- Traditional chiefs assure President Weah
Barely a day following President Weah’s 5th State of the Nation Address to the Liberian National Legislature, on Tuesday January 25, 2022, he presented a huge consignment of vehicles to traditional chiefs and elders of the fifteen counties.
President Weah made a presentation of thirty (30) brand new Nissan HardBody pickups, one hundred fifty (150) TV motorbikes to the chiefs and elders and 15 (fifteen) ambulances to the county health teams.
Each county received two (2) pickups, ten (10) motorbikes and one (1) ambulance for the county health team. The President also made available one brand new Nissan Patrol for the Head of the Chiefs and Elders of the Traditional Council of Liberia, Chief Zanzan Kawor.
In response to President Weah’s kind gestures, each of the chiefs said they were delighted by the President’s gifts and expressed commitment to support him for his second term bid for the Presidency. All the chiefs said they were on board the President’s second term bid.
Besides expressing support for the President’s reelection bid, Paramount Chief Peter Gbaryee of Margibi County said there was a need to amend the constitution to give President Weah a third term, according to him, what the President has done for the chiefs of Liberia, nobody has done it.
In similar remarks, the Paramount Chief of Rivergee, Lewis Gorfee, who has spent 35 years as Paramount since 1985and was born 1937 said they were ready to have President Weah as President of Liberia the same length of time they gave Former President William V.S. Tubman, who served for 27 years and died 1971 in office.
Amongst the chiefs and elders that received the President’s gesture and also spoke were two females from Lofa and Grand Gedeh counties.
In brief remarks, the first female Paramount Chief of Lofa County Mama Tomah thanked President Weah and asked all Liberians to support him. She said, on her way to Monrovia people were concerned about her travel to Monrovia, but what she seeing and hearing at the program was something good for the people of Lofa County.
For her part, the also the first female Paramount Chief of Grand Gedeh County, Chief Rola Garmou thanked President Weah and assured him of the support of the people of Grand Gedeh County. She told President Weah that the people of Grand Gedeh County naturally loved him.
During his State of the Nation Address, the President said one of the deficiencies that he witnessed during the County Tour was the lack of mobility within the official and traditional governance structures to enable administrators to reach out to their citizens in an efficient and effective manner.
“I saw abject poverty and the lack of development across our country, which are characterized by bad roads, lack of schools and hospitals; lack of market buildings to shelter our mothers and sisters from the open elements of the rain and sun; lack of centers for the youth, women and the disabled to enrich their capacity-building efforts; the lack of housing; and the lack of financial resources to strengthen the economic capabilities of our people”, he said.
President Weah’s visits and town hall meetings in about 70 districts in 14 of the 15 counties, he said, traveling to and sleeping in those districts, towns and villages, showed the the chronic level of underdevelopment being endured by the people that are living in rural Liberia since the founding of the great nation 200 years ago.
“I have decided to address this issue with urgency and with decisive action. Tomorrow, January 25, 2022, at 12:00 noon, there will be a Ceremony held at the SKD Stadium where I will be presenting items to the Traditional Leaders of each of the 15 counties to enable and empower them to reach out to their People”, President Weah said.
However, some opposition leaders have described the President’s move to provide vehicles for the chiefs as a beginning of the 2023 campaigns with the traditional chiefs. Sen. Abe Darius Dillon of Montserrado and a ranking member of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) said President Weah was strategically campaigning ahead of 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
“On beginning of the 2023 campaign with the traditional chiefs and elders. Strategic!” he said on his Facebook page.
A Womenvoices reporter who covered the presentation ceremony of the vehicles said views of many ordinary Liberians in the streets on the President’s gestures to chiefs were shifted in his favor. It is no secret; the 2023 race for the Executive Mansion will be tough.