3 October 2013

Liberia: 'Reckless and Irresponsible' - Weah Scolds CDC Officials Fanning Flames of Conflict

Barely 24-hours after the Youth Wing Chair of the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) Mr. Jefferson Koijee revealed a plot to assassinate President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf upon her arrival in the country from several weeks of foreign travel, the political leader of the CDC Ambassador George Weah has strongly criticized the comments coming from his party's Youth Wing Chair.

Ambassador Weah speaking during an intercessory prayer in his honor at the Georgia Pattern United Methodist Church, in Monrovia, said he does not support calls for President Ellen Johnson to step down and is against the current wave of division that is being spread by anti-peace elements.

"While away, I listened to the news, and read the news, what is coming from Monrovia is not a good news and I'm very disappointed. I'm not disappointed in people, I'm disappointed because people that should be responsible are being irresponsible," Weah told the congregation consisting of the CDC hierarchy and other partisans, friends and sympathizers early Thursday morning.

"After 15 years of civil war, we are still doing the same thing and we expect a different result. It is impossible to do the same thing every day and expect a different result. The only way you can get a different result is if you can get to do things differently."

Weah criticizing Mr. Koijee for his assassination allegations made and also questioning CDC executive Mulbah Morlu's role in the Ellen step-down Campaign urged the pair to stop engaging in ventures that would lead the country back to chaos. Weah said the memories of war are still fresh on the minds of ordinary Liberians who often bear the brunt of political upheavals when tensions escalate in the country.

"We have to be careful; most especially as CDCians. Couples of months ago when we came back here, there were statements made by Hon. Prince Johnson on how people want to assassinate the President. I went to the President, I told her that was wrong for him to do so, she needs to find a measure and call him and ask him why," he said.

Continued Weah: "These things are not good. In 1989; yes I was away, but we heard, somebody was going to assassinate the President and we overlooked it caused problem. The former standard bearer for the Liberty Party, many times asked the President to resign and the CDC was not taking a stand. They were not speaking on behalf of the people."

"But they thought that saying the President must resign, was speaking on behalf of the Liberian people. No. Today, our friends are making these same statements. But it is worse coming from you all than those people that started saying it."

'Don't undermine peace'

He told the audience mainly CDCians o be mindful of their utterances so as not to lead the country into chaos as the expense of the masses that the party was set up to protect. He said the CDC has a responsibility to guard the hard earned peace prevailing in the country rather than engage in activities to undermine it.

"The reason I'm saying this is that you have to be very careful. When you are a target, you must be responsible," said the CDC stalwart upon his return from Zurich, Switzerland.

"When you are hoping to be the next government of this country, you have to watch your utterances. If you are in a society where you are a leader, be it a youth wing leader, a political leader, you have to be very careful how you speak. "

"Yes you have your right to your personal opinion, but when you speak, you have to make sure you can substantiate that what you speak must be factual, And you must be responsible enough to defend your actions because no one will be held liable for someone's irresponsibility."

He warned that until the CDC goes to its convention as a political body, he remains the face of the party and is bound therefore to protect its integrity.

"So to all of you people like I said to my friends Morlu and Jeff Koijee and all of the people in the CDC, I am the leader for the Congress for Democratic Change; from the House of Representative to the lower steward of CDC, up to your convention I am the leader of the CDC. After convention, when you have selected someone else to be your leader maybe they will tolerate reckless statements but not in my regime," he said.

'Listen to your people'

Weah then urged the President to listen to the cries of the Liberian people and reflect on what they want and try to do the right things so there can be peace and quiet in the country adding that a good leader listens to the cries of the people and take the necessary actions to correct the flaws.

"We hope that she does the right thing for the Liberian people... because those politicians that are asking you to step down are not the Liberian people. Those people are doing it for their personal gain," he said.

"Liberia needs light, water, jobs. We need people to be able to go to hospital and pay their children's hospital bill and it is easy for her to sit and do that ... so let us keep the city calm."

Apparently speaking on the group formed by Musa Bility and co, Weah urged the Council of Churches to prevail on them to stay off the streets and call off their planned welcome action slated for next week.

"I learned that there is a pro-democracy group that is going into the streets; if you know why they're doing it, tell them not to do so," Weah said.

Continued Weah: "They have a new group they say national peace initiative group, but I say to you all again, they named me peace ambassador the other day. My responsibility is to promote what they want me do as a peaceful person and that's my duty to the Liberian people. If you make me peace ambassador today, what you want me do I will do it, tomorrow if you give the job to somebody, I wish them farewell. I wish them all the best."

He urged Liberians to allow President Sirleaf finish her term and peacefully turn over power to whoever emerges President in 2017 asking the CDC to be pacesetters of peace.

"Let us look beyond the President; let us prepare, when she's gone because there are many people that want to stop you Liberian people from not taking power and you should be prepared for that. And how are we going to do it is to practice fairness and preach fairness during election time," he said.

Assassination plot

It can be recalled that Mr. Koijee Wednesday called a news conference at the party's headquarters where he alarmed over what he calls plans by Musa Bility and Defense minister Brownie Samukai to assassinate the president upon her return to Liberia.

Koijee, disclosed that Bility's newly launched group under the banner Liberians for the Protection of Peace and democracy is planning come October 9, 2013 the date set for the President's return, to impose on the Liberian people Cllr. Charles Brumskine former standard bearer of the Liberty Party as head of state in a power sharing deal is are set to create chaos in the country.

Koijee said: "this grouping is looking for chaos and is confident that it can get in confrontation with the Ellen Step Down Campaign and that can be used as a coverup to distract security forces, while defense minister Brownie Samukai has given assurance that the ground is fertile for such an operation."

The CDC executive said the issue was a very serious one adding that the CDC youth league cannot sit and allow Liberians' future to be mortgaged again because some Liberian politicians are irresponsibly greedy for power.

"This Party knows what it is to want peace more than power, this party knows what it is to bury members on the back of stolen elections, we know about choosing the rights of our people to live in peace above our willingness to govern," he said.

"For us no price is too high to pay for peace. We are calling on the international community to remain vigilant because there are lot of confused persons hurt in this country and lot of scheming politicians ready to take advantage of them."

But this latest criticism from Weah is set to delve a big blow to Koijee and Morlue who have been in the vanguard of calling for the resignation of the President.

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