The Unity Party Standard Bearer Joseph Nyuma Boakai (JNB) has been touring the United States of America where Liberians and Liberia watchers were opportune to hear him speak his mind about developments back home. As JNB engaged his fellow citizens at the recent Unity Party’s USA Convention, The Analyst has gleaned some gems from former Vice President Boakai’s impassioned expose on Unity and Reconciliation, against the background of trending socio-economic and political issues.
Speaking on the theme ‘Unity is Strength’, Mr. Boakai recounted the bitterness of the past 2017 national elections, which according to him, left the Unity Party and many Liberians in cleavages.
Although the 2017 elections were bruising and contentious, according to Boakai, he said the Unity Party decided to concede in the interest of protecting Liberia’s fragile peace. Thus, he said, the UP, along with the Liberty Party, opted testing the judicial system instead of reverting to violence and bloodshed as was done in the past.
Boakai said, sadly, because former Associate Justice Kabinneh J’anneh was the lone dissenting vote against 2017 electoral irregularities, he got singled out for impeachment, while eight senators from his (Boakai’s) UP sold him out.
The outcome of the UP lawmakers’ alleged sellout culminated to the UP’s Grand Bassa County retreat when the party expelled those eight senators.
As a means to sorting out their inter-party cleavages, Mr. Boakai said the Unity Party has now decided to reinstitute the rights of those affected members, and that the party is working with the National Elections Commission (NEC) and UP lawyers to make this anomaly right.
The CPP Imperative
Hailing the agenda for a cohesive collaborative opposition bloc, Mr. Boakai assured his fellow Diaspora citizens that the move to form a Collaboration of Political Parties was imperative in order to move Liberia.
“We must not let our people down. We stand ready to provide that leadership. We are prepared to place Liberia above all else. We want businesses to thrive, our children must be in school, our women and girls must be protected from gender based violence,” Boakai told his fellow citizens about the CPP raison d’etre.
“Well-meaning Liberians cannot remain disinterested in politics because of our present condition. One of the penalties of shying away from politics is to be governed by your inferiors,” he said.
The Way Forward
Mr. Boakai said the Unity Party, at the inception of its government, inherited a broken economy and a pariah status. However, under their watch, they oversaw prudent economic policies that waived billions of dollars in foreign debts, and raised living standards in less than two years.
“Under our watch, no one person had to change their sleeping place because of fear. For us, justice was not selective. We know how to run a country and keep it clean,” Mr. Boakai boasted.
Emphasizing the Unity theme, Mr. Boakai enjoined Diaspora Liberians to remain active participants in the nation-building process, noting, “As Diaspora Liberians, your education makes you perfect agents of change.”
He also called on his Diaspora-based fellow citizens to remain engaged in bringing an end to the culture of impunity brought upon them by the civil war – an apparent reference to the ongoing debate about the war and economic crimes hybrid court.