Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor’s admission here Monday, 14 May National Unification Day, about strained relationship between her and President George Manneh Weah, and her abrupt apology to the President on live broadcast reminds us about similar fate of her predecessor Joseph Nyumah Boakai with former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
Former VP Boakai and Madam Sirleaf had a blood that kept them apart even in public for so long until eventually, Joe was left with no alternative but to come public after suffering in silence for protracted period, accusing his boss of not speaking to him or providing him opportunity for consultation on state matters.
Both leaders from the same political party (UP) failed to mend fences up to the 2017 elections and after the polls with Boakai’s camp trading allegations and Ellen, thru her official spokesperson, denying.
The effect of such strained relationship came even more visible at the inauguration of President George Weah in January when the two former leaders sat apart at the Sameul Kanyon Doe Sports Stadium and out rightly refused to shank hands before the camera, much to the dismay of the public, particularly Liberians.
But VP Taylor seems to have calculated the negative impact of two leaders, who got overwhelmingly elected on the same ticket, serve a nation and its people, while keeping speech or being indifferent. She appeared on ‘Truth Breakfast Show’ hosted by Truth FM 96.1 on Monday, 14 May which was officially celebrated here as National Unification Day and publicly apologized to President George Manneh Weah.
Vice President Taylor explains that her constant travels out of the country without informing the President contributed to misunderstanding between her and her boss, but the situation, according to her, has been resolved.
Madam Taylor however, argues that as Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, she’s the face of women in Africa, particularly after ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf left power and would, therefore, have to make representations on their behalf.
Speculations have been in the public about bad blood between President Weah and his Vice President, with some pointing to lack of trust.At one instant, prior to the runoff presidential election in December 2017, rumors circulated that Weah was on the verge of removing her as his running mate, but the Coalition for Democratic Change subsequently denied.
We can but only hope that this public confession and immediate apology would clear the bad blood between both leaders to enable them execute the important duties of state and sincerely lay the matter to rest. VP Taylor’s admission of guilt and apology is a mark of good statesmanship that we applaud. President Weah should accept it in good fate and move ahead in the interest of the Motherland.