As He Proclaims His Presidential Ambition: George Oppong Weah Stands between Condemnation and Admiration


Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

September 28, 2004

From where he sits on the bench of retirement having successfully reached the apex of world’s soccer, Liberia’s most famous soccer legend George Oppong Weah may be feeling the warmth of politics, especially so that which has to do with the nation’s challenging and highest seat- the presidency.

Although Mr. Weah is yet to officially proclaim his desire for the job, his ambition to lead the nation as president could be seen at close range given the growing expressed appreciation shown by a marked percent of youth.

The arguments concerning the Oppong presidency saga appear to be winging in several quarters of the nation’s capital, Monrovia if not the entire country. His accrued fame as a result of his soccer career, is being equated to his ability to turn a new page in Liberia’s politics as far as nationalism is concerned.

Even many youth at the university level hold the conviction that Oppong would make a great difference by setting the record straight and raise the nation from the dungeon to an appreciable height just as he did in the case of football where he has successfully promoted the image of Liberia from Africa to Europe and elsewhere around the soccer map.

But Oppong may not smoothly pass through the political checkpoints of critics without showing cause why he should become Liberia’s next president based on his alleged poor academic background and least experience in statecraft. Many critics who spoke to FORUM predict, “dangerous political accident” should Oppong hold the state gavel.

Critic Same Teahgbay who claimed to be a student of Mass Communication at the University of Liberia, for his part blamed the underdevelopment of the country on awarding political positions to those who lack political will and strength. He said George Weah whose strength and wisdom are limited to football affairs would cause national political blow should he win through the votes of the youth. According to him, he (Weah) would be blind to all other facets of national life including education, health, agriculture, roads, among others since his experience is only limited to the growth and development of soccer.

Another critics from the Ministry of Public Works who begged not to be named, advised Mr. Weah not to allow himself to be carried upon what he called “the gallows of crucifixion” since he (Weah) could not easily understand the norms and practices of the political kingdom which is far different from the football kingdom.

The critics observed another political catastrophe and worse social and economic pitfalls in the country should Liberians make the mistake by raising George Weah to the presidency.

Another critic, Sando Panwon of Lynch Street, Monrovia, sees the resurrection of the Samuel K. Doe era which he said was marked by political ignorance, thereby resulting to he (Doe) doing those things that heaved into civil crisis should Weah gain the presidency. He said as politically neophyte as Oppong is, he would be perfect agent of the West against the common interest of his state. He described Weah as a “chewing gun” for the west especially America, which he said is traditionally good at supporting stooges in Africa, Liberia being always the victim.

Many Liberians, however, are of the belief that the new political dispensation in Liberia calls for leadership, backed by sound educational background.

Drenched in an air of disappointment and frustration, because of prolonged civil crisis which has compounded national growth in poverty, being attributed to Liberia’s politicians, the common people (masses) see politicians in the country as nation’s breaker. Out of seeming frustration and discontentment therefore, they seem to be considering an unborn politician to the rule the country this time around.

Many persons are beginning to look over their shoulders remembering the emergence of Mgst. Samuel Kayon Doe from military to presidency where he began at fresh to learn political actions and political language from remote controlled machine which later turned him (Doe) into a dictator.

Like in the case of Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor was awarded a bug-a-bug flies reception, but Taylor soon dashed the hope of the progressives in favor of blank headed persons who polluted security, economic and political decisions.
In other words, Liberia has many scars as a result of the spears of perceived savior turned serpent.

© 2004: This article is copyrighted by the Forum newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.