Supporters of Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led ruling Unity Party
For the past twelve years, Liberians have been led by the Unity Party that was inaugurated on January 16, 2006 with Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf serving as the first female leader on the Continent of Africa. When this government came to power, there were lots of expectations from Liberians that the country would have been a place of opportunities for many Liberians to live freely and prosper, but sadly the situation has even become worse than it used to be, before the inception of this administration.
The Liberian people have been denied basic social amenities, such as pipe-borne water, stable electricity, quality and affordable healthcare, quality housing units, stable prices for basic commodity, among others. These are just a few of the many issues that the Liberian people have been denied by this government. From all indications, the government has shown that she is not interested in the improvement of the living standard of the Liberian people that she claimed to be serving. The people are inflicted with lots of deprivations ranging from goods and services that our people are in dare need of. The wickedness of this government to its people is an open secret that every Liberian is aware of due to the high cost of living that is being experienced by all.
The people have been ill-treated, unprotected, undermined and rejected for more than 11 years now, yet the ruling Unity Party remains very shameless in seeking for another 6 years to continue with the business-as-usual, as it has been for the last 11 years. Should we give them another opportunity to waste our time as a people when most of our people are languishing in absolute socioeconomic deprivation and strangulation? I crave the indulgence of all of us reading this article to patriotically detach sentiments from our inner selves by providing the answers that will seek to make our country to be appreciated by many independent-minded people who are followers of contemporary issues of Liberia.
When we look at the two persons who have brought themselves forward to continue the failed-agenda of the Unity Party, we will understand that this party is very unserious when it comes to bringing about the desired change that we all are yearning for as a nation and a people that have been socially, politically and economically abandoned. These two persons are: His Excellency, Hon. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, and Hon. James Emmanuel Nuquay, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. We have been following their activities over the years, both in their current and past portfolios, which have placed us in an appreciable position to prognosticate what sort of leadership these two persons will provide if, God forbid by any chance, we give them another mandate under the Unity Party.
Beginning with Mr. Joseph Boakai, this is a man who has served in government for more than four decades with virtually little or nothing to show as justification for his entrance into the public sector. He served as Managing Director of the Liberia Produce & Marketing Company (LPMC), which is now out of existence due to his poor leadership ability and style not to groom anyone who would have succeeded him in continuation of the functions for the establishment of said company. That institution was there to make sure that local farmers were given the opportunity to unveil their harvests to potential buyers/consumers. It saddens my heart to see farmers of today struggling because of the lack of farsightedness on the part of Mr. Boakai to have drafted a long-term survivability strategy for this institution.
The very Mr. Boakai man also served as Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) which serves as a backbone for the importation and distribution of petroleum products on the Liberian Market. Having done extensive research on his work at LPRC, we are yet to see anything tangible that this former Managing Director left there as an achievement of his tenure served at the time. He has proven that he has got no ability to lead with creativity and passion that will yield good fruits. He would have also killed this organization had his stay not been made short. He is just a leadership flop wherever he serves.
This very Unity Party Flag Bearer served as the Chairman on the Board of Star Radio that is no longer in existence in the media landscape of Liberia. Prior to Mr. Boakai’s appointment as Board Chairman, this radio was second to none when it came to the dissemination of balanced, credible and accurate news to the Liberian people until our man came as its head. Firstly, when he took over, he managed to divide and rule the workers of the station until they started to reduce their morale on the job, which led to them leaving one by one. He made sure that he killed this very enterprising radio station in the sub-region with no regret. Star Radio should have still been around had it not been for the bad leadership ability and style of Mr. Boakai. Are you still not convinced that we should hasten the demise of this Unity Party that has failed us and may even do more looking at the track record of its head?
Mr. Joseph Boakai also served as Agriculture Minister under President Samuel Kanyon Doe, and it is widely believed and reported by many that he was dismissed by the then President due to his involvement with a US$2 million (two million US dollars) scandal at that Ministry. We have been at this Ministry on many occasions asking for the tangibles of Mr. Boakai during his tenure at that Ministry, but were also disappointed that there is nothing concrete to show. I believe it is because of his lack of leadership ability and creativity that we are annually importing over US$250 million worth of rice, our indispensable food in Liberia. Today, that Ministry is just on paper but practically you see them far apart from their establishment due to Mr. Boakai’s inability to deliver. They have more cars than farms/gardens to provide food security for a population that is less than 5 million. What a flop we have here?
For the past twelve years, Mr. Boakai has been the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia under President Johnson Sirleaf. The two of them were elected on the same ticket and together they underperform their roles. Mr. Boakai has been quiet while our people are being subjected to socioeconomic tyranny and misery by not doing anything to show that if he is given the highest seat of the land he will do better than his boss. This brings us to the indubitable conclusion that he sanctions everything that is going on around him or he would have resigned long time ago as a sign of distinction and disapproval, but he is not prepared to do so due to his unending desire to fatten his bank account and receive the benefit associated with working in the Government, especially being a Vice President.
As per the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, specifically article 51, which spells out the functions of the Vice President, “The Vice President shall assist the President in the discharge of his functions. The Vice President shall be President of the Senate and preside over its deliberations without the right to vote, except in the case of a tie vote”. What has his assistance to the President yielded to other than massive poverty, wanton corruption, massive dismissals of civil servants, substandard healthcare for Liberians, messy educational system (evidenced by President Sirleaf terming the education system a mess), lack of clean and safe-drinking water, unstable electricity, impassable roads, among many other prevailing realities that are undeniable?
As the Presiding Officer of the Liberian Senate, he presided over the passage of laws that have strangulated our people, yet he tries to pretend to be good. How come he sat there as the President of the Liberian Senate and passed 66 suboptimal concessions as was released by the Mort Steven Report on Concessions in Liberia? Mr. Boakai has been a part of a cabal of legislative conspirators who have ripped apart the interest of the masses. He should never be given a flower that he deserves not due to his poor performance records.
I am not going to waste much time on Mr. Emmanuel James Nuquay who is not even considered as a heavyweight outside his current constituency of District #5 in Margibi County. He was never among the very rich and influential lawmakers in the House of Representative prior to serving as the Chairman on Ways, Means and Finance Committee. He managed to play with the National Budget in a way that he alone became an overnight millionaire. Nuquay never cared for the health workers, lowly paid teachers and many other poor people who were virtually working but not realizing anything good. He was the main beneficiary instead of the Liberian people. For almost 9 years, he kept getting richer while our poor people kept getting poorer than ever before. He needs to tell us why he refused to pay attention to these people who are making lots of sacrifices for Liberia.
When he became Speaker of the House of Representatives, the very first thing he presided over was the increment of the tariff on goods and services, which continues to cause serious hardship for our people. Food, water, telecommunications were all affected due to this very anti-poor policy masterminded by Nuquay to inflict suffering on our people. How can we be for a man who has always worked against our very selves?
Mr. Nuquay is also on record for threatening to go after anyone who disagrees with him during these elections. According to him, he would deal with such a person(s) no matter what. I see this statement as very troublesome as we strive to mature our infant democracy. He seems to be a walking dictator that we should not take risk on because he may just be uncontrollable looking at the age and agility of his boss, Mr. Joseph N. BoaKai. His statement has the proclivity to endanger our quest to have a very credible, free and violent free elections that we endeavor to see.
My esteem compatriots, these people have nothing new to offer us and this country due to their ceaseless desire for wealth and power at the disadvantage of struggling Liberians. The last twelve years have just been about them and not us. This is the perfect opportunity that we have in our hands to peacefully retire these avaricious pair of leaders. They have misused the multiplicity of opportunities afforded them by you and me. We need new faces, ideas and plans to help ourselves out of the current mess that we are into. It is like a bird in your hand; you either decide to kill it or allow it to go. In this case, we must replace these guys from the Unity Party to have a chance of making genuine progress.
Editor’s Note: This media institution, Globe Afrique, has learned that the Vice President of Liberia, His Excellency Joseph Nyumah Boakai, is leading a coalition of political parties that includes the Unity Party. Hence, he is a coalition candidate.