CommentaryPolitical Hotfire

Political Hotfire: Amb. Boakia Dances with the Wrong Devil. Did he ask the late Pres. Doe?

By Jones Mallay

 Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, flag-bearer of the Unity Party, a one-time defeated presidential candidate in the then 2017 general and presidential elections, a break-away from the CPP and has 40 years of public service under his belt. Amb Boakia has chosen Sen. Jeremiah Kpan Kuong as his vice-presidential running mate, a deal brokered surreptitiously by Sen. Prince Yormie Johnson, standard bearer, Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), former warlord, Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia (INNPFL) who is on US active sanction list.

Senator Jeremiah K. Koung is undoubtedly one of the sons of Nimba County, highly respected within his circle of Stewarts, a fabulous icon with impeccable business records, a family man with a distinct political career who exhibits a salient opinion on issues in the 54th Legislative House of Senate. Sen. Koung should be politically overwhelmed with his VP portfolio.

It is conspicuous that what led to the selection of Sen. Koung as vice-running mate remains the most hidden secret with Amb. Boakai, which is also the million-dollar question on the lips of many Liberians at home and abroad, and only Amb. Boakia knows the solid intent of his decision. However, political pundits can only make future projections by analyzing the cause and effects of Amb. Boakia’s final decision to choose Sen Koung as his Vice running mate.

Amb Boakia’s political Romanization with Sen. Johnson could probably cause him the remainder of his entire political career for several apparent reasons. First, Sen. Johnson is stigmatized with war crimes and crimes against humanity within the context of the then-Liberian civil wars. Second, he is on the US active sanction list, and the war crime is not an amnesty.

Third, Sen. Johnson’s finger printers are all over the brokered deal, which may raise the eyebrows of the US government. Fourth, Sen. Johnson jammed Amb. Boakia’s political space which could affect Amb Boakai’s political relationship with the US. Fifth, Sen. Koung is Sen Johnson’s vice-presidential surrogate to Amb. Boakai which means the final death of the TRC under Amb Boakai if he wins the presidency in 2023. Moreover, the brokered deal has widened the political enemy listing of Amb Boakia.

Sen Johnson being on the US sanction list is a sign of political rejection as a persona non grata. At the same time, was it politically expedient for Amb, Boakia to accept Sen Johnson’s surrogate as vice running mate, knowing fully well that Sen Johnson is a war criminal in the eyes of the US? Amb Boakia association with Sen. Johnson could be detrimental to Amb Boakia’s political enterprise in Liberia if he wins the 2023 elections.

Amb Boakia should understand that Sen. Koung is a staunch political surrogate of Sen Johnson, who cleverly orchestrated such a brokered deal which is a big deal to the US government. This deal would undermine the bilateral relationship between Liberia and the US.

What remains more devastating is that Sen Johnson will be on the campaign tours holding hands with Amb Boakia and Sen Kuong, which will send a negative connotation to the US government seeing Amb Boakai holding hands with a war criminal on campaign tours.

Since Sen. Koung is a surrogate of Sen Johnson, the Senator would be behind the scenes, remotely controlling Sen Koung politically. Sen Johnson did not get his wishes with Pres. Weah that lead to his departure from Pres. Weah. Did Amb Boakai investigate what went wrong before dancing with Sen Johnson? But why should Amb Boakia bless a deal that poisons his close relationships with his allies (Costa, Kyonblee, Urey, and the UP win of former President Johnson Sirleaf)? Was Amb Boakia wise, as he claimed?

But here is the real crux of the pending political bombshell, which is most distasteful. There are strong political predictions that Sen Johnson and his surrogate, Sen Koung, would undermine Amb Boakai if Amb Boakai wins in 2023. Here is the predictable layout analysis, knowing Sen Johnson for his terrible, dubious, and deceptive operations in the past.

The political predictions are as follows: Sen Koung and Sen Johnson could betray Amb Bokia for Sen Koung to be President. If such a plot fails and Pres. Boakai ends his first term peacefully, then Vice Pres. Koung would be the next President. But interestingly, Sen Johnson’s party MDR would then be the ruling party under the watchful eyes of Sen. Johnson.

Consequently, since the MRD will be in power, Sen. Johnson would then be instrumental in picking President Koung’s next vice-running mate. If Sen. Johnson will not be in the Senate by then, President Koung would appoint Prince Johnson as Defense Minister of Liberia, which would result in political outcry by Liberians at home and abroad, and the US will not stand by. 

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