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Political Hotfire

Political Hotfire: Can Former VP Boakia Truly Unseat Incumbent Pres. Weah alone?

By Jones Mallay

The pending removal of incumbent Pres. Weah from office through the ballot box by Former VP Joseph Nyumah Boakia should not be associated with any form of political sympathy, feelings, or thoughts; it is an earnest business that involves practical and well-calculated political steps, vigorous action, and pragmatism, if the former VP is taken this political dual very seriously.

VP Boakia and UP participants should know that incumbent Pres. Weah is not slumbering. He is fully awake and strategizing to stop VP Boakia and the rest in the political queue. But incumbent Pres. Weah knows that the second term, from an African President’s perspective, is a do-or-die ritual.

The understanding here is that if Pres. Weah still fails to complete his second term he would be classified as feeble, unfit, and weak in the eyes of some of his colleagues Africa’s Presidents especially those in West Africa who are closely watching Pres. Weah with eagle eyes whether he will bring them disgrace by failing to win his second term in office.

Another dark cloud currently hanging over Pres. Weah’s head is the countless utterances made by most Liberians at home and abroad, that Pres. Weah is a footballer with no presidential experience or qualification to be President.

Ironically, these words still reverberate in the ears of Pres. Weah up today’s date with some levels of annoyance on his part. Nonetheless, Pres. Weah failure to secure his second term in 2023, would strengthen Liberians’ argument that indeed Pres. Weah did not qualify then, and he does not now.

In such unbearable political circumstances, Pres. Weah would untangle all his political strategies to secure his second term as practical political evidence to his fellow Liberians that their utterances about him being a footballer and unable to manage the Presidency of Liberia were undoubtedly a comprehensive and unproven political hypothesis against him. 

With the aforesaid political variables, it could be possible for the election pendulum to swing in VP Boakia’s direction sincerely. But the question remains: Can VP Boakia work this out alone as he did in the 2017 election? The defeat of Pres. Weah would undoubtedly come with a complex political price tag from VP Boakia. Nonetheless, VP Boakia must go beyond the concept of feeling and political sympathy as it now the norms.

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The VP will need to intertwine his political activism with analytical facts, social hypotheses, political variables, and the re-examination of past political errors made in the then October 10, 2017, general and presidential elections and make an effective corrective change now rather than later for the 2023 elections.

VP Boakia should not sit supinely and relax on the belief that the entire country is in deep political sympathy with him to unseat President Weah; therefore, he should do nothing but wait on October 10, 2023. October could surprise the VP either positively or negatively if he sits doing nothing.

The former VP should understand that the Liberian people’s feeling and political sympathy will work for him if they translate it into votes but he must wake up to enforce that. Feelings and political empathy cannot unseat President Weah in the 2023 elections.

In this breath, the former VP must be proactive, energizing, and crisscrossing remote villages’ towns, and cities in Liberia, starting with Monrovia. He will need to have persistent political rallies in slums such as New Kru-town, Slipways, and West Point, sitting with those oppressed masses, and meeting with the Yanna-boys and market women in the market to rekindle their hopes for the 2023 election. He must begin making political proclamations by making some political slogans to energize his hopefuls.

The former VP looks reserved, diplomatic, and politically introvertive. He appears to be very excellent at translating policies into action and enforcing them, but that is not needed now what is needed now is political action on the road.

The former VP turned out to be more of a pragmatic technocrat rather than a traditional politician having rallies and moving with the masses from street corners to the football stadium. One analytical fact is that the former VP seems to be very overconfident that Pres. Weah will be defeated.

However, the former VP Boakia did make four significant errors in 2017 which he must correct before October 10, 2023, general and Presidential elections: First, he handpicked James Emmanuel Nuguay as not marketable VP in 2017, who did not have a substantial dependable constituent. Second, VP Boakia never campaigned extensively outside Monrovia to identify with the suffering masses.

Third, the UP was virtually inactive and with irregular funding. Fourth, the VP had always come to the US and staged fundraising for his foundation rather than his UP party. Fifth, in 2017 the VP failed to build a political coalition, and the UP went alone in 2017. Would UP make changes?

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