By Abraham Barlou Mitchell – Secretary-General, NDC
he just pronounced UNITY PARTY-JNB- PYJ- KOUNG- Presidential Ticket for the 2023 General and Presidential Elections, represents a serious threat to the future national security of Liberia and should be resisted and nipped in the bud effectively immediately by all Liberians, irrespective of partisan and ideological persuasions – this is a national call.
Accordingly, Anything that irrefutably has the potential to provoke and reintroduce ethnic and tribal conflicts in Liberia politically, to threaten and disrupt the peace, as well as undermine the political tranquility and stability of post-war Liberia, represents “a clear and present danger” – a State of Emergency. Here, the danger is clear, and its manifest imminent presence is indisputable.
May we emphasize here that this latest maneuver by General Prince Y. Johnson to attach an ethnic surrogate to the UP standard bearer, Joseph N. Boakai, aged and sick, as a vice running mate, is designed to seize the presidency of Liberia indirectly, by means of short-cuts. By this machination, the indicted war criminal has crossed the red line!
Indeed, the people of Liberia have grudgingly only tolerated the monster as a local senator for Nimba County, and nothing beyond that – period! That is also why all post-war Liberian politicians doing business with this post-war indicted international criminal have done so cautiously, and keeping him away from the heart-beat of the of government – the presidency. His role in the Coalition for Democratic Change, I am also sure was in that context.
Liberians payed dearly for the peace of this country against the perpetrators of war, and would not allow one of the outstanding indicted and notorious war criminals and his accomplices to get close to the presidency of Liberia – the highest seat of government.
That is the context in which the UNITY PARTY-JNB- PYJ-KOUNG Presidential Ticket, an unholy alliance, should be viewed by all Liberians (in and out of Liberia) who have experienced the 14-year blooded civil war in Liberia.
Boakai, who yesterday has been championing the establishment of a war and economic crimes court as an opposition ploy, now, in his desperation for power at any and all costs, has gone to bed with the international pariah, one of whom the war crimes court is actually intended; by this concoction Boakai has been screwed politically by the villain. More, by this broad daylight act of political prostitution, Boakai is on the path of giving Prince Johnson the presidency politically, something he failed to have achieved militarily and otherwise on his own.
Meanwhile, we now look to see the reaction and attitude of the civil society community of Liberia, including all the human rights organizations that have been championing the establishment of a war and economic crimes court of Liberia, towards the Boakai-Johnson unholy alliance.
Political violence, ethic feuds, and instability have always been trigged historically by election-related maneuvers in Liberia – a prime factor responsible for the criminalization and fragility of Africa’s oldest “democracy”.
The first was the 1930 Election and the Fernando Po Crisis, which caused the eruption of street demonstrations in Monrovia, and led to the forced resignation of President C.D.B. King and his Vice President, Allen Yancy.
King, a mixed Americo-Liberian and Sierra Leonean Creole, rose to prominence within the Americo-Liberian political class to become the 17th President of Liberia; as a sitting president, he was involved in two major scandals: On the one hand, he conducted the most notoriously rigged election in world history; and on the other hand, he was involved in the capturing of young indigenous Liberian males and forcibly exported them to Spanish plantations of Fernando Po as slave labor for profit.
A presidential candidate that was victimized by that election, reported this scandal to the international community, and this claimed the attention and invoked the intervention of the League of Nation. The League conducted an investigation in the matter, and found King and his vice president guilty of forced labor-slavery-related practices, in violation of international laws. The League subsequently threatened to seize Liberia’s customs (revenue collection authority) and its foreign relations functions as a government, which would have amounted to the abrogation of the sovereignty of Liberia. That prompted Monrovians into street demonstrations, and they demanded the resignation of C.D.B. King and his VP; thus, the top leaders of the presidency resigned ignominiously in 1930.
Drawing that story home today, the Boakai and Prince Johnson unholy alliance for Liberia’s presidency represents similar threat to post-war Liberia.
Prince Johnson is a murderer; his greatest claim to fame of which he boasts, is his gruesome killing of a sitting president during the Liberian Civil War – a major factor for the ongoing ethnic hate, yet to be reconciled; he is an unremorseful and an arrogant war criminal suspect, who adopted young girls and women during the Liberian Civil War, and kept them hostage as sex slaves and concubines; he’s a spoiler, untrustworthy, and is an instigator of ethnic conflicts. .
This notorious war criminal suspect is trying to build a presidential ticket to take state power to the annoyance, threat and anger of very important politico-military and religious blocs as well as Liberians in general, that feel threatened by this new political configuration. This ticket will not be taken lightly now and tomorrow. xxxxx
The second scenario of election-related maneuvering and its adverse outcomes as we see today, was the1955 Election of William V.S. Tubman for his second term. Tubman was nurtured by President Edwin Barclay; he placed Tubman on the Supreme Court Bench as an associate justice; he was later attached to the Barclay’s by marriage, and all of that got Tubman elected in his first bid in 1944. Dismally performing in his first term, Barclay decided to undo his puppet, and decided to challenge Tubman in his second bid in 1955. The Tubman-Barclay alliance broke down.
Consequently, Tubman ruthlessly exterminated Barclay and all opposition parties during and after the 1955 elections, imposed a reign of terror, and instituted an unconstitutional one-party state in Liberia forever, under the True Whig Party that Boakai belonged to, and worked for, for years; the TWP dynasty was finally dethroned bloodedly in 1980, and the 1980 Coup itself, eventually led Liberia to the Civil War.
Bringing the 1940s and 1950s Barclay-Tubman scenario into today’s context, certainly, Prince Johnson is playing games with Boakai and Boakai is also playing games with the vicious butcherer, who has experience in the killing of a sitting president. Both Boakai and Johnson are gambling with Liberia, with Koung as a pawn on the chess board. In this game of gamble, Prince Johnson and Jeremiah Koung, will certainly eliminate Boakai, to seize the presidency – This is the crux of the imminent danger the Ticket represents as a clear and future national security threat in terms of ethnic power struggle, should this ticket be allowed to survive.
The third situation was the1985 militarily-supervised election and its objectionable outcomes that consequently triggered the Thomas Quiwonkpa-Johnson-Sirleaf military putsch.
The putsch, similar to today’s Boakai gamble, was orchestrated in Sierra Leone and launched on Monrovia by the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf-inspired rebel group, led by Quiwonkpa. Quiwonkpa, a former commanding-general in the Doe regime who became a pawn on the Johnson-Sirleaf political chess board (as Jeremiah Koung today), after a fall out with Head of State Doe, was gruesomely killed as the leader of the coup in Monrovia by tribal loyalists to Head of State Doe.
The killing of a Gio descendent, ex-commanding-general, by Khran ethnic loyalists to Doe and the general adverse consequences of the November 12, 1985 rebel fiasco, provoked the nasty Khran-Gio-Mano ethnic grudges and killings that subsequently blew up into a full-scale civil war. The unimaginable destruction of Liberia by the civil war, threw Liberia behind for more than a century.
As we strive to reconcile the complex outcomes of the Liberian conflicts, Liberians endeavor to keep warlords far from the Presidency. Contrary to these efforts, Boakai is bent on circumventing war criminals from accountability by institutionalizing criminal impunity, with a relentless ethnic-based, access to the presidency of Liberia, through Prince Johnson and his ethnic surrogate – Jeremiah Koung. If Boakai wants to deal with war criminals politically as a campaign strategy – no problem; but he should never venture bringing these endangered species near the presidency of Liberia – the nerve center of government.
The Liberian political class is inherently corrupt and senile; it does not learn lessons from the past; it is also rapacious, unpatriotic, and driven by personal egos, as well as its main ideology is to sell the country to corruption foreign capital, as comprador elites. Essentially, the political class of Liberia has no pride, and no nationalistic agenda; all it is preoccupied with is the mechanical change of administration, comprised of recycled crooks, via criminalized elections. Worst of all, Liberians in general, are we all corrupt, as the corrupt politicians; we make decisions to change corrupt regimes out of frustration and desperation, and regret later; our public denunciation of corruption is when the proceeds from corruption do not reach us individually and collectively. Thus, there is none – no not one – that is righteous?
Accordingly, there are democratic struggles we should learn from as Liberians, but we do not. In the United States of America, when Donald J. Trump so viciously abused the authority and powers of the greatest office in the world – the US Presidency – the American people recoiled, and decisively gave him a one term presidency.
Trump had evidently and abundantly demonstrated in four years to be the most divisive and racist president in the history of that great democracy of recent, the world over. He was unprecedentedly impeached twice, but escaped removal due to partisan persuasions. When he was finally defeated in the 2020 Elections of the United States, he reluctantly relinquished power, and simultaneously instigated the “January 6 insurrection”, whose effects Americans are grappling with today. Trump was replaced for the better, not the worse, with a “build back better” presidential material. Undoubtedly, Trump’s chances for returning to power are very slim, as the democratic forces of the United States of America are determined never to allow history to repeat itself in 2024 as a repeat of tragedy.
In Liberia, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), formed as an unholy alliance, presented itself as the best option by the thinking of some Liberians to replace the Coalition for Democratic Change administration, led by President Weah. Former Vice President Boakai, an elder who Liberians looked up to for leadership, to strengthen the Collaboration, rather weakened and disrupted the CPP with a personalized internal power struggle, and subsequently exited, and abandoned the CPP, only to be seen wooing other political groups largely along personal and tribal ideology in a personalized Boakai coalition. Now in a last minute rush, he has gotten in bed with an indicted, notorious war criminal, who is intoxication for money and power is matchless. Worst still, after having left the CPP, his colleagues who worked with him outside the CPP and got politically bruised up for him, were not factored in the equation in determining his unilaterally self-appointed vice running mate. Like Prince Johnson, Boakai is a deserter, a betrayal, and an opportunistic spoiler.
One who fails to manage a coalition in a democratic way in the struggle to take state power, and who deserts and betrays those who struggled with him in opposition, certainly cannot run a coalition government at state level of diverse political interests, particularly in this small but complexed country so polarized. Thus, from the perspective of the CPP, former VP Boakai has proven his leadership incompetence, and has goofed big time! The point must be stressed that politics is not about deceit, conceit, intrigues, and trying to outsmart others in your camp; neither is it about the ego of the individual – rather, politics is about good-faith, sincerity and integrity – win or lose. This is where leadership matters, and this is where VP Boakai has not mattered and shown no leadership.
Conversely, many Liberians believe President Weah has demonstrated better leadership skills in the running of coalition arrangement, as evidenced by the Coalition for Democratic Change Government, compared or in contrast to Boaakai. In that Coalition, like all coalitions, it is well established that things have not been rosy politically for those that make up the Coalition. It is also known that besides the intra-party struggles within the constituent member-parties of the Coalition for Democratic Change, there have also been rifts between the offices of the President and Vice President. But because of leadership astuteness, the Coalition, on the one hand, as well as the President and Vice President, on the other, have all strived together, buried their differences, and are now in a singular direction in preparation for October, 2023 – that’s leadership. This exactly what many Liberians expected of Joseph Boakai, to have served as the glue, the unifying father for the CPP. Given his failure in the management of the CPP, there is no guarantee that Boakai can even work with lunatic Prince Johnson and his surrogate vice nominee attaché; there is no guarantee Boakai can run and manage a coalition government as President Weah has demonstrated, albeit, not without challenges. In fact, how did Boakai become the standard bearer of the UP, when there were no grass-roots-community and county-based democratic primaries?
In Brazil, few months ago, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, was rescued from political imprisonment by the power of the progressive democratic people of that great Latin American country, and with a grass-roots based tsunami, he dethroned the corrupt, pro-COVID-19 right-wing President from power in their recent election as was done to Trump in the US. In Liberia, politicians as Boakai, do not work sufficiently with the people and communities to led democratic struggles; rather, we look for short-cuts, and go to bed politically with unprincipled, and renowned criminals, to use their ethnic links with “vote rich ethnic constituencies” to hustle for votes. This is not leadership.
Besides, what is Boakai’s written agenda for Liberia, articulating his vision, mission and programs for Liberia? In 2027. When asked in a debate, what is his agenda for Liberia – he replied: “Roads; Roads; and Roads”. Are roads built in the air and on sea? That was a nonsensical over simplification of Liberia’s chronic and multiple socio-economic challenges. If he had said “transportation; transportation and transportation”, implying transportation infrastructural development, by land, air and sea, to build economic corridors and infrastructural linkages for economic growth and development, that would have meant his understanding of Liberia’s economic challenges.
While it is true that road infrastructure is critical for development in Liberia, which is what President Weah has seized and run away with as “the doctor for bad roads”; fundamentally, what Liberia needs as a foundation is “education, education, and reeducation” – a massive investment in the Liberian people so that they become trained and educated, and become the drivers of national development – the building of roads, air and sea transport infrastructure, the health sector, agriculture, science and technology, etc., – and not to rely on the Chinese. China just got her independence and liberation after the Second World War, when the elites in power in Liberia were crafting the Charter of the United Nations. Liberia is about three times older than the People’s Republic of China in terms of independence and self-determination. China, today, is not only a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a UN Liberia helped to establish when China was virtually still colonized, while Liberia is struggling to pay its dues at the United Nations.
Moreover, China, in a little over half of a century, has also become the second largest economy of the world, with the second most powerful military in the world – a country of the largest population on the planet, with an-all educated people, and that has defeated poverty, and has become self-sufficient virtually in everything.
Boakai along his so-called Unity Party was Vice President for twelve years, and inspite his “Poverty Reduction Strategy (I and II), his “Lift Liberia”, and his “Agenda for Transformation” (AfT – a five year development agenda); not only did he, his boss, and their Unity Party (founded by Edward Binyah Kesselly), fail to reduce poverty; they rather increased poverty, and failed to address ignorance and illiteracy – the crux of Liberia’s national development predicament. After twelve years of self-enrichment, he and his UP are demanding power – claiming they are the “solution” to Liberia’s problem” – what a tragedy!
Going to bed with a notorious indicted war criminal, Boakai is not interested in Nimba County; he is more interested in the votes from that county, than its people. Compared with George Manneh Weah, and barely six years in power, what contributions did Boakai provide to the development of Nimba in twelve years? Courting Nimbaians via unholy alliances, in a last minute-rush for votes, is down-right hypocrisy and opportunism – not leadership. Joseph Boakai, after twelve years of “squander” by his own confession as Vice President, and having served in government for more than forty years as a True Whig Party pawn, what accomplishments does he bring to the table to show, for which the Liberian people should crave for him?
More on lessons to be learned. In Nigeria as in Liberia, the Nigeria-Biafra War provides lessons. Despite General C. Odumegwu Ojukwu Ojuku’s remorsefulness, he never dared get involved in politics in Nigeria, least to have talked about being elected president of Nigeria, after that country’s civil war – a blooded tragedy.
Today, Ojuku is no more. Conversely in Liberia, Prince Johnson should be in jail, and not determining presidential tickets for Liberia, after the Civil War. This heartless, and unremorseful killer should never be allowed to go near the presidency – indirectly through a Jeremiah Koung –Boakai arrangement, in his desperation for power.
From the perspective of elevating dangerous war criminals and giving them national platform, today, Sudan is at blaze in a fratricidal military conflict between the Sudanese national army and a so-called “Rapid Support Forces” – thanks to the legacies of its dethroned dictator, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He ruled Sudan for almost three decades, and plunged that country into bloody military conflicts that led to the secession of Southern Sudan, a separate sovereign state today. It is Ahmad al-Bashir’s Sudan and its capitol that are at blaze with fire today.
We must study regional and international politics, to help inform the kinds of decisions we make for our people. As in Sudan, Prince Johnson is likely to become an Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir in Liberia, by getting this very dangerous character near the presidency, directly or indirectly. Sierra Leone, unlike Liberia, did not allow such a thing to happen to it after its civil war
At home, Charles Taylor is back in jail, and the rest of the warlords have quietly submerged, while Prince Johnson, who should be in jail for crimes committed against the Liberian people, is unremorsefully and arrogantly striving to hijack the peaceful path to post-war national renewal by determining presidential tickets around here. Accordingly, Liberia should take no chances, and certainly, ECOWAS must be alerted about the imminent danger of the Boakai-Johnson political manoeuvers, from an early warning perspective.
As Secretary-General of the National Democratic Coalition, while I do not speak here for my Party, I like to recall that I, along with other Executives of the NDC, campaigned within the Party for the selection of, and support for, former Vice President Boakai’s bid for the presidency in 2017, and we overwhelmingly endorsed him at the NDC 2016 Benthol Extra-ordinary Convention as the NDC “Presidential Candidate”. We seriously thought Boakai was a serious man, and could have been a better choice for Liberia at the time. At that point of the NDC endorsement of “Joe”, the “racing car” packed, Boakai was widely perceived as “sleepy Joe”.
The NDC, as a strategy, designed by the Secretary-General and a few Executives (excluding Chairman Tokpa and his Vice, who had gone for Nathaniel Barnes), was to get to him and raise and elevate the Boakai factor to the level of Ambassador Weah of the CDC, so as to debunk the Charles Brumskine factor, President Sieleaf’s “exist strategy” for Liberia as a replacer to her. We believed in the NDC, with a Boakai-Weah run-off, it would have become a “win-win” for Liberia, after Sirleaf, within the context of our national struggle.
The point is not only did we vote against the current Congress for Democratic Change of Ambassador Weah, now President; we heavily campaigned against the CDC and Brumskine for the Up Boakai-Nuquay Ticket.
Having worked honestly and tirelessly for Boakai (the records are available about what the NDC did for him), in return, Boakai snubbed the NDC as he has done with the CPP, when he thought the “racing Car” had become a national consensus candidate. He named his national campaign team, ungratefully, to the exclusion of the NDC; he and his UP matched legislative candidates throughout the country, where the NDC was legislatively present; in all his county campaign arrangements, he also excluded the NDC. Specifically, in Greenville, Sinoe, where the NDC Secretary-General was running for the district sat, he supported others against NDC, despite what we did for him politically in the UP. Perturbed by that, the NDC leadership approached him on the matter for the record.
Imagine, men of our standing politically, though who may not have “silver and gold”, but we helped Boakai and his campaign, and he rose from a public scorn to a national consensus candidate; in return, he kept the NDC on the margins. Those were some of the lessons.
The short of the story is, we went very close to former VP Boakai, saw him, smelled him, and discovered him – Boakai plays games; he deserts old for new friends, opportunistically. Certainly, 2017 is not 2023, and accordingly, the NDC shall decide for 2023; the NDC Convention is the venue and constitutional authority for such a decision; until then, neither Boakai nor any of his tribal surrogates within my Party can have a legal claim on the NDC as a Boakai pawn for 2023.
Note worthily, let it be emphasized here that Nimba County is not a pawn on the chess board to be used politically, neither by any of her children, nor outside politicians for personal aggrandizements. After the Liberian Civil War, what the people of Nimba need is development, and not politics. Today, evidently, Nimba County has the fastest growing post-war economy in Liberia locally, based on local capital formation and investments by her citizens, and some of the critical roads and transportation connectivity needed by Nimba, are being preferentially and significantly attended by the Weah administration, connecting the Ganta, Saclepea and Tapeta Corridors; while the other is the Ganta-Sanniquellie-Lougatou Axis – all by paved, modern roads.
On the other hand, let it be further emphasized that it was neither Charles Taylor nor Prince Johnson that taught the people of Nimba how to fight for themselves. During the progressive struggles in the 1970s and 80s, Nimba County was a bulwark of national struggle against the True Whig Party-one-Party-state.
At the time of LAMCO, the largest mines workers union was based in Nimba and Bassa, respectively, under the leadership of the Movement for Justice in Africa. The Progressive Alliance of Liberia also had one of its greatest bases in Nimba, when the Secretary-General of PAL, Oscar J. Quiah, worked for LAMCO.
Rev. Dr. Nyan Q. Taryar, the Vice President of MoJA is a Nimbaian, and was based in Nimba. During the April 14 “Rice Riots”, when opposition leaders were being arrested, Taryar took refuge in Ahmed Sekou Toure’s Guinea, crossing over the borders, and was welcomed by Toure. He heroically returned to Nimba and subsequently to Monrovia, after the fracas.
Thus, let the generation of Nimba County know today, many of whom refer to Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Party as (“Nimba People’s Party”), and Prince Johnson as a messiah, that before these two war criminals were, Nimba was; and after their final departure, Nimba County would remain in the struggle for transformation.
Politics is not about political gambles, neither should it be about a matter of life and death. We know that Ambassador George Manneh Weah and his presidency may not have been the best thing that has happened to Liberia; but neither has it been the worst. In fact, President Weah has proven to be a better leader despite his own shortcomings, like any leader for that matter.
Inducted into office in January 2018, the Weah administration became the only during the Liberian civil conflicts that inherited not a single foreign troop on the grounds, and relied exclusively on the post-war security architectures and personnel, to maintain peace and national security, when all foreign troops of more than 15,000, belonging to UNMIL, had left Liberia before December 2017.
The nascent Weah administration relying entirely on local security, managed to maintain the peace and stability, to the least of expectation of many political pundits – local, regional and international, who predicted the Weah administration would have collapsed within six months or a year.
The opposition took advantage of the critical and fragile transition, and thought it could rudely disrupt the peace and cause the nascent administration of the Congress for Democratic Change and its Coalition administration to collapse and have it replaced with an interim arrangement. That was evident by the unholy alliances between the so-called Council of Patriots (COP) and the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) in the June 6, 2019 mass demonstrations on the grounds of the Executive Mansion and the Capital Hill, with the slogans: “Regime Change” and “Safe the State”. Boakai was part of the conspiracy. According to the Ministry of Justice 2019 Annual Report, in 2019 alone, there were 37 violent riot incitements – including the June 16th episode; those violent riot incidents to deaths of security personnel. That incident turned out to becoming a big fiasco. Thanks to the gallantry of the men and women in service.
Undoubtedly, the age-old problem of the Liberian economy, and its corresponding root causes – foreign economic abuse and dominance, fundamentally remains a systemic, and not a regime problem, pronounced in post-war context. Extractive plunder, though the award of unequal concession agreements, was the hallmark of the UP administration of Boakai and his boss. The main accomplice of systemic foreign economic abuse and dominance in Liberia is entrenched public corruption. It is indeed, this fundamental problem, originating from Firestone-Liberia about a century ago, and further entrenched by the “Open Door Policy” of the True Whig Party since the periods of Edwin Barclay, W.V.S. Tubman, as well as W.R. Tolbert, as well as Samuel Doe to date.
Former Vice President Boakai did not only preside over the state as deputy president to Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for twelve years, when they did nothing to transform the economy of Liberia, but benefited from the spoils of a foreign dominated economy that deprives Liberian government of its comparable shares and revenues to effectively run the country. He is one of the oldest TWP surrogate-public–servants, and boasts of having had forty years of experience in public service – doing what? Only God knows!
We are apron-strings-tied to the diets and instructions of the Breton Woods international financial Institutions (World Bank and the International Monetary Funds) in a globally arranged economy. Indeed, to address this phenomenon, we need leadership; a Boakai-Koung leadership, certainly cannot address the aforesaid herculean economic problems of Liberia.
Prior to becoming Vice President of Liberia and President of the Liberian Senate, Boakai was a very poor man, like all war victims of Liberia; he was lastly involved in selling retail planks. This is the man that has become one of the tenth richest persons of Liberia. Irrefutably, he acquired his wealth in 12-years as Vice President and President of the Senate when he and the Johnson-Sirleaf administration squandered the opportunities to build Liberia (see Google).
As a matter of fact, during his Vice Presidency and as President of the Liberian Senate, he was part of all major legislative decision-making processes, including, the legislation of “unjust concession contracts”. Accordingly, “Afua Hirsch, West Africa correspondent, Wednesday, 8 May 2013 19.01” reported that “An audit of lucrative resource deals in Liberia has found that almost all the concessions awarded by the government since 2009 – i.e. under Johnson-Sirleaf-Boakai administration, have not been in “compliant with law”. The reporter further revealed – “in a damning report commissioned by the Liberian government, under international pressure, international auditors found that only two (2) out of 68 (natural) resource contracts worth $8bn (£5.1bn) were conducted properly” – legally.
The report also indicated that “Concessions granted in agriculture, forestry, mining and oil – including a lucrative deal with oil company Chevron – were either wholly or partially flawed”.
There are many more of these research information that are available about the Johnson-Sirleaf-Boakai administration. These people do not have a modicum of moral credentials to now talk about public corruption. From a serious point of view, if Boakai wants to fight corruption in his administration, having failed to have done so as Vice President, is it a Jeremiah Koung and a Prince Johnson that would be part of such a team?
Finally, here is the fulcrum of the threat the UP-JNB-PYJ-KOUNG TICKET poses and does represent. The former Vice President Boakai is aged and does have a serious health challenge. In this regards, whatever character he chooses as his immediate deputy, such a person becomes a sitting president in waiting, within the shortest possible time. Prudently, a person, serving as a running mate to the UP standard bearer should be politically suited contextually to sustain the peace, enhance stability and be capable of pursuing reconciliation. Moreover, such a person must pose no uncertainties as well as serious threat to the national security of Liberia.
Given such a precarious scenario, if anything were to happen to the UP standard bearer abruptly, or should the worst and unforeseeable happen to Boakai under the current arrangement, the next thing Liberians would have on their head would be a General Prince Johnson, as a defacto president, through his obsequious ethnic surrogate, Jeremiah Koung as VP, a political no body, who brings nothing to the table in terms of presidential pedigrees. In fact, the sources of Jeremiah Koung huge finances are a matter criminal suspicion.
Conversely, if we should play the Weah-Taylor scenario, against the Boakai-Koung’s, should anything happen unforeseeably to President Weah, Jewel Howard Taylor as Vice President, makes a better and security-risk-free president, than Jeremiah Koung. Besides, Koung comes nowhere close to Vice President Taylor in terms of education, competence and experience – national and internal. Moreover, VP Taylor blends two large counties – Bong and Lofa – and does have the required presidential pedigree, as an African woman. Though she’s an ex-wife of Charles Taylor, but by-and-large, Joel stands on her own feet; she’s not a surrogate client politician to anybody. Therefore, the tickets of Boakai-Koung vs. Weah-Taylor are grossly incomparable, in all manifestations, and from all intents and purposes. We are ready for the debate.
We must reiterate that politics is not about political gambles; it is about astuteness – smartness, intelligence, wisdom, and sharpness. After all, Liberia deserves better, and this is why the struggle for change continues in Liberia unabated, but for the better, and not the other way around. Indeed, Liberia must make progress, and the people will decide in October, with persistent campaign and political education.
Those who have ears to hear, let them hear, and those with eyes to see, let them see.
Viva – A Luta!