By Shaka Barak, UNIA & ACL Minister of Education, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The flames of hatred for Senator George Weah the leading candidate from the Congress for Democratic Change Political Party in the run off for President of Liberia, West Africa are spreading. No matter how hard Honorable Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the first female head of Liberia that is stepping down, pleads for fairness, and transparency in these elections, those in her administration are defying her demands for decency and plan to, as Senator Weah feels, steal the election through the National Election Committee. President Sirleaf’s own officers like the Education Minister George Werner, even when censored, violates her rules that there would be no vulgarity, no abuse and no spreading of hate messages among the 2 million Liberian voters, during this election. The African world wanted President Sirleaf to succeed for the benefit of 4.6 million Liberians, during her two six year terms as the first female head of any African country in modern times. We applauded her efforts to hold in check those opposition politicians, from the 14 year civil war (1993-2003) with the promise of fairness, enfranchisement and development. While former President Charles Taylor, once a participant in the war, is out of the way (in prison), and another civil war participant Prince Johnson is making his presence felt through the electoral process, key figures of Sirleaf’s administration used these quiet moments as opportunities to rob the people. This is why his running mate, the candidate for Vice President Ms. Jewel Howard-Taylor is behind Senator Weah, the international soccer icon who earned his wealth honestly.
Liberia is broke after the millions of dollars have been stolen by her government officials. During this run-off election Tuesday, November 7, 2017, these same cabinet members along with an international arm of media, business and politicians have launched a horrific attack on the 51-year-old candidate Senator Weah. Their goals are to elevate the 72-year-old Vice President Joseph Boakai to the presidency so that they can continue business as usual. That business is “economic slavery,” in a poor country where people earn less than $2 a day but the elected one percent of the population earns salaries (kept secret) that are more than the members of the United States Black Congressional Caucus. Senator Weah, who was appointed by President Sirleaf as the “Peace Ambassador,” has brought unity across all former warring factions. This is contrary to the era of violence his opponents say he will bring. Instead they promote more violence through their hate speeches. Reducing Liberia to 85 percent unemployment among the youth has done more to inflame violence than anything George Weah could ever do.
Candidate Senator Weah was a humanitarian before he was a politician. He holds an online Bachelor’s degree in Business Management from DeVry University in Florida, and has not been stained by the civil war, nor by corruption that permeated President Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai’s regime. In 2014 Present Senator Weah, served as chairman on the Sporting Committee and elected representative of 16 member Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) in the house of representatives. While ECOWAS can’t endorse Senator Weah, they are extremely interested in the means from which an elected government will be transferring power to another. Senator Weah, the Peace Ambassador received support from Prince Johnson, who ran against Senator Weah in the Primary election for President. The very good prospect of Senator Weah keeping his lead which was 39% to Vice President Boakai’s the “Law and Order” candidate’s 29% and winning the position is why the youth of Liberia are happy and why the opponents of Senator Weah and his Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) are desperate. No Presidential candidate promotes violence but poverty and the possibility of permanent disenfranchisement does. Between the extravagant salaries the President Sirleaf cabinet receives, and the money they stole, Liberians could be much better off than they are today. The thieves also sit as chairmen of various government enterprises, and earn these consultation fees. Vice President Boakai has chaired boards of over 20 development projects, but Liberia didn’t develop.
Senator Weah earned his wealth as the “Michael Jordan” of soccer, as an international soccer icon. He shares his wealth by championing the cause of the unemployed and uneducated youth and citizens of Liberia. Some of the Liberian privileged hate him for being a man of the people candidate.
Shaka Barak, is the Minister of Education for the Universal Negro Improvement Association & African Communities League (UNIA & ACL).