‘Development Is My Focus,’ President Weah Assures Liberians
President Weah George Manneh Weah has once again accentuated the imperative to accelerate Liberia’s social, economic and political transformation. He said Liberia is woefully backward in terms of development and the right thing to do is to do things faster to catch up with countries that are ahead.
The Liberian head of state acknowledged that there are competing development priorities, but said the priority of priorities for the country and its long backward people is road connectivity—reaching out to the nook and hamlet of the country with paved roads.
Speaking Sunday at the Dominion Christian Fellowship Center in Congo Town upon arrival from the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, President Weah bemoaned Liberia’s 171 years of existence without significant socioeconomic progress, vowing to shift the governance paradigm in order close the huge development gap.
Since his inauguration, the Liberian leader has outstretched himself, combing foreign nations and development financing institutions to acquire the needed support for the massive expansions and improvement of roads considered a national emergency.
The President told a jam-packed Thanksgiving Service that nothing would distract him or his administration from doing what is in the best interest of the Liberian people, adding, “Accelerating national development and prosperity is my preoccupation.”
To make his point clearer, President Weah drew an analogy between the skills and determination that he has brought to the national leadership table on the one hand and his successful footballing career on the other, since he had proven much dexterity on the football field to achieve the goal of winning games and prestigious accolades.
He said: “My vision is to build roads—good roads for both urban and rural Liberians. Good road system is the fulcrum of all other development actions. I can’t do ten things at the same time. I am a striker who scored goals. And the way I did it successfully was to be focused and strong on the ball.”
“Go to Senegal and see what is happening there,” the head of state exclaimed. “There is massive development ongoing. Almost all the feeder roads are paved. But Liberia, which is the oldest African country - 171 years since independence – is yet to be developed.”
President Weah, who spoke extemporaneously, did not take kindly critics spewing diatribes about the government in the wake of the alleged missing of billions of Liberian dollars, saying that lamentations and cheap propaganda against Government is not the solution.
He said Liberians boast of having the brightest minds—brightest minds that have failed to find lasting remedy to the country’s development quagmire.
He promised his administration’s determination to get to the bottom of the matter and allow the law to take its course if the truth is established.
“I can guaranteed you, if our international partners come and it’s discovered that something is missing, those responsible will be held accountable,” the head of state averred.
The President said he was glad to represent the country and people at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, where he presented the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.