“George Weah is not the Right Person to Lead Liberia”, says Mama Musa


By Winsley S. Nanka, CPA

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
September 16, 2005


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George Weah
Mr. Benedict Wesseh (Mama Musa), a former Liberian soccer star who played for the Liberian national team, the Lone Star, and the Invincible Eleven soccer club from 1977 to 1980, stated that “George Weah is not the right person to lead Liberia at this time because the country is engulfed in a system of rampant corruption and failed institutions”. Therefore, he explained, “Liberia needs a leader who can make an independent analysis of situation, and select the best option given a set of circumstances rather than the leader who would be heavily dependent on advisors for governance”. Mr. Wesseh was speaking to The Perspective via telephone in reaction to Weah’s candidacy and other developments in Liberia.

Speaking further, Mr. Wesseh, who holds a bachelor degree in Political Science from the City University of New York and a master degree from Lincoln University in human Services said, Mr. George Weah has not develop “any ability for which he should be awarded the presidency of Liberia”. He emphasized that Liberia does not have functional democratic institutions to serve as checks and balances; therefore, it will be dangerous to elect anyone who has not shown any commitment to democratic principles and values in the past. Continuing, Mr. Wesseh emphasized that Liberia is still struggling to survive as a functional society. For that reason, “the choice should be someone who will give the Liberian people hope”. Mr. Wesseh doubts Mr. Weah and the other presidential candidates who have no experience in the management of public affairs would provide hope for the Liberian people. When asked to comment on Mr. Wesseh’s statement, a Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) official in the United States declined to comment.

Asked which of the presidential candidates he thinks has the interest of the Liberian people at heart, Mr. Wesseh who identified himself as a member of the Liberian People’s Party (LPP), said Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh of the Alliance for Peace and Democracy (ADP) is a man of the people. “Dr. Tipoteh did not visit West Point (a slum of Monrovia), and the villages around Liberia when he started running for president”. Continuing, Mr. Wesseh said, “Dr. Tipoteh has always been with the masses”. He further explained that Dr. Tipoteh served the Liberian government in various capacities over the past 35 years and “there has not been any reason to doubt his integrity”, and his commitment to the Liberian people.

On Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa’s recent communication to Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and others about their roles in the 1985 failed coup that left hundreds of Liberians dead including General Thomas Quiwonkpa, Mr. Wesseh stated that “the decision to stage a coup is based on personal initiative, which comes with the risk and reward”. Therefore, he does not believe that Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa deserves any public apology or explanation. He alleges that General Quiwonkpa and Samuel Doe conspired to kill then vice head of state in the military junta, General Thomas Weh Syen and others. Does that mean that General Weh Syen’s widow too should demand explanation or apology from the Quiwonkpa and Doe families? He asked.

However, in response to Mr. Wesseh’s allegation, Tarloh Munah Quiwonkpa said, “General Quiwonkpa was opposed to General Weh Syen’s arrest and subsequent execution by the Peoples Redemption Council (PRC). Tom was the only PRC member who voiced opposition to his arrest and execution, but he was overruled by the majority of the PRC members”, she added. “Tom supported Weh Syen’s wife and children financially, after his execution by Doe”, she said. According to her, the facts about the 1980 military coup, and General Quiwonkpa’s role in the junta will be made public when his manuscript is published into a book.

In conclusion, Mr. Wesseh suggested that all incoming government officials undergo background checks to determine their net worth before taking office. He believes that the success of the next government will depend on the level of transparency and accountability in government. Mr. Wesseh said it is an outrage that individuals that did not have the means to acquire properties in Liberia and elsewhere a few years ago, are now buying or building houses in Liberia and around the world. Therefore, he recommended that the government officials that have acquire properties with ill gotten wealth be brought to justice, and if they are found guilty of corruption, their properties should be confiscated to serve as disincentive to not engaged in corrupt practices.