The Standard Bearer of the Unity Party Mr. Joseph Nyumah Boakai has addressed a number of key national issues when he appeared on the Real TV Talk show broadcast on Truth FM and OK FM radios, yesterday, Monday, August 21, 2023. He told the nation that what the country needs right now is an accountable, transparent and responsible while remaining unrepentant on statement made in the past that the administration of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf where he served as Vice President squandered opportunities that should have been utilized to positively impact on the generality of Liberians.
The former Vice President who observed that in Liberia the issue of accountability and transparency has been a problem in governance to the extent that the cost of basic services are being dealt with in secrecy at service delivery institutions such as hospitals and pointed out that this has affected the ordinary people.
He explained that as a mark of accountability and transparency, he reported to the office of the current Vice President what all he left back when he served as VP . Ambassador Boakai wondered, “How will you tell me that you worked in the government for five years and you acquired 16 houses,” questioning “how is it that you got them?”
He called on the Liberian electorate to “examine our country” and figure out whether or not we are satisfied with where we are,” forgetting about discussing personality in respect to who is old or young in the campaign.
On his ‘We squandered Opportunities” statement, he maintained, “I will never repent.” With the first female President of Africa whom everyone wanted to do something for, the past Unity Party Government would have done more than it did.
Saying the erstwhile Unity Party regime under President Sirleaf did well, the UP Standard Bearer notwithstanding said that “we could have done better taking into consideration that Liberia had the first democratically elected female president in Africa”.
He cited an instance of a squandered opportunity when he said that some Israeli investors in the transport sector came to Liberia with buses to invest in the sector, but the President Sirleaf turned them down on claim that the Israelis should have assisted with renovation of the Executive mansion.
Ambassador Boakai said the President is the President and a Vice President is a helper in the Executive. He further explained that even in the Senate where he presided over that body, he or the Senate Pro Temp who presides in the absence of the Senate President do not have voting rights except where there is a tie, and clarified that there was never a tie when he was there.
Commenting on the 2017 election which he lost to President George Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change(CDC), former Vice President Boakai said, “I was in a very difficult election.” Although he said he was provided resources, he indicated, “I was in an election that was not backed by my principal who had praised me all through and that was documented.”
Ambassador Boakai told the journalists though President Sirleaf said ‘Joe Boakai is the person that we want in a dark way,’ but he saw that “she was distancing herself from me. And I know when the incumbent is not in your favor and is not a candidate, it can be difficult.
Besides, he explained he knew at the time what the Liberian people, especially young people, were feeling about President Weah, pointing out that he got to know when he went to meet the ECOWAS people at a local hotel at which time he noted a huge number of youth in the streets. “And for me Liberia was more important” to my presidency.
Those who were with him, when he wrote and went to deliver his concession speech expressed dissatisfaction and were ready to do anything he would instruct them to do, he thought about the biblical scenario when the Jews chose Barnabas over Jesus. “I said when Pilate asked Jews: Jesus or Barnabas, who do you choose, they chose Barnabas, so I say let them have Barnabas.”
However, he pointed out that today, “… nobody is going to tell you who we have, because Liberians wanted to be convinced. I think we all are convinced; we all have the feedback because Liberians don’t care whether they know about you, they all fall in love with you.”
Asked whether he felt cheated during the last Presidential election, the Unity Standard Bearer responded, “ I felt cheated, I felt that there were lots of violations that were documented, but so be it. I did not want to go into that.”
He maintained that “They always want to buy pig in the bag. But we are talking about our country. Because the people know we can put 15, 000 people in the streets at the time  and because the people were angry and some huge angry people were near the Coca-Cola factory prepared to act had he rejected the elections result, accepted and conceded.
“Should I be the one to put them in the streets, I could not do that due to the consequences [it would have had], saying that by now the decision the people made [for 20230 is the right decision, adding that the past is history.
On why Boakai for President, the Unity Party political leader maintained that he is for the Presidency not because he wants a position as some may think, but because of the feeling for this country after 176 years which remains underdeveloped.
“Who are we and what are we known for? We talk about taking a position? I am not looking for a position;” he said. Ambassador Boakai said he wants to provide leadership that will make this country regain its status and he believes if he hasn’t done that, then he hasn’t done service to the people.
“And I assure you my leadership will produce the kind of leadership needed for this country to progress,” he promised.
On his slogan, “Think Liberia, Love Liberia and Do Liberia,” Ambassador Boakai amongst other things maintained that those who Think, Love And Do Liberia would contribute to the development and growth of the country. He said he thought about that in 1990 while writing a Christmas card having served in prominent positions in the country.
“And I got up one night some of the things I think about Liberia I am trying to keep and I thought if you love Liberia you should contribute to Liberia; at this age of Liberia are we satisfy with where we are? That means we should begin to think Liberia. This year we are going to make a decision, what are the first things? What are the first things to impact this country?”
In answering his own question he spoke of AREST, and explained how agriculture, roads, education, sanitation and tourism are important to jump start progress in the country.
On his statement to the effect of saying the Unity Party will react to any violent situation from its opponents, Ambassador Boakai his statement was to inform the people that the fact that the Unity Party wants peace does not mean anyone can perpetrate violence towards the party and go free with it. If anyone thinks that because we want peace you will bring violence to us and go free, you are mistaken,” Mr. Boakai said.
He clarified that he surrendered to the CDC 2017 for the sake of the country, but added that this time around he does not think the Liberian people would allow anyone to steal the election from them.
Asked about the Casket carried with his picture by some CDCians at the start of the campaign, the Unity Party flag-bearer reacted, “Let’s be honest; this election is to tell the Liberian people what we are. He said the campaign should be telling Liberians what you will do for them,” noting “The idea of wishing somebody to die is self-defeating.
On his first 100 days in office, Ambassador Boakai spoke of accessibility apparently in the context of road connectivity, People must be able to assess their own towns, everyone can leave or go to their own communities, he said amongst others.
He then said that women participation in his government is an agenda, noting that he considers improving the lives of the women, especially the women of the LMA, Liberian Marketing Association amongst others.