George Weah is not a Presidential Material
(A Letter)

By Dionysius Sebwe

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 24, 2004

Dear Mr. Editor:

I'm very excited about the existence of "The Perspective." After being told about this website, I eagerly scurried on-line to access it. Very interesting articles, coupled with relevant news stories and diverse opinions on Liberia.

Mr. Hodge deserves credit for a well-written article on November 9, "Is Mr. George Weah Ready for National Leadership?" However trying to be objective regarding Weah's presidential qualification, Mr. Hodge appears to have provided misleading information like "one doesn't need a multitude of degrees..," and that George Weah has "enough fundamental education." In my opinion Hodge wavered and became sympathetic to Weah. And that's okay.

Also in his assertions, Hodge missed the point when he said we need diversity and should resist the temptation to narrow our volition to a single candidate. Of course we do need diversity. Diversity and plurality are integral to a functioning democracy. Diversity with a pool of contenders seeking the presidency is mere nominal if the aspirants are profoundly unqualified. Should a lunatic or a potential despot be part of this diversity? Or, probably we need a screening process to weed out the glut of ineligibles.

Even the analogy of Brazilian president, Luis da Silva, being leader of a trade union, and George Weah as coach, captain, or technical director of a national team is disingenuous. Weah's tyrannical and egocentric leadership on the national team should not be compared with Da Silva's cerebral leadership experience honed in from years in a political environment. Da Silva had opposition and dissent within his own party; however, he used persuasion and proselytism to woo and garner support. Did George have any opposition on the national team? The answer is a resounding NO. George had egregious, power monopoly. How did Weah resolve contentious issues with players? He ostracized or penalized those who disagreed with him.

A commendable and important observation by Hodge was the fact George did not make a statement stemming from the recent isolated religious conflict in Monrovia. I'm not surprised at Weah not commenting on such a potentially pervasive conflict despite his unique position. I know him personally and the extent of his wits. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this guy is not a true leadership material despite his athletic prowess.

The founders of this country perceived a nation in which democracy will flourish in the form of free speech, freedom of religion, and other bedrock democratic principles for a greater civil society. With George as president those democratic ideals will never come to fruition because of ineptitude, poor leadership, and despotism. Civil rights will be radically infringed upon just as he suppressed numerous players on the national team. Fledgling stability and progress established so far under the current interim administration will be stymied. Thus, reverting to a society plagued by despaired Liberians due to a lack of jobs, better education, hospitals, transparent governing institutions, and the dreadful list goes on and on. Also, let me remind you that a country displaying such realities, as well as one devoid of sound and effective foreign policy, is automatically a pariah in the community of nations. Is this what we really want our country to be? Do we want to wager the fate of this country that is barely recovering from a civil war? Let's reflect for once because we may not have another chance when we're engulfed with Weah's tyrannical tide and disastrous leadership.

If George Weah is elected president this country will exist nominally and Liberia will transform into a country infected with an incurable disease; its fate doomed. A renaissance and an enlightenment of every aspect of the Liberian culture will come to a complete halt. The educated and the well off will flee because hope of a seemingly thriving society has been trounced. The impoverished will be inevitably destined to a tragic fate because we've put the wrong person at the helm of a country that needed someone with vast political leadership experience.

George Weah, flirting with the idea of becoming president of Liberia is just indeed a fad. And if he pursues his ambition, we need to have a serious and honest dialogue of why George Weah should be president. Because he has not come to grip with introspection, Weah is in denial of his political ineptitude. According to conventional wisdom this guy will not make a good president. The most logical and conscientious thing to do during the October 2005, elections is to vote in office the person most qualified - one with undoubtedly effective leadership skills and substantial political experience.

Finally, Mr. Hodge's quoted adage "The past is a great predictor of the future" should confirm and send alarm through out the citizenry about the dangers and precariousness of placing an uneducated personality at the helm of a country trying to resurrect itself.

Stay tuned, as I shed light on Weah's leadership with numerous unbiased and "interesting" articles.

About the author: Dionysius Sebwe is a former player of the Liberian Lone Star.