President George Manneh Weah says those who believe in him should not worry about criticisms against him, maintaining that no matter what the critics say, it would not deter him from executing his plans for the Liberian people.
His comments are seen here as an abrupt U-turn on earlier frustration expressed in Gbarnga, Bong County recently against growing public criticism. “I don’t know what Liberians want. I told them that if you elect me, I will build the roads. I am trying to build the roads; they are criticizing me. From 1847 to 2018, we Liberians still don’t know want we want; If you don’t want roads and god health system, let me know”, President sounded frustratingly.
But at the launch Wednesday of project dubbed “Special Presidential Pro - Poor Housing Unit Project” in which government seeks to construct 564 housing units with initial 283 due to commence in Sasstown, Grand Kru County, Mr. Weah says critics can go ahead and criticize him because criticism is a good thing.
“I will ask you to continue to pray with me; don’t worry about those that are talking. We have talked about 171 years, nothing happened; now we want to leave a legacy, join me, those that believe in me. Join me let us build this country,” the President said Wednesday, 20 June in Margibi County near Fendall Campus while cutting ribbon to a sample of housing units he intends to construct free - of - charge for poor people along major highways in the country.
“Don’t bother to criticize because I love that. So you can go ahead and criticize because that’s a good thing. But no matter what you say will not stop me from doing what I supposed to do for the Liberian people,” Mr. Weah says.
To finance the construction of roads here, the Weah-led administration recently signed two separate loans financing agreements with two foreign institutions, totaling nearly a billion US Dollars.
The government has been criticized for the loans, though they have speedily passed through both the House of Representatives and the Senate in spite of public outcry.
President Weah however argues that building roads and homes for poor people are good investments, adding, “We cannot be comfortable in our dwelling” and see other people are uncomfortable.
He says this is why he is the originator of the pro - poor agenda, vowing to make sure the agenda is fulfilled, amid applause from the audience.
The implementing contractor for the highway housing units, Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) says US$8m will be used for the project.
Earlier speaking, the Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Mr. Nathaniel McGill notes, If one saw some of the housing under which people are living, you would think that maybe if storm came at night, the house would break down and maybe even some people would die.
He says President Weah has vowed to change this condition, recalling how the President often spoke of those conditions during campaign seasons every time they drove along the highway either going to Bassa or to the southeast.
Minister McGill says some people think Monrovia is Liberia, adding that when you talk about fixing the roads, some people have different thing to say.
“We” need to go and see how people are living outside of Monrovia, praying for long life for the president as he continues to do his best for the people irrespective of criticism against him, he says and notes that more people in Liberia think that campaigns were still ongoing five months after the elections in 2017.
By Winston W. Parley--Editing by Jonathan Browne