An Anti-Corruption Epistle to President George M. Weah From Pastor McCarthy Weh, a Public Sector Director
Hi President George Manneh Weah:
- You are one of my former bosses, when you served as senator of Montserrado County, while I served (and continue to) as Director of the information center at the Liberian Legislature, the Legislative Information Service (LIS).
- This professional role led me to interact with you briefly at your residence on February 22, 2015, which I will elaborate on further in this Epistle. Pictorial evidence attached!
- In addition to me being a public service professional, I am a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; serving as Assistant Pastor at the Divine Blessing Ministries International in Paynesville City.
- I refer to this write-up as a Pastoral Epistle because it is not an ordinary letter. Its origin sprung from a strong feeling with a divine urge, which has since dawned upon me to speak to you through this medium on the primary reason why God ushered you into Liberia’s politics: TO LEAD AND CHAMPION THIS COUNTRY’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR – UNCOMPROMISINGLY AND HONESTLY FIGHTING CORRUPTION, GREED, WASTE AND ABUSE! YOUR DIVINE MISSION!
- This Epistle premises on two key verses of the Bible: Exodus 3:7 and I Peter 1:4.
- In the Amplified Bible, God said “I have infact seen the affliction (suffering, desolation) of My people…and have heard their cry because of their taskmaster (oppressors); for I know their pain and their suffering” Exodus 3:7.
- President, in this passage, God saw, heard, knew and felt the pain of the people of Israel; then He sent Moses. Similarly, when God saw, heard, knew and felt the pain and suffering of Liberians from more than a century of corruption, He sent you.
- The second verse, I Peter 1:4 states: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” President, this verse basically explains that God desires for all men to live outside the sphere of corruption, be it spiritual or physical; individual or institutions and nations.
- Therefore, predicated upon Liberians’ cry against poverty, hunger, disease, etc., amidst plentiful resources as corruption wrecks the nation, decades after decades, God sent a son of Liberia, George Manneh Weah, whom He has blessed so abundantly in the outside world, to get His people, from the shackles of corruption, greed, waste and abuse, leveraging his enviable popularity.
- The question is: did you or have you faithfully, to an appreciable extent, answered to your “divine mission” since 2014 when God LED you on the political/governance turf in the Liberian Senate, to the presidency, after He graced you successfully from the soccer turf, Mr. President?
- This Epistle delves deeper into your actions and inactions towards anti-corruption, as well as actions and inactions by some of your officials, spotlighting what is referred to as “weaponization of popularity.”
Hence, the Epistle!
Mr. President, I feel obliged under divine instruction and mandate to submit to you this epistle. Because it is directly from God to you through me, His servant, I sought every mean possible to first share it with you privately, before public, as the case may be, and not to do “open letter” prior to you the end recipient accessing it. My heartfelt thanks to all your officials who assisted in ensuring this divine message meets you privately, first.
God has strong words for His preacher men and women who do not deliver His message accordingly. In Isaiah 56:10-11, the Prophet says, “His watchmen are blind. They are ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.” Mr. President, this is how God viciously describes His preacher men and women who do not preach or deliver His Word as He mandates.
Proceeding into the core of this epistle, let me firstly bless God for His grace upon your life. His grace that took you from Liberia to international soccer stardom; a lesson to all and sundry that God can catapult anyone from grass to grace – a lesson mainly to any disadvantaged youth! You reached the zenith of your career and won the highest accolade in your sphere of discipline, soccer. That achievement metamorphosed into unmatched popularity back in your native land, Liberia. In addition to winning all that were available in the land of soccer, which swarmed your popularity at home, the manner and form you conducted yourself during our years of civil upheaval won you considerable admiration. Positively getting involved in the country’s search for lasting peace during our 14-year fratricidal civil conflict even ballooned your popularity.
After winning African, European and World Bests, your attained popularity yielded political dividends. Your supporters loved you so passionately to the extent that some Liberians even defined your surname, WEAH as this: (World Best, European Best, African Best and Head of State). Your popularity has been your key asset in Liberia’s electioneering politics.
The intelligentsia class did not see you as the best for the country’s presidency, understandably so, though! Yet, your thousands of supporters, many of whom saw you as their idol, first elected you as senator and then as president. Consequently, on January 22, 2018, you were proudly and historically sworn in as the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia. Mr. President, you did not have anything much to show like thousands of plots of farmland and farming projects; no exotic mansions across the country; yet, you were voted; you were considered by some, if not many, as the least on the ladder of the presidential pecking order; yet, you were gleefully elected. This is what the Psalmist calls “This is the LORD’s doing.” Only God could have done it for you.
Mr. President, I am certain you are quite aware that such popularity, which took you to the presidency, was not in isolation God’s divine purpose. In Isaiah He says “I know the plan I have for you…” He serves as and is the Source of all that you are and have become. Because He is the Source, He designed the utilization of your popularity and passionate love many Liberians had for you, to position you strategically for a mission in line with His plan and purpose for your life and in sync with His plan and purpose for Liberia. As mentioned earlier in the introduction of this epistle, you were placed on a divine mission with your entry into legislative and presidential politics – TO LEAD AND CHAMPION LIBERIA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR – UNCOMPROMISINGLY AND HONESTLY FIGHTING CORRUPTION, GREED, WASTE AND ABUSE! YES! YOUR DIVINE MISSION!!
God did so because it is by and through elections in a democracy that national leaders evolve. Presidents, senators, representatives and others are elected to offices. In democracy, incredible national popularity plays a cardinal role and it is a vital and valuable gift, which you, Mr. President, have enjoyed since entering the political field.
Arguably, you were the most popular Liberian prior to the 2005 elections. Your popularity was tested and proven on the political field, just as you exuded your soccer prowess on the playing pitch in Europe. As a matter of fact, Mr. President, many legislative candidates only had to appear on a campaign leaflet/flier to be automatically guaranteed the prospect of winning as senators or representatives. Unknown or little known Liberians have benefitted from your popularity – the likes of Hannah Brent (deceased) and Joyce Musu Freeman Sumo, both of whom became Montserrado senators, and several others achieved their legislative dreams without being known or doing anything notable for the citizens.
Some who were of course little known, became legislators much easier just by feeding on your popularity – the likes of Representatives Acarous Gray, Solomon George and others, just name them from across the country. This is to convey the point, Sir, that you were so popular; so much, so that just an advocacy stance or official statement on any major-critical matter, could rally nearly the entire country to act.
Mr. President, this was the reason God led you firstly to the Senate; to initiate your divine mission, to fight for transparency, accountability, anti-corruption and openness, (TAA-O or TAO). Yes! Your clear, conspicuous and definitive mission was to lead the fight against this country’s aged-old virus, corruption, which has been devouring the fabrics of this nation for over a century now.
As an accomplished footballer who started plying his soccer life here in Liberia, who knows and understands the Liberian soccer parlance “tao-tao”, it was time for you to play the tao-tao formation for transparency, accountability, anti-corruption and openness, (TAA-O or TAO) for short.
Reflecting on soccer tao-tao, I spoke with one of your good soccer friends of many years, serving at the LIS, Mr. Lucretia Togba. He explained that tao-tao” is simply a “possession game”; meaning, a ball is passed from one player to the other then on to another; ensuring that an opponent does not intercept it until a goal is scored, leading to winning and securing championships and/or trophies.
Mr. President, just like how you, James Salinsa Debbah and others for the Lone Star team, and of course you and your European team mates played “tao-tao” on the soccer pitch, was exactly how the Liberian people expected you to have tao-tao for transparency, accountability, anti-corruption and openness on the governance pitch. You had the wherewithal to achieve that beginning with your role at the legislature. Take for instance, Sir, during the 2005 elections, your party, the Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) won 16 representatives seats and 3 senate seats, totaling 19 representing 20%. That was the highest percentage in the 52nd Legislature. Your party was followed by the Coalition for Transformation of Liberia (COTOL) with 16% legislative seats; then Unity Party (UP) with 15% legislative seats. In our political setting, 20% legislative seats is huge to affect change, especially when it is a change that enjoys the support of nearly the entire country.
Statistics show that since 2005, your party has won considerable legislative seats. Just recently, results from the October 10 elections reveal that out of the 88 seats declared vacant by the NEC, your party won 6 senate seats and 25 representatives seats totaling 31 or 35%. You are followed by Independents with 6 senate seats and 19 representatives seats totaling 25 or 28%; then Unity Party with 1 senate seat and 11 representatives seats totaling 12 or 14% legislative seats. This statistics show how you have had good numbers in the legislature to initiate and champion the country’s anti-corruption fight.
President Weah, I stand on the authority of God’s Word in accordance to Exodus 3:7 and II Peter 1:4 and of course visible happenings to declare that you were since destined by God to serve as “that man” who would have led Liberia out of the corruption quagmire and entanglement it finds itself in for perhaps over a century. I am sure you are aware that God does not call man in vacuum or in isolation; that is, He does not call or assign one without a clear purpose. God’s national purpose for a leader should be aligned with the wishes and aspirations of the citizens (His people).
For example, emerging out of a brutal civil crisis after 14 years of mayhem and carnage that turned Liberia into what some call a pariah state then, the national wish and aspiration of the people was to get back into the comity of nations and be respected internationally and win their economic support. Many would think that was God’s purpose for Liberia and was executed by President Sirleaf. Were Liberians in total agreement with how Madam Sirleaf led the country on the overall? Absolutely No! But, the national purpose for having Liberia and Liberians respected once again on the international stage was attained.
Then came the next phase of our national and collective aspirations, which God heard. As God evolved Moses for a redemption mission, so did God evolved you, Mr. President! Except you were not sensitive to that call, then.
God told Moses “Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people Israel out of Egypt” Exodus 3:10/KJV. You were destined to lead Liberia, bringing forth Liberians out of our ‘Egypt” of corruption, greed, waste and abuse – a fight, for which, God who blessed you with divine favor of incredible national popularity, chose you, being Liberia’s most popular and “cleanest” citizen then, to champion the fight.
Mr. President, THE TAA-O FIGHT was and should have been your top-most priority from 2014 to current. Cuing from the possession (tao-tao) game analogy, you should have entered the political and governance field with that mindset to take “possession and ownership” of the country’s anti-corruption fight. This is how you should have commenced: upon election to the legislature as senator, you needed to have decisively declare war on corruption by beginning with the first branch of government, calling for:
- UNCOMPROMISING AND COMPREHENSIVE AUDIT OF THE LEGISLATURE, AND
- SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN ALLOWANCES OF LEGISLATORS TO NO MORE THAN 5,000, WHICH COULD BE APPLIED TO THE EXECUTIVE.
Over the years, these two have been the overwhelming calls of citizens throughout Liberia, including the many who adore you as their idol. Just as you won countless trophies in Europe, you would have endeavored to clinch “Liberia’s “Tao-Tao Trophy.”
Mr. President, come to imagine your numerous lawmakers over the years directing and investing their energies into ensuring that first and foremost, the legislature is held accountable by and through audits. The energies your many lawmakers exuded in fighting corruption was far less than what they invested into achieving anything at the legislature; for example the impeachment. The nation was divided on the impeachment, and the ECOWAS Court ruled against it, I understand. Were they to divert those energies into auditing of the legislature, the nation wouldn’t have been divided, and the sub-regional body’s court could not have ruled against it, Mr. President.
It remains unfathomable how you opted to be an “ordinary and average” lawmaker as a ‘destined man’ to get Liberia out of poverty. Mr. President, you are well noted for leaving behind personal and collective legacy, but there was not a personal legacy left at the legislature that one could accredit to you, Sir. Had you called for legislative audits and reduction in huge allowances of lawmakers, before transitioning to the presidency, that would have been carved in ironclad.
It is generally believed , that the youths of Liberia are those who mostly admire and adore you. Rough estimation has it that youths constitute over 70% of your popularity base. So, uncompromising and honest fight against corruption between 2014 and 2023 could have swollen your popularity proportion with astronomical numbers of elderly Liberians and those from the intelligentsia joining your popularity queue. Your love and popularity could have skyrocketed because this bloc of Liberians have seen for many years how rich this country is, but impoverished mainly because of corruption aided by bad leadership.
Mr. President, the day Liberia begins to audit its legislature, it is certainly that day the country will launch genuine anti-corruption fight in earnest. The reason is simple. The legislature is the first branch. Therefore, being the first, it must take the lead in every positive national endeavor, such as transparency, accountability, anti-corruption and openness. Besides, the legislature is clothed with the authority to review reports of audits conducted by the General Auditing Commission (GAC). Think of a body reviewing audit reports when that body itself is receiving funding from the government but its financial books are yet to be reviewed comprehensively and the Liberian people informed of the review findings, least to speak of audit. Isn’t this an irony and laughable, Mr. President?
As one who is working with the legislature since the 51st till now; currently heading its research and knowledge-based information center, and now a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I can state for certain, that the first branch of government is corrupt beyond handling. Only acts such as audit and holding it accountable can change the course of entrenched corruption that has engulfed this branch of government for years if not decades.
Speaking of anti-corruption, Mr. President, I recently read the October 27th Edition of the ORACLE News Daily with the lead caption: “Weah’s Runoff Deal.” The paper wrote, “President George Weah has made fresh commitments as he heads into the second round of voting with hope it would entice the country’s 2.5 million voters to grant him a second term mandate. Cracking down on corruption, expanding road networks, improving livelihood of the population and creating better paid jobs are amongst offers the president has made to voters who are preparing to cast ballot on Nov. 14.”
Sir, your promise of “cracking down on corruption” when given the second term grasped my attention immediately; then the phrase “first thing first” began to dawn upon me. From that moment, I started to get no rest until commencing this Epistle. My ‘Inner Man’ gave me no rest until I began to compile this Epistle. The Lord began to minister to me that He had chosen you to redeem Liberia from its corruption disease, but that you have not been sensitive to His primary national mission for you. I had sleepless night. I thought to overlook it and downplay it repeatedly, but the more I attempted, the more it dawned on me heavily.
One thing that stuck to my mind was that: had you exhibited aggressive anti-corruption fight at the legislature and catapulted it to the presidency, there would not be need to include “cracking down on corruption” as a deal for support to your second term bid. Repeatedly, this kept back and forth in my mind. Then I concluded that it was a MESSAGE FROM GOD FOR YOU! At that moment, barrage of legislative accounts and other happenings started to compound my mind that supported confirmation of a spiritual message. Our God being a Practical God, had my thoughts clouded with practical happenings bordering on transparency, accountability, corruption (actual or perceived) and openness.
The first thought which consistently occupied my mind was a statement from the former U.S. Ambassador that lawmakers were more concerned of “buttering their bread” and “feathering their nests.” Mr. President, at this stage, II Peter 1:4 where it says “…having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” began to sprout and sprout endlessly in my mind.
Sir, “Escaping” as used in that verse, carries the idea of getting out of prison or bondage. Hence, “Escaping…Corruption” connotes getting out of the claw, bond and imprisonment of corruption, which has its root in lust. It is a societal vice which an individual or nation must escape from, by God’s help. Liberia has long been in this bondage of corruption, which is responsible for our incessant stagnation if not backwardness. For emphasis, let me reiterate that the corruption as mentioned herein is that which, to a large extent, has impoverished Liberia because corrupt leaders are overwhelmed by their crave for lusts: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life as contained in I John 2:16. There has always been and continues to be that national crave for a genuine fight against corruption. That is why the Lord destined you.
I believe with every fiber of my being, that had you initiated an aggressive anti-corruption project at the legislature when you became senator, the level of (perceived) corruption and leadership care-free that exists at the first branch of government would not.
At this juncture, Mr. President, let us briefly take a glance of leadership at the legislature. As you are aware, the four most powerful positions are the Speaker, President Pro tempore, and Chairpersons on the Appropriation (Ways and Means) Committees at the House and Senate.
The two top most powerful occupants at the House of Representatives are executives of your party. Speaker Chambers and Chairman Fallah are in their 18th year, and right before both their eyes, the legislature has received over US612m (2006-2023). Interestingly, in the last 6 of the 18 years under their leadership, the House has received over US273m in appropriations, while the Office of the Speaker, more than 8.4m (2018-2023).
Sir, guess what sadly! Exactly where these two executives of your party met the internal administration of the House is exactly where it is today: no WiFi/internet services and no website. In the last six years, they have not purchased a single bus for their staff/workforce. No electronic voting system. With all the advocacies your top party executive, Speaker Chambers carried out during Madam Sirleaf’s administration, he is yet to set up a simple internal audit department at the House. Since taking over in the last six years and running, a once vocal “voice of the voiceless, Chambers is yet to speak on the need for review of the House’s financial books or audit. Sir, you will not believe this one: that under the administration of your party’s executives (Chambers and Fallah), simple thing as uniforms are yet to be provided for personnel of the House Security Service. As simple as that! Unbelievable, right? The last time the House Security Service personnel wore a newly sewed uniform was when Rep. Enders assisted them with few pieces. Provision of computers for their departments is like a taboo.
Sir, do not disbelieve me when I inform you that even papers are most time lacking for even chamber staff to use for clerical matter; I mean the Office of the Chief Clerk. There is no standby generator, and as a result, we work at the mercy of LEC. Mr. President, imagine, one is in the middle of a serious office work and current goes off.
In addition to all these lacks mentioned, Mr. President, these leaders are charged with the responsibility to implementing the Legislative Modernization Plan (2009). Messrs. Chambers and Fallah served the 52nd Legislature. They are to modernize the House by and through the Plan. Challenges of the legislature were enumerated during their sitting (2006-2011). The Plan states: “The poor professional capacity of the staff – both personal and central of the 52nd Legislature manifests itself in six primary ways: (1) there is surplus personnel; (2) they are poorly trained; (3) they are poorly paid; (4) they are inadequately equipped; (5) they lack job descriptions; and (6) their recruitment is highly politicized at the expense of merit. An urgent need exists to rationalize and professionalize the strength of the legislative staff…” p-13. Sir, one of the six is yet to be fully implemented. These were discussed with your staff during my facilitating session with them in 2015. See slide #4 in our PPT presentation!
At the other end, Mr. President, another executive of your party, Senator Albert T. Chie, President Pro tempore of the Senate, shares the same “achievement of lack of nearly everything” with his counterpart Speaker Chambers; with your ally Senator Morris G. Saytumah ably aiding him.
Similarly, Sir, at nearly exactly where both of them met the Senate nine years ago, is where they have it still today, as I pen this epistle. With total appropriations of over US273m for the 54th Legislature, managed jointly but diversely, there is little or no internal-institutional accomplishment in six years. Out of the 273m (2018-2023) Pro temp Chie who heads the Senate and supervised the Upper House’s share of more than US109m in six years running, has nothing much to show for, institutionally. Apart from the Senate’s 109m as a body, he has over the last six years running received about US8.9m. Unfortunately, almost exactly, where Pro temp Chie met the Senate nine (9) years ago, is exactly where it is under him: no WiFi/internet services. No website. No professional training. No standby generator. No electronic voting system. No regular print news services. Unsanitary bathrooms! Just almost nothing!
You two top heads of the Legislature share more than US17.3 million in total in just six years, with nothing happening or show in the internal administration of the first branch of government. The Bible says, “…unto whomsoever much is given, of him be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” Luke 12:48. I can state authoritatively and definitively that most of your leaders are responsible for the shrinkage in your electioneering numbers. Do not be misled, Mr. President, by their proximity to you and smiles around you. At your back, they treat your people exactly as the Bible describes in Ezekiel 22:29.
What is even worse at Pro temp Chie’s side, Mr. President, is the fact the Senate under his leadership manages the budgetary funding for the bi-cameral information center, the Legislative Information Service (LIS). In the six-year running you signed several budget laws. In those budget laws that you signed, you signed US350,000.00 for the joint service information center. Out of that amount, your party executive Pro temp Chie and his Ways and Means Chair Morris Saytumah cannot account for US320,000.00. As this epistle is being written, there are no internet services at the joint service information center. No local dailies. No DS-tv current event monitoring services. No papers. No ink/cartridges. Faulty air-conditioners.
On REFORM, Mr. President, I suppose you can recall in early 2016 when the Legislative Information Service through my very office submitted a copy of the departments’ reform proposal to your office. Having submitted the proposal to the leadership committees of the House and Senate via the Offices of the Speaker and President Pro tempore, we shared copies with all political parties’ leaders then. Your copy was pulled from our electronic archives. The print and electronic media lifted the department’s reform call. See attached your letter copy and news clipping!
Sir, the fundamental reason we proposed those reform measures was to curb perceived corruption as mentioned herein and discourage attributes of gross deficit in leadership; we foresaw those and intended to short-circuit such institution-decaying attributes.
Legislative leadership must be hybrid leadership sensitive; meaning, as they pass laws and perform oversight duties, the internal operations (administration) of the institution must equally be of priority. With this, these leaders have miserably failed. The 52nd Legislature produced a modernization plan and out of the plan the information (LIS) and the Legislative Budget Office (LBO) were established. The leadership of the 53rd Legislature work assiduously with partners to ensure expanded building, which dignifies lawmakers unlike previously when majority legislators had no restrooms attached to their offices. Almost 6 years, no tangible administrative undertaking by this 54th Legislature. No reform. No modernization. Nothing!
Still on reform, Sir, some of the 12-count reform measures proposed to you and others during the 53rd Legislature, included, but not limited to the following counts:
- Commissioning of periodic audits of the secretariats of the Legislature – at most twice a term; preferably at the middle and end of a given legislative term.
- Introduction of detailed Administrative and Managerial budgetary provisions to support professional operations of the Legislature – otherwise dubbed as “Administration and Management”. This means, there will be departmental budget lines exclusive and distinct from budgetary allotments for Members in the National Budget.
- Lawmakers consenting to declaring their assets publicly upon winning their legislative seats so as to enhance credibility and accountability at the First Branch of Government in support to our collective national transparency drive.
- Establishing/strengthening internal audit departments at the Legislature with semi-independent status
- Making electronic voting system mandatory in both chambers to enhance the country’s parliamentary democratic credentials.
- Extraction of ‘Administration’ from “Rules, Order and Administration” to be called “Committee on Rules and Order” leaving policymakers (Legislators) with national policy issues; and internal administrative matters left with technicians for subsequent report to either House.
- Ensuring staff training and professional development through established institutional means, preferably the establishment of an “Institute for Legislative Studies” (ILS), and
- Formulating measures or engaging the Executive to ensuring that income/benefits for Deputy and Assistant Ministers at the Executive Branch and Secretary of the Senate, Chief Clerk, Chief-of-office Staff, Directors, etc. with the Legislative Branch, be rationalized appropriately.
Sadly, no one heeded our legislative-patriotic call; with every ounce of deepest respect and courtesy, Mr. President, not even you, the undisputed biggest voice then in the entire legislature. This is what saddens our cause the most even up to this moment. When it spiritually dawned on me to deliver this ‘divine truth’ to you, all these began to filter in as divine confirmation. Sir, your “cracking down on corruption” should have begun right there and then.
With the enumerated perceived or actual acts of corruption and gross internal leadership deficit parading its ugly head at the legislature under the gavel of your senior party executives, one will think had you championed anti-corruption then, they would not be doing as they are. Lawmakers, mainly leaders, would have since been careful how they lead. For emphasis, Sir: upon your election in 2014, if and ONLY IF, you were to wage war on corruption and vigorously promote transparency, accountability and openness, and leave a an indelible imprint on the fight against corruption, all that you read here would not have been available for reading today. Because by now, lawmakers would be extremely careful how they lead and manage public funds. Drawing solace from the fact that this body has NEVER EVER BEEN AUDITED, they feel they can lead anyway and manage public resources anyhow. It is behavior and attitude of such that have contributed to the shrinking of your numbers and dwindling of your population, coupled with your own anti-corruption inactions, Mr. President.
Sir, our Lord Jesus said in John 10:27,28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life.” Just as our Lord said, it implies to us human and secular leaders somehow. Our sheep/people must hear our voice and follow us in Christendom. Likewise, your “political sheep” must hear your voice; you must know them; and they must follow you; as you gave them political/legislative life. You voice was loud; hence, a firm call from you mandating all your political/legislative sheep to fight corruption by vehemently joining you in calling for audit of the legislature and advocating for slicing of members’ legislative envelop, would have done well. The message could have gone out loud and clear that the public sector is not a place to amass wealth. You missed out on that and a huge opportunity was missed. This is why it is commendable when the CPP include as one of its preconditions to supporting either of the two parties in the run-off. Now that the CPP has endorsed you and your party, one would think you will heed their call on that, should you be successful.
On the critical issue of weaponization of popularity, Sir, I have come to realize that one reason why leaders lead anyway and however in setting like ours is when they feel they are so popular and can be voted frequently, they care less about serving well. This refers to one’s ‘weaponizing his or her popularity’. One weaponizes his/her popularity when he/she uses that popularity to the disadvantage of others. Or, if anyone uses the other person’s popularity to lead or serve as they please because they know they will be re-elected come what may. Or those who benefit from your popularity lead and serve just anyway they feel like on grounds that you or them will be re-elected. It is called WEAPONIZATION OF POPULARITY. One must harness his/her popularity to lead and serve well with example under the fear of God, rather than leveraging his/her popularity to win elections and hurt those who vote them by their inactions and/or inactions.
One acceptable example of weaponized popularity, Mr. President, is this: folks who serve at the legislature, performed dismally and their constituents oust them, are employed with the Executive. It is exactly what we call weaponization of popularity. When people are confident they will be elected repeatedly, or recycled, their zest for service dissipate. They hurt the poor and needy, as expressed in the book of Ezekiel, and when ousted they are somehow rewarded. It is weaponized popularity. Consequently, they don’t care how they serve or govern.
Mr. President, God says in Ezekiel 22:29, “The people of the land (in this context, the leaders) have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yes, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully.” This verse as you are aware explains how leaders’ actions contribute to oppression of their people, which is exactly what is happening in Liberia today.
Mr. President, results from the October 10 elections glaringly show that your party is struggling for the numbers today, after you had a ‘citron-ride’ victory just in 2017. In the run-off, you won 14 out of 15 counties. I guess you are not certain of similar feat in the pending November 14 elections.
This is indicative of the fact that ONLY genuine and definitive fight against corruption could maintain and even uptick your numbers and protrude your popularity as a ruling party. Traditionally, it can be challenging for governing establishment; therefore, only a sincere anti-corruption fight by example can suffice. Let us trace your numbers, Mr. President. Your party legislatively lost Montserrado, your cherished stronghold, twice before slightly losing it on 10 October.
The shrink in your October 10 numbers, Mr. President, is due largely to you not executing your divine mandate of anti-corruption fight. A fortnight ago, I heard the Chairman of your party during an endorsement ceremony boasting in the number of legislative seats won on October 10, stating that it is a glaring sign of your pending victory. That is deceiving and deceptive! Sir, frankly, such utterance is unfair to you and your party, whether in public or private, for this is not the first time your party winning impressive legislative seats.
Far back then, in 2005, when you confessed during that election that you were not a high school graduate, your party won the highest number of seats (20%) as indicated earlier in this epistle. When you won 20%, you massively won Montserrado and many other counties. On the contrary, while you won the highest number of legislative seats on October 10, just as you did far back in 2005, in a given period, you legislatively lost Montserrado twice. Then in the just ended October 10, you also lost it again. You lost Margibi, which, you won twice in 2017. You lost all the counties in the Western region. That has never been the case since 2005. Most troubling is that your overall percentage win is less than 0.5. Strange for your party. In the past when you beat, you beat with convincing margin.
Comparing CDC’s past wins, Mr. President, the current vote difference of 7,126 difference is the least ever in any CDC’s overall win. Hence, Sir, these statistics show massive decline in your national popularity. As indicated earlier, it is important to note, that in 2017 run-off, you won 14 out of 15 counties. Should you fail to repeat that record in this pending run-off, Mr. President, such will speak volume.
Mr. President, at this juncture, let me boldly and categorically but respectfully submit to you, Sir, that the dwindling and diminishing levels of your popularity as shown in the just ended October 10 elections is definitely God’s indictment of your party and government, for grossly neglecting your divine task of anti-corruption fight, as it has strongly been impressing upon me. God indicts, Mr. President. He surely does! It will be foolery and foolhardy for anyone to think you did not do anything towards fighting corruption. What was done was mere average and ordinary. You needed an ordinary fight against corruption as never has been seen in the history of this country. Because, as I stated earlier, to whom much is given, much us expected. When even the entire world felt you could not be, and Liberians defied the odds, the best you could was to be extra-ordinary in and with the fight, Mr. President.
Speaking of whether and how God indicts, permit me now to drill us through Ezekiel Chapter 22 for a while. This chapter reveals God’s indictment of Jerusalem. In the city of Jerusalem, there were heinous crimes committed. Blood was shed and they made idols (vv-3,6). They oppressed the fatherless and the widow (v-7). They despised God’s holy things and profaned His days of worship (v-8). They committed lewdness/extreme wickedness such as recorded in (vv-10,11). They greedily gained of their neighbors by extortion and engaging into dishonest gain (v-12). The prophets conspired, hence they devoured the souls of men (v-25). The priests violated God’s laws and profaned His holy things (v-26). The princes representing the political leaders today were like wolves, preying on their subjects, destroying souls to get dishonest gains (vv-6, 27). The prophets indulged into vanity, and spewing out lies (v-28). They used oppression and exercised robbery, thus vexing the poor and the needy (v-29). The sins, transgressions and wickedness abounded by all and in every sector.
Because of all this, God said they had become as dross (refuse/dirt) unto Him [v-18]. As such, He would make them a reproach and object of mockery (vv-4b,5). He smote His hand at them (v-13). He promised to scatter, disperse and consume the filthiness out of them (v-15). He would gather them at His anger and fury, and blow upon them in the fire of His wrath (v-21).
They angered their God until he sought for a man to make a hedge for them and stand in the gap for them before God, but God found none. Thanks be unto God some of us today before, now and after, that will be humbly available to make hedge (speak out) for our country and stand in the gap (intercede through prayer).
Because He is God of His Word, He did as He vowed. Verse 31 says, “Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I recompensed upon their heads, saith the LORD God. In verse 14 of the chapter under consideration, God says, “I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it.”
Mr. President, God in verse 11 definitely mentions greed in the series of transgressions outlined in His indictment against in Jerusalem. Greed is one vice that overwhelmed Liberia’s government under various presidents during decades of governance. Greed corrupts. God detests it. It contributes to denying other citizens their just shares of resources God blesses the country with. This cancerous vice propels and enhances poverty, disease, illiteracy and under development. It certainly further disenfranchises the already poor and needy the Lord mentions in the passage under consideration. When leaders and their acquaintances and confidantes greedily gain of citizens it grieves God, because He is just and appreciates justice in the “fair distribution” of national wealth.
Sir, as one who secured his earnings through hardwork and discipline in the West, especially from a disadvantaged background, God purposely destined you to lead our national fight against greed; be it at early warning stage or at avaricious or insatiable levels. In one of God’s requirements for church leadership, Paul cautioned young Timothy in I Timothy 3:3 not to be greedy of filthy lucre (money hungry). Come to think of what God expects of national leaders who control the natural wealth of an entire country. He who is greedy of gain troubles his own house. For church leaders you trouble the House of God, while for national leaders, he/she troubles his house (the country). These troubles (disease, illiteracy, acute poverty) have been confronting this country all these decades. To rescue us from entrenched greed, you were destined. As a lion greedy of his prey (Ps. 17:12), so have leaders and their officials been greedily preying on the resources of an enormously rich, yet impoverished country. In your heart of hearts, Mr. President, are you satisfied with your fight at national greed (2015-2023) that has consumed this country?
Sir, as I hinted earlier, during the CPP’s endorsement of you and your party, a fortnight ago, Vice President Jewel Howard said something striking as if she had just rehearsed Ezekiel 22:29 before uttering her comments. She made mention of vexation. She stated, “The message from the first round, for me, was a serious message. It seems that everybody vex. Why are people angry? Maybe somebody mean someone, but that is not the main issue. The main issue was people still expect government to do more…”
What a succinct statement! Indeed people are vex, Sir, when the leaders use oppression and exercise robbery, they vex the poor and needy, as stated by God in Ezekiel 22:29. Of course, your Vice President is right. “The people expect government to do more.” That more to a large extent, Mr. President, is what Liberia needs the most, yesterday, today and tomorrow; and that is an honest fight against corruption and genuine promotion of transparency, accountability and openness (TAO).
In conclusion, Sir, the Bible says God rules in the affairs of men (Daniel 4:17). Hence, I am of the firm belief that God allowed Madam Sirleaf to lead Liberia for a primary purpose – which was to bring our once nearly-pariah State back into the comity of nations. That she executed fully well. While not everyone definitely was happy with all of her policies, she however restore Liberia’s credibility on the international. She achieved that by starting at the very beginning, with quality appointments she made in the financial and foreign areas that led to cancellation of the country’s debts.
Similarly, with respect to biblical understanding of how God deals in the kingdom and affairs of men, Mr. President, I believe God without a shadow of doubt when He impresses it upon me that He God designated you to primarily lead and champion this country’s anti-corruption fight. Your gift of incredible national popularity was to be leveraged to fight corruption by example, with the aim of making Liberia a prosperous nation for all. Unfortunately, Sir, in the last nine years, from 2014 to current, such is yet to be achieved in the truest sense of the expression.
Mr. President, considering the following:
- Cuing from the care-free manner in which some of your leaders are handling institutions they head, and ill-treating fellow Liberians in public service;
- Liberians’ indignation at weaponization of popularity;
- National anger and vexation as alluded to, by Vice President Howard-Taylor and supported scripturally;
- Dwindling popularity and decline in once strongholds’ numbers;
- Failure to fight corruption by example, and decisively promote transparency, accountability and openness;
- Will you term it justice by God were you to lose the November 14 run-off for not “cracking down on corruption” in your own words, as you should have?
On the other hand, will you prioritize the fight against corruption by example, and promote transparency, accountability and openness in the truest sense of these attributes, should you win the run-off?
Isaiah 33:22 says, “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.”
Mr. President, this verse of the Bible carries the idea of the three branches of government – Judge implies the Judiciary. Lawgiver connotes the Legislature. King symbolizes the Presidency/Executive. Indeed, God institutes government; and just as He will and is prepared at all times to save His people as stated in the verse, so must government save its citizens from societal vices, primarily corruption, disease illiteracy and poverty.
Thanking God almighty for revelatory knowledge that He institutes government and can be seen in the makeup of government (Isaiah 33:22), and He watches over it; so He deals in the affairs and kingdom of men.
Mr. President, Psalm 75:7 states: “God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another.” And “…He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, what doest thou? Daniel 4:35.
Sir, Romans 13:1 in the Amplified Bible states, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [granted by his permission and sanction], and those which exist have been put in place by God.” This means God permits spiritual and secular authorities. Hence, Mr. President, the same God who permitted Madam Sirleaf’s leadership is the very same God who also permitted yours.
If that same God decides on November 14 that you did not lead by example in the anti-corruption fight as you should have, and therefore another is designated to lead the fight at this time, my prayer is: you submit, standing on Romans 13:1. No one must lure you into the unthinkable. There are great leaders of the world who have been removed from office democratically. President Donald Trump of the United States and John Mahama of Ghana have their experiences. It definitely can be difficult to accept, but one should muster the courage to accept and graciously concede for the sake of preserving the country’s hard-earned peace.
Mr. President, the emphatic message of this Epistle to you is to inform you as a servant of the Most High that you fail your divine mission. Your God-assigned task to genuinely and honestly fight corruption as you should have, after He heard the cries and prayers of Liberians was treated lightly. Just as He chose and designated Moses, He chose and designated you, Mr. President, and you failed Him and your country and people. THUS SAYS THE LORD!
The Lord did not dawn upon me to tell you if He will grant you another chance or not. But one thing I do know for certain is that He, the same God who says in His Word in Psalm 75:7 that He brings one down and lifts another, is the same God whom the Bible says: is “merciful and gracious” Exodus 34:6.
In conclusion, Sir, may I remind you of our brief chit-chat at your residence. On February 22, 2015, your then Chief-of-Office Staff, Mr. Franco Grimes organized an orientation workshop to train your legislative staffers. There were few facilitators including now Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and myself. Prior to the orientation workshop, Mr. President, I was ushered into your living room. As I sat awaiting you, I saw you walking down the stairs holding the rail; met and warmly greeted me. We sat for a few minutes and discussed. It was brief but promising.
One thing I remembered telling you during our brief chat was that we (legislative staffers) were glad to receive a popular and well-respected leader like you at the legislature, to help with reforms and modernization. Your face beamed with smile and said, “I will do my best by God’s help.” We phographed at my request. Photo attached!
Nine years (2014-2023) down the line, today, Mr. President, following (our) legislative boss-staff relationship, it is quite a pleasure I am directed by the Most High to share with you His word as mandated; after I was given no rest until beginning to compile this.
So, Sir, as Liberians go to the polls on Tuesday, November 14, barely a week from today, I re-emphasized in these final words that your enviable population has never been leveraged in championing the fight against corruption during your days at the legislature and not even during this first term. This has led to a sharp decline in your popularity, which has affected your numbers. Hence, whatever the results from November 14, will be accepted in good faith.
Mr. President, should you lose: concede graciously, repent and decide what next. Should you win: make-up in the corruption fight genuinely, with call on your party’s legislators to support independent audits of the legislature and your first term!
Congratulations for your government’s success in the MCC Scorecard; but were to personally and genuinely begin the fight against corruption and honestly promoting transparency, accountability and openness since your days in the Senate, it wouldn’t have taken this long to pass this scorecard since 2017.
- Only had you ensured that comprehensive audits commenced at the legislature, and continuing to present, Mr. President;
- Only had you declared your assets immediately upon inauguration, Mr. President;
- Only had you ordered an independent audit of the previous government, Mr. President;
- Only hay you quashed the temptation of constructing new homes, not even in your first year, but this entire term, since you did not construct any since your retirement from soccer and returned to Liberia before becoming Chief Executive, Mr. President; and
- Only had you sincerely in the eyes of God and before men, aggressively fought corruption with leading by example and dismissing corrupt officials and suspending the perceived corrupt ones until exonerated, Mr. President;
Then, you would have had no serious contenders in these elections; because all these form the core of what the Liberian people expected of you, for which you were destined – TO LEAD AND CHAMPION LIBERIA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR – UNCOMPROMISINGLY AND HONESTLY FIGHTING CORRUPTION, GREED, WASTE AND ABUSE! UPHOLDING THE TENETS OF GOOD GOVERNANCE IN THE TRUEST SENSE OF THE EXPRESSION! YES! YOUR DIVINE MISSION!!
With all those, Ambassador Boakai certainly could not have opted wasting his time. What would have been Ambassador Boakai and the opposition’s message against you?
Mr. President, the worst thing that can happen to any man who professes to know His God is to flaunt his expressed mandate; that is, to fail a divine mission. Jonah is a lesson for us all.
There must be Nathans to all Davids, or there must be a Nathan to a David. The Bible in II Samuel 12 sates in part, “The Lord sent Nathan to David…then Nathan said to David, “You are the man…! This is what the LORD, the GOD of Israel, says: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you…I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD…?” II Samuel 12: 1-9.
Similarly, as God asked King David through the Prophet Nathan, Mr. President, He is reminding and asking you herein likewise. “I took you from abject poverty in an impoverished nation to the most wealthiest parts of the earth; took you before kings and queens; I granted you supernatural prowess in your career; through My grace, you won (nearly) all that were available in your career. I made you prosperous. I give you a beautiful, loving and lovely family. At the end of your career, you enjoyed My blessing of life, and I returned you to your motherland and made you one of those who were charged to make laws. To crown your lifetime’s career, I made your president, the highest office on the face of the earth. I blessed you unimaginably. The only thing I required of you, first and foremost thing, was to put ‘first thing first’: fight, lead and champion the war against corruption, greed, waste and abuse, like no other leaders had done, in the truest sense of the intent. BUT YOU FAILED ME BETWEEN 2015 AND 2023.”
I have respectfully done what the Lord has instructed me to do. I have played my part.
…and who knows whether you are come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14b
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” Hebrews 4:12.
May His Word take root in our hearts and lives in Jesus’ name!
McCarthy Weh, II
Assistant Pastor, Divine Blessing Ministries International (DBMI) &
Director, Legislative Information Service (LIS)