There is a popular biblical aphorism which says; “there is a time and season for everything. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to be happy and a time to be sadden”. This maxim is manifesting itself in the current era of Liberia’s politics with the country most venerated Vice President and one of Africa’s few surviving legends, Joseph Nyuma Boakai in the dock—as the man set and ready to fulfill history.
The much heralded 2017 presidential and legislative elections debate is already steaming at an accelerated temperature. Opposition elements have started spewing diatribes and tantrums at Veep Boakai—the ones with low energy and zero intellectual dexterity have sadly condescended to throwing invectives and jabs at the Vice President. The reason is simply because he is the forerunner candidate. A recent presidential preference survey of all possible candidates conducted by the West African Adventist University here in Montserrado ranks Vice President Boakai as the most preferred candidate for the seat of President—convincingly topping CDC George Weah, Senator Prince Johnson, Liberty Party Charles W. Brumskine et al’.
On the other hand, there appears to be dirty scheming and machination against the Vice President by some reactionary forces within the Unity Party (UP) as well—with powerful hands reported to be the masterminds.
Perhaps ‘part-one’ of the scheming and machination in the UP is the introduction of Dr. Togar Gayewea McIntosh in the equation of the impending UP primaries—a move the Vice President has since welcomed. By the way, upon his arrival from South Africa on last Friday he was quizzed by newsmen on the McIntosh factor in the forth coming party primaries and he responded in a rather relaxed mood, “Let Togar wait and see what Boakai is made of”.
It is becoming clearer by the day that there are vicious and diabolical attempts by malcontent and doomful forces to veer the path of the Vice President to the seat of President, something the Vice President says, makes him even stronger and buoyant ahead of 2017. Opposition forces have concocted all sorts of ludicrous and incriminatory stories with the devilish aim of splashing mud on the solid character of the Vice president but they would not succeed—simply because Boakai has built for himself an enviable reputation which has earned him a monumental scale of respect and confidence amongst fellow citizens.
In fact, political pundits and commentators consider him the ‘moral candidate’ in the 2017 presidential contestation—because of the towering integrity credential he brings to bare—and of course, not one of his contenders can outmatch this record. Boakai character remains unparallel and unmatchable. He earned this wealth of reputation not in one year or two years but rather over thirty-five years of profound and immaculate public service to his country. He is a fairly clean man unlike some of his contenders that are dogged by diplomatic and economic scandals, yet, would shamefully and disrespectfully attempt to test the resolve and intelligence of the Liberian people by declaring ambition to be President of their county. Interestingly inconceivable!!!
Boakai’s presidential bid represents the over 80% of Liberia’s population who are domiciled in the slum interior of the country. It is for these people who have been disconnected and abandoned for over a century now, Joseph Nyuma Boakai must become President and move on to connect them and put dignity on their lives. He is a product of this class or bloc of people; hence he knows and understands them.
We must not allow petit politics and the desperation of power to blind our eyes and hearts from seeing and reckoning with the stark reality. Boakai remains the only candidate so far who have received public approbation from the Zoes, Chiefs and elders of the land. These are the owners and custodians of our land. They have spoken decisively and the message is quite clear. No one can stop Boakai from rising to the seat of President, for an attempt to do so, amounts to ‘playing with fire’, for it is tantamount to defying the will of the Gods of our land.
The moment has come, the paradigm has shifted and history must be fulfilled. No one can rob the country of this invaluable and lofty historical opportunity, and no one can deny nor resist the popular will and desire of the Liberian people. No level of back-stabbing, deceit, colluding and machination will forestall Boakai from becoming President Come 2017. The message on the wall couldn’t have been clearer; that Boakai is the name everywhere and resonating across the country, must signal to all and sundry that history is in the making.
In 2003, I read a brilliant and imposing piece of writing in titled; Joseph N. Boakai, Liberia’s Hidden Treasury”, unfortunately, I have forgotten the name of the writer—but no doubt, he is an erudite ‘pen pusher’.
In this article, the writer emotionally told a personal account of Vice President Boakai’s life—his painful upbringing, personal interactions with people and his immaculate leadership in public service citing the Veep days at the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation or LPMC , the Ministry of Agriculture Refining and other public portfolios he has graciously served.
As I meticulously read the article, I quickly surmised that the writer personally knew Veep Boakai and had followed his tracks religiously—perhaps, had worked with him at one of his previous places of service to our country.
He described Veep Boakai as a man of immense wisdom, people oriented, family-man, a peace maker, man of culture and tradition, intelligent, cool-temper, humble, honest, consistent and a selfless gentleman. These lofty virtues, the writer combined into what he described as Liberia’s “Hidden Treasury”—in a distinguished yet unassuming gentleman the Nation was yet to discover.
In the last few lines of his telling and inspiring article, he predicted that, “Joseph Boakai would rise to become President of Liberia and his presidency would see a unique paradigm shift in the socio-political history of Liberia—and soon he would embark on the journey to the presidency”, the writer faithfully and confidently stated.
This was in 2003 and by 2005; Boakai emerged as running mate to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the Unity Party (UP) ticket. The 2005 presidential election was fiercely competitive but the pair won after a second round poll—subsequently assuming the leadership of a shattered, despair and hopeless nation that was desperately yearning for almost everything including, peace, good governance, rule of law, basic social services and better economic condition for citizens.
Eleven years on, Veep Boakai remains a loyal servant and follower of his Boss, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. They have worked the hardest and have managed to change and reposition the country in many respects. Certainly, all is not well but Liberia has turned the corner and is defiantly on the move. The country is no longer a pariah (failed) nation and people are no longer killing each other like they crudely did during the fifteen years of bloody, senseless and unwarranted civil upheaval. Liberia is no longer a land of cannibalism and savagery—it is now a destination of foreign direct investment and a land of democratic freedoms.
Eleven years as Vice President, I have come to realize that the writer accounts of Veep Boakai are all true and his prediction or prophecy about him assuming the Liberian Presidency would become a dream come through considering the massive support he is generating from the people since his groundbreaking petitioning in his native homeland of Lofa County last year (2015).
The wave of support for Veep Boakai across the country is incredible, unprecedented and electrifying—and even his contenders can see and feel it, yet, spoilers of history and reactionary forces are attempting to woefully erect stumbling blocks in the way of the people progress, but they will be crushed by the determined will of the masses.
To the contenders and those networking against the Boakai presidential bid, we say you are fighting a losing battle. Boakai is a winner not a looser. This unassuming giant was born and built to face the fears of Life and rise up as a winner. His life story is a classic example—from nowhere to somewhere. He would climb the turbulence ladder of life by the ‘string of his boots’ and triumph to become a globally acclaimed states man.
Boakai has in his blood the courage to fight, the power to survive and the Leadership to inspire—these are the vibrant qualities that have powered him over the years to this point—a revered and phenomenal statesman.
Finally, we like to state plainly, that Boakai is fully prepared and ready to fiercely contest and win—from the Unity Party primaries to the national election in 2017, and with faith and courage coupled with the support of our people, we declare, Boakai is unstoppable and history is about to be made.
Editorial Note: Views expressed here are not that of this paper but rather the author’s own views.