- Thousands of Liberians staged protest against President Weah's administration
- The protesters' agitations border on the president's alleged failure to tackle corruption and increasing economic woes
- Meanwhile, the Liberian government before the protest reportedly shut down social media
Thousands of Liberians have protested against alleged failures to tackle corruption, economic mismanagement and injustice under President George Weah.
According to Guardian UK, more than 5,000 people turned out in Monrovia, Liberia's capital, despite the rain for what witnesses described as one of the city’s biggest protests in living memory.
Legit.ng notes that Weah has been in power for less than 18 months. He took over from Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Nobel peace prize laureate who won great acclaim but was accused of nepotism.
A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that since Weah's emergence as Liberia's president, inflation has soared and growth has shrunk, adding that the government’s wage bill was too high.
Also, the rising cost of living has had a devastating effect on many in a country where 64% of the population live below the poverty line.
In July 2018, President Weah, in a bid to mop up Liberian dollars and control inflation, ordered a cash injection of US$25m (£19.6m) into the economy.
He, however, reportedly admitted last week that $8m of the money had not been used and he was trying to find out where it had gone.
He also announced the retirement of the central bank’s governor and the resignation of the governor’s deputy, saying there was “a major lack of systems and controls” at the institution.
An investigation into rumours that $102m in newly printed banknotes had disappeared found no evidence of this but said there were problems of “accuracy and completeness” in the central bank’s internal records.
Meanwhile, before the protest on Friday, the government blocked social media and messaging services, according to the civil society group NetBlocks and many users in Monrovia.
On Thursday, June 6, Weah was quoted to have said: “If you think you can insult this president and walk in the street freely, it will not happen. And I defy you.”
Although Weah had reportedly ordered that government ministries should stay open, many workers stayed away while schools and businesses closed for the day.
The protest leaders, members of a group called the Council of Patriots, have tabled a long list of demands.
One of the protest leaders said they were demonstrating over issues of corruption, governance, the removal of a supreme court justice and an increase in domestic violence and rape, as well as economic problems.
Another the protest was to end the culture of impunity in the country, to get Weah to declare his assets, and because he had shown no intention of setting up a war crimes court to bring the warlords of the civil wars to book, something he had called for before becoming president.
Meanwhile. Legit.ng previously reported that the office of the president of Liberia was infested with snakes, a situation that forced him to temporarily abandon his official villa and work from his private residence.
Smith Toby, a presidential press secretary, revealed that two black snakes were found in the foreign affairs ministry building.
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