“Audit of Weah Govt is Welcome, but Begin with Inaugural Committee,” ALJA Ex-President Urges Boakai
New Castle, Delaware- A former National President of the Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA), Moses D. Sandy, says President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s recent declaration that his administration will initiate an internationally supported audit of former President George Manneh Weah and the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) led government is a gratifying stride in the battle against public sector corruption.
In December 2023, while in the US on a private visit, Mr. Boakai, then President-elect, told the Voice of America (VOA) in a news interview that, “We are prepared to audit the outgoing government so that they can tell us and the Liberian people about their stewardship.”
In a press release issued on January 30, 2024, Journalist Sandy said the audit is necessary because it will help Liberians to know what the Boakai government inherited from the CDC managed leadership. He said it is erroneous for any Liberian or group of Liberians to equate the President’s call for an independent probe of the Weah administration for reported acts of dishonesty to a witch-hunt. He said there is nothing evil about asking the CDC and former President Weah to account for their superintendence of Liberia for the last six years.
The ALJA former National President said, “Mr. Weah and his gang of criminals literally looted and pillaged Liberia’s public coffers with impunity; and they must account for their misdeeds”. In 2017, Liberians elected Mr. Weah as President. He was sworn in on January 22, 2018 for a six year term. During his administration, Liberia gained notoriety for uncontrollable graft in the public sector and bad governance including misrule and international human rights violations.
In March 2021, a US Congressman from the State of New Jersey, Christopher Smith, labeled the Weah administration as “Kleptocratic”. He referred to the administration as a government of thieves. Before fading out, the US Department of the Treasury in 2022 and 2023 designated a number of officials of the administration including the former ministers of State and Presidential Affairs, Nathaniel McGill and Samuel Tweah of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for reported acts of brazen corruption.
Meanwhile, Journalist Sandy says while he supports Mr. Boakai’s stance for an audit of former President Weah and the corrupt in his government, he believes the President and the UP must lead by example. To do so, Mr. Sandy proposed that President Boakai order an immediate audit of the inaugural committee and executives of the UP for the collective and individual roles they played in the planning and execution of the January 22, 2024 inaugural program. On December 8, 2023, Mr. Boakai then President-elect, appointed Madam Miatta Fahnbulleh, a former celebrated female musician in Liberia as Chair of the inaugural committee.
The US based Liberian Journalist said an independent audit of the inaugural committee and the UP leadership is necessary because Liberians are eager to know how the US 650 thousand dollars reportedly disbursed by the Weah administration was used for the inaugural program that turned out to be a national disaster as a result of poor planning. At the event, President Boakai suffered heat exhaustion in the full view of the public including some world leaders while delivering his inaugural address.
A number of Liberians that assembled at the Capitol Building where the program was held in Monrovia, also suffered heat exhaustion due to over crowdedness and scorching hot weather. A Liberian with residence in the State of Minnesota that traveled to Liberia for the inauguration reportedly lost his life as a result of the hot weather. The ALJA National President emeritus maintained, “Our people want to know what went wrong, especially the management of their money”. Furthermore, he stressed, “He who comes to equity must come with clean hands”.
At the same time, Mr. Sandy has lauded President Boakai and the UP for their demonstrated commitment to ensuring accountability in government. He said it is pleasing to hear that the President and his officials are willing to declare their assets; and hire qualified and competent Liberians in the public sector.
Moses D. Sandy