4 January 2013

Liberia: Weah's Misery

Photo: allAfrica
Opposition leader George Weah and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Vision 2030 conference

Declarations by retired football star George M. Weah, political leader of the opposition CDC, extending clemency to expelled members of the party has been rebuffed by some of those under expulsion.

Mr. Weah said he extended the clemency in a move to reconcile differences with the aggrieved CDC partisans, but some of them ridiculed his gesture as "belated".

"It is laughable. He needs to extend it from his heart. They should reconcile within themselves first," said Orishall Gould, acting chair of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), a breakaway faction of the CDC.

Mr. Weah was appointed last month in Gbarnga as Peace Ambassador, replacing Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee, to spearhead peace and reconciliation in Liberia after 17 years of civil war which ruined the country and wounded the hearts of almost everybody.

But an avalanche of criticisms from mainly CDC partisans greeted his acceptance of the appointment, with many critics claiming his inability to perform the task judging from his dismal leadership of the CDC, which is deeply 'engulfed conflict and infighting.'

However, to prove his critics wrong, CDC the hierarchy issued a 2013 resolution, involving a 'clemency and amnesty to all of its expelled members to reunite in order to see Mr. Weah demonstrate his leadership ability that he can reconcile the country.

But Mr. Gould, who left CDC following a stiff contest last year in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, laughed when this paper contacted him to comment on the issue.

He rejected Mr. Weah as being "serious about his action," "Reconciliation is not only in words but deeds. God forbid, I will never join the CDC again, " Gould vowed.

CDC's former county chair and former national spokesman, J. Amos Swaray, described the declaration by Mr. Weah as "shameful and belated".

"He is doing it out of pressure. It is belated and shameful for him to say that; no sound man or woman would ever take him and his entire CDC serious," said Swaray, a founding CDC member who now serves as ANC's National Vice President for Internal Party Affairs.

He said Mr. Weah is not a "reconciler" but only pretends to the people that he can "unite this country."

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