Liberia: The Unhealthy, Recurring Vibes Between President Weah and His Vice


SHORTLY AFTER HIS inauguration as the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia, the women of Liberia showered praises on President George Manneh Weah in an elaborate program held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, paying tribute to him for choosing Jewel Howard Taylor as his vice president.

MADAM GRACE SCOTLAND, executive director of Women of Liberia, recalled that the Women of Liberia resolved in 2017 before the elections that they would support any presidential candidate who select a formidable female as vice running mate. The January 20, 2018 ceremony she said, was the women's way of telling the President-elect, thank you for listening to the plights of women by picking, the former First Lady and former wife of former President Charles Taylor. "We believe Mr. President-elect, that you're a '#HeforShe'," Madam Scotland said.

NOT A DAY, week or month goes by, since that inauguration, without some report of strains, friction or disagreement going on about something between the President and his vice.

THE LATEST COMING LAST Wednesday, when Mr. Gerald Smith, Deputy Director for Administration at the National Security Agency, reportedly pull out his gun on guards manning the home of the vice president, before he was subdued to and the 9 mm Smith and Wesson seized from his possession.

THE VP WAS reportedly having a meeting inside the fence of her home when the incident took place.

Eyewitnesses told FrontPageAfrica that the incident was sparked off by Mr. Smith's refusal to adhere to the Vice President's security details assigned in front of her house in the Sophie Ice Cream Community in Congotown.

DURING THE FORMER regime of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Vice President Joseph Boakai's home was always blocked to traffic. Mr. Smith somehow feels because of his position, he had the right to bulldoze his way past the VP's security.

SADLY, THIS is not the first time Mr. Smith has been involved in scuffle with the Vice President.

IN FACT, HIS UTTERANCE, according to eyewitnesses that "Where the Vice President we got here? No Vice President here!," speaks clearly to the unspoken perception that those around the President, aware that something is not right between the President and his vice, are engaging in outright disrespect toward the second in line of succession to the Liberian presidency.

THE VP ACKNOWLEDGED this much in a FrontPageAfrica interview earlier this year, when she said that she believed that "there is some level of disrespect in different places."

THE VP ADDED: "Let me say, that it seems as if I have become an "EXPENDABLE ASSET". And I have to draw my answer from the perspective of the campaign - and I knew that I was a key figure in all of us. Whether it was deciding how many t shirts you bought, or the fact that the Liberty party had bought a hundred vehicles and we didn't have any and people were agitated, "we need you know, we need vehicles, we need motorbikes." And I don't remember any issue being discussed that my opinion wasn't sought for. So, I think during the campaign, there was a level of respect that I received from everyone, especially the young partisans."

MR.SMITH, is not new to such incidents. In fact, he was one of several officials named in a report linking him to atrocities and crimes against humanity in the George Weah-led government by the International Justice Group(IJG), run by Cllr. Jerome Verdier, former head of the erstwhile Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

JUSTICE MINISTER FRANK MUSAH DEAN, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry on the issue Sunday confirmed that an investigation is ongoing. "On the 25th of June, we received a written complaint from the NSA. We received a second complaint from the Vice President's Chief of Staff, dated the 26th of June. Both complaints relate to the incident of 24th June, which occurred at the VP's residence. We are in the process of instituting an investigation."

THIS HAS BEEN GOING on far too long and is becoming visible for all to see.

THE NATIONAL PATRIOTIC PARTY, which is part of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, is strangely continuing to be entangled in a never-ending state of confusion with one side calling for the VP to be removed, likely paving the way for her to be dropped from the ruling party's ticket ahead of the 2023 president elections.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, it appears both President and Vice President are going in opposite directions when it comes to who will run on the party's ticket in the upcoming Mid Term Senatorial elections from Bong County.

LAST WEEKEND, the ruling party embraced Senator Henry Yallah, who has had several differences with the Vice President, into its fold. The VP has told aides that she will not support Yallah's re-lection bid and for the first time in recent memory Liberia may see President and Vice President in opposite lanes of a support for a Senatorial candidate.

AMID THE MURMIURS, President Weah has kept quiet and said nothing publicly about what has been unfolding. The VP herself has been inconsistent regarding the unfolding development: One minute playing the victim in an abused relationship - and another minute, singing and dancing "Jump Over It" with the President and partisans.

THUS, MANY have come to the conclusion that the vice president will not be on the ticket in 2023, or maybe should could be.

IN THE MIDDLE, IS nation that has seen more than it can handle in recent times. Since the rice riots of April 14, 1979 and the military coup of April 12, 1980, nothing has been the same. The recurring state of uncertainty does not bode well for Liberia's immediate future.

PRESIDENT WEAH AND HIS vice president owes it to those who elected them and the Liberian people to maintain a steady course for whatever time they have left at the helm of leadership.

AS LONG AS these spats continue to linger, there would be more incidents like what transpired between Mr. Smith and the VP's security. With the feud full-blown in full view of the public, nothing will stop the next official from disrespecting the vice president, especially, if the President continues to keep his mouth shut!!!

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