Simeon Freeman, political leader of the Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), yesterday blasted Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, who he blames together with the governing Unity Party (UP) for the deteriorating living condition of the Liberian people and the lack of commitment to develop the country’s infrastructure over the years.
Mr. Freeman alleged that over the past 12 years, VP Boakai has received US$25 million as Vice President of Liberia and head of the Senate, but has failed to carry out any development across the country, least to mention the VP’s native Lofa County, to improve the living conditions of the people.
According to him, at no point in time did the Unity Party presidential hopeful visit the Ministry of Education to ascertain problems affecting that sector, or help in addressing the situation, “but is now running around to get votes from the people promising them better education if elected.”
The MPC political leader said locals have the right to boo Boakai, “because he deserves it” since he has failed to improve the livelihood of the Liberian people.
It may be recalled that some residents of the slum communities of Clara Town and Doe Community booed Vice President Boakai on Wednesday, saying: “You have not visited our communities for the past 11 years so go away from here, you Boakai, go!”
Freeman said “Lofa Community College has received US$65,000 from national government for the running of the college, while the Zorzor Regional Teacher Training Institute (ZRTTI) received US$55,000, which is less than 65 percent of the actual budget of the Vice President. Boakai has received US$2.1 million every budget year and has 15 staffers in his office.”
But the office of the VP has rubbished Freeman’s claims, saying he makes empty noise without anything to prove.
George Saah, director of communications in the office of the Vice President, told this newspaper via mobile phone that the VP had better things for to do for Liberia than to respond to people who will eventually turn out to follow him on his campaign trail.
However, Freeman said it is unfortunate for VP Boakai to begin visiting some of the slum communities and districts that he abandoned for the past 11 years in search of votes, stating: “the VP has (not) helped President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in addressing Liberia’s problems or advocated for social services, especially in the rural areas, but continues to bring failed concessions to Liberia.”
Speaking on House Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay’s selection as vice running mate to VP Boakai, Mr. Freeman said it is dangerous for two “corrupt officials” to be paired to contest the elections.
“This is the man who has served as chair on Ways, Means and Finance for seven years under former Speaker Alex Tyler, who is heavily corrupt, because he signed bogus concessions and the VP selected such a person for Liberia?” Freeman wondered.
Meanwhile, Freeman said it is unfortunate for Charles Walker Brumskine, who considers himself a lawyer, to argue that the Code of Conduct speaks on the issue of intention; and as such, the National Elections Commission (NEC) should not have rejected Harrison Karnwea as his running mate.
In a related development, Freeman has promised to name his vice presidential running mate “very soon,” adding, “We are ready to campaign vigorously for the October elections to win the presidency.”
He said the MPC leadership, if elected, will privatize the Liberia Electricity Corporation and the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation and divide the districts and communities into zones, while ensuring that the Liberian people get the best of social services.
“We don’t need all those ministries and agencies to deliver services to our people, and so the MPC leadership will reduce all the 44 ministries and agencies to 22. We will also ensure that we have only 15 Senators instead of 30. Salaries of the 15 Senators to be dropped and benefits will go for agriculture and health in the interest of the country,” Freeman promised.