MONROVIA: As President elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai is set to mount the saddle leadership of the country today, one of the political machineries that worked assiduously towards his victory, the JNB TACT Team, over the weekend held an appreciation program to acknowledge the contributions of the various individuals and institutions that supported their cause to ensure Ambassador Boakai was elected ahead of Outgoing President George Manneh Weah just as the President Pro Tempore of the Liberian Senate told the audience that Liberians will not be disappointed for their decision “to stand for change as there will be change in governance to benefit everyone”
Speaking at the well-attended program held at the Bella Casa Hotel, Pro Temp Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence historicized the path that led to the electoral victory of the Unity Party Alliance over the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the just concluded general election against all odds and profoundly praised and thanked all those who contributed immensely towards the success story and in the process assured them that their efforts will not go in vain.
She recounted the difficulty the campaign team encountered at the onset of the electoral process where a few of the pioneers including Senators Abraham Darius Dillon and James Biney along with Mo Ali, Patrick Honnah among others met on Broad Street and with a meagre amount of USD600.00 to send campaign materials to the Southeast and in the process only being able to get only LD25k.
“The Montserrado rally was able to come up with only USD25k while the CDC was spending USD50k for a rally in a district and we were spending 1,400 in a district, out of which we were paying USD700 for the stage.
“So this cannot be a singular honor because all of you who ran this campaign did not ask for anything; people printed their own T-shirts, nobody wanted transportation, nobody wanted food, it was the first time in history to have the biggest rally in the country by just putting a few pick-ups in the street and playing music. No transport for anyone, we just have to walk. We just wake up in the morning and say we are having a rally and we do not have money to transport people.
“So I normally wake up at 4 O’ clock in the morning and say ” my rescue children have you woken up and in ten minutes I got up to 1,000 comments, such as “I washing my mouth”, “I am up, I am on my way, those are the things that motivated me.
“When we were walking in the rain, everyone was walking in the rain; when we were walking in the rain from Sinkor, Senator Dillon was walking with the others from Gardnersville and we were communicating. At the same time the president elect was in the open top in the rain going to campaign”, Pro Temp Lawrence recounted.
She said she has had conversation with President elect Joseph Nyuma Boakai who told her that there was a need for the Rescue Team to sit down to reflect on the campaign and tell “our story to the people”, because it was phenomenon that they could garner that huge goodwill from the people to ensure victory at the end of the day.
While thanking the people for their “involvement in rescuing the country”, she told them that most of those who spearheaded the crusade are in the various branches of government which should enable them to produce results in the new dispensation.
“We say thank you for rescuing our country, when we say we rescue our country, we know we had a team that was not compromised. We in the rescue team are from different branches of government.
“Today I am the Pro Temp and we will hold the government accountable because there are expectations. We know what you want to see. When you honor us every day, it is not because you want to see us but you are putting us under pressure for us to make a difference.
We will begin to see change when Liberians begin to get employment, when you go to the hospital and see medications, when you get treated with the best doctors, when you see roads, when you see improvements in our economy, you will not care with what happened to you personally.
“Liberians in the diaspora want to help, they want to come when there is good security, they want good image, they want respect for the country and that is why since the election results were announced, you see how people are so hopeful, everywhere you go, people are cleaning their homes, business people are ordering, people are hopeful,
“We will not disappoint you, we agreed to be under one umbrella to fight for change. Let us reach to everyone, no divisiveness, no grudges, Liberians are one, whether you are a CDCian,, whether you are from the rescue team, let us look beyond, and think about this country”, the Pro Temp concluded.
Also speaking at the occasion, one of the honorees, Senator Abraham Darius Dillon, who received his award from veteran broadcast journalist, Kwame Clement, said he was eternally grateful to incoming President Joseph Nyuma Boakai for inspiring his back to back victory he recorded during the two senatorial elections he contested in Montserrado County against the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC).
He said his involvement with the rescue team was because he had absolute confidence in the leadership of Ambassador Boakai and what the former Vice President stands for when it comes to integrity and leaving a legacy that will be respected and also impact on the younger generation.
While commending the JNB TACT TEAM, the tough talking senator told the group now that their task has been achieved, they should not turn themselves to be a “defensive team” team but along others including themselves to “hold our feet to the fire for us to work for you”
He told the people that whenever a major change comes there are always expectations and said the victory of Boakai should not be an exception but people need to be concerned after the change must have happened, urging the people to brace up that in the coming days of people reacting to the new appointments that will be made by Boakai.
“From Tuesday there will be noise in town; this person is not qualified, this person is qualified, where were you when we were donating, where this person coming from?, You will hear these things but it is left with us in the Senate to confirm those we think are the best that offer service to the country.
“We that have the grace to be leader of the change should be ready for change, we must be steadfast and firm”, he said
Also speaking at the occasion, Mo Ali, the political officer in the Office of the President elect who received an award on behalf of the Vice President elect Jeremiah Kpan Koung said he was exceptionally grateful just like the Vice President elect for the honor done to all those worked tirelessly to bring the change to the country and urged the team not to disband as their main work is to be steadfast and assist the government to achieve its objectives.
The leader of the team worldwide Ms. Meapehn Gono said it was a worthwhile venture to honor all those who took their time and expended their resources to “fight for the change the country will enjoy”
She described the election of President elect Boakai as a “revolution” that will forever be remembered as it was powered by the collective will of the people and such an opportunity will not be betrayed as Boakai is a man of honor and integrity. She however made a passionate appeal to the incoming government through Pro Temp Lawrence not to dash the hope of those that worked because “it appears to be insensitivity, because when victory comes those who worked for it don’t enjoy it and others who did not enjoy it. Your presence is to see face to face who worked and who were there in this revolution”
“I am also happy that in this gathering we have our leaders, especially our own Rescue Mother who is gracing this program. Although this is an honoring program, I want to be political too to tell our leaders that they are seeing these people who worked for the change; they should not be abandoned.
“At times when victory comes, those who did not work for it are favored while those labored are forgotten. I just hope that this will not happen”, she said.
At the program several persons and institutions received certificates as awards for their involvement in various forms during the just concluded general election that brought the Unity Party alliance to power.
The team certificated all their branches in the diaspora including Norway, USA, Canada, UK, and those at home.
Among those that were honored locally included the 17 electoral districts of Montserrado County, the 15 political divisions in Liberia, some media institutions including Radio Bushrod Island, Spoon TV network, and various political alliances including the Unity Party (UP), the Liberty Party (LP), the Movement for Democracy and Reconstruction (MDR), the Grassroots Democratic Movement (GDM), the All Liberia Coalition Party (ALCOP), among others.