Feature

Still waiting for a worthy head of state.

The week's news at a glance.

Liberia

Solomon Gursay
Liberian Observer

How long must Liberians wait for a leader to whom they can look up? asked Solomon Gursay in Monrovia’s Liberian Observer. Fourteen years of civil war under the thug and war criminal Charles Taylor were demoralizing, and the past two years of a transitional government have been uncertain. So it should be heartening to see such a well-known and beloved Liberian as soccer star George Manneh “Oppong” Weah announce that he will run in the fall election. The problem is, Oppong has no political experience whatsoever. “Barely literate” and “plagued with a speech impediment,” he is simply incapable of “the humongous business of running our government.” He would quickly become a puppet, manipulated by the “penniless opportunists, grumpy mischief-makers, and greedy fortune seekers,” not to mention “the godless and morally compromised and a whole bunch of miserable wannabes.” Even in a time of peace and prosperity, the presidency would not be the place for on-the-job training. Liberia today is struggling to rebuild a shattered infrastructure with a grieving populace. “Why in God’s name anyone would ask us to put our collective future in the hands of a high school dropout with reading and writing skills of a sixth-grader is beyond me.”

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