By Emmanuel wise Jipoh
Newly inaugurated Liberian President Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has pledged a government of inclusion void of partisanship, minutes after taking the oath of office at the Capitol on Monday, 22 January 2024.
“The Election is over; partisanship must be erased. Time for national and inclusive government, for everyone to have the opportunity to work. Together we can build a new Liberia, a bigger Liberia, and a better Liberia, restoring our dignity,” said President Boakai.
The 79-year-old former Liberian vice president succeeded former Liberian international soccer icon Mr. George Manneh Weah who, after a tightly fought election battle, conceded defeat following the 14 November 2023 presidential run-off.
Boakai’s inauguration brought together high-profile international guests including Amb. Linda Thomas Greenfield, the U.S. representative to the United Nations represented the Biden Administration in Liberia for the historic transfer of power.
In his inaugural speech, Boakai committed himself to a government of inclusion in which every Liberian can have the opportunity to serve their country in a pathway of building a new Liberia with dignity, integrity, and a prosperous future.
The new President gave his opponents hope, particularly those vacating government positions from previous administrations with concerns about what would be their fate in the new Unity Party era.
In his inaugural speech, President Boakai denounced the attributes of partisanship, and political affiliations in government that frequently happened under previous administrations.
Boakai suggested that the appointment of loyalists, partisans, and supporters of a political party in key positions has served as a hindrance to the growth, development, and progress of Liberia over the years.
President Boakai called for inclusivity, transparency, and accountability of former officials to the new administration, stressing national reconciliation as the pathway to moving Liberia forward.
“We must unite to resolve the stranglehold of our country, restore our dignity, build a better Liberia because only with united people we can build this nation,” Amb. Boakai said.
The 26th President of the Republic of Liberia also launched a clarion call for a new Liberia where every Liberian will respect the rule of law and adhere to the tenets of democracy.
He called on Liberians to reshape their political energies, recalibrate, and help restore the years the locusts have eaten.
“We must restore our dignity and integrity. With the election campaigns now behind us, I embrace all my fellow Liberians. Let us now recalibrate and restore the years the locusts have eaten,” President Boakai said.
He promised to fix the ills of the Liberian society, and fight corruption.
Amb. Boakai said before being president of the Republic, the Rescue Mission for a New Liberia set a broad goal of economic development, sustainability, and a chance of increased productivity.
Meanwhile, President Boakai couldn’t conclude his speech delivered before thousands of dignitaries following an incident that many considered as massive heat exhaustion.
There is no medical report available to the public regarding what occurred on Capitol Hill on Monday, but Mr. Boakai was led away after being observed to have appeared weak under the scorching sun.
He was dressed in long-sleeved traditional attire with a bulletproof vest underneath and mounted a podium with visibly no ventilation and read about 21 pages of a speech that is reported to be 24 pages long before the incident abruptly disrupted the speech delivery.