MONROVIA – Perhaps when she took to social media this gone Monday to proffer to the former ruling Unity Party (UP) her seemingly candid counsel for the UP to do the right thing and allow its Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai to retire from politics and focus on his health, little did Nobel Laureate Leemah Gbowee know how her social media comments would have taken such a dramatic turn, as stalwarts of the UP have taken serious exception to her statement and are calling her out for not only being insensitive to societal norms and values that demand empathizing with the sick, but for assuming the role of a medical doctor and pronouncing former Vice President Boakai unfit to contest the 2023 presidential election, while proposing a political merger to win elections.
Reacting Tuesday to Madam Gbowee’s comments, Unity Party stalwart Dabah Varpilah, who is contesting the Grand Cape Mount County senate seat on the Unity Party ticket, took issue with Madam Gbowee.
“I am constrained to respond to you on Facebook knowing that you have never been inaccessible to me as I have never been in a like manner. But I have to do this because you have chosen this medium to communicate your view on a matter you know little about and definitely seems you don’t care to know.
“Regarding your Uncle Joe Boakai’s health, our values dictate that we are to empathize and wish well to those who are down and often give helping hands. But without reaching out to your Uncle Joe and not knowing much about his health status, you have taken upon yourself the role of a medical doctor to pronounce him as not being in the “position to contest” and proposing a “political merger” for the sole purpose of winning an election. This, I believe, is a well thought through political move which doesn’t represent the purpose of “peace and development” as indicated by your post.
“Your uncle Joe Boakai, like any human being, was sick, taken to the hospital as it is normally done when one falls sick and he is now well, discharged from the hospital, and home with his family awaiting full recovery. I believe that he looks forward to a niece’s call or visit from you, whenever you are back in the country, and other well-wishers.
“Regarding your proposal for a political merger, please note that mergers are not the only way to do politics in 2023. There are collaborations and endorsements. The Unity Party is currently collaborating and remains engaged with several other political parties and individuals, some of whom have publicly declared support for your Uncle Joe’s presidential bid ahead of the October polls. We are in several of these political arrangements and look forward to the full inclusion of every other Liberian who believes that President George Weah is both a political and a democratic error that must not be repeated in October. The Unity Party is fully cognizant of its role and responsibility in rescuing this Country from what is a total collapse under the CDC regime and will do nothing to disappoint our people,” Madam Varpilah stated emphatically.
“Madam Gbowee, we have read your statement/opinion. The party will officially respond. However, do not be jittery. JNB IS WELL. He will go to the elections and come out victorious! Illness is part of human nature. JNB did the right thing to check himself in to seek consultation from doctors in Liberia. He has been discharged and is doing well,” Madam Varpilah stated authoritatively.
Responding in similar fashion, the Acting Chairperson of Unity Party’s Media and Publicity Committee, Madam Kula V. Fofana, viewed Madam Gbowee’s comments as attempts to distract the party from the Rescue Mission that is well on course, noting that the party will not fall for them.
“Remain calm and focus on the mission! As we draw closer to the elections, there will be many different forms of propaganda and attempts to ignore the current state of affairs of the country! Be smart and don’t fall for it.
“To opposition allies, be smart. The forces are at work to divide and distract us! Brace yourselves. Our mission is to rescue the motherland! Let’s do it together! This is a personal opinion,” Madam Fofana intoned.
The reactions from the two Unity Party stalwarts come hot on the heels of a social media commentary from Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee, when she called on the Unity Party to do the right thing by allowing Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boikai to retire from politics and concentrate on his ailing health.
“In the interest of peace, development, and the future of Liberia, I would like to ask you all to kindly allow Uncle Joe Boakai to retire from politics and focus on his health. He deserves to spend his golden years interacting with his grandkids, enjoying family time.
“I would also like to take this time to ask you all to reconsider your partnership with other political parties and form a merger that will provide a viable option for the Liberian people. The writings are on the wall; my Uncle Joe is in no position to contest! Uncle Joe, please be well – I pray God’s blessings upon you.
“Dear Unity Party, Liberia’s political future, and interest lie and rest squarely in your hands! It is high time we put egos aside and put Liberia and her interest first! Do the right thing!!!” Madam Gbowee said on Monday.