Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, seems upbeat about coming elections here, predicting “alignments and re-alignments” of positive forces as Liberians gear up for General and Presidential Elections in 2017.
Minister Ngafaun said he is bubbling with hope as he foresees positive political forces aligning regardless of political stripe, county or tribal differences, social or economic as well as age or other differences, predicting a great victory for Liberia and Liberians in the 2017 presidential elections.
Speaking last week at the induction of officers-elect of the Union of Liberian Organizations in the United Kingdom (ULO – UK), he outlined critical and important suggestions that Liberian voters should consider as they determine the next leadership of the country.
In an analogy, he said the decision as to who becomes the next President of Liberia should be “approached with the same level of soberness and level-headedness that must be demonstrated by a football team coach when determining which one of his players should take a penalty kick called by the referee in the 89th minute of a crucial final match which had been tied at 0-0.” “At this point”, he continued, “the name, the height, the age, religion, the county, the tribe of the person to be selected by the coach will not matter. The only thing that would matter to the coach is, which one of the players is best suited to convert this glorious opportunity into a goal.”
The Liberian Foreign Minister, also a former student leader and ex-Finance Minister, urged the electorate to elect a goal-getter, someone with a solid record of performance by taking cue from the record of service or achievement in whatever previous capacities Presidential aspirants might have served the country and finding out “What type of achievement record do they have? Achievements for Liberia and Liberians or achievements for themselves, their families or cronies?”
Meanwhile, Ngafuan suggests that Liberians should elect a nationalist as their next President and be circumspect of aspirants, who would “wrap themselves up primarily in county, tribal, religious or some other flag instead of wrapping themselves up primarily in the Liberian flag.”
The Minister said while he could not discount factors such as regional or county background in the 2017 Presidential elections, he however cautioned Liberians to be careful or else, the 2017 race would be transformed into “a political county meet” with each of Liberia’s 15 political sub-divisions putting forth a candidate for the highest seat of the land. Already, the people of Lofa County have petitioned a kinsman, incumbent Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, vie for the Presidency.
Liberia’s main opposition party, Congress for Democratic headed by headed George Oppong Weah has been in talks with several politicians, including Speaker Alex Tyler and Senator Prince Johnson on one hand, while the Liberty Party of two times defeated Presidential candidate Cllr. Charles Walker Brumskine and is reportedly in talks with both National Patriotic Party (NPP) political leader Senator Jewel Howard Taylor and Finance Minister Amara Konneh, for possible collaboration. The Liberty Party has neither confirmed nor rejected these reports out-rightly, but said all options were being explored. Edited by Jonathan Browne