There have been incessant calls, mainly from the Council of Patriots (COP), the group that staged the much talked about June 7 protest, which is headed by popular Liberian Talk Show Host, Mr. Henry Pedro Costa, for Ministers Tweah and McGill to be replaced in government.
But the calls have so far fallen on deaf ears, as President Weah continues to express confidence in the two senior government officials who are also believed to be his close confidants. Among other things, the COP’s protest was prompted by what they called violations of the laws of Liberia, including the constitution by the Weah-led government and the failure to tackle the economic problems.
Serving at the keynote speaker at the 2018/2019 Press Union of Liberia(PUL) Annual Awards Ceremony held at the Paynesville Town Hall, outside Monrovia on Friday, August 9, 2019, Freeman intoned: “We have heard that one of the demands of our compatriots in the opposition was the replacement of certain government officials – Samuel Tweah and Nathaniel McGill. We have also sensed the refusal of President Weah to submit to the demand.”
Freeman asserted that, while the science of personnel replacement works and is relevant, the goal behind the request is not just about the persons, but the perception that the persons are obstacles to national development and their exit would enhance development.
The prominent Liberian Politician, who spoke on wide range of critical national issues, pointed out that this means, the prime objective is national development and not the persons.
“What my compatriots are saying is – We want a better Liberia full of hope and prosperity. My compatriots in the struggle have nothing against Misters McGill and Tweah. They are fellow Liberians who have the right to participate in the national renewal of Liberia. We believe, no Liberian must be excluded from the process of national development,” Freeman, who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Consolidated Group-dealer of Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) in Liberia, accentuated.
“However; we believe, George Manneh Weah, can keep his trusted lieutenants in government and still develop our country. That he trusts them means they are easily amendable to his instructions and demands. Therefore, President Weah must unclench his fist to embrace fresh ideas on national development. He must be ready to ignore the current path in favour of new ones to enable a truly pro poor agenda; one in which opportunities abound and prosperity is plentiful,” Freeman averred.
He continued: “I am afraid to report, the current path has brought us unanticipated pain and deep sorrow and this I believe is the unintended outcome of his great vision for our country; one in which he so eloquently coined during the elections when he said – change for hope. Meaning, change this system to hope again. Change this system to live again. Change this system of things to dream again. Change this system of things to prosper again but sadly, our people are dying though they were – existing. We believe with your willingness and readiness, Liberia can prosper,” he added.
At the same time, the MPC Political Leader has challenged the Liberian media to report relevance over irrelevance.
The keynote speaker at the 2018/2019 PUL Annual Awards Ceremony, said it is about time for the media to highlight issues that are of paramount concern to the well-being of the Liberian people.
“Report on issues that will lift the people’s agenda to include: poverty eradication, Job Creation, Educational advancement and many others,” he intimated.
He encouraged the media to be more professional in the discharged of their duties void of interference or partisanship.
According to him, there is also a need to reawaken the new dynamics of the media landscape of the Country for the common good of society.
On the other hand, the MPC leader warned his opposition colleagues to avoid insulting the President, including government officials in the name of speaking truth to power, something he acknowledged that he was guilty of in the past regime.
However, he indicated that a very strong opposition is an asset to national development and should be welcomed in society.
He said an opposition, who disagrees with the ruling establishment on approaches to national development in a more constructive way, must be commended by the ruling party because it is part of a good democratic tenants.
He then called on members of the opposition to proffer good recommendations to the ruling establishment in order to develop Liberia not to only sit on the fence and criticized without suggestions for the forward march of the country.
He wants the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC)-led government to also do more in helping to transform the lives of the people, including the improvement of the Country’s economy.
Meanwhile, the PUL Annual Awards Ceremony, which ended the celebrations of the World Press Freedom Day, witnessed the honoring and recognition of professional and outstanding journalists among their colleagues for their exceptional media work done during the period under review.
This is year’s award ceremony saw about 40 journalists and media entities winning award including, Daily Observer as the Newspaper of the year, LNTV, Television station of the year, Prime FM Radio Station of the year, KMTV online TV Station of the year, Philip Wesseh won the all-time life achiever awards and Anthony Stephen of Power fm/tv Journalist of the year, including fifteen community radio stations that won awards in the community radio stations categories, among others.
On the individual scene witnessed Fabien Kwiah of ELBC as best newscaster of the year, Christoper Walker of Front Page Africa as Sports Journalist of the year, Bettie Johnson Mbayo of Front page Africa as Gender Reporter of the year, Moses Garzeawu as Business Reporter of the year, Musa Kanneh of Truth FM as Legislative reporter of the year, Anthony Stephen of Power FM/TV as both investigative and Development reporter of the year, Julius Konton as Executive Mansion reporter of the year and ELBC's Grand Bassa County Correspondent Simpson Davies as Humanitarian reporter of the year among others.