By Wednesday night, December 27, 2017, the political atmosphere in Liberia was charged with mixed feelings of tears, joy, and discontentment. For some, it was a feeling of overwhelming hilarity that revealed a promising future for Mama Liberia. For others, it was a feeling of leaving Liberia and never to return. It was also a feeling of death and a lost hope in the future of Liberia. It was certainly a feeling that changed the face of politics in Liberia for many years to come. But there was another feeling. That feeling was associated with disappointments, endless tears, political deception and a dampening moment.
It was a feeling of hard truth, tolerance, perseverance and hard-earned political maturity exhibited by Ambassador Boakai to have acknowledged a political defeat openly in the presidential race that caught the eyes of hundreds and hundreds of Liberians including Liberians who did not vote for him. It was a feeling that spoke to the melancholy nature of an ensuing 2017 tension oriented presidential race that definitively lifted the dying political spirit of Ambassador George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Ousman Weah who won the golden keys to the doors of Liberia’s presidency.
It was a feeling that shut the doors on Dr. Boakai’s longstanding political career in Liberia after many years of dedicated and sincere services to the outgoing President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. But the million-dollar question that still lingers on the minds of well-wishers, sympathizers, and supporters of Dr. Boakai, is: “Who is responsible for his presidential defeat? It has been unearthed from numerous sources that Dr. Boakai was defeated on multiple occasions long before the elections began in earnest. Amb. Boakai was used as a sacrificial lamb by the outgoing President Sirleaf in many different ways.
Historical narratives speak to so many undisputable and dependable corroborative source that pointed directly to President Sirleaf who willfully forsakes Dr. Boakai at the time when he needed her most during the presidential race after serving her for more than 12-unbroken years of unquestionable loyalty as a stable and unwavering VP. President Sirleaf abandoned Dr. Boakai during the heat of the campaign trail for unspoken reasons, this too was another form of betrayal of her own VP. When the President’s son, Robert Sirleaf did cross-over to the CDC, it raises a red flag in Amb. Boakai’s campaign, but President Sirleaf kept tightlipped on the many.
President Sirleaf has enormous influence on her son Robert Sirleaf. Robert Sirleaf’s decision to take up membership in the CDC did not happen in isolation or unknowingly to President Sirleaf. She certainly approved her son’s decision, because she was also a silent sympathizer of the CDC party. Because of President Sirleaf’s Son departure from the Unity Party (UP), to the CDC party, some UP’s members also defected to the CDC’s party as well. But the President has remained conspicuously quiet on the defection of her son and the migration of few other UP’s diehard members to the mighty CDC party.
On a very sad note, President Sirleaf was not seen physically with Dr. Boakai campaigning publicly together. They were not on TV advertainments, radio publicity platform and even on social media jingoes together as they did in 2005/11 presidential races. Many Liberians believe that President Sirleaf deliberately held back her influence and moral support in order for VP Boakai to suffocate politically in the race which did happen under her watchful eyes. Even the Executive Manson’s Press Secretary, Jerolinmek Matthew Piah, in June 2017, when he helplessly struggled to painstakingly twist his tongue in denouncing the long-running rumors that President Sirleaf did not approve Dr. Boakai’s presidential ambition in practical terms.
On another serious note, Dr. Boakai’s running mate, James Emmanuel Nuguay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was also a complicated element responsible for the defeat of the VP in the presidential race. Some members of the Unity Party complained to be apprehensive about Nuguay’s sudden selection as vice running mate to Dr. Boakai. Some confessed that Nuquay was very combative and intimidating during the presidential race. He lacks interpersonal communication skills and poor manner of approach. One insider says that Nuguay spoke rudely to some UP’s partisans. Nuguay’s actions were also responsible for the mass exodus of most UP’s partisans to the CDC party during the heat of the campaign.
Nuquay was regarded as a dangerous outsider in the UP party. He nonetheless managed to exert his political influence and power to seize the vice-presidential nomination at the displeasure of most UP’s partisans during their convention, calling him a “stranger” and a “gravy seeker”, several partisans lamented. What was more important, is the idea that Nuguay was not an impressive marketable vice-presidential material. Another source said that he didn’t have the require charismas as a strong vice standard-bearer. His poor and devastating interactions drove away Dr. Boakai’s immediate supporters, sympathizers, and well-wishers from electing him as President of the Republic of Liberia.
Many of the UP’s veteran defectors predicted that Nuguay would have undermined Dr. Boakai had they succeeded to win the presidential race in Liberia. Nuguay was a severe political impediment and a staunched stumbling block and a total embarrassment and a potential disaster to Dr. Boakai’s presidential vision which was also a sign of deep betrayal and defeat to Dr. Boakai’s presidential ambition. There was another segment of grave concerns as it relates to the defeat of Dr. Boakai. That segment has to do with the sons and daughters of Lofa County.
The sons and daughters of Lofa County also let Dr. Boakai down terribly. But other Lofans also accused the VP of abandoning other districts in Lofa County. Lofans in other districts in Lofa County felt Amb. Boakai didn’t care for them. There was undivided loyalty among and between the people of Lofa County regarding Dr. Boakia’s candidacy during the elections. But one young Lofan from the Lorma tribe in Lofa County, who pleaded to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal, said: “most Lofans from the other districts in Lofa County deliberately refused to vote for Amb. Boakai, because he was always interested in his tribal people, that is the Kisi people in Foya district. When the VP was in office from 2005 up to present, he didn’t one day visit any of the other districts in Lofa County apart from his beloved Foya district where he visited more than 64 times according to my records. Most Lofans, finally consented that they had been marginalized by the VP’s lukewarm attitudes towards the rest of Lofan in the other districts the VP never visited, not even once”.
“I see this as the promotion of tribalism on the part of Amb. Boakai. The Oldman puts his tribal people, that is the Kisi people above the rest of the other districts in Lofa County, was in mind was a terrible political mistake. Even most of we the young people from Lofa County did not feel the presence of Dr. Boakai in our lives as a father for all Lofans. He was rather a father for few Lofans, that is the Lofans in Foya district which is Dr. Boakai’s district. These are some of the problems associated with the defeat of Amb. Boakai in the presidential elections to the point that most of we the young Lofans had no other choice but to embrace George Weah, with the hope that he George Weah will think about we the young Lofans in Lofa County, since the VP’s Boakai did not have any plan for young Lofans.”
When asked about the huge victory the VP obtained in Lofa County, she replied: “That was just a peanut vote. George Weah wouldn’t have gotten any of the votes in Lofa County if the VP didn’t divide the people of Lofa County by abandoning we the young people in pace of his tribal group from Foya district only.” “I want to let you know that all of these problems took place long before Amb. Boakai ever decided to run for president for the Republic of Liberia.”
“Let me say that some of Amb. Boakai’s campaign officials were told about these problems in Lofa County, but they simply decided either hide the news from him or they were not willing to help the VP move forward. They kept the information until the VP felt from grace to grass. But the VP himself was aware of his own problems in Lofa County.” The lady re-interated. All of these ugly undertakings were nothing short of mere political games to stab the VP in the back. These are some of the reasons why Dr. Boakai was defeated long before the elections were held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017.
By: Jones Mallay–Opinion writer, email: email@example.com Cell:401-5