-- UP Standard Bearer tells critics
Former Vice President of Liberia and standard-bearer of the Unity Party, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, with no counter-argument to views held by the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and others that the UP did nothing substantial in the country over the twelve-year period it ruled, has publicly stated that history will judge all of them.
Former VP Boakai and his former boss, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, have been heavily criticized for leading for two successive terms of government, with little positive impact to the country, a perception on which the ruling CDC has always blamed its own shortcomings.
The criticisms of Madam Sirleaf and Mr. Boakai were especially heightened when the former Vice President, during a pre-election presidential debate in Monrovia in 2017, admitted that, “we squandered opportunities” in the country.
According to him, during the 12 years of the Unity Party-led government, much effort and sacrifice were made to rehabilitate and restore many of the damaged infrastructures in the country after years of civil war, as well as the restoration of the country’s image and the psychological impact the war had on our people.
“Yet, today, We are told that NOTHING was done by the past government in which I served as Vice President. But HISTORY will be the best judge of that!”
One issue that former President Sirleaf flagged in 2012 and could not be fixed was the country’s Education System. In his statement to students of the Baptist Seminary during their matriculation ceremony, VP Boakai said instead of being messy, the education system has become deplorable.
“Unfortunately, in our country, we are suffering from Poor Leadership. The officials of the Ministry of Education have piled up policies and plans, but the education system remains deplorable because this Government is doing a poor job of improving the learning facilities in majority of our public schools that are in dire need of transformation to create the enabling environment for students to get quality, basic and tertiary education in the last three years.”
He made these statements on Thursday, September 30, 2021, at the third matriculation ceremony of at least 42 candidates into the Bachelor’s degree program in Theology and Religious Education at the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary (LBTS) in Paynesville.
“Allow me to make a disclaimer: most convocation speakers do their best not to express any political views at all. But, today, your Convocation speaker has decided not to follow that protocol. Because, for me, it is difficult, especially at this crucial time in our country’s development, to divorce myself from political views, as I serve both as the Standard Bearer of Unity Party (UP) and as one of the four Political Leaders in the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP),” VP Boakai said.
“She said, and I paraphrase her, ‘Our Education System is a MESS.’ Nobody then could deny it was not. Fast forward, today, standing in this same Chapel, I want to reiterate that our educational system is not only still messy but is now even more DEPLORABLE,” he added.
He also expressed concern that the wave of mysterious “killings in Liberia under the Weah administration has become scary and frustrating, especially when the Government appears to be very insensitive as evidenced by the conspicuous silence of President George Manneh Weah, who took oath to protect and defend the citizenry.”
Mr. Boakai further recalled that the “incidents of the murder of four auditors last year, including the Executive Director of the government Internal Audit Agency (IAA), Emmanuel Barthan Nyenswah, are still fresh on the minds of Liberians. About two months ago this year, another staff of the Liberia Revenue Authority was confirmed missing by the LRA itself. Recently a young lady was discovered murdered on the beach in Sinkor while, last week, 76-year old John H. Tubman, identified as a son of Liberia’s 18th President, William V.S. Tubman, was reportedly murdered in his Fiamah residence. Also, the lifeless body of a toddler was found near a creek in Bong county after he had allegedly gone missing’. Meanwhile, our world also is permeated especially by the presence of the Coronavirus pandemic or COVID-19.”
Urging the students, VP Boakai said, “We therefore challenge you to be hardworking students so that when you leave this Seminary four years later as outstanding graduates, you will be fully prepared to play an important role in our society, having studied about worldly subjects and issues, which you must now translate into a local context as part of communities where you will be a minister to address issues that are driving people away from the teachings of the Lord, visiting your people where they are, especially carrying the message of hope in a country like ours that has become HOPELESS about change.”