By Lincoln G. Peters
Western Liberia which comprises Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, and Gbarpolu Counties, is demanding former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai pick Dr. Jeremiah Whapoe as his running mate in the 2023 elections.
Mr. Boakai who served as vice president during former president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s two six years terms is seeking the presidency on the former ruling Unity Party (UP) ticket for the 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
On the other hand, Dr. Whapoe heads the opposition Vision of Liberia Transformation Party (VOLT).
The western counties believe that a Boakai- Whapoe ticket in 2023 will make a good representation of the people of Liberia.
They have also suggested that it’s time that Liberians be governed by people of like minds and vision.
Speaking in Kon Town, Grand Cape Mount County during an acquaintance visit on 26 November 2022, representatives of the counties noted that a Boakai- Whapoe ticket will be a formidable force against the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) government.
“We are ready and prepared to vote in 2023 to end this suffering that we are experiencing,” the General Town Chief of Kon Town Mr. Garrsan Sheriff said.
But he stated that they will vote if Dr. Whapoe can be a running mate to former Vice President Boakai.
“We believe that the collaboration of the both of you will redeem our country and make a formidable force against the CDC. We are not asking you, but … the three counties are demanding [it] if you need our vote,’’ the General Town Chief noted.
Mr. Sheriff said they are willing to work with Dr. Whapoe because they believe that he will make a good leader. He however said the condition is for Whapoe to be a vice presidential candidate to Amb. Boakai.
He said they have been seeing Dr. Whapoe in their counties and interacting with him, and they have known that he is a man with a good heart.
He said they have also found that he loves the country, and it’s important that he serves as vice president to Mr. Boakai so that they can deliver the nation.
“You have done a lot for us in this country. You have shown to us that you are indeed a man of good heart and kind spirit,” said Mr. Sheriff.
“But we are also asking you to please work around things and see how best you can collaborate with Mr. Boakai to make one ticket. We see that ticket as winning team because it’s what we want,’’ he concluded.
Over the weekend, Dr. Whapoe was invited by citizens in Grand Cape Mount County for an acquaintance visit and engagement meeting.
The gathering brought together citizens of Bomi County, Gbarpolu, and Grand Cape Mount Counties, respectively.
During the engagement, the three counties through their various leaders appealed for a Boakai-Whapoe presidential ticket in 2023.
The program which was held in the Kon Town Hall was also graced by several traditional and social groupings including the Da Awatu Islamiatu Ballajah, Matambo Women Group, United Youth For Peace and Development, and Successful Youth for Development and Kon Town Youth for Progress, all trio from the counties.
Responding to the concerns of the citizens, Dr. Whapoe said he heard their concerns, but it was not his responsibility to tell Amb. Boakai to choose him.
According to him, the former Vice President is at liberty and free will to choose his running mate in the 2023 elections.
Whapoe said if the concern continues to be raised by the citizens, maybe something meaningful can happen.
“I heard your concern, but it’s not my responsibility to tell Mr. Boakai to choose me because he is at liberty to choose,” said Dr. Whapoe.
“However, if he looks my direction, fine, because I respect him [a] lot and we have and share a similar vision,” Dr. Whapoe said.
“We hope that the right thing [is] done to redeem our country because the sufferings are many,’’ he continued.
The opposition VOLT political leader indicated that it’s now time that all hands get on deck to ensure that the country is redeemed and protected from the hands of “boys.”
Whapoe said there is still hope for Liberians if they can choose wisely.