By Gloria Tamba and Hannah Geterminah
It is true that Unity Party is experiencing some level of infighting, but there is no animosity between him and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, according to Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, the party’s standard-bearer.
Though he did not explain what “some level of infighting,” meant, Ambassador Boakai Boakai dispelled claims that President Sirleaf is not supporting his presidential bid.
VP Boakai, who spoke at a press conference yesterday in Monrovia, also admonished all UP partisans, collaborators, and well-wishers to show respect and accord due courtesies to the party and national leaders, especially the standard bearer emeritus.
He told his supporters that the President remains the political leader of the party, and therefore she deserves respect from them, urging UP partisans to accord President Sirleaf the respect she deserves as the party’s standard-bearer emeritus, along with other officials of government, who are also prominent sons and daughters of Liberia.
“As we take the last decisive sprint towards the finish line, I particularly call on my sister and standard bearer emeritus of the Unity Party to continue her leadership role by helping to strengthen our hands in forging unity in our great party and nation,” Boakai said as his supporters responded with a loud battle cry.
He told them that his life has been one of humility, discipline, and respect for others, no matter their position or station in life. He added, “Anyone who has followed my relationship with President Sirleaf over the last 12 years will know that not one day have we had any occasion to be disrespectful to each other.”
“For me, it is not therefore simply about becoming president. This is bigger than the victory of a party. It is about the victory of the Liberian people and the future of our Republic; it is about saving Liberia from falling back into the abyss. I, therefore, call on all Liberians, no matter your party affiliation, to set aside our differences and put country above self,“ he added.
He said as the campaign unfolds over the next several days, the critical question that stares every Liberian in the face and his party’s quest is to provide leadership in the next six years.
“Let us now go forth, bearing in mind that this is about country and not self. We offer to be your servant and not your master. I, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, make a solemn pledge to serve only one term of six years with humility and love.”
He explained that some people are quick to forget where they come from, because of the peace and stability the country has enjoyed over the past 12 years.
Boakai said many young people, who are first-time voters, during this period may not have experienced the darkest part of the country’s history.
He said about 20 years ago, Liberians were fleeing in every direction with only the clothes on their backs or bundles of their personal effects to save their dear lives, while others were at the mercy of commanders or “COs” and child soldiers, which drew the attention of many West African countries to pay the ultimate price with their lives, including the international community through the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) that also spent billions of dollars in the country.
He said Liberia, once a cherished country became a pariah and a failed state, while Liberian leaders were laughing stocks around the world. “Liberians became refugees and a dispossessed people,” he recalled.
“Thanks to the peace we now enjoy, which many individuals can hop from party to party without loyalty to anyone or commitment to the country, but follow false promises for jobs and building heaven here on earth.
“Strangely, some are even advocating that education or training for our children does not matter. To them, the only important thing is grabbing power,” VP Boakai.