By Lincoln G Peters
Former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakia says the Collaborating Political Parties or CPP is set to win the 2023 presidential and general elections and redirect the course of Liberia’s history.
“Collectively we remain poised to win in 2023, building upon the expectations, hopes, and justifiable excitement of the Liberian people that an alternative is possible.
This is why I feel deeply humbled to accept the responsibility bestowed upon me today by the CPP as its Chairperson for the next 8 months”, Amb. Joseph Boakia expresses.
Speaking over the weekend after taking the chairperson position of the four opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) for the next eight months as mandated by the CPP framework document, he notes that for the past few months, the CPP has been fraught with difficulties creating anxiety in the public and a sense of explosion within the CPP, adding that they recognized these challenges, which have occasioned internal wrangling and a distasteful impression.
The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) framework document calls for a rotational power-sharing within the leadership and chairperson of the four opposition Collaborating Political Parties.
The first chairperson for the Collaboration was the political leader of the All Liberian Party Benoni W. Urey; followed by Mr. Alexander B. Cummings of the Alternative National Congress, who was succeeded by the political leader of the Liberty Party Senator Youngblee Kangar-Lawrence who served for 8 months 11 days before turning office last Friday, October 16, 2021, to the Unity Party Standard Bearer, Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai.
The Unity Party Standard Bearer assures Liberians that wherever they are in the world the collaboration will be strong after the storm, and continue to demonstrate its purpose in pursuing the path of providing alternative and responsible leadership for the people of Liberia.
He maintains that over the next 8 months of his administration, the leadership of the CPP will be institutionalized, noting that he will entrench the constituent leaders’ feet so deeply that victory will be the only option, vowing “We will not betray our country. Our people have given us their confidence, we will not disappoint them.”
Boakai: “We are ready to cast out the ghost of what is a reckless political, economic, and social order that benefits only very few people and has grown increasingly stubborn to change. We are ready to break the cycle of abject poverty, impunity, illiteracy, disease, social injustice, dictatorship, corruption, and other challenges that haunt the present, and most profoundly the future of Liberians.”
According to him, poor governance, failed leadership, marginalization of the majority of Liberians, inequity, and institutional failure have caused low public trust in the government and its institutions, adding that much of the progress made in the recent past, including the execution of a reformed agenda has eroded.
He also points out that the economy is not healthy and not performing for the people as it should be, while productivity under the Weah administration is at an all-time low and cost of living high; with price of food and other basic commodities going up, causing most Liberians to fall into poverty.
The 80-year-old CPP chair laments that the majority of Liberians, especially the youth, are unemployed, exposed to drugs, make no income and live in poor and unacceptable conditions.
He says poor fiscal decisions, including consistent off-budget spending on nonproductive and vanity projects, are causing strain and decline in education and health, adding that as much as the country is endowed with natural resources, its citizens including many in communities hosting concessions are hardly benefiting, causing unwarranted tensions and hanging on the precipice of communal conflicts and insecurity.
The former VP who served two terms I officer under ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf describes the security of Liberia as dire and rapidly deteriorating with many citizens and residents living in constant fear, particularly, as a result of the unresolved spate of violence and killings in the past two years, noting that this has unraveled the state of the current security apparatus, revealing the bare threads of a security sector largely aimed at protecting only public officials and leaving millions of citizens and residents to their own devices.
He says all of these problems are undergirded by public corruption, the scale of which is yet to be confronted by the government in ways that hold public officials to account.
“We must liberate our people from the bondage of failed leadership: A winning soccer icon whose Presidency sees our pitch banned by FIFA and our team as an underdog. The one success that brought you to prominence has become a national failure under your leadership. Missing persons, missing parts, armed robbery, and general insecurity is now the Liberian Character. This must change and we must concentrate on a vision that will take Liberians from this bondage to new heights of progress.”
Boakai says the CPP understands the plight of the people of Liberia whether they are in Monrovia, Saclepea, Tuzon, Sasstown, and every village and hamlet of the country, adding, “The CPP understands the pains of our mothers who work in sweltering heat on the farm or in the market, and yet barely make it while some public officials steal the national coffers. We understand the frustration of students who toil in school and cannot find a job upon graduation.”
He continues that the CPP also understands the disappointment of the father, who works hard all day but can barely get enough to buy a bag of rice to feed his family; the CPP understands the fading hope of Yana boys, “auction girls” and the many street traders struggling to make ends meet.
According to the CPP new chair, the people of Liberia deserve a new and better deal; one that is people-centered and aimed to improve the livelihoods of millions of Liberians including children, youth, and women.
“Our people deserve nothing less! This is why the Unity Party was founded, and this is why also the constituent parties (comprising the Alternative National Congress, All Liberian Party, the Liberty Party, and the Unity Party) have come together to effect a positive change.”
“In broad strokes, the alternatives we offer as Collaborating Parties are deeply rooted in the ideals of economic equity, social justice, and freedom so that everyone is able to explore his or her potential for better livelihoods. We vow to promote and protect the ideals of political inclusiveness, and constitutional changes that address the limiting strains on our democracy including personalization of the presidency, the dictatorial nature of the governing system, the erosion of the separation of powers within our three branches of government as enshrined in our Constitution, and over decentralization. We will also ensure that public office is not an end in itself, but a means to serve the people of Liberia. As former American President, Franklin Roosevelt, asserted, we must abandon, and I quote “… the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by standards of pride of place and personal profit…”
He says a new day for the CPP has dawned! And rallies his constituency colleagues to put their differences behind and forge ahead by bringing their strengths – and weaknesses – together in the true spirit of the framework to fulfill the aspiration and hope of the Liberian people.
He also urges that they must hold together and build alliances with the different layers of our society in transforming the country for the good of the people and the sub-region as well as present themselves as the alternative to a dispensation that is in free fall.
“In this direction, I also offer myself as an intercalated in addressing unresolved issues and other problems, and, here now, admonish my colleagues Alex, Benoni, and Nyonblee to see the bigger picture – the People of Liberia; and exhaust our internal processes of conflict resolution in absolute respect for each other. The CPP will hold itself to strict adherence to its rules. “
“Without any defense and justification, I accept full responsibility for all the tethering issues of today. My eloquent silence in the face of these internal wrangling and exchanges strengthens my courage to know that mere defending our individual positions without a deep sense of collectivity only makes us weaker. Where others see breakdowns, we see an opportunity to build and become stronger, where others see despair, we offer hope and in the face of what appears to be division, we will work with our colleagues to unite.”
Boakai vows: “We will over the next few days organize, engage, discuss all issues internally and develop a blueprint going forward for our victory in 2023.”
The program brought together several officials of the CPP including the political leader of the LP, Senator Youngblee Kangar-Lawrence, Charlelyn Brumskine, daughter of the late Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine, founding father of the LP; Senator Abraham Dillon; ALP leader Mr. Benoni Urey; People Liberation Party Political leader Dr. Daniel E. Cassell, the chairperson of the opposition Rainbow Alliance of Liberia, Reginald B. Goodridge, and several other political figures and traditional singers from Lofa County, the birthplace of Amb. Boakai.
At the program, the Political leader of the ANC Mr. Alexander B. Cummings was absent, including Mr. Musa Bility, Chairman of the LP, and Martin Kollah Secretary-General of the LP, amongst others.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/boakai-takes-over-cpp-today/ Editing by Jonathan Browne