MONROVIA – After trending for some time in the public and media space, talk show host Henry Pedro Costa has denied that neither he nor any member of his camp ever offered monetary inducement to former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai to have him selected as running mate to Mr. Boakai. Costa, however, stated his name was put forward by “ordinary people, powerful people, super rich people as Vice Presidential running mate to Mr. Boakai”, and accused Nimba County Senator Jeremiah Koung and others of instigating the fake news, vowing to go after them without hesitation if necessary.
The Talk Show host who was responding to insinuations making the round that members of his All Liberia Party (ALP), which included ALP political leader Benoni Wilfred Urey and his daughter Telia and others believed to be financiers had invited Mr. Boakai to a meeting in Accra, Ghana and prevailed on Ambassador Boakai to pick Henry Costa ahead of other contenders as running mate with a promise of a financial war chest of USD 5 million to bankroll the campaign process.
Speaking during his regular podcast on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, Costa who described himself as a child of God destined to be a great person speaking from prophecies made about his life, said his name being mentioned as a possible VP pick is a manifestation of the good things others, including his pastor, had told him; but that he had never lobbied to become the running mate to Mr. Boakai.
“I did not insert myself into the conversation to become Vice President to Joseph Nyuma Boakai. I never put myself in that conversation. Is there any conversation for Henry Costa to be picked for VP? Are people inside and outside of the country who support it? Yes.
“A lot of people support it. Ordinary people, powerful people, super rich people. I didn’t put myself forward for VP. There are things I don’t want to say here but there are things I will say. Is there any conversation about Henry P. Costa being picked by His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai? Yes, there was a conversation. That conversation wasn’t initiated by Henry Costa. The conversation was not initiated by Joseph Nyuma Boakai”, he said.
Mr. Costa who was visibly furious when he spoke to his audience because as he put it, “I am too hurt by the Unity Party people”, said what baffled him most was that the UP first partisan has neither picked his running mate nor promised anyone of the slot, which of course made it an open decision that will be made; therefore he was no reason why his detractors, who he referred to as mainly “young members of UP who are envious about me and will want to go to any length to destroy me”, would ever harbor the notion that he should not be in the reckoning for possible selection as running mate during the ensuing October 10, 2023 general election.
“Let me say this here. Has Joseph Nyuma Boakai picked his running mate? No. Joseph Nyuma Boakai has not picked any running mate. Joseph Nyuma Boakai has not picked anyone, has not committed himself to anyone to make them running mates.
“If he ever did, my party and I will know because we are his strongest ally. The All Liberia Party (ALP) stands with Boakai, has stood with Boakai from the inception”, he said.
Costa, who has indicated his intent to contest the Senatorial race in Montserrado County, slammed those who are challenging his education and experience in politics or leadership and boasted of his education and experience which according to him are far beyond what some of those who are in contention for the VP pick have.
“Let us talk about education and experience, the names you have heard, are they more educated than Henry Costa? Oh, they may have occupied more public offices but are they educated more than Henry Costa. I have been running businesses for years both in Liberia and here in the United States.
“When you talk about one of the things that makes people win elections, it is the popularity which I have. Tell me who has the popularity to win as compared to those who are in the race to be VP”, Costa said.
He said the whole story of his alleged involvement in a game to bribe his way so as to be chosen by Mr. Boakai was hatched by “the other camp”, an apparent reference to the camp of Senator Koung and some young people in UP who are jittery of his rising profile and the likelihood of being picked ahead of them as well as the “absolute confidence and trust Mr. Boakai has for me”.
“It does not make sense and I know where all these lies are coming from. And you are saying the same government gave Joseph Nyuma Boakai money through me. $5m, what nonsense! Some of the young people in the UP when they hear my name, they get angry. No, we will not accept it because of peer envy.
“And I told him, your people hate me so much. My family members are against me because I support you. They are not happy that with all that I am doing for you, they still hate me to the core. This is what I told Mr. Boakai.
He further told the audience that there is no single person in the UP or those who are trumpeting their own credentials for consideration as running mates to Mr. Boakai who have supported and made more invaluable sacrifices for the political pursuit of the political leader of UP than he has done. He said even some of his family members have told him to forget about the services to Mr. Boakai because with all what he was doing and continues to do, there are elements in the UP who are appreciating him and are bent on destroying him.
He said he was forced to terminate a USD40k contract he signed with the Dr. Daniel E. Cassell Foundation after several protests from some elements from UP that his role with the foundation was counterproductive to the political cause of Mr. Boakai.
“Who can ever make the kind of sacrifices I have made for Mr. Boakai to the extent I have to terminate a $40k contract with Dr. Cassell’s charity foundation which was not even a political cause. Every three months Dr. Cassell issued me a check of $10K, and it was for a year, yet I have to cancel it because of Mr. Boakai.
“And guess what? During the funeral of Dr. Cassell, I was prepared to go there. I was dressed for the occasion and went to pick up the old man. He was taking his breakfast that morning and sat by me and he told me, Henry, the Cassell family said they do not want to see you at the funeral because you cancelled a contract with Dr. Cassell.
“I was astonished and I showed the email I sent to Dr. Cassell terminating the contract and told him it was because of you I cancelled the contract.
“I don’t even want to tell you about the other one because if I tell you, you will tell me I am stupid.Even my Pastor, who is a man of God, questioned why I should do such. Now, tell me who has done more for Mr. Boakai and the Unity Party than me.
Costa said the irrationality of the young people in UP is so obvious that they are even willing to destroy anything he was doing to make Mr. Boakai succeed, all because they do not want him to be the one who will attract commendation and respect from the former Vice President.
“They would not even mind burning a whole one million dollars that would make Mr. Boakai president all because it is from Henry Costa and because Henry Costa will be praised or commended for such effort, they will go to any length to make sure what I bring on the table should not succeed”.
He said whoever Mr. Boakai picks as his running mate he will support the person because he is committed and loyal to the aspiration of Mr. Boakai.
“Whether Joseph Nyuma Boakai picks me or not I will still support him. If he picks me, I will gladly accept it because there is much more I can bring that others cannot bring”, he said.
He was however not happy with the wave of people coming over to the opposition from those who have had close working relationships with the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC), and questioned their loyalty and commitment towards the aspiration of the opposition community.
“Some of these people who have put themselves forward, where were they? People like Jeremiah Koung, was he part of us? Even if you want to talk about our sister, Nyonblee, she has been with us far before Jeremiah Koung”, he said.
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