Liberia: Dictators Do Not Ask for the Consent of the People

Former Sudanese President al-Bashir (file photo).

The Editor

Finance Minister Samuel Tweah is right, only if we Liberians allow George Weah to become "A Benevolent Dictator"; as if to say Weah is not already a dictator like his predecessors-William VS Tubman, William R. Tolbert, Samuel Doe and Charles Taylor-who were also dictators.

Dictators do not ask for the consent of the people; they just impose themselves on the people in clever schemes by way of fraudulent "elections." Once "elected" the dictatorship creeps in slowly.

Dictators NEVER give up power willingly. They tend to change the rules/constitution in the middle of the game. Tweah is not the first person to put out this signal of a Weah dictatorship in the making. CDC party fanatics have been saying the same thing of a Weah-for-life presidency of 12 years and then up it to 24 years in power. Anyone who thinks Weah and his CDC will not "win" the 2023 presidential elections must not know anything about a Benevolent Dictator or Liberian politics... .unless the people are willing to STOP him by any means necessary.

When has Weah raised the red flag about his two immediate neighnors: Ivory Coast's Allasane Ouattara and Guinea's Alpha Conde who are bending the rules/constitutions of their respective countries to remain in power for a third term when their constitutions mandate a two-term limit for the presidency? That is the design of cleverly disguised "Benevolent Doctors" and Africa is notorious for breeding them.

A list of just a few of the the African Benevolent Dictators to ponder were/are: Idi Amin and now Yuweri Musuveni of Uganda, N'Saingbe Eyadema and now his son Fraud of Togo, Mobutu Sese Seku of the DRC/Zaire, Blaire Comparore of Burkina Faso, Yaya Yammeh of the Gambia, Mohammed Keita of Mali, Hosni Mubarrack of Egypt, Moammar El Khaddafi of Libya, Gaffal El Numeric and Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, Sekou Toure of Guinea, Saika Stevens of Sierra Leone, Houphet Boigny of Ivory Voast, Congo Brazzavile's Denis Sassou Nguesso, Theodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and the list is endless across the continent. Weah simply wants to emulate Tubman, Tolbert, Doe and Tayor but must and should be mindful of the brutal end of their regimes.

President Weah is not doing bad considering the way he is starting out: his growing Real Estate Empire of a few palaces and mansions, 49 colorful townhouses, a radio station to sing his praises, a church to tell us he is God-send, a $30 million luxurious private jet plane to fly him around the world and the constant handouts of rice/food and cash for his hungry and impoverished subjects, raiding of the Central Bank and illegally taking millions$ belonging to foreign embassies and his refusal to return the money, the missing LD$18 billion that even the best police organization in the world, the US-FBI he invited to search for the money came up empty handed. And add to that another US $20 million unaccounted for as mop-up money... .and you are on your way to being a darn good Liberian Benevolent Dictator. Tubman, Tolbert, Doe and Tayor didnt start out that fast.

That is why Samuel Tweah is strategically placed as the gatekeeper keeping an eagle's eye over our money at the Treasury. Tweah knows what he is talking about. He is testing the pulse of the nation to gauge our feedback about cmaking Weah our next Benevolent Dictator. And you will not hear Weah say "fuehn" or nothing about his new suggested title.

But what Weah has to realize is that Tolbert, Doe and Taylor before him did not give up power freely. The people who gave them power forcefully seized power from them and the consequences were bloody or deadly. That is the price or prize a Benevolent Dictator must be willing to pay. And the first to run away from the Master are the praise-singers like Tweah when the ship begins to take water and eventually to sink. Good luck to Liberia's newest and latest BENEVOLENT DICTATOR, His Execellency Dr./President George Gbekugbeh Forkay Klohn Geesayfahnorkun Manneh Weah, my fellow Kru man. History is the best teacher in life. Just a thought and not a sermon.

Jerry Wehtee Wion

Washington, DC, USA

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