Liberia: CDC Legislative Caucus Takes Issue With Pres. Boakai Over Vip Terminal Dispute With Ex-Pres. Weah

Former president George Weah

Monrovia — The Chairman of the opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) legislative caucus Senator Nathaniel McGill has called on President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to with immediate effect commission an investigation into the alleged recent humiliation of former President George Manneh Weah at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County.

Senator McGill is representing the people of Margibi in the 55th National Legislature.

It was widely reported in the media that ex-President Weah, along with his wife Clar and others were prevented by Protocol Officers assigned at the VIP Terminal upon his return to the country from Paris, France on Tuesday- where he has been residing since he democratically handed power over to President Boakai.

But addressing a news conference at his Capitol Building office in Monrovia on Wednesday, February 28, Senator McGill claimed that Mr.Weah was disrespected for being denied usage of the terminal constructed and dedicated during his administration.

According to him, the incident has the propensity of threatening Liberia's peace and stability and as such, it must be probe to establish what went wrong.

He stated that with the limited margin between the UP and CDC during the presidential run-off elections, unity amongst Liberians squarely depends on the manner and form in which the ruling party will treat the leaders of opposition political parties, especially the CDC.

Senator McGill claimed that Mr. Weah represents a significant fraction of the country that did not vote for the UP during the elections and as such, he should not be humiliated or disrespected as a former leader of the country.

He stressed that those responsible for denying the ex-Liberian leader usage of the new terminal should be brought to book and penalize to avoid a reoccurrence of the incident.

"Imagine if all the supporters had gone to the airport to receive (President) Weah; you know what was going to happen at that airport? How can you deny the man who built it (terminal) and besides that, he's just the immediate past President? We want to condemn it and ask President Boakai and the Ministry of State to investigate because; this threatens our democracy and the peace and security of this country."

"Why in Liberia we are so hateful? In this country, we hate each other so much. Today Boakai is President. But 2029, he will not be President. So we should allow people to treat him the same way they treating other Presidents? This should not be accepted."

He observed that during the administration of ex-President Weah, President Boakai and other senior government officials had access to the old VIP terminal which was constructed during the administration of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

Senator McGill termed as inaccurate information provided by the Executive Mansion, through its Presidential Press Secretary Kula Fofana, that the new VIP terminal is to be exclusively used by the sitting President.

According to him, the new VIP terminal, which comprises of bedrooms and others, was dedicated by the former Liberian leader to be used by VIPs upon their departure and return to the country.

Making mistakes

He observed that with less than two months in power, the UP led-government is embroiled into making series of mistakes that are intended to undermine the peace and security of the country.

Senator McGill said it now time that government pays attention to issues that would sustain the country's peace, instead of harboring hate for those who previously served the country.

He called on Liberians not to tolerate the disrespect of their former leaders by the sitting government and its officials.

"This is not Unity Party versus CDC; this is Liberia we are talking about. Weah was not President for CDC; he was President for the Republic of Liberia and he must enjoy all of what is ascribed to a former President."

Senator McGill justified that his political leader was elected by not only members and supporters of the CDC during the 2017 general and presidential elections, but citizens from other political parties and as such, he must not be treated disdainfully by anyone.

He further called on President Boakai not to allow himself to be used by "people in the Mansion" to undermine his administration.

"You fought to be President for this country and the Liberian people gave it to you. Your concern now should be how to keep this country peaceful. We know the history of this country and the Liberian people should be respected."

"It's a given fact that this country is divided 50-50. The elections of 2023 clearly divided Liberia in the middle. What is needed the most of this country is peace and unity."

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