The Independent Parrot newspaper has gathered that President George Manneh Weah has at the peril of the already ailing Liberian economy effected the purchase of four presidential bulletproof vehicles at a humongous cost of US$1.9M. It is also reported that all four vehicles arrived in Liberia on the June 18, 2020, and have been commissioned into usage by President George Weah
Liberians are stunned by the reported decision of the President to spend such a lavish amount for merely his comfort and protection in the face of dire economic constraint besetting the nation and its already impoverished citizenry. Prior to the deadly strike of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, the Liberian economy was already in the “Blackhole” with continual budget shortfalls caused by consistent dramatic falls in revenue generation as large tax-paying companies have trooped out of the country coupled with drought in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) since the ascent of George Weah to the Liberian presidency.
Liberia is ranked amongst the world poorest countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) released by the United Nation Development Program or UNDP every year. Under George Weah, economic experts here and abroad postulate that poverty and starving hunger have markedly increased in Liberia. This they attribute to the economic meltdown being endured by the country as the factors of the economy to include jobs creation, purchasing power, and foreign market activities and global market forces amongst others are being stalled.
The killer COVID-19 virus has even worsened the problem with the entire economy been brought to a grounding-halt and the normal livelihood of the people completely broken-down. Ordinary Liberians who barely survive on the daily hustling, bustling and grinding to make ends-meet can longer do so as they have been shut down by the State of Emergency and placed in bondage of a rigid 6:am-6:pm curfew imposed by the government as part of measures to prevent the transmission of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
This has no doubt that such is bound to made life burdensome for the Liberian masses with looming uncertainty into the future-beyond or after COVID-19. Even more vexing is the conundrum surrounding the Government pledge to distribute food to vulnerable Liberian communities as part of its much-heralded stimulus package. It claimed it has begun the food supply but indications The Parrot is getting point to the contrary. The food supply does not seem a genuine project until proven otherwise.
Critical thinking Liberians weighing in on this report have expressed shock and dismay that in these difficult times when citizens of Liberia can hardy find food to eat and hospitals across the country are lack of medical supplies to attend to ailing Liberians—leaving many with the fate of death and others with devastating conditions, President Weah will decide to spend lavishly to promote his garish lifestyle and massage his egos.
The Leader of the One People Revolutionary Movement or OPRM, Moncio Robert Wilmot Kpadeh, a staunch critic of Weah and his government in a chat with this paper today stated that he would not be surprised if the report is true, adding that George Weah is fond of himself. He branded Weah as an “extreme narcissist” who is mostly concerned about securing an opulent lifestyle for himself and protecting his vested economic interests at the expense of the country and its impoverished and unsuspecting masses.
“This report has a glaring semblance of truth in it, I believe. I just saw Weah convoy yesterday and it was crammed with brand new exotic and modern vehicles. They look like bulletproof vehicles. This is a very sad moment for our country wherein the meager resources of the nation are being looted and plundered on a grand scale by the very people who claimed they love the country”, Kpadeh averred.
Liberians across the divide say it marvels them that during such a bruising medical crisis when nations across the world are putting the emphasis on the healthcare and economic needs of their citizenries, the Liberian President has rather chosen to put the emphasis on ballooning his garish lifestyle by purchasing a fleet of bulletproof cars at the expense of the already cash-strapped national coffers. More-to-so, many Liberians feel betrayed by such decision with the disposition that thousands of their compatriots are battling brutal hunger on a daily basis with zero hope that their grinding economic situation would change anytime soon, while their President is taking pleasure in basking in luxury, as citizens wallow in excruciating misery.
George Weah has persistently argued that he should not be judged by the deficiency of his speeches but by the quality of his decision he will make as President of Liberia. But is the decision to use more than millions of dollars from a dying economy on vehicles and a starving population a good and sound one? How can Weah reconcile his claim to love Liberia with his decision to squander the meagre resources to satisfy his lavish lifestyle when the majority of his citizenry is vaguely battling against hunger and the uncertainty of a marauding killer pandemic? Why does Weah need bulletproof cars when is the best President of Liberia and loved by the Liberian people, as he claimed?
All efforts made to contact the Executive Mansion on the veracity of this report proved did not material as the phone of the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs Nathaniel McGill kept ringing and abruptly switched off/ Additionally, our associate managing editor contacted the presidential press secretary excerpt:
My name is Julius T. Jaesen, II, and an Associate Managing Editor of the Independent Parrot Newspaper. I called you on your number but you did not respond. We have information concerning four bullet-proof cars that arrived in the country June 18, 2020, and have been commissioned into usage by the president which cost US$1.9 million amidst economic constraints.
When we contacted the presidential press secretary to the president, he said he is not the official spokesperson for the government; therefore, we should contact the Minister of Information. He furthered stressed that he speaks only for the office of the president and not the government. Again, when he was asked whether he can confirm seeing any new bullet-proof cars in the president‘s convey, he insists that we should contact the Ministry of Information because “New” cars can be relative, noting that what is new to us may be old and what is considered old to us may be new to them.
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