JNB Vows Transformation, Fight Impunity -Says Weah is a Disappointment

MONROVIA – As the race for the presidency in 2023 is set to take shape very soon and contenders are unveiling their platforms, former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai has vowed to transform the country for the better, restore the dignity of the country as well as waging war against impunity that Liberians have long lived with just as he was took a swipe on President George Manneh Weah of betraying the confidence reposed in him by the Liberian people for not being able to provide the right leadership for the country.

These assertions formed part of the submission the Standard Bearer of the former ruling Unity Party made in far away Nigeria when he appeared on the popular talk show , The Morning Show” on the Arise News in Abuja when he was hosted to give some insights of his manifesto if he is elected for the plum job in 2023 beginning first what triggered his desire to contest having served the country in various capacities and now at 78 without letting it go and allow the younger generation to pursue their ambition.

“I always say whatever that is chasing you, if it does not stop running, you can stop running.

“Our country has not seen the kind of leadership that is needed to transform that country and Mr. Weah is not the kind of person to do it. We knew it, but we gave them the chance to take it . And now that we know very well that it is not a test and we know for sure Mr. Weah was not called for that and so we cannot allow our country to degenerate further”, he said.

Asked how the country has degenerated under Weah, he reiterated that President Weah has failed to provide a purposeful leadership to the people to the extent that his recent trip abroad, like others he has undertaken, where the president has received so much criticism from the public, means nothing to the people “because is presence and absence are not the same except that his absence from the country takes away money from the country”.

“When we were in power, we moved the country from a failed state , gave hope to the people, provided infrastructure, we were able to remove the stigma of failure and if you go to the country and see, you will know everything has gone backwards and in every area.

“Corruption, stealing with impunity, a country on autopilot, a country with no leadership, we cannot continue to risk the future of our young generation”, he said.

Responding to a question about how he intends to restore the country, Mr. Boakai said his plans for the country are laid out in critical areas of Agriculture, Roads, Education, Sanitation and Tourism (AREST) which he believes he is going to pursue with vigor. He said his long experience in agriculture will give him the ample opportunities to plan well because 70-80 % of the citizens especially in the rural areas are involved in it and will be inspired to produce food for both local consumption and export.

“Roads remain some of our  major problems or obstacles to development in this country and when we talk about roads, and I think Mr. Weah misconstrued me, we are not talking about these community roads where you make money for yourself. We are talking about roads that connect regions, that facilitate movement of people and goods from one area to another that connect our farms to markets, etc.

 “If you look at our education, it is in a deplorable condition. We are not training more teachers and have not even given them good salaries and incentives. We have the right infrastructures etc. This we will do because education is key to national development”, he said

He further said he will invest in sanitation as a basis to address the health sectors and believes if properly handled, will assist to to minimize the occurrence of ailment that emanate from an unclean environment. “And then finally we will look at tourism that will allow us to generate revenue to support the national economy”, he said.

Mr. Boakai also took time to address the issue around his advanced age, the challenges associated with being referred to the older generation often being accused of contributing to the country’s development as well as to comment on the current relationship that exists between and his former boss, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“Yes you could say we belong to an older generation, but I did serve in all these positions with honesty, dedication and transparency.

“If you want to see a race car, you put it on the race track. As Vice President, the constitution is on course to say the VP presides over the senate and when there is a tie he or she breaks it. Also the VP assists the President, well assisting the president is a matter of choice whether the president wants to be assisted or not and my records showed that I assisted the President quite well”, he said.

Commenting on the current relationship he has with Madam Sirleaf his former boss, Mr. Boakai said the fact that she went the way she went, she knew better than he did, “but I belong to Liberia, my country and I have the right constitutionally to run for President  because I believe there are a lot I can offer the country that has not been offered and that is my right constitutionally”

In his closing remarks he made emphasis on ending impunity and giving justice to those it has been denied so that there will be closure for a new page in their lives.

“The Liberian people have suffered a lot, Liberia people have lived with impunity. The Liberian people would like to see justice, they will want to see ill-gotten wealth restored, those who got rich overnight, I don’t think it is not a bad idea to ask how you made how money and how you use it”, he said.

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