Monrovia – Former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, political leader of the Unity Party (UP), a constituent party of the Collaboration on Friday, 15th October, took over as the new Chair for the opposition Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) from Senator Nyonblee Kangar Lawrence of the Liberty Party as part of an eight months rotational leadership – the ceremony was held at the UP headquarters in Congo Town, Monrovia.
Mr. Boakai, in his acceptance speech, calls for stronger ties among the four collaborating political parties, amid political confusion that has engulfed the collaboration, with claims and counterclaims over the alleged Framework document.
He said for the past few months, there have been fraught with difficulties creating anxiety in the public and a sense of implosion within the CPP, adding, “We recognize these challenges, which have occasioned internal wrangling and a distasteful impression.”
“However, we implore you to not allow differences and internal wrangling to define the CPP, no matter how contentious they have become.
“This is because social, economic, or political conflicts are events that can be transformed into good. We must also see the positives in our differences, as these disagreements and healthy exchanges are the labor pains of the collaboration. Just as a mother experiences discomfort in childbirth but finds joy at the sight of her newborn baby, so also will our differences be transformed into unity and a common purpose in changing our country for the good of all,” Boakai stressed while accepting the Chairmanship of CPP.
Accordingly, Mr. Boakai indicated only an unerringly commitment and dedication to a daring cause can enable the CPP to collectively remain poised to win in 2023.
The former VP assured Liberians that the collaboration will be “strong after the storm,” and will continue to demonstrate its purpose in pursuing the path of providing alternative and responsible leadership for the people of Liberia, saying, “Over the next 8 months of our leadership, the CPP will be institutionalized. We will entrench our feet so deep that victory will be the only option. We will not betray our country. Our people have given us their confidence, we will not disappoint them.”
Hence, Boakai sees it prudent that reuniting forces as an alliance, and joining with millions of other Liberians across the country and the Diaspora, will effectively break what he calls, “the cycle of abject poverty, impunity, illiteracy, disease, social injustice, dictatorship, corruption and other challenges that haunt the present, and most profoundly the future.”
Boakai, who served Liberia as Vice President for 12-years under Ellen’s administration, is perturbed about some of the most vexing issues of the post-war years confronting the country, citing poor governance and failed leadership; marginalization of the majority of Liberians, inequity, and institutional failure which he said have caused low public trust in government and its institutions.
He noted much of the progress made in the recent past including the execution of a reformed agenda has eroded while adding that the economy is not healthy and not performing for the people as it should be.
The former Liberian Vice President expressed as troubling that productivity is currently at an all-time low status and cost of living high; adding that prices of food and other basic commodities are going up, causing most Liberians to fall into poverty.
He also pointed at an old aged situation of youth unemployed and exposure to drugs, that could not be fixed by the former Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration, while adding that poor fiscal decisions including consistent off-budget spending on nonproductive and vanity projects are causing strain and decline in significant areas such as education and health.
“The security situation is dire and rapidly deteriorating. Many of our citizens and residents live in constant fear, particularly, as a result of the unresolved spate of violence and killings in the past two years.
“This has unraveled the state of the current security apparatus, revealing the bare threads of a security sector largely aimed at protecting only public officials and leaving millions of citizens and residents to their own devices. All these problems are undergirded by public corruption, the scale of which is yet to be confronted by government in ways that hold public officials to account.”
Going forward, Boakai wants a stronger tie that will liberate citizens from what he termed, “bondage of failed leadership: A winning soccer icon whose Presidency sees our pitch banned by FIFA and our team as an underdog.”
“The one success that brought you to prominence has become a national failure under your leadership. Missing persons, missing parts, armed robbery, and general insecurity is now the Liberian Character.
This must change and we must concentrate on a vision that will take Liberians from this bondage to new heights of progress.
It is often said: “Don’t give boys men job to do”. Leave an entertainer to entertain for “while Rome burns the Boy King entertains his guests with a musical harp”. While Liberia burns, the Boy King encourages the building of statues and monuments in his name while he is alive. Demands that his followers worship him. Exudes an unrealistic lifestyle while poverty consumes our people in the “dirtiest city in Africa”. Malnutrition rages while he plays music and dances to musical cheers.”
He also throws jabs at President George Weah allegedly for doing little to ensure a stronger security system.
He continues: “Liberia burns and people die but he entertains his guests at lavish undertakings while illiteracy and drugs maim our children.
He builds lavish and luxury homes in 1 year while his entire party takes the life of his regime to finish a vocational training center on its party premises. A change betrayed.”
Nevertheless these circumstances, he believes are creating setbacks for the country, Boakai noted that CPP is poised to fix the system.
According to him, the alternatives offer as Collaborating Parties, are deeply rooted in the ideals of economic equity, social justice, and freedom so that everyone can explore his or her potential for better livelihoods.
At the same time, Boakai told supporters and sympathizers of the CPP who have gathered at UP headquarters in Congo Town, that the CPP will promote and protect the ideals of political inclusiveness, and constitutional changes that address the limiting strains on democracy including personalization of the presidency, the dictatorial nature of the governing system, the erosion of the separation of powers within the three branches of government as enshrined in the constitution, and over decentralization.
While he feels these ideas are cardinal for a better collaboration leadership, the CPP Chairman also emphasized the need that those disenchanted, must put aside their differences and forge ahead by bringing together strengths in the true spirit of their framework to fulfill the aspiration and hope of Liberians.
“In this direction, I also offer myself as an interlocutor in addressing unresolved issues and other problems, and, here now, admonish my colleagues Alex, Benoni, and Nyonblee to see the bigger picture – the People of Liberia; and exhaust our internal processes of conflict resolution in absolute respect for each other. The CPP will hold itself to the strict adherence to its rules,” Veep Boakai said.
“Without any defense and justification, I accept full responsibility for all the tethering issues of today. My eloquent silence in the face of these internal wrangling and exchanges strengthens my courage to know that mere defending our positions without a deep sense of collectivity only makes us weaker. Where others see breakdowns, we see an opportunity to build and become stronger, where others see despair, we offer hope and in the face of what appears to be division, we will work with our colleagues to unite.”
Boakai then urged supporters who share similar differences within the CPP to ‘let be,’ assuring them of his leadership readiness to organize, engage, discuss all issues internally and develop a blueprint going forward for our victory in 2023.
The former VP reminded leaders and supporters of the CPP that the irreversible momentum of Liberians garnered on December 8, 2020, mandated them to stay together, develop a vision that will offer new hope, fresh ideas, and freedom from unchecked corruption, induced divisions, unrepentant looting, and pillage of our national coffers. Source: Smart News Liberia
Main photo: Former VP Joseph N. Boakai