‘Ellen or Not, We Will Vote Boakai’

9
2159
UP Partisans assuring one round for victory come October 10, 2017 (Photo: Nick N. Seebeh)

Braving the heavy rain, UP partisans vow to support Him to the End

By Gloria Tamba and Robin Dopoe

Monrovia and its outskirts experienced a virtual lockdown when partisans and supporters of the governing Unity Party (UP) demonstrated to Liberians and perhaps the world that they have the numbers to elect Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai and Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay as the country’s next President and Vice President on October 10.

Saturday’s huge gathering proved to the oppositions that contrary to their views the Boakai/Nuquay ticket will pull the needed crowd to boost their campaign trail to realize their political dream.

As the city and its environs stood still in clear obedience to UP’s quest to joyously launch their political campaign in support of their standard bearer’s bid to become the next President of Liberia, officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) were in full readiness to quell any eventuality that could create insecurity to the citizens and foreign residents.

The over 10,000 sitting capacity of the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in Monrovia was filled to capacity, both in the stands and on the playing pitch, and overflowing to the street. Sandwiched by swarms of supporters, Mr. Boakai arrived around 5:30 p.m. and took to the podium.

Although the UP’s standard bearer emeritus, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf did not attend Saturday’s rally, supporters say her absence posed no problem; that, “plus her presence, minus her presence, we will vote for Boakai,” happy-looking partisans told one of our reporters who also formed part of the ceremony.

The crowd had arguably exceeded the expectations of many, especially in the opposition camps. UP partisans had defied the early morning downpour, when they emerged from all parts of Monrovia and made their way to the ATS.

Some of those who were advised by authorities of the Liberian National Police to remain in the outside queue from entering the already-filled ATS later sat by their radio monitoring the program by way of commentaries.

President Sirleaf said in an interview on state radio she had made a promise to some women in Suehn Mecca District, Bomi County, that she would break ground for the construction of a clinic in that area. To her, that was of a greater priority than the Saturday rally, she said.

Saturday morning started with a heavy downpour in Monrovia, but the weather turned out to be merciful, with a bit of sun.

Some partisans like Mary Doe arrived at the ATS as early as 6 a.m. from VOA with several of her siblings. “I came here because this is the party that my father told me about and I’m happy that I’m supporting them,” she said.

Fatu Kromah, 55, is physically challenged. With her crutch in one hand, she swings her waist left to right, dancing to the song, “Y’all leave us, da de papay we want.”

“I’m here because this is the man that I want and I feel bad that the standard bearer [President Sirleaf] who I voted for is not here today,” she added.

Some of the groups in support of the Unity Party, including Sinkor United for Boakai’s Presidency, Nimba for Boakai, and Women of Development in Support of Amb. Boakai and National Muslim Heritage Foundation in Support of Boakai.

Overwhelmed by the massive show of support, an equally stunned Boakai expressed his gratitude for the show of support. Even his lieutenant, J. Emmanuel Nuquay, was also impressed by the number of partisans who showed up in support of their presidential cause.

“Thanks for coming. I appreciate your support a lot; and your coming proves that you care about this country. You have come to give us a mandate, which we will implement. With this mandate we will fight corruption, bring jobs for the young people, and better roads. This and more we will do if elected,” said an excited VP Boakai.

In his two-minute remarks, which were an abbreviation of a much longer prepared speech, the VP thanked his partisans for the huge turn out and promised to improve their lives if elected. The future of Liberia, said Boakai, is secure if he and his chief lieutenant, Speaker Nuquay, are elected to lead the country for the next 6 years.

Boakai’s UP Campaign Launch Speech 

In exclusive interviews with several supporters of the ruling party, they pledged their commitment to the party and promised to ensure that VP Boakai becomes the 25th President of the Republic of Liberia come October 10.

The crowd of supporters, many of whom didn’t get to hear the VP’s speech but were nonetheless equally happy with the show of support for the beleaguered VP (in reference to how the president has treated Boakai’s presidential bid, going as far as not showing up at the launch of the UP presidential and legislative campaign).

Chanting different slogans, including “Your leave us, da de papay we want”; “You know book, you scare of debate”; “Joe been sleeping, but has woken up to bring changes”; “Our ma spoiled it, our pa will fix it”; “Leave your friend woman, Charles Taylor coming,” supporters promised that no matter the condition, rain or shine, their support for the VP remains unflinching.

Roosevelt Peterson, 33, told this paper that he was not a Unity Party supporter, but only started supporting the party because of VP Boakai, who he described as man of integrity who will deliver the country from its current condition. “I never used to support the UP, but until I started following the VP on his campaign trail and listening to the plans he has for Liberia. You have seen the turnout today. No one, not even Charles Taylor or Madam Sirleaf has pulled such a crowd before. We know that if this man is elected as president, things will change for Liberia. This is why we are here under the rain to show our solidarity with the vice president and Speaker Nuquay,” he said.

Why Such a Huge Crowd?

Speaking to several partisans about their thoughts on the huge turnout at the UP campaign launch, the people overwhelmingly said they were shocked by the president’s treatment of the VP. “Listen, when a man, a Liberian man, stands by your side for 12 years and never once tried to usurp your authority, nor embarrassed you in any way, that is something commendable. We are here to show the president that with or without her, we are going to take vice president Boakai to the Executive Mansion,” said James Mulbah of Careysburg.

“For me, I think there is such a huge turnout because the people of Liberia know that this man, vice president Boakai, and his team, including Speaker Nuquay, can deliver. Out of the 20 candidates in the race, Boakai is the most experienced, and most qualified for the position,” said Rachel Smith of Buchanan.

If one can gauge the outcome of an election based on turnout at campaign launches, the Vice President and his vice standard bearer have put up a rally that will be one for the records. It remains now to be seen come Election Day if this massive show of support will translate into meaningful votes to realize the ultimate in all political aspirations: the presidency of a nation. “Only time would tell,” Smith added.

– David Yates provided details for this story

9 COMMENTS

  1. All of the candidates veiling for the presidency Amb. George M. Weah is the most patriotic and forward-thinking leader who is able to transform Liberia for the Better. He can redeem Liberia from the squander opportunity that Unity party wasted when Liberia just return from war in 2005. The International attention was fully focus on Liberia with massive financial supports to the unity party for the country recovery but unity party due to rampant corruptions for 12 years abused the gesture. I think these opportunities can come back to Liberia with Amb. George M. Weah serving as the next president of the Republic of Liberia because he is an international personality who can be trusted by the international communities instead of Old man Boakai who together with president Sirleaf squandered these golden opportunities in the last 12 years due to corruptions and bad governance.

    • Mr. Wulu, why are you polluting this well written article with your misguided comment? I hope you are not one of those mentally challenged Liberians, who believe that our destiny should be determined by an ignoramus? Why don’t you drive on your lane, in order to avoid intellectual accidents. Look you little twerp, I am running out of patience, therefore you are advised to avoid our (level-headed Liberians) intellectual exchanges. Take note and govern yourself accordingly, Mr. CDCian!

  2. LIBERIANS TODAY ARE GROWING AND EXPANDING THEIR UNDERSTANDINGS AND HORIZONS OF OUR POLITICAL LANDSCAPE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BELONG TO, BE A PART OF AND LOYAL TO AN “IDEAL,” PRINCIPLE, OR ORGANIZATIONS WHICH PROMOTE COMMON, UNIFIED GOALS, MISSIONS, AND/OR OBJECTIVES OF SUCH LIBERIANS! UNITY PARTY OF LIBERIA DOES NOT BELONG TO NOR OWNED OR IS SOLELY SUPPORTED BY ELLEN JOHNSON-SIRLEAF, HER SONS, OR ENTIRE FAMILY! UNITY PARTY OF LIBERIA IS A PARTY OF LIBERIANS UNITED UNDER AND BEHIND “COLLECTIVE IDEALS, PRINCILES, AND OBJECTIVES OF PARTISANS” FOR THE COLLECTIVE , UNIFIED ADVANCEMENT OF LIBERIA AND THE OVERALL GOOD AND EMBETTERMENT OF ALL LIBERIAN PEOPLE, AND ESPECIALLY ITS PARTY MEMBERS! THAT IS ANOTHER REASON TO SUPPORT JOSEPH N. BOAKAI!

  3. WE WILL SEE THE RESULT IN FEW WEEKS TIME, I AM STILL NOT CONVINCE THE AT BOAKAI HAS POLITICAL WILL TO DELIEVER ANY RESULTS TO THE LIBERIAN PEOPLE

  4. No matter what kind of excuse you gave or will continue to tell partisans of UP and others, Madam President you are a let down and a complete failure to your party.
    No matter what political strategies and maneuverings you might harbor towards Joseph Boakai you have shown your real attitude and usual ways of treating and accepting those that you feel do not tow your lines. A good example is Senator Varney Sherman.
    How dare you treat a man that has been so humbled to you as your Vice President all these years. Even your opponents are accusing him of some of your failed programs.
    This man from a very good judgment and political analysis, is the man fit for the Liberian presidency. I might perceive that your fear of Boakai ascending to the position you are in today, is due to the fact this man will surely correct all your errors and even make sure you and all your so called confidantes would be brought to justice.
    Trust me this will surely exist and all corrup instances in your government would be corrected and eradicated. God bless Liberia and gave Liberians Joseph Boakai as their new Leader.

  5. “LIBERIANS TODAY ARE GROWING AND EXPANDING THEIR UNDERSTANDINGS AND HORIZONS OF OUR POLITICAL LANDSCAPE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO BELONG TO, BE A PART OF AND LOYAL TO AN “IDEAL,” PRINCIPLE, OR ORGANIZATIONS WHICH PROMOTE COMMON, UNIFIED GOALS, MISSIONS, AND/OR OBJECTIVES OF SUCH LIBERIANS!”; thank you, Mr. Rodney Chesson, for this succinct observation.

    It is increased public engagements, albeit the carnival atmosphere, which translate to silver linings in these political events. Apparently, by their near mass participation, the marginalized majority Country – Congua downtrodden are giving notice to our presidential hopefuls that they are an interest group cum investors in the messages, visions, manifestos or platforms hence expect these promises to be fulfilled.

    In other words, our people, as a collective, actually intend to hold the next political leadership accountable.

    It would be a win – win for Liberia were the eventual winner to adhere to this quasi social contract with the people, by ensuring responsive, responsible, ethical and accountable governance. It isn’t complicated. Our politicians must learn to not simply say what they assume, or campaign committees believe, potential voters want to hear. Because the downside to duplicitous statements is that overpromising and underperforming stoke disappointment, distrust, and discontent with the by – product of radicalization, demonstrations, police – public confrontations, hence instability.

    Finally, until our would – be presidents, despite the temptation to out – do each other in piling up sweet talk, realize that even in politics, one should underpromise, and overperform, not the reverse, in order to not instill exaggerated expectations in an already suffering populace, the better for national cohesion and peace in the country. Folks, promises and performance impact people’s quality of life and national security; let’s be careful what we promise. Like FPA Managing editor Mr. Rodney Sieh wrote in a recent editorial, the same crowds which sing hosanna could shout crucify.

    VP Boakai was right to not rush into promising the moon; the suffering Country – Congua vast majority are listening and watching.

  6. The turnout was really impressive! I am a strong supporter of Boakai, and I believe that it is not yet over until the results are announced. The UNITY PARTY should not relapse into complacency. Complacency at this time will prove to be dangerous. I am convinced that Joe Boakai will be elected as the next President of Liberia, although it is not going to be an easy contest.

  7. The absent of President Sirleaf on Saturday to support her Vice president Joseph N. Boakai is a serious betrayal of a trusted friend who had served her honestly and sincerely as her vice president. This vice president that I have personally known over several years before he became vice president is an honest and respectful man. We do need a leader who is intelligent and farsighted in making decisions. This Vice president has very good reputation with the international community. He does not need anyone to write his speech or to teach him pronunciation. He can speak eloquently without a written statement or speech. The Executive Mansion is not a classroom. It is a place of work. With all due respect to him, Senator George Wiah needs to learn more on leadership. If I were him. I would stay on as a senator to learn more about politics. He is going to be politically manipulated. And it would be dangerous for our country. The president must be able to reason and think for himself rather than other people doing it for him. Only His Excellency Vice president is qualified for this job considering his decade of experience. UP ALL THE WAY TO VICTORY ON OCTOBER 10, 2017.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here