When George Weah was elected as Liberia's president, people expected change from him. There was a new wave of hope. However, as time has passed by, this hope has fizzled out, metamorphosing into frustration and anguish at the government.
George Weah has been under immense pressure from the citizens to deliver on his promises and transform people's lives. Life has increasingly become difficult for the majority of Liberians, who argue that Weah's team has failed to deal with Liberia's economic problems.
“I'm finding life difficult for my children. All the prices have gone up in the market. We don’t know what’s going on in the country. My president is doing nothing for me, so I won't be voting for him again." These were the words said by Precillia Dehme, who is 33-years-old.
Henry Costa, a radio talk show host, said, "The current team is incapable of managing the economy. We believe they should be fired and replaced by people who have a demonstrated track record of competence.”
These words sum up the disappointment harboured by the people towards the government led by George Weah. Life has not improved substantially for many people. As a result, there have been huge widespread protests against Mr. Weah's government. On June 7, an estimated 10,000 people poured into the streets to protest against Mr. Weah. Increased economic hardship compounded by rising inflation have pushed many to the edge.
The anti-government protests consisted of opposition supporters, student and youth groups, market traders and lawmakers. There is a common shared message with these groups - that "this is not the change we voted for."
Liberia is plagued by a myriad of economic problems. The cost of living continues soaring, as most people live on less than $2 a day. Unemployment is rife in the country, and this just fuels the anger of the people. Hospitals are worryingly running out of essential medicine. Weah promised jobs, good infrastructural developments and tackling corruption, but he is a thousand miles away from fulfilling these promises.
The disappearance of about $2 million is another bone of contention for Liberia's citizens.
It seems George Weah is failing to dribble past these challenges. In response to the dissatisfaction with his tenure, he has called for dialogue in order to find solutions to the country's problems. He has extended a call for talks with the opponents at the "round table." Weah made his offer to “leaders of political parties, civil society groups, elders, religious leaders, our traditional leaders, student leaders and the business community."
A protest coalition are demanding that Weah must declare his assets. They also demand improvements in the areas of human rights and tackling corruption.
"Let us sit and dialogue on the way forward. Bring your ideas to the table and I assure you that they will be given my most careful consideration," Weah said in a radio address.
Header image credit - African Arguments