Liberia’s former Vice President and ex-presidential candidate, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, says Liberians are looking for committed, honest and genuine leaders, in a rare phone interview granted a locally popular talk show here, while out of the country.“And so the Liberians are looking for people that are committed, people that are honest and people that are genuine,” he said Thursday morning, 3 October.
Mr. Boakai having worked 12 years as vice president to former President Ellen Johnson- Sirleaf, lost the 2017 presidential election on then ruling Unity Party (UP) ticket against current President George Manneh Weah’s Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) ticket.
Mr. Boakai says he doesn’t do any other thing but to prove to people that he encounters on a daily basis that he is who he is and his love and commitment to Liberia is not questionable.
Giving reason why he doesn’t talk much on radio, Mr. Boakai, who turns 75 in November, says he doesn’t have to do anything because he believes that what he says today must be what he will live tomorrow and do for the Liberian people.
Asked how he has managed to come out of some 40 years of public service untainted by allegation of corruption, Mr. Boakai explains further of his humble upbringing, adding that God first, he believes in working for what you call your own.He says he does not believe in taking what belongs to the people and converting it to his personal use, noting that he does not also believe in living an extravagant lifestyle.
“I believe in service and that’s why all my life I have refused to be corrupted. We are all human beings, I’m not a perfect person but I have been able to distinguish between what is mine and what belongs to the people and very committed to that theory,” he states.
According to the former vice president, he knows that positions are not given to people because God believes that he wants to just bless them.
Instead, he indicates that positions are given “to you so that you can be a blessing to other people”, and adds: “That’s what they call stewardship.”“And I cannot see myself taking a public position and using it just to benefit me,” he notes.
Boakai says when he looks at people who queued up to support him during campaign, weeping and standing in the rain, what comes to mind is that they are not doing it because they want you to enjoy yourself.
Rather, Mr. Boakai suggests that the voters believe that through you God’s blessing will trigger down to them.Asked why he’s loved by the people, Mr. Boakai explains that it is just about honesty, commitment and sincerity.
He denounces critics’ claim that he might not be able to lead Liberia in coming elections due to his age, arguing that old age is not a constitutional demand.“But we’re talking about sincerity and commitment to our country,” he argues.The 2017 presidential candidate says due to his love for Liberia, his campaign theme was “Think Liberia, Love Liberia and Build Liberia.”By Winston W. Parley