Liberian Election Fever And George Weah ‘Assassination’ Allegations

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While Liberians are anxiously waiting and hoping for a peaceful political transition of power through the election come 10 October, after years of bloody civil war and political instabilities, which gave birth to relative political stability under the outgoing President   Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the news of the alleged assassination attempt on the life of George M. Weah, the opposition candidate, has caused different reactions amongst Liberians. Last week, Weah`s opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), reported that three men claimed to have been hired by businessman George Kailando, a member of the ruling Unity Party (UP), to participate in a plan to kill the CDC Presidential candidate George Weah.

While the Liberia National Police (LNP) said they are seriously investigating the matter as well as interrogating the accused men, who were said to have been handed over to the police, some political analysts have warned that the allegations must not be taken lightly in view of the country`s bloody past. According to the police report, the accused men,   Oldpa Web alias Long John, George Ousumana alias Ivorian, and Mustapha Seasay, alias Mustapha, who allegedly confessed to the assassination plans, claimed they reported the plans to the opposition CDC party after the alleged assassins later changed their minds to commit the crime. The men stated that the assassination plans were hatched at a hotel owned by the alleged sponsor, George Kailando. Parties to the alleged assassination against George Weah, according to the accused assassins, are defence minister Brownie J. Samukai and vice President Joseph Boakai, both from the ruling Unity Party.

All the accused politicians strongly denied the alleged assassination plot; the businessman George Kailando, termed the allegations politically motivated.

“I’m a peace -loving citizen who will not get involved in activities to destabilize the country in which he has several investments,” he said. He said he will not give the allegation any credence because it has no iota of truth. “I have investments of over eight million United States dollars around the country. How can I get involved in something that has the propensity to destroy my investments? This is total nonsense,” Businessman Kailondo rubbished the allegations.

On the other hand, the accused defence minister, J. Brownie Samukai, called the allegations fabrications and warned Liberians not to give the state power to a party like the CDC “that fabricates lies” because such an action would be misused by the CDC, as an excuse to crack down on innocent Liberians.

However, some have argued that, just like George Kailando, who claimed to have invested millions in Liberia, some members of the ruling party have much at stake if they lose power to the opposition. Yet, others believe the opposition is simply playing a victim game to attract sympathy and votes, come 10 October. Regardless, With the opposition warning that any threat against George Weah is tantamount to a national security threat, the only justice the Liberia National Police can do to the peace-loving Liberians is to judiciously and impartially investigate the assassination allegations and bring the culprits ““ irrespective of their positions in the society – to book. This is the only way to assure Liberians that the peaceful political journey they have decided to embark after the senseless bloody war is indeed not in vain.