— As he urges Liberians to unite against Weah's regime
By: Roland Perry, contributing writer
The standard bearer of the opposition Unity Party (UP) and former vice president of Liberia, Joseph Boakai, says Liberia can feed the world with food through agriculture.
He said Liberia has massive land and fertile soil to produce more food to feed the world and create jobs for Liberians.
"We are not going to produce airplanes or submarines for the world, but we can feed the world. Fortunately, you can bring all these products to the US under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program,"said Boakai.
Boakai, at a fundraising rally of Joseph N. Boakai Foundation (JNBF) in the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, narrated that Liberians are going through difficult situations under the Weah-led government due to the lack of leadership.
The former VP states, "It is easy for a professional footballer to fail in providing sporting facilities. But if agriculture doesn't work under my watch, then I am not fit to lead a country."
Boakai added that Liberia has many opportunities in agriculture and tourism, but the country needs the right leadership to implement them.
He urged Liberians to take hope and that all is not lost. "What has happened is God's design for transition. Many people often say Liberia was not colonized, and nothing brought us together, but the fear of this regime will bring us together," Boakai averred.
The former VP disclosed that funds generated from the rally would support agriculture, health, education, and Women and youth empowerment in Liberia.
Making remarks at the rally, the leader of the Democratic Party in the State of Pennsylvania, Senator Sharif Street, thanked the JNB foundation for their work in supporting their community.
"It is important that we support each other in everything we do. An event like this creates an opportunity to interact, grow and do business with each other," said Street.
The Pennsylvania state Senator used the occasion to encourage the African-American community to pay attention to what the government does and take advantage of the many opportunities to serve and represent their communities.
Street is the first African-American leader of the Democratic Party in the State of Pennsylvania. The Councilwoman of the 3rd District of Philadelphia, Jannie Blackwell, also graced the occasion and made these remarks. "Let me thank God for the pleasure and privilege to be here with all of you; it is a pleasure to be with you, your excellency, (JNB) for all the wonderful things you have said to me about your commitment to Liberia and what you will do to make it Successful."
She congratulated the JNB foundation for the successful fundraising rally and thanked the African-American community for supporting each other.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of the African Cultural Alliance of North America (ACANA), Voffee Jabateh, disclosed that Senator Street had introduced a bill in the Pennsylvania State Senate which is intended to help farmers in Africa with modern farming equipment funded by the State of Pennsylvania.
According to Jabateh, "we are not here for politics, but with the collaboration between the JNB foundation and us, a lot of equipment will be going from Pennsylvania to help us achieve our farming objectives."
He disclosed that his organization is working with Sen. Street, Councilwoman Blackwell, and the State of Pennsylvania to construct what he called "Africantown."
The Africatown project is a 9M state grant that will fund the development of commercial and residential properties in South West Philly, home to Philadelphians born in Africa.
A cross-session of Liberians and non-Liberians across the US graced the program. The former VP thanked Senator Street, Councilwoman Blackwell, Jabateh, and all who graced the occasion.
He said, "I look forward to a day where we can invite Sen. Street, Councilwoman Blackwell, to Liberia, stating that he is very optimistic that Liberia is going to become great,"
Popular talk show host and head of the Council of Patriots, Henry P. Costa, served as master of ceremony at the program.
He later posted on his Facebook page, "The Joseph N. Boakai Foundation raised a little over US$ 22,000 on a Thursday evening when people are usually busy at work. It was a huge success indeed! We are grateful for your contributions. May God replenish all those who gave!"