For singing another song

MONROVIA – If renowned Liberian lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Tamba Johnson’s words are anything to be taken seriously, then President George Weah would shortly be sued for releasing yet another song.

In late January of this year, the tough-talking Cllr. Johnson threatened to take President Weah to court, according to the erudite lawyer, if the Liberian leader does not desist from singing and producing music, to focus on the job he has on hand as the President of Liberia.

At the time of Cllr. Johnson’s lawsuit threat against the retired footballer turned politician, President Weah, had taken to the studio to produce couple of songs, the most recent then being his separate singles; “Mr. Liar Man” and “Ram Pam Pam”, both released within less than a two-week period.

Weah, in the reggae style, early this year, released his reggae single “Mr. Liar Man,” something which was widely greeted with mixed reactions from Liberians both at home and in the Diaspora, with many specifically requesting from the ‘singing-president’ the actual meaning of the song.

The bone of contention over “Mr. Liar Man” when it was newly released by Weah, who is also a retired soccer star, remains to be the desire of many Liberians who are particularly craving to know as to who President Weah could be referring to in his reggae single, “Liar man”; given that he and his administration have attracted many critics for the little over four years he has ruled.

Hardly had the euphoria stemming from the mixed reactions over the release of “Mr. Liar Man” cascaded, and Weah, fresh from his personally built recording studio, hit the airwaves with another music titled: “Ram Pam Pam.”

Howbeit, Cllr. Johnson said at the time that in the midst of national health emergency and mounting social conditions adversely affecting the lives of Liberians, Weah had made four songs, which he noted could send the wrong signal that all is well in the country, stressing that if the President does not desist from making music, he (Cllr. Johnson) will pray the court for a petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus against the Liberian leader, to compel him to do the job of the presidency instead of making music.

“Singing songs is something that you put in more resources and time – you’ve got to read, you’ve got to study, you’ve got to concentrate. So can you imagine in a period less than a year, the President of the country, in the midst of national health emergency and these social conditions affecting our lives had made four songs? It means nothing is wrong in this country. People are laughing at us. It’s not only Liberians,” Cllr. Johnson said at the time.

Cllr. Johnson said he wants President Weah to desist from being a musical star, to take some tangible steps such as calling for reconciliation and calling on experts and policy makers to an all-Liberian conference, as well as consultations, to discuss and identify the problems of Liberia, and sincerely see how to move forward, in approaching what he terms the dynamics and problems of the country.

He maintained that failure on the part of the President, who is fast becoming a musical icon, “obviously then some of us will have to be compelled to use the legal means to ask the Supreme Court to determine as to whether or not the issuance of the writ of mandamus cannot lie against the President, who is indeed, clothed with the authority to move the State as the principle acting unit, but at the same time is focusing on singing songs.”

Cllr. Johnson emphasized; “We will file the petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus to compel the President to do the job of the presidency.”

According to the astute Liberian lawyer, a petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus is a writ asking the court to compel an official of government ordering him to do what is legally, officially bounding that he should do based on his official capacity of the office that he represents.

He said the President’s action of engaging in constant song-making is not only embarrassing, but frustrating and worrisome relative to the future and destiny of Liberia.

“If the President doesn’t stop what he’s doing – it’s like it means he feels everything is alright, and there is nothing alright. You saw that from the results of the elections. So if the President doesn’t think about stopping this thing, to sing again another song, which may be the fifth song, I think we will have to file a petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus against the President for him to do the Liberian people’s job as president of the country,” Cllr. Johnson reiterated, saying “so this will be the step that some of us will be taking for history to record these things.”

It can be recalled, Cllr. Johnson said in January, he was concerned that in less than a year, President Weah had produced four songs, noting that it is not about questioning the Liberian leader’s talent to sing, but it’s about the situation and the timing at which Weah’s music career is gaining steam.

He illustrated an analogy depicting the country’s prevailing situation vice versa the President’s music career, likening same to a father who leaves home with his children hungry and he comes to meet his children still in the same state of hunger he left them, and does nothing for the hunger to go away, but begins to sing and dance and celebrate. Cllr. Johnson said in such case, the children will feel disappointed about their father, pointing out that so is the situation now in Liberia with the President releasing new music every now and then.

Cllr. Johnson said it is unacceptable for Liberians to be suffering, and nothing is being done to curtail their plight, and the country continues to experience serious social problems that require the collective action of every Liberian including the government actors, while you have a president who is seemingly playing blind eye to the situations, and singing songs more often.

“People are suffering; people are actually suffering in this country. Nothing is happening. You have serious social problems affecting the country; problems or conditions that affect a significant number of our people, by interfering with their individual and collective goals, and so it requires a collective action. But when we have our President in the presidency singing again, as if there is nothing [happening], is like he is ignoring the situations and what is obtaining in the country. It’s a provocation. It sounds as a sign of provocation to the Liberian people. The President needs to understand and focus on dealing with the mounting social conditions and problems that are affecting the lives and the generation of our children to come in this country,” Cllr. Johnson stressed at the time.

He intoned that President Weah is a retired footballer, but he’s now the President of a country, and not a musician, and is no longer a footballer, as such, he’s the father of the land, and should show leadership.

“He was a football star, and he’s now the President. He’s the President, he’s not a singer, he’s not a footballer again. He’s the President, he’s the father of the nation – he should be the philosopher king. He should be the person now to lead the country,” Cllr. Johnson said. 

He stated that President Weah’s action to keep releasing one song after another may seem the Liberian leader feels everything is alright, saying, “and there is nothing alright. You saw that from the results of the elections.”

In the 8 December 2020 special senatorial elections across the country, out of an all 15-male candidates featured by Weah’s Congress for Democratic Change (CDC), the ruling party could not win even five seats.

Cllr. Johnson added: “so if the President doesn’t think about stopping this thing, to sing again another song, which may be the fifth song, I think we will have to file a petition for the issuance of the writ of mandamus against the President for him to do the Liberian people’s job as president of the country.”

He said President Weah has to be aware, or people around the Liberian leader need to tell him (President Weah) that things are not well, saying, “the country is degenerating. There are serious fundamental problems. Real political science will dictate and understand from the recent elections, to know that the people have problem with the government, and that there is a need for reinventing the wheels and the machineries of political governance.”

He challenged President Weah to be focused on the economy and embark upon the implementation of governance policies that will ensure improved conditions for the people of Liberia to achieve opportunities, cautioning that “because when the conventional means of acquiring socially approved goals are lacking, individuals make use of opportunity and engage in anti-social tendency – so as a result, society suffers in anarchy.”

Well, in spite of Cllr. Johnson’s call for the Liberian leader to quit singing and focus on the job for which he was elected, President Weah, it seems has out-rightly ignored such call, and recently released another reggae song he titled, “Mama Rita.”

Women Voices newspaper understands that President Weah’s recently released music, “Mama Rita,” is dedicated to an unidentified female, who the singing president adorned with praises and showered with birthday felicitations in his new song.

So, it’s now clear that President Weah will not stop dropping more songs, at least not anytime soon, but what remains to be seen is whether Cllr. Johnson would pull through with his lawsuit threat against the musician of a President, Dr. Weah.

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