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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. PRESIDENT

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Your Excellency President George M. Weah, I wish you the gladdest tidings of my heart on the auspicious occasion of your 53rd birth anniversary.

Having said that, Your Excellency, let me hasten to remind you that Liberians far and wide, at the onset, saw in you the potential to change our country’s portending and sorrowful wartime tide into a success story, through your dazzling wizardry skills on the pitch of play.

All along, Mr. President, Liberians never had the slightest inkling that you would have ascended to the nation’s highest office which you occupy today.

Of course, our people were there when you shouldered the cost of Lone Star’s World Cup explorations; and they were there when you bore the indignity of Liberia’s woeful loss to a second string Ghanaian Black Stars team which eliminated us in 2001 or thereabout. Liberians were there at the SKD when you shed bitter tears afterward. They were there when you vowed never to feature for the National football team, but of course, they knew you would renege on that vow because of your love for country.

Almost 20 years later, in January 2018, your people were there when you stood at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium, vowing to the world that your leadership as Liberia’s 21st President would set the pace for change, in accordance with the change mantra which you had convinced staunch opposition members to join you in the fight to oust the Unity Party and former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s regime.

Of course, Liberians have watched the challenges faced by your government, in the daunting tasks of post-conflict socioeconomic recovery, amidst a ruined economy fighting the effects of global economic meltdown, UNMIL drawdown and the whiplash of EBOLA.

The challenges you now face, Mr. President, are so enormous, greater than the legions of yellow shirts that you once skillfully dribbled past to score that glorious goal against Verona, dubbed then as the fittest goal for the gods of soccer.

In any case, Mr. President, as Liberians clamor here, there and yonder for change, some of us who lived through the bitter era of our nation’s clamorous identity and civil crisis, will hasten to say that all is not lost.

Under your administration, if not for anything else, multiparty democracy is thriving. Under your administration, the opposition is stronger than ever before in our country’s more than 100 plus of existence. Today, it is astonishing and dumbfounding to note that your party lost its primary stronghold to an opposition leader who could be your party’s staunchest nemesis in 2020 and 2023.

Mr. President, if not anything else, Mr. Dillon’s Montserrado County victory exposes the greatest Achilles heels yet, and also, the mightiest Herculean strength of your government – even more so than your government’s outreach in impoverished communities in urban, suburban and rural Liberia, to change the status quo of ordinary Liberians.

Mr. President, as you clock 53, it is hoped that you look deep inside your inner reserve to gather the strength that once made you to brave those storms when Liberia was quaking. Forget about the cacophonous disturbances from the inner and outer cycles. Rediscover yourself, Mr. President.

Happy, Happy Birthday. Contributed by a friend of President Weah.