Rivals, Now Good Neighbors: Weah Meets Boakai

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A distinct feature of the country’s nascent democracy — the loser concedes defeat and pledges to work with the winner — was given a boost as President-elect George Manneh Weah met with the man he defeated, incumbent Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, on yesterday, Jan. 1, New Year’s Day.

The meeting was held at the residence of Ambassador Boakai — who in fact lives just down the street from Sen. Weah on Rehab Road in Paynesville City — and reports indicate it was held in an atmosphere of cordiality.

Weah, along with his entourage at the meeting, said it was meant to seek further collaboration to strengthen Liberia’s democracy since in his concession speech, Ambassador Boakai promised to work with the new leadership whatever way the new president would feel in the interest of Liberia.

Weah, 51, won the December 26 presidential run-off by nearly a 270,000 vote margin over Boakai. In his acceptance speech on Saturday, December 30, President-elect Weah promised to tap on the rich public service experience of Vice President Boakai, among others, to continue the infrastructural and other transformation agenda of the country.

According to a press release from the office of Vice President Boakai, “President-Elect George Manneh Weah and his wife, Mrs. Weah on New Year’s morning paid a courtesy visit to Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai at his home in Paynesville where the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working for the benefit of the nation.”

The release noted that following exchange of pleasantries, President-elect Weah and Ambassador Boakai retreated to a one-on-one session in the private office of the Vice President where they consulted on other issues pertaining to the sustenance of peace, and moving on with developments initiated by the Johnson Sirleaf administration.

“In his concession speech Friday, Vice President Boakai said he will work with the incoming government for the good of the country,” the release said.

With his wealth of public service experience, VP Boakai got into the 2017 presidential race with a mantra: “Think Liberia, Love Liberia and Build Liberia,” which many political observers say Weah could explore to the country’s advantage.

Many Liberians have also welcomed the positive interaction and confidence building that Weah is exploring in his attempt to set his own agenda for the country’s transformation in the wake of the enormous challenges, not to mention the huge expectations that many of the electorates are dreaming about to happen.

January 22, will be the day of Weah’s inauguration  a turning point  beginning his administration’s first 100 days in office.

The difficult elections and its run-off, where even many called for the removal of the head of the NEC, which President Sirleaf overlooked, should prod Weah into leading a government that would reunite the people say some Weah supporters.

At VP Boakai’s residence: (2nd from left): Rep. Munah Pelham Youngblood, VP Boakai, President-elect Weah and Mrs. Weah

“This is interesting,” admitted a UP partisan, “the two candidates that fought for the leadership of the country found it necessary, and even Weah took upon himself to visit the elder statesman, and this is good.”

Vice President Boakai, admitting to his loss to President-elect Weah, noted: “The truth of the matter is that what I’m seeking was not the power or title, but instead an opportunity to serve. My love for country is more profound and intrinsic than my desire for the presidency,” a statement that many Liberians have acknowledged as Boakai’s finest hour, in a questionable election that anything other than that could have derailed the country’s fragile peace.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I was very ecstatic when I read that President-elect Weah and VP Boakai met after the run-off to shake hands. According to reports, the encounter between the two affable gentlemen was nothing but good. It’s a good start for Weah and it is hoped that he will keep it up. In Africa, newly elected presidents have a proclivity to do good initially, but as times proceed, the leaders sometimes deviate. Let’s pray that Weah will stay the course! As Gen. Bah of Sidney, Australia, puts it, “all hands are on deck”.

  2. Our President-elect, George Manneh Weah, has just made a 100 per cent grade on his political pop quiz. From what I see here, Weah has just demonstrated his leadership ability by putting Liberia first above all personal interest when he along with his Vice President-elect paid a courtesy call on the out going Vice President of the Republic of Liberia as a demonstration of his desire to work with all Liberians in the interest of our country, no matter their political orientation or differences. This is a commendable step taken by our President-elect to tap on the vast experience of the out-going Vice President, His Excellency, Joseph Nyumah Boikai.
    While the above step is in line with national unity, I was amazed to discover that our out-going Vice President’s name was conspicuously omitted unlike that of his counterpart, the in coming Vice President, from the joint Transition team formulated to help organize the smooth transfer of power on January 22, 2018.
    Notwithstanding this political blunder that defies reconciliation on the part of the outgoing administration, Mr. Weah, our President in waiting, has just scored a political victory for which he must be well commended. He has shown by his magnanimity that indeed “in Union Strong, Success is sure, we cannot fail,…(Liberian National Anthem).
    Mr. Weah,
    Your knees shall bow to God and God alone
    Your life is in the Emperor’s(God’s) hands
    Your Conscience(sense of right or wrong) is your own
    Fear no man
    Honor and respect lawful and constituted authority
    Yield a cheerful obedience to and live within the law

  3. You made an excellent move, Senator Weah when you reached out to V.P. Boakai on New Year Day with a cheerful heart.. You will succeed with your development agenda should you keep up the spirit of reaching out to all who were in the presidential reace with you. Thank you and God bless you.

    Bishop John Innis(ret)

  4. Let Peace and Goodwill take precedent over violence and war in Liberia!!!

    An anonymous philosopher once said, “We faced the necessity of solving our problems at home in ways which may offer guidance to millions abroad groping for their own solutions. We must find answers for pressing problems of world peace, for raising living standards, safeguarding individual liberty and bringing management and labor to an understanding of the united effort necessary to advance the common good. If we face these issues we will find answers which will benefit our own people and provide the world with the lead it is looking for. This is surely our mission in the world today, and our great challenge.”

    President-elect George Weah, your years as a Goodwill Ambassador and your long advocacy for peace in Liberia is demonstrated in your peaceful manner of goodwill and respect towards Joe Boakai.

    You immediately find time to reach out to V.P. Boakai who himself graciously and peacefully conceded defeat in this hotly contested run-off election. The two of you have shown political maturity to bury the hatchet for the love of country that is uncommon in many parts of Africa…..where political violence remains unabated.

    Exactly fourteen years ago such peaceful co-existence shown today after the election was not the norm in Liberia. During those turbulent years, Liberia experienced untold political upheaval that led to senseless deaths and destruction because of personal greed, thirst for power, and the refusal of selfish individuals who did not give way to peace and goodwill for the love of MAMA LIBERIA.

    I pray that this goodwill gesture shown by President-elect George Weah is a good sign of peace, inclusion, unity and equal opportunity for all Liberians.

  5. Inasmuch as I support Oppong’s presidency, and that I am happy about the recent presidential election in Liberia, and about its historical example in our country’s history, I take my hat off to Boakai and hail him as a man of class with noble character and gracious dignity for his true patriotism for Liberia. I’m 60 years of age, and nearly 3 decades removed from Liberia, I haven’t witnessed anything relating to a political election, especially in Liberia, this peaceful in my entire lifetime! Joseph Boakai is a true, loving Liberian who deserves a special place in our history – I cannot express in words how much I admire him and concession speech it takes someone like him especially, from his generation, to show a class of this magnitude!
    Meanwhile, I applaud President-elect George Oppong Weah, for returning Boakai’s favor by personally calling on Mr. Boakai at Boakai’s residence. These men make proud to be a Liberian!

    • Inasmuch as I support Oppong’s presidency, and that I am happy about the recent presidential election in Liberia, and about its historical example in our country’s history, I take my hat off to Boakai and hail him as a man of class with noble character and gracious dignity for his true patriotism for Liberia. I’m 60 years of age, and nearly 3 decades removed from Liberia, I haven’t witnessed anything relating to a political election, especially in Liberia, this peaceful in my entire lifetime! Joseph Boakai is a true, loving Liberian who deserves a special place in our history – I cannot express in words how much I admire him and I’m impressed by his concession speech. It takes someone like him especially, from his generation, to show a class of this magnitude!
      Meanwhile, I applaud President-elect George Oppong Weah, for returning Boakai’s favor by personally calling on Mr. Boakai at Boakai’s residence. These men make me proud to be a Liberian!

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