As the debate intensifies gradually for President Sirleaf’s possible replacement, Nimba County Representative Worlea-Saywah Dunah thinks Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, who has already accepted a petition to vie in 2017, is aging for the Liberian presidency, and that the governing Unity Party would find it challenging to market him because of such factor.
Rep. Dunah – also an executive member of the ruling Unity Party, indicated in an interview with this paper recently at his Paynesville residence outside Monrovia, that there was no need for Vice President Boakai to contest the 2017 Presidential and Legislative Elections, saying he should be honorably retired by the Liberian people.
The one time youth leader and Secretary General of the New Deal Movement, said Liberia has reached the age for generational change, noting that it would be contradictory for the vice president, who will turn 74 by 2017, to contest for the nation’s highest post.
“Our vice standard bearer is experienced, qualified and educated, but the age factor is one that we cannot overlook. Liberians are not prepared now for an aging President. Also, it would be a contradiction to the policy of President Sirleaf, who built many young men and women. Today, many of the ministers are young and the President took them from nowhere and she brought them to prominence,” he said, adding: “the President did that in order for one of the youthful ministers to take over from her,” the New Deal stalwart-turned Unity Party Executive noted.
“The presidency requires energy and enough of it; Great Britain current Prime Minister David Cameroon is in his mid-30s and the United States President Barrack Obama is also young person.”
Dunah pointed out that for the ruling Unity Party to make an impact in the 2017 elections, it has to produce a youthful candidate in order to capture the attention of the country’s population, stressing that the population of the country is youthful (74%), and selling such aging person in the mix of the young people would be challenging.”
The Nimba County Representative – in his second term in the House of Representatives, maintained that the promotion of young and qualified youths in the Unity Party-led government squarely contravenes the doctrine of the Vice President expressing his desire to contest the presidency after 12 years as second in command.
Dunah – in his mid-40s, stressed that he will not support the presidency of Vice President Boakai until he can win the primary of the Unity Party, adding that already, the young people of the ruling establishment are in serious discussions for the presidency, but would conclude before the national convention of the party in October 2016.
“The likes of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Vice President Joe Boakai and others came to political limelight in the 70s; today, we are in 2015 and if you do the maths well, the imaging will be wider. This is time for generational change, especially for the presidency,” he opined.
Previously, Boakai served as Manager in Voinjama, Lofa County and Managing Director of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation in the 1970s, Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985; a consultant to the World Bank in Washington, and also founded a firm dealing in agricultural equipment and consultancy. He chaired boards of the Liberia Wood Management Corporation and Liberia Petroleum Refining Company, among many others. By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor – Editing by George Barpeen