yourself from the chain and cage you are placed in and work for the Liberian people and leave behind a legacy.
Josephh Saah Tamba
A stalwart of the CDC