Liberia: Pres. Weah Downplays Reported Rice Shortage; Says It’s Rumor Spread by the Opposition

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HARBEL, Marigi County – Liberian president George Weah has described as “mere street gossip” reports of the scarcity of rice in the country, stressing that there is sufficient food in the country to serve Liberians.

“We need not always listen to the street gossip. This is not the first time it has happened. Those responsible for importing rice say we have rice up to next year. I don’t believe there’s rice scarcity I believe there is rice. We will verify it again. Don’t listen to the noise in the street, ” President Weah when quizzed by journalists about his knowledge of the looming rice shortage being faced in the country.

President Weah, who returned to the country on Monday at the end of his trip to New York where he attended the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), said the information he has gathered from rice importers means there’s no need to worry.

“I wasn’t restricted”

In response to rumors that he and his officials were restricted in the United States, President Weah told journalists:  

“If you saw me in the video, I wasn’t on a restricted visa. My dog does not live at the UN headquarters neither is my Ballon d’Or kept at the UN headquarters.”

President Weah and delegation touched down Monday, September 26, 2022, at the Roberts International Airport to a hero’s welcome by thousands of enthusiastic Liberians, including youth, women, elders, and chiefs, who chanted pro-Weah slogans and sang songs of praise to God in appreciation for the President’s safe return to the country.

Welcoming the President were groups of Liberians, including churches and cultural troupes that performed their respective celebratory skills despite the heavy downpour of rain. 

President Weah departed the country a week ago to participate in the 77th United Nations General Assembly Debate. The President and delegation were also a part of the High-level week of the General Assembly that annually presents an opportunity for world leaders to come together yearly to discuss critical global issues.

Speaking to the press later immediately upon arrival at the airport, President Weah expressed joy for ably representing the country at the UNGA, the third time he has done so in person.

He said going to the UNGA is part of his duties as President of the Republic, and that he is glad he did so perfectly.

In his address to the august body last Thursday, President Weah rallied the United Nations to redouble its efforts in tackling critical issues confronting the world and its peoples, pledging Liberia’s commitment to working with others in finding amicable solutions to global challenges.

President Weah acknowledged the humongous and complex nature of the challenges the world is faced with, which he said would require immediate collective global actions with the United Nations at the center of the search for solutions. 

He urged the United Nations to give special consideration to the needs of developing countries, particularly the Least Developed Countries in line with the Doha Program of Action for Least Developed Countries for the Decade, 2022-2031.

He also pledged Liberia’s preparedness and commitment to protecting the planet, promoting peace, preventing conflicts, ensuring sustainable financing, and boosting partnerships.

President Weah was met on arrival by officials of government headed by Justice Minister and Attorney-General, Cllr. Frank Musa Dean, who acted as chair of the Cabinet in the absence of the President in consultation with the Vice President via mobile phone contact with the President.

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