Speaking for the first time since she left Liberia for Ghana in August 2020 to seek further medical attention for COVID-19, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor has disclosed that she is prepared to return home soon, stating further that her doctors have diagnosed a 70% improvement in her health condition following her admission in the intensive care unit for 35 days, not only for COVID-19, but for asthma and pneumonia as well. Madam Howard-Taylor said with the significant level of improvement in her health status, she will be returning very soon to Liberia, of course with the approval of her doctors in Ghana.
“Unfortunately for me, I contracted COVID, and I had asthma as an underlying factor, and so I was really, really, really ill. Just for the grace of God and the prayers of the faithful: my pastor, the body of Christ in Liberia and out of Liberia, I probably would not be alive today. So I want to thank God for all of what He has done to allow me to get a second chance at life,” Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor said, noting her appreciation to the Government of Liberia and the Government of Ghana for providing her the opportunity to travel and attend to her deteriorating health, and for ensuring that her stay in Ghana is accorded the necessary protocols befitting of a statesperson.
Addressing her fellow compatriots Thursday via the Liberia Broadcasting System’s “Super Morning Show”, Veep Taylor acknowledged that the heart of man is desperately wicked to wish evil for a fellow human being, in reference to rumors that she would not return to Liberia to assume her role as Vice President due to her failing health conditions.
“The Bible tells us that the heart of man is desperately wicked. Maybe it is the desire of the enemies of progress, as we say in Liberia, to wish me dead. But our lives are in the hands of God. I was sick, and before I could hit the hospital in Accra, people had already carried the rumor that I had died,” VP Taylor lamented, but noted that her assignment to cater to the girls of Liberia and Africa is not over, so she has been given a second chance in life.
Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor also raised serious concerns over the recent spate of mysterious deaths of two personnel of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) and the head of the internal Audit Agency (IAA).
While calling on the government to properly investigate circumstances leading to the death of those promising young Liberians, Madam Taylor disclosed that the late IAA boss, Emmanuel Barten Nyeswa, was in fact her biological cousin.
“I want to express my deepest sympathies to all those who have lost their loved ones and hope that the government would hurriedly do the investigation so that those who are guilty of these heinous crimes will be apprehended. Because what is happening is that there is an atmosphere of fear pervading across the country. People are afraid to go out. It’s not a good situation as we go toward the 2020 election. I hope the President will take this as a major issue. It is really, really, really sad,” Madam Taylor said.
Touching on the recent telecommunications war waged between the two mobile network operators, Lonestar Cell/MTN and Orange, versus and the Liberia Telecommunications Authority, Madam Howard-Taylor said it didn’t make sense for an already poverty-stricken population to bear the brunt of surcharge tariffs, rather, government should be the one to explore news means of revenue collection.
“Most of the people who use the three days free calls are those who don’t have regular jobs. They need to interact with people, so we need to be careful how these rules affect the lives of our people. If we need to raise revenues for our country, we can do it in many ways,” Madam Taylor cautioned, adding that there needs to be a paradigm shift in revenue generation directed towards the agriculture and tourism sectors, as well as increasing the “sin tax” on tobacco and alcohol.
Speaking on the pending midterm senatorial elections, Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor seriously frowned on the recent acts of electoral violence and voters’ trucking, which she said seriously undermined credibility of the electoral process.
“Those who allow themselves to be trucked to one end of the country to the next, lose two times. You lose your constituency where you live in determining who could be your next representative, as you would be putting that representative’s feet to the fire. And then you don’t impact the elections where you are paid to register because you are not from there and only trucked to offset the elections,” Madam Taylor lamented.
Regarding the trending local politicking, especially as it relates to naming her choice of candidate for Bong County for which the Coalition for Democratic Change has already favored incumbent Senator Henry Yallah as their candidate, Senator Taylor was very dodgy about sticking her neck out for anyone.
“What do the Liberian people want – everyone who has a voting card? We are having 15 new seats as a nation. What are the changes we looking for? This question goes to everyone across the country. If you look at the spectrum from a national level, it’s difficult to be petty and say, go left or right. But I pray that God will give Liberians the eyes to elect leaders that will come on board to build a better, safer and more inclusive nation,” Madam Taylor averred.
Attributing her current health status and her absence from the ground as factors leading to her indecisiveness in pitching her tent for a particular candidate in the Bong County senatorial race, Madam Jewel Howard-Taylor affirmed that upon her return home soon, the die will be cast.
A twin-daughter of Bong and Lofa Counties, two of the highly infested vote-rich regions of Liberia, Madam Taylor’s return could be a deciding factor in determining who becomes the next senator of Bong County, a decision that could factor well into the 2023 presidential and general elections results.
“If we’re happy with where we are today and we don’t look carefully at what we should be doing, then maybe some of the decisions will be taken at the ballot box that may not help our country go forward. But I only have one vote,” Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor stated, noting that Liberians’ choice at the December polls should not be about a political party or a particular individual, but about the best interest of the country. She said upon her return to Liberia, she will be making a conscious choice for her Bong County senatorial pick, not based on party politics, but on moving the country forward towards a new trajectory.
Pundits are already of the belief that the estranged relations between the two topmost executives of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change could spin off a ripple effect for outcomes of 2020 and 2023.