Opposition Liberty Party Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine has lashed out at Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, describing the standard bearer of the ruling party as a non-political material for the coming 2017 elections, while Senator Prince Johnson at a separate program described him as a deputy vampire.
The attack comes barely a week after 13 officials of the Nimba County branch of the Liberty Party crossed over to the ruling Unity Party, citing alleged bad democratic practices in the LP, including lack of access to its political leader, Cllr. Brumskine.
Addressing Muslims in Congo community, Ganta, Nimba County recently, Cllr. Brumskine also called on members of the Islamic community not to vote for the ruling Unity Party, mainly its standard bearer VP Boakai.
There has been no official response from the governing Unity Party or its standard bearer VP Boakai to the attack by the Liberty Party leader. But Brumskine stressed that re-electing the ruling UP would mean maintaining VP Joseph Boakai in power for 24years, something which he said, has a propensity to create another round of civil conflict in Liberia.
Incumbent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is ending two six-year terms in 2017, and her ruling Unity Party has already elected Vice President Joseph Boakai as its next standard bearer for the upcoming elections.
“How can one person rule for 24years; it means all of us will be old and will not have interest for elections any more”, Brumskine added. During his visit to the Congo community, residents of the area asked Cllr. Brumskine to help them undertake some development projects in their community, including construction of a modern school building and renovation of the Ganta General Mosque, among others; something which they said would enable them to vote the Liberty Party.
The residents also accused the government of not supporting youth development in their community. “Our President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf entered Ganta and we told her to create agriculture area for us. We have large swarm so that we can be involved with agriculture activities that will help to improve the living condition of the youths”, they opined.
Our Nimba County correspondent said Cllr. Brumskine made a low key entry into Ganta last week unlike previous visits, to meet with his supporters and find way to moving the party forward, particularly after news of the desertion of 13 local officials, including county chairman Tony Gonyor to the ruling party.
The crossover is said to have dealt a serious blow to the Liberty Party and Cllr. Brumskine’s quest to get support of the people of vote-rich Nimba County in his third bid for the Presidency, having lost two previous polls – 2005 and 2011.
But he told citizens in the county that when elected as President of Liberia, his goal is to create an environment where those he referred to as sheep and lions will sleep together, adding “I will reduce those holidays in the Country”, an apparent reference to Muslims’ calls to be granted holidays.
Senator Prince Yormie Johnson of Nimba County recently introduced a bill in the Liberian Senate, seeking two holidays, exclusively for Muslims across Liberia. Political observers say the bill is an attempt by Senator Johnson, who has also declared his intention to contest for President, to exploit Muslims’ votes as no specific religion in Liberia has holidays on the book.
Commenting on the bill, Cllr. Brumskine promised to look at it and if necessary, give his support for its enactment into law. Meanwhile, Senator Prince Y. Johnson, who is also leader of the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction or MDR, has described Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai as “deputy vampire” next to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Addressing a news conference in Monrovia last Friday, Senator Johnson, a preacher, said God Almighty revealed to him while preaching at his church edifice that Vice President Boakai, is a “deputy vampire” next to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
He described the two leaders as economic vampires draining the economy of the country rather than defending and protecting the state and its people as was pledged in the oath they took.
He recalled that in 2006, when President Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice Mr. Boakai took the oath of office, swearing on the Holy Bible, she declared corruption as public enemy number one, which subsequently led to the establishment of several anti-corruption institutions, including the General Auditing Commission, Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Procurement Concession Commission, which indicated that the President meant well in the fight against graft.But he said these anti-graft institutions have become employment opportunities for the President’s followers, especially ‘imported bureaucrats’ that are massively draining the resources of the country, while majority of the citizens live in abject poverty.
According to him, Vice President Boakai has contributed immensely to the wide spread of corruption, arguing that as the second in command, he failed to take a definite stand against corruption.
Senator Johnson, further stated that Vice President Boakai and President Johnson Sirleaf are taking the country for granted as demonstrated by the bad x administrative practices, noting that Liberia as the oldest Independent African nation, has terribly failed to progress economically due to broad day stealing by public officials employed by President Johnson Sirleaf in consultation with Vice President Boakai.
The Nimba County lawmaker told reporters that due to bad governance, every sector of the country, including education, health and socio needs of the people have been dashed in a bottomless pit, and that the only option for positive change is for the Unity Party-led government to be replaced at the ballot box thru free, fair and transparent election.
By Franklin Duologue & E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor-Editing by Jonathan Browne