Counselor Charles Walker Brumskine’s recent statement, describing as “nonsense” earlier comments by Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s about public concerns and pronouncements on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s perceived support to the opposition Liberty Party (LP) has created more trouble for him than he might have expected.
Recently, VP Boakai insinuated that President Sirleaf was clandestinely supporting Brumskine’s Liberty Party rather than the new standard bearer of Unity Party (UP), the party on whose ticket she rose to the presidency.
And because of Brumskine’s description as “nonsense” a statement by the Vice President, who is now the standard bearer of the UP, the leadership of the opposition National Democratic Coalition (NDC) over the weekend said it sees Brumskine’s comments as “ill-advised and an outburst of emotion bordered on fear of the Vice President.”
The NDC then called on Liberian electorates not to be misinformed by Mr. Brumskine and the Liberty Party about the socio-political realities of the country.
Dr. Nyaquoi Kargbo, NDC’s political leader, who read the party’s statement at a press conference in Monrovia, recalled that while addressing rumors that President Sirleaf prefers and is quietly supporting Mr. Brumskine to succeed her as the next president of Liberia, “Brumskine mischaracterized Vice President Boakai and wrongly depicted him as someone employing the ‘Congo-Country’ divide in Liberia’s politics.”
“Sadly, Brumskine, who was once a strong supporter of former President Charles Ghankay Taylor, whose record is unhidden regarding the destruction of the country and his plan to destabilize the sub-region, tacitly likened Boakai to self-serving individuals who exploit political opportunism. They exploited the people, destroyed the country, and enriched themselves at the peril of ordinary people,” the NDC said.
By now, Dr. Kargbo said, it has become clear to Liberians that VP Boakai has emerged as the hope and unifying statesman for ordinary Liberians, and as such, has become a threat and obstacle to the interest of the relics of the establishment class in its desperate political desire to maintain the old political status quo after President Sirleaf’s tenure expires in January 2018.
“NDC believes that ordinary Liberians prefer Boakai to Brumskine as president because they believe that he is a well-experienced, educated, mature and sober indigenous leader that is capable of addressing the fundamental ills of the country, including the ‘Country-Congo’ divide through genuine reconciliation…equitable distribution of national wealth,” Dr. Kargbo said.
Meanwhile the party has called on Cllr. Brumskine and his LP not to present and use the Vice President as a scapegoat for Liberia’s intractable socio-political, economic and historical problems.
The NDC thinks when Brumskine talks about the ‘native-settler divide’ in such a flimsy and careless manner, “it means he is naïve, and has not understood the actual reality of Liberia’s political, social and economic problems.”
NDC added that any leader failing to admit Liberia’s problems and who pretends that the settler versus the indigenous majority problem has ceased to exist, “such a person is either a fake leader or a downright political demagogue, undeserving of leading the country.”
The fundamental issue on good and democratic governance that Cllr. Brumskine failed to address and instead of mudslinging VP Boakai in his comment, according to the NDC, is the one that borders on conflict of interest, which the current Code of Conduct should have, but deliberately failed to address.
The NDC’s reaction to Brumskine’s remark is not the first. Just last week, Lafayette Orishall Gould, chairman of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), described the Liberty Party standard bearer’s statement against the Vice President as “unfortunate and disrespectful.”
Gould told reporters in Monrovia that, “For Mr. Brumskine to denigrate the office of the Vice President is quite unfortunate.
“I think the office of the Vice President is sacred, meaning it is revered; and therefore, must be respected by all at any given time. It needs to be respected. For God’s sake, the Vice President remains the country’s #2, not because he is contesting in the upcoming elections.”