Following a decade of peace that saw Liberia regain its status within the comity of nations – from a wartime pariah status to a respectable member of regional and global decision-making bodies, suggestions from the current leadership now point to a drastic shift in leadership style that promotes dictator – or as Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. haphazardly puts it, “a benevolent dictatorship” like in Paul Kigame’s Rwanda, where everyone can give President Weah a resounding mandate on December 8, 2020 for them to be afraid of him.
Appearing at a local speakeasy a fortnight ago, Liberia’s Finance and Development Minister called on his compatriots to see the need to make President Weah a benevolent dictator.
“We need a benevolent dictator, meaning somebody like Paul Kigame, who alone can sit in his room and make decisions to move the country faster. This is what’s happening in a lot of the Asian countries where the benevolent dictator can say, ‘I don’t want to hear what our people say and their views, I want to build that road, I will put money there’. When everybody starts to democratize their decisions, then we are slow. So let’s reorient this whole government. The president will need to have that resounding mandate for people to be afraid of him. This is the mandate you want to give him this December. December 8th,” Minister Tweah said.
Tweah’s video recording has since flooded the Internet, eliciting a flurry of reactions from concerned Liberians.
Ambulah Mamey is a concerned Liberian who is totally incensed with the Finance Minister’s call for Liberians to make President Weah a ‘benevolent dictator’. In a reaction posted recently on Facebook, titled, ‘Rejecting Tweah’s Embarrassing Signal for a Weah’s Dictatorship’, Mr. Mamey wondered whether power had corrupted Minister Tweah to the point that he believes President Weah should be a dictator before he can succeed.
“Your call here for all CDC candidates to be elected so President Weah can be empowered and feared to make unilateral decisions is an embarrassment to the CDC and a solid reason why conscious Liberians will reject CDC candidates- especially those with no record of standing up for the right things. What more should we give you all? In 2018 President Weah got ALL the power, authority, and support he needed but you guys squandered that opportunity. The Legislature signed a resolution giving the President absolute freedom to go the World over and acquire loans to build roads. You all went, saw, and left all the good options but brought Eton and EBOMAF- two fraudulent agreements that embarrassed the country,” Mamey lamented.
“You were empowered with USD 25M to mop up excess LD from the economy but the money ended up in the hands of ghost “Money Exchangers”. Today, the economy carries the pain and scars of your mop-up scam. The people gave us the power to change their lives but our first shot was to build and buy houses in and out of Liberia. Instead of empowering you all to make unilateral decisions, Liberians now think you all need to be checked through a strong Legislature,” the vocal Liberian youth stated, wondering further, “Is it the dictatorship that GMW is practicing by being completely defiant in accepting to do the right things – including dismissing and prosecuting the Nigerian criminal at the LACC?”
Pundits believe that Mr. Tweah’s assertion of the Rwandan President as a benevolent dictator whose leadership style Liberians should similarly entrust upon President Weah, is a gross miscarriage of good governance, given the fact that under Paul Kagame, a former rebel commander who became president of Rwanda in 2000, Rwanda is today one of the cleanest countries in Africa, and his rule has seen unparalleled economic growth and a significant reduction of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Under Kagame’s rule, Rwanda is also called the “Singapore of Africa”.
“But our president, who Samuel Tweah is asking us to make into another Paul Kagame is only interested in enriching himself while the vast majority of our people suffer. Weah is worse than our past slain military leader Samuel Doe,” says Martin K.N. Kollie, a vociferous youth advocate now living in exile.