A reliable source in the UP standard bearer’s office has indicated that one of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai’s first priorities if elected in October will be to ensure that anyone who wants to serve in his government will have to relocate their family to Liberia, if he or she resides outside the country.
At a political event recently organized by the ‘Friends of Augustine Ngafuan’ (FAN) in Monrovia, the VP said that his officials will be compelled to seek medical attention at home and their children will have to attend local schools.
Additionally, when he became Unity Party’s standard bearer at its convention in Gbarnga, Bong County mid-last year, Vice President Boakai said he would make changes in the governance structure of the country.
“This in essence means we have to provide the quality that everyone can use as a government. We have to ensure that the country’s services and infrastructure will have to be standardized and equipped for our people. If you cannot ensure these then you cannot serve our people,” the source in the VP’s office said.
The source said that the VP plans to address several issues pertinent to the growth and development of the country, with the twin issues of outdated hospitals and a messy school system being two of the many issues he intends to straighten out if he is elected. The country’s health system, dilapidated prior to the Ebola outbreak, still lies in ruins. The school system, on the other hand, continues to be termed ‘a mess’ with students performing below expectations, though the government recently contracted a portion out to private companies through a partnership deal.
Capital flight is an issue that many believe continues to undermine the economy of the country as millions of dollars are taken out of a country that already has a high impoverished population.
A top executive of FAN, who recently endorsed the presidential bid of the VP, said the group’s decision to join forces with the VP is based upon his commitment to address some of these bottlenecks.
Other issues such as the huge salaries of government officials and the purchase of expensive vehicles, according to FAN chairman Ernest Garnark Smith Jr., will also be addressed by the Boakai administration.
He told this reporter in a conversation that, “We need money to develop our country and we can’t afford to see a few people enjoy state resources while the majority live in abject poverty. Addressing these national imbalances is why we joined the Boakai movement because we believe he has the passion and willpower to address these things that are serving as impediments to our growth as a country.
“We must use our resources to develop our country and not to continue to enrich other countries that are highly developed already. Our officials’ children and families are living luxurious lives in those countries with our meager resources, and yet we expect for Liberia to develop? You must be joking. We don’t need expatriate officials anymore in this country.”
Expatriate Liberian and other officials have overwhelmed the government and this is serving as a huge handicap to the country, many critics have said.
These are measures that would gain the overwhelming endorsement of the Liberian people, and if well-articulated by the VP during this campaigning period, would lure thousands of Liberians to his camp—eventually landing him the presidency, according to Unity Party insiders.
The soft spoken but sagely VP, many are predicting, will loosen his wings and make some hard decisions when he gets into the driver’s seat.