A Letter by D. Jlakon Sieh, a True Friend, and Brother
It was I, the other day, who empathized with you when the seemingly devastating news about the naming and shaming of three top officials of your administration by the US Treasury Department hit you. In that communication, I encouraged you to be a warrior—to sob enough about the bad news if you wanted to, but to not let the ordeal restrain you from mustering the raw courage to overcome the stupor of it and move on anew without antagonizing the United States but to plough new, fresh frontiers in Liberia-US relations. If you missed that communication, simply google “GEORGE MANNEH WEAH, MY BROTHER—SOBER UP, DUST OFF AND MOVE ON SANELY”.
Nearly a month since the sanctions news, I am sure you have sobered up enough, biting your lower lip and pulling out the sharp thorn from your flesh.
As I told you then, that’s exactly what warriors do—they are bound to lose soldiers on the battlefield, and when the losses occur, they don’t sit on the floor, stretch feet forward, put hands on the head and weep. The pains incurred are turned into fortitude by which they reset and move forward towards victories. And for you who have conquered extreme poverty, towered to zenith in the football world and in the politics environment of Liberia, indeed, resilience and perseverance should not be much for you.
Now that the McGill, Cephus and Twehway chapter has reasonably receded into oblivion, my dear brother and friend, it is time to press the re-set button. To borrow your oratory refrain, let me say “it is time to recalibrate” and move forward.
This time, let the definition and understanding of the phrase, “to recalibrate”, mean two things: firstly, that you see the exit of the trio as your personal liberation from the gloomy clouds and fogs that their association has long cast over you and your government, and secondly, that you sustain your liberation keeping clean from anything or anyone that looks like them.
Son of Folky Klohn Jlaleh, I urge you to see the exit of the three former officials as your personal liberation because everyone in this country knows or had once said that the three men were an excess baggage that you were carrying. They had long been culprits, indictees and prisoners in the court of public opinion since your incumbency. And public opinion or public perception matters. It is a killer virus.
Many persons, including their colleagues in government and within the CDC party, let alone a large segment of the public, have had them in utter contempt, not for their privileged proximity to you, but for their egoistic, overbearing and unaccountable attitudes—traits that are off tangent and untypical of your humble, peaceful, people-centered nature.
Perhaps you may not have noticed, but it has long been a unanimous outcry amongst citizens, both within and without government, that the trio, and perhaps a few others remaining, flagrantly abused and perverted their presidential proximity which they cleverly nurtured by feigning devotion and sycophancy.
Georgee, those men were ace masters in such their art, using pretentious service and devotion to you—something that would take only the gods, or something like the Magnitsky Act, to unravel.
Without them, certainly, you are truly free and liberated to look at the governance sky more clearly from the lens of your natural traits as a meek and peaceful man.
Now that the fogs and clouds are dispersed, it’s time you pressed the re-set button.
Pressing the re-set button means two things: one, that you chat new frontiers diametrically distant and different from the traits and modus operandi of three exiting officials and, two, draw in close to yourself replacees that are true virtuous patriots and revolutionaries like you.
Is someone asking what the traits and modus operandi of the three resigned officials are? Ask the US Treasury Department and its Magnitsky Act. Ask CDC colleagues who have interacted with the former officials. Ask government officials and foreign dignitaries who had opted to see or get close to the President or simply wanted to pass some information to the President?
Check out the brags and pomposities they were carrying for their proximity to the President; their domineering and exclusionary tendencies. Check up the obsession of being the unnatural primogeniture with the Weah Presidency. Check up the saccharine-laden overtures in contrived service to the President.
Yes, my brother Manneh, it is true that the three men demonstrated, at least overtly, a sense of commitment, loyalty and allegiance to you. But I am sure you are smart enough to know that these are nothing but a grotesque and cunning overtures intended to preoccupy your vision from seeing other equally or more committed and loyal persons.
My dear brother, you are not short of loyal, and even more loyal, devotees in this country. You have them in abundance.
In fact, let me let you know that devotion and fidelity to you, and to anyone for that matter, are not traits that one learns in school and get degree for. They are ingrained, and even more genuine when they are ingrained. That’s why when some of us who feel a natural fraternal bond to you see others panting with overbrown but counterfeited ego of loyalty to you, they being the first to tell you ‘good morning’ and the last people to tell you ‘good night’ everyday, we simply shrug with a calculated smile.
But the point is, as you say goodbye to the three resigned officials and all the gloom they may have represented, it is time to for you to make a clean, radical break away from their scheme of things.
Liberians who truly love you and want you to succeed, as well as the international partners who have found favor in you as the grassroots, populist leader that you are, are waiting to see if you are going to do one of these two things: turn the resignations of your three top officials in an opportunity to comprehensively and fully sweep off all the fogs that have hung over your regime due to their presence and rebrand and recalibrate by resetting your administration for a more revolutionary trajectory, or whether you are doing to reproduce, recompile and enliven the garbage and troubles they had represented.
Simply put, my dear friend and brother, those you will appoint to replace the resigned officials will constitute a clear, unequivocal message to people of Liberia and the international community that you are a reinforced brand of leader ready to keep a clean slate.
The manner and form you move following the trio resignations will demonstrate that, towards critical elections coming in a couple of months’ time, you are sober out of the 2018-2022 cage, ready to look outside of the box of noisy sycophants who produce little or nothing to help your agenda, and that you are also prepared to bring near you a new set of George-Weah-obsessed, pro-people and tested nationalists and patriots who will help you not only have a fresh facelift, and help you make profoundly incredible diplomatic breakthroughs particularly with the United States of America but also re-conquer the Political Landscape of Liberia in 2023.
Closing, let me repeat, Mr. President: many in Liberia and the world over will certainly know that you are ready and serious for new business as a beloved leader, and that you can regain your pre-2018 popularity and win the 2023 elections with ease, but that inextricably depends on how you re-engineer or recalibrate your ‘kitchen cabinet’, including replacing the recently resigned officials.
Folky Kloh! Tuflahn! Tarpeh-Weah, Georgee! Did you hear me?