MONROVIA – Liberia’s Minister of Information, Ledgerhood J. Rennie, has referred to critics of President Weah and his administration’s developmental drive, as fools.
Rennie told state radio Thursday that for the lack of a better word, those who criticize President Weah, especially those who tend to turn a blind eye to what he described as the Liberian leader’s phenomenon development gains made over the period of five years, are fools.
Although Rennie seemed to have later realized that his use of the word fools referring to critics of the Liberian president was too harsh and he tried to pacify his public utterance on national radio, he repeated his assertion justifying that he was doing so for the lack of a better word to describe those who criticize Mr. Weah and his efforts aimed at developing the country.
Rennie, who made these assertions on the program, MICAT HOUR, an hour-long radio program produced by the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) and aired on the national broadcaster, ELBS, was making reference to support received by Weah in the country’s recently-concluded presidential election, which placed the incumbent ahead of 19 other presidential candidates in the 10 October elections, attributing same to the President and his administration’s development agendas, which he said have been undertaken nationwide within a period of five years.
Election results released by the National Elections Commission (NEC), ranked Weah of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) as the presidential candidate in the 2023 elections with the highest votes; 804,087, accounting for 43.83%, followed closely by Joseph Boakai of Unity Party (UP) who accumulated 796,961 votes, representing 43.44%.
Information Minister Rennie opined that in other countries, incumbent leaders who run for re-election hardly attain such fete as Weah, going as far as just falling short of six percent to have won the race for the presidency, inferring that this shows how development projects undertaken across the country by the Weah administration, has resonated with the electorate, who he said based upon this, voted for him overwhelmingly in the 10 October general elections.
“Nineteen persons trying to unseat the President, and he just simply fell short six percent of the total votes cast that should have made him president of the country,” said Rennie, who maintained that garnering 44% of the votes cast while going against 19 political opponents, is huge and a big chunk of votes for an incumbent, as compared to others elsewhere whose votes usually hover around 25 percent to 30 percent at most.
He blasted critics and political opponents of President Weah that they can make all of the noises they can make and say all of the political things they want to say, but numbers don’t lie, rather they tell the difference, indicating that the huge votes Weah accumulated in the 10 October presidential election show that what the Liberian leader has done in the last five years is a phenomenon, adding; “because if you look at what was inherited, then only the fools will say no progress has been made.”
He made specific reference to some Liberians in the Diaspora whose names he did not disclose but claimed their political agendas have always tainted them, noting how he learned through an international report how these Liberians criticized President Weah for constructing in the country what they termed sub-standard roads.
He reminded critics of the Liberian president to make a reflection on what kind of economy the former soccer star’s administration inherited, enumerating how when Weah took over, he was greeted by several unpleasant situations including issues of wages for numerous teachers and health workers, issues at the state-run University of Liberia, as well as plethora of problems at the time besetting the nation’s largest referral hospital, the JFK Medical Center.
“All day; this one President Weah was facing protests from university students. He was facing 2,000 health workers not being on payroll, volunteer teachers too clamoring to get paid, and then he stumbled upon the fact that they had printed a huge sum of Liberian dollars just before the elections that he knew nothing about. Nobody told him about it. He had to launch an investigation, and at the end of the day, they tried to spin it to put it on the leadership of the Government, as opposed to [the] President not printing a dime,” Rennie added.
Howbeit, the Liberian minister of Information quoting the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, bragged that currently, under the watch of President Weah, Liberia is experiencing a growth rate of anywhere between four percent to five percent in its economy, adding; “and somebody is saying nothing has happened?”
“So they can play the politics they want to play, but the ordinary people know the truth and that is why they’ve given him an overwhelming support through their votes,” Rennie emphasized.
He recalled that prior to Weah’s ascendency to the presidency in 2017, there were debates that the retired footballer was incapable of effectively running a government, with critics at the time claiming that he neither had the acumen nor experience to run a country, but according to Rennie, the Liberian leader has delivered on his campaign promises made to Liberian six years ago.
“See what he’s done. He’s shamed the Devil, so to speak. And here we are today, six years down the line, he’s delivered on those promises, the Minister of Information maintained.