After years of waiting for an opportunity to lead with a promise to “Rescue Liberia,” President Boakai of Liberia and his team made several notable blunders on week one in office.
During his swearing-in ceremony, the 79-year-old newly elected President of Liberia, Joseph Boakai suffered what appeared to be heat-related fatigue. That was the start of a rough week.
Boakai, who propagated that the previous administrations of Weah and Sirleaf failed to implement development projects, had a team that did not factor in Liberia’s heat index during his outdoor inaugural ceremony – he nearly fainted.
It says something about the way leadership matters in addressing issues in Liberia.
President Boakai, who severely criticized the past administration for public officials’ failure to declare their assets to weed corruption is now being decried for his failure to declare his assets. During his interview on the Voice of America – President Boakai promised to declare his assets before taking office.
In Liberia, the issue of asset declaration falls under Section 10.1 of the country’s Code of Conduct.
Following the President’s inaugural debacle, the country learned that a portion of money set aside for the President’s inauguration – roughly $365 thousand was misappropriated – looks like the start of many investigations in this administration.
Things were worsened by the President’s nomination of several cabinet ministers and executives. Notably, the nomination of Mr. Jake Kabakole as Officer in Charge of the National Oil Company of Liberia and Mr. Amin Modad as Minister of Commerce and Industry – individuals reportedly related to the President.
If these individuals are related to the President, then his nominations contradict his campaign promise by violating the country’s Code of Conduct on Nepotism [Section 9.7].
In a newly published report on Frontpage Africa Online, the magazine reports that President Boakai’s nominee for Justice Minister, Mr. Cooper Kruah, “was found guilty of unethical practice as a lawyer.” President Boakai cannot “Rescue Liberia” with an unethical Justice Minister.
President Boakai’s attempts to address infighting for government jobs in his administration led to what some deemed as another violation of the Code of Conduct with his selection of Senators to spearhead his appointments – Senators who will preside over the confirmation process.
Additionally, helpful enemies have consecrated President Boakai after his team instigated a citizenship challenge against the newly elected speaker, Johnathan Fonati Koffa, who has the support of the outgoing CDC administration.
Politics in Liberia today is a take-no-prisoners engagement, with no room for stumbling lest your enemies devour you on social media.
President Boakai has underestimated how difficult it is to transform a society with individuals flagged for war crimes, corruption, greed, and incompetence.
Several meaningful organizations are pleading with the President to declare his assets, remove family members from his list of nominees, investigate, and if found guilty, prosecute individuals involved in the theft of the inaugural funds, avoid conflict of interests’ nominations, and adhere to the Code of Conduct – the transformations he promised during his campaign.