… Boakai Jr. clarifies Costa’s US$30M claim
Joseph Boakai, Jr., the son of the leading opposition leader and presidential candidate of the Unity Party, Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, has confirmed that some unnamed financiers made an offer of US$30 million to his father to finance his 2023 presidential bid, but that the offer was turned down after JNB rejected a precondition the donors presented.
In a leaked audio, the younger Boakai, popularly called ‘Jojo’ by peers and friends, said at no time in the meeting did his father offer “those people anything in terms of concessions, in terms of Wologizi, nothing.”
Jojo was one of four people who accompanied his father to the meeting with the financiers at the Marriott Hotel near Kotoka International Airport in March this year.
“I was doing a much longer recording but I changed my mind. At no time in that meeting did the Old man offer those people anything in terms of concessions, in terms of Wologizi, nothing,” he clarified in the 2 minutes 8 seconds audio recording.
“The Oldman only said to them, ‘if you are business people, and your support is contingent on my winning and what happens afterwards, then you bring your business interests and we talk about them.’”
Meanwhile, Jojo’s confirmation and clarity comes as many are questioning the truthfulness or validity of the claim made by Costa that he was offered millions of dollars by his financial backers to run for the presidency in this year’s general and presidential elections. Some have even argued that there were no millions on offer.
Many have been apprehensive and skeptical to believe the narratives of popular talk-show host’s bombshell revelations — with the most controversial being taken with a grain of salt being his refusal of US$30M offered him by some financiers to contest the Liberian presidency.
Costa, however, said he declined the offer, citing his unwavering support for Unity Party presidential candidate, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, whom he requested should instead receive the funding for his presidential bid… though the provision of said financial assistance was contingent upon Boakai picking Costa as his running mate for the 2023 presidential election.
Costa made his revelation during a press conference held at the All Liberian Party (ALP) headquarters on Monday, where he addressed the recent rift between himself and the ALP on one hand, and between himself and Ambassador Boakai and the UP on the other.
Many have since become critical of the talk-show host’s revelations ranging from the former Vice President’s health status to his commitment to making Costa his running mate, among others, but the most viral and highly discussed issue is the US$30M financial package, with many even doubting the authenticity or veracity of the story.
Most of Costa’s critics are of the view that he would never turn down such a handsome package, no matter how loyal he is JNB. Some even termed it as an outright lie.
But while Jojo seems to suggest that the money was indeed on offer to his Dad, there were no specifics placed forward, after JNB outrightly rejected Costa's running mate request, in terms of what their interests are. “Because that’s what they are. They are business people, they are not going to come and support… so for it to be like… the Oldman was surprised, like, how can your support be based only on the idea of me taking Henry as my running mate and not on any business interest? You have not even indicated what sector you are interested in,” he said in the audio.
However, Costa revealed at the press conference that his loyalty to Boakai came at a personal cost, as he pleaded with the financiers to redirect the substantial funds to support Boakai’s campaign instead. He said the financiers reluctantly agreed to his request, leaving him hopeful that he had made an honorable and selfless choice. Costa said his request was accepted but on the condition that he would be selected as the running mate to Boakai.
However, Costa said his hopes were shattered when he discovered that Boakai had tarnished his reputation during a meeting with the same financiers. He alleged that Boakai bad-mouthed him, urging the financiers to abandon him and redirect the funds solely to his own campaign. The former vice president, according to Costa, even offered them incentives, such as promising them ownership of the Wologizi Mountain in Lofa County, if they complied with his demands.
“The Oldman put no concession on the table,” Jojo emphatically said in the leaked audio. “I know, I was in Ghana.”
“Henry called, very disappointed after the Oldman turned down the conversation and for two hours he made us sit on the phone and listen to him go through his entire diatribe about his prophecy and everything else. And again, the Oldman said clearly, ‘Henry, we have partners, we have other political alliances and so…it would have been completely wrong of me to go ahead and accept that proposition, and I don’t think you are ready.’”
“And the oldman told each and everyone on the call to weigh in. Myself, Mrs. Tamba, Mr. Johnny. Everybody weighed in and we all said it. Henry, you are not ready. Henry ended that call and said that the only thing he wanted was for them to find a way to access the money and so on.”
“Bro, accessing the money is one thing, but what was their stake? Completely splitting the opposition because if that conversation had gotten out there and they say oh the Oldman is considering Henry… like that is what he is trying to push, but the reason he could not push it is because the oldman said a clear NO.”
Jojo also described as untrue statements from Costa that VP Boakai had vowed not to consider either of Senators, Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence or Jeremiah Koung as his running mate.
“You really believe that the Oldman and Costa had a conversation where he said that I’m not going to pick Nyonblee, I’m not going to pick Jeremiah Koung? I did not know who my Oldman was picking until the day before he announced his pick. You think he actually told Henry Costa that he was not going to pick any of those two people, and then went back and picked Jeremiah Koung? I beg your mehn, baa,” Jojo Boakai said.