By Lincoln G. Peters
Former ruling Unity Party Standard Bearer Amb. Joseph N. Boakai’s recent admission that one man cannot defeat incumbent President Weah suggests a stronger opposition collaboration in the making.
The 78-year-old former Liberian Vice President told the Voice of America recently that a collaborative effort is needed because it’s not a one-man thing to battle incumbent President George Manneh Weah.
He further told the VOA’s Daybreak Africa program that the presidency is not a play-play thing, reiterating that it’s now time to form a collaboration to bring all hands on board to rescue Liberia from a ‘nightmare.’
Boakai said he wants Liberia to be rescued from President Weah and the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) nightmare.
“We all need to see the need to rescue Liberia. This is not the matter of sitting on the fence. It’s the matter of getting together. People are suffering and so, doors are opened to Prince Johnson and everybody to rescue Liberia from this nightmare,’’ said Amb. Boakai.
Bokai and his former ruling Unity Party (UP) pulled out of a once famous opposition bloc Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) following a prolonged internal political crisis.
Opposition leader Alexander B. Cummings and his Alternative National Congress (ANC) and a faction of the opposition Liberty Party (LP) continue to hold on with the CPP.
Calls have been mounting for opposition unity after the CPP crash-landed before the 2023 presidential and legislative elections are due to be held this October.
Speculations have been around that efforts are being made to reunite Boakai and Cummings for a single presidential ticket, but there is no official account surrounding this.
Speaking from the United States of America, Mr. Boakai disclosed that their doors are open for collaboration because Liberia is in a real situation and Liberians must get together to rescue their country.
VOA’s James Butte questioned Amb. Boakai saying “And so Mr. Vice President, recently you met with one of your colleagues and rival, Mr. Cummings. Is there any possibility that the two of you can resurrect the partnership in a bid to defeat President George Weah?’’
In response to the question, Amb. Boakai stated that he and Mr. Cummings are good friends, and Mr. Cummings visited him right after he left the hospital. He said it was a family visit, and they did not go into any political discussion.
‘’Mr. Cummings and I will always be good friends. But, political collaboration is always necessary because we came together, we say we came together to defeat President Weah. We strongly agreed that President Weah needs to be defeated and so we need all hands on board. And so, our arms are all open to further discussion,” said Amb. Boakai.
Commenting on the perception that one party can’t defeat President Weah, Amb. Boakai argued that he does believe this. He said political parties and Liberia need to get together to see the need to rescue the country.
“Even if you were not organized with political parties, we need all hands on board to remove this nightmare from our country. It’s something that you cannot debate. We have been talking with Senator Prince Johnson and Senator Jeremiah Koung. We leave no door unlocked,” he added.
The former vice president challenged the People in Liberia to also come together because the country has been dragged down to the ground, saying suffering has increased, and it’s time for rescue.
When asked by the interviewer about his health condition and how he sees himself fit to handle the country, Amb. Boakai said if he does not have the ability, he does not see anybody right now, with all due respect, that can.
When questioned about the Unity Party’s withdrawal from the CPP, Amb. Boakai admitted that his party left the CPP on grounds that it thought things were not working.
He said UP gave the CPP some space and decided to move somewhere else but, they did not leave politics.