As More UP Strongmen Abandon Ship, Pres. Sirleaf Swears She’s Still On Board

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A brief cordial interaction between President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the UP vice standard bearer, Speaker J. Emmanuel Nuquay, recently

The ensuing presidential and representative elections have already witness barrage of controversies ranging from crossing carpet to political parties, political parties in-fightings, especially the ruling Unity Party and the much topical and controversial Code of Conduct recently laid to rest — or so it seams — by the Supreme Court. All in all, it would be fair to say that 2017 electoral activities have been filled with tension, as well as surprising, if not mystical, occurrences. And many believe the person dictating the current electoral climate is no other than President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

And rightfully so, the President has maintained that she still support the presidential Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, though recent occurrences suggest otherwise, pointing to the “visible crashes” within party.

The recent resignation of UP stalwart Gbehzongar Findley, a strong confidante of the President, and the resignation of Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe of his Secretary General post had made many to believe that the President no longer has interest in her long-time lieutenant.

But at a press conference in Monrovia Tuesday, August 8, the Spokesperson of the President, Press Secretary Jerolinmek Piah, said that the President still supports the presidential bid of the of the UP Standard Bearer.

Secretary Piah told “those spreading the fake news about the President’s support to candidates other than Vice President Boakai,” to use the energy they have to gather the votes and make the case about the VP’s election instead of seeking to tear down and destroy the unity of the Unity Party and the relationship of the President and her Vice.

In a rather abraisive tone, Mr. Piah indicated that the rumor represents “triviality and a complete non-issue.” He said the Executive Mansion had no intention to comment on such an issue but because of the nature of the Liberian society, “we have determined that it is of importance to be spoken to.”

“What I’m talking about is the continuous attack and accusation mainly coming from individuals and groupings that are supposed to be collaborating for the sole purpose of electing VP Boakai as the successor to President Sirleaf at the polls in October.

He indiacted that President Sirleaf had a lengthy discussion with the VP prior to he being officially endorsed in Lofa County to seek the Presidency. “At that meeting, the President made clear her support for the bid of her Vice President.”

Piah said the direct response to the many insinuations and rumor is that: “As of this point, VP remains President Sirleaf’s choice for the Presidency realizing though that the actual power of determining who becomes President remain the sole responsibility of the Liberian people who will make the choice through their votes.”

As customary among world leaders, he said, the President has informed all of her colleagues at the levels of ECOWAS, AU, the United Nations and others institutions that she supports the Presidential bid of the Vice President. “This has not changed!”
he said President Sirleaf is aware that she is President of Liberia and must remain seized of the responsibilities of said office. This means that she has an obligation to provide leadership even though she has a candidate that she supports, he said.

The Executive Mansion response comes just a day after the ruling party’s Assistant Secretary of press and public affairs, Mr. Mo Ali, told a local radio station that the VP camp was still waiting for the backing or support of the President. Mr. Ali, who is the spokesperson of the party’s campaign team, further indicated that he is not aware of any support the VP was receiving from President Sirleaf.

This was swiftly rebuffed by Mr. Piah who said the President has done everything in her powers to lend her support to VP Boakai, including introducing him to several regional and world leaders.

However, the resignation of Nagbe as SG seems to hit the ruling party hard. It could be recalled Nagbe emerged as SG of the UP on a controversial note at the party’s convention last year as he was earlier deemed not qualified to contest the post by the UP election commission, then headed by Bong County Representative, Prince Moye. But Nagbe’s inclusion on the ballot at the last minute brought uneasiness amongst delegates who thought that the process was being manipulated from the top.

Many of the delegates and partisans believe Nagbe was being planted as an “eye” of the President in the UP’s hierarchy. However, information have begun to that the President has been courting the tow major opposition party as she now has ideological differences with VP Boakai, since Nagbe resigned his post.

Nagbe indicated in his resignation letter that he is quitting his post because he want the space and time to help President Sirleaf end her tenure on a fruitful note. In a phone conversation with the Daily Observer, he said now that the party had put together a campaign team, he felt he could let go of the party position, noting also that he could not be effective serving as SG of the party, while also serving as Minister of Information.

But with this reason provided, one who wonder why an SG, who plays a very pivotal role in a party, especially during an election year, would resign to commit himself to a mere four month to end a tenure rather than work frantically to ensure that his party wins another six year mandate—ample time that would help cement the party’s legacy.

President Seeks Protection From No One

Sources have also emerged that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is making frantic efforts to seek political alliances in certain opposition parties to serve as safe haven when her mandate comes to end early next year—though many continue to wonder why the President doesn’t trust the current Unity Party candidate and exposure of her investments in Liberty Party and CDC.

According to a high-placed source, the President’s outreach to the CDC is for two reasons: protection of her family from prosecution and Weah’s support to Robert Sirleaf as his successor in the Senatorial seat for Montserrado for his vacant seat if Weah wins the presidency.

“Since the provisional acceptance of her outreach by Senator Weah and co., the President has instructed all her trusted confidants to choose between the Unity Party and her,” the source said.

This, the source however said, led to the resignation of Nagbe (from his post) and Findley from the party— with prediction that Nagbe will officially resign from UP soon. “More resignations are expected in coming weeks. In addition, it is being reported that Robert Sirleaf has promised Gazprom, a Russian Oil Company, some of Liberia’s oil wells with the election of Weah.

“This has prompted Gazprom to make some significant commitment to the campaign of Weah through the Sirleafs. The CDC is expected to benefit from aircrafts and some good sum of money from this arrangement,” the source noted.

But Mr. Piah stated at yesterday press conference that the President has nothing to hide, and as such, she seeks protection from no one.  “Let me state for the record that when it comes to the issue of integrity, President Sirleaf stands by her integrity and those of her family members. Her integrity remains untainted and exemplary. This is therefore an open challenge to those who think otherwise because President Sirleaf has absolutely nothing to hide and seeks no protection from anyone because her records are just clear and clean,” he said.

In short, Piah noted, President Sirleaf has done nothing wrong to warrant seeking protection from whoever takes over as President of Liberia following the elections.

Another high-ranking member of the UP said recently that the “stage managed” press conference is a mere political cover-up by the President, as her political game is well advanced.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Why can’t the President say it herself. In the article, the Press Secretary is speaking for Ellen. She is the “iron lady” and should say it herself. Let’s see her standing in the middle of JNB and JEN holding up their hands. Why should Joseph Boakai protect the Sirleaf Family? Varney Sherman will not allow that. Ellen and Family better run away if JNB wins.

  2. The issue of whether President Sirleaf supports VP Boakai is no-issue, because it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Vice President is capable of winning this election. It’s only unfortunate that there are some people, including some executives of the ruling party, who strongly believe that President Sirleaf is not doing much in support of the VP, and by extention, the Party. With the campaign michinery the UP has, it should not matter whether President Sirleaf supports VP Boakai or not. Am not very sure if her open support to VP Boakai will help to make him win or destroy his chances to win; otherwise, it’s best that the process remains as it is.

    Interestingly, it’s more of how the VP campaign team strategize to campaign that matters here, rather than concentrate on her intrest to support his bid, which she said it over and over. The issue of how people perceive as being a luck warm attitude towards VP Boakai’s Presidential bid, is more of rumors and deception on the part of many supporters, whose own support is dependent on Madam President’s support to the Vice President.

    As a matter of fact, the newly structured campaign team for the JNB-JEN ticket is more of strategic planning than is being construed as unlimited of ideas. So, let’s leave the falsehood of President Sirleaf supports not coming and relate to the campaign trails.

    With the gains already achieved by the campaign team, long before the official naming of the leadership, it’s very unlikely that UP will not win this election at the first round. Of course, both the opposition bloc and some institutions of intrest to the elections would wish for a second round.

    LET’S NOT DETERMINE THE FUTURE, WHICH IS WHY WE ALWAYS PRAY – THE FUTURE BRLONGS TO THE MOST HIGH GOD.

  3. This is inform Liberians, that I have been relibliably informed that the news of the President not supporting the VP for president is one of the political game to fool the Liberia people and so that the UP can ring the election in favor of the VP Joseph Boakai. After they have ring the election in favor of Joseph Boakai, they will begin to say he won farely after all the president was never in support of the VP Boakai.

    Please, Liberia people don’t be fooled, this a political game plan. I know what I am talking about.

    With this information I have let out of the bag, I know I will recieve some insult from Boakai supporters, because i have observed very resently on social media, onlines and other news outlet alot of Boakai’s suppoters are very insultive. Please, be mature.

  4. Game over! Game over!
    Unity party can’t win this Election.
    Is better to make your way now.
    Politics is interest my friend! News just using us that
    more senior unity party officials up to ten person will be
    resigning from unity party. I knew this was going to happen!
    The next government planed to put lots of Unity officials behind bar for
    Mismanagement of funds in Liberia.
    Your will see fun!

    • Boima August 10, 2017 at 6:18 am
      Game over! Game over!
      Unity party can’t win this Election.
      Is better to make your way now.
      Politics is interest my friend! News just reaching us that
      more senior unity party officials up to ten person will be
      resigning from unity party. I knew this was going to happen!
      The next government planed to put lots of Unity officials behind bar for
      Mismanagement of funds in Liberia.
      Your will see fun!

  5. It is clear as day to any unbiased person that Sirleaf is not supporting Boakai. For whatever reason, Sirleaf does not believe Boakai is the best choice for the presidency. Issuing generic statements to say “yes I support him,” is not convincing. Actions speak louder than words. UP is divided between the Sirleaf clan and the Boakai clan. Most of the Sirleaf loyalists are or will be supporting other candidates.

  6. Deer commissioner, we the people of Liberia are appealing to you to please be careful with our election, or else we will blame each other once again in Liberia.

  7. This is all political strategy Madam President. Do do not mislead our Liberians noivce in politics. You know very well that you are not in the JNB’s Camp.
    Why did Nagbe resign? He also is playing politicing with himself thinkin we are fools. Why didn’t you resign long since to focus on the smooth ending of the president tenure until now.
    Litrle boy Nagbe fool the fools in politics but not most of us.

  8. This is all political strategy Madam President. Do do not mislead our Liberians noivce in politics. You know very well tu you are not in the JNB’s Camp.
    Why did Nagbe resign? He also is playing politicing with himself thinkin we are fools. Why didn’t you resign long since to focus on the smooth ending of the president tenure until now.
    Litrle boy Nagbe fool the fools in politics but not most of us.

  9. This is to inform Liberians, that I have been reliably informed that the news of the President not supporting the VP for president is one of the political game to fool the Liberia people and so that the UP can ring the election in favor of the VP Joseph Boakai. After they have ring the election in favor of Joseph Boakai, they will begin to say he won fairly after all the president was never in support of the VP Boakai.

    Please, Liberia people don’t be fooled, this a political game plan. I know what I am talking about and I stand by my words.

    With this information I have let out of the bag, I know I will receive some insult from Boakai supporters because I have observed very recently on social media, online and other news outlets a lot of Boakai’s supporters are insulting when the truth is said about him. Please, be mature.

    • Mr. S. T. Kromah, Please, can you help me correct what I spelled wrong. I will highly appreciate it because I am humbled enough to continue learning. The mistakes are a typographical error.

      Thanks for your input

  10. On the surface this comes as a glaring indictment of Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s mismanagement and crimianlization of the country. This chaos is a direct manifestation of the kind of leadership that characterized her presidency. The fact that her UP part is spiralling out of control should come as no surprise to a President who was apparently an absent as far as governance was required.

    The apparent political gigsaw exemplifies the death of a party by a bellicose leader who became a gospel to herself. She never worked for or towards any kind of unity, not between and among Librarians and her own party, entirely self-consumed -a bigotry and demagoguery in parallel. UP historically was never Ellen’s party, it was a marriage of convenience; thus to assume that she harbors anyvundue loyalty to the party or it’s constituents is illusory. Ellen is her own audience. She failed to see anything of intrinsic worth beyond herself; an overly-self-obsessed bigot.

    Ellen’s political interest at this juncture is one of survival and protectionism. Should one suspect or expect that there will be meddling in the election? Of course! In fact it has already begun in both subtle and overt ways. Ellen is desperate and worried and will do anything within her power, even financial inducement, to ensure an outcome that will prove more self-assuring.

    This, courting likely winners should not be left to anyone’s imagination. The time is coming when she will want to spread her influence as far as wide as possible hoping to lure some gullible person into her survival web.

    It’s sad that at this juncture in our national life that we cannot talk about politics or the prospective of a thriving democracy in more civil and productive manner. Imagine how different it would’ve been if we were engaged in the pending elections more constructively through political forums, national debates, town hall meetings, citizenry meetings, and various platforms that will enable us to share our perspectives on vital national topics including the elections, reconciliation, coexistence, democracy, security, empowerment, development, etc. A kind of robust national engagement.

    A highly intelligent President ruled by fiat. Thus, Liberia’s perennial nightmare.

  11. This is to inform Liberians, that I have been reliably informed that the news of the President not supporting the VP for president is one of the political game to fool the Liberia people and so that the UP and NEC can ring the election in favor of VP Joseph Boakai. After they have ring the election in favor of Joseph Boakai, they will begin to say he won fairly after all the president was never in support of the VP Boakai.

    Please, Liberia people don’t be fooled, this is a political game plan. I know what I am talking about and I stand by my words.

    With this information I have let out of the bag, I know I will receive some insult from Boakai supporters because I have observed very recently on social media, online and other news outlets a lot of Boakai’s supporters are insulting people when the truth is said about him. Please, be mature!!!

  12. Mr. J P. Morgan, Okay Mr. San cutter, we will (Boakai Supporters) not insult you, we are mature enough to hear from everybody, good, bad or the ugly.

    • My Brother Ernest B. Johson Lanham, is not the issue of being a San Cutter. I am telling the truth and the information is from the high-level sources of the UP. I know you will not believe it.

      Take it or leave it, that is one of UP’s political game plan.

  13. Why people are low in thinking in Liberia? The issues with madam Sirleaf support to Boakai is not important for the people of Liberia because it is useless. She, and Boakai records remain undefined for so many years, and nothing will take them out of the record of the most corrupt government ever seen in Liberia history. When we are discussing Liberian politics like us remove Ellen, and Boakai because both of them are disgrace to country.

  14. The Liberian people need to take notes on individuals that are switching political parties. There are some who thought that CDC was going to win the Presidency in 2005. As soon as Unity Party won, they switch to Unity Party. Now that Unity Party term is to be over, they are switching party again. Let’s watch and see if those same individuals will switch Political party again to join the Party of whoever wins this coming election.
    I personally will not call anybody any name at this time, but I am watching to see before I called out those individuals and label them as GRAVY SEEKERS. I say this because I believe that a good politician and or Partisan in my opinion with a good agenda (WITH COUNTRY AT HEART AND SELFLESS SERVICE) will stay with his Political Party and try to improve it, to make it better by tailoring their PARTY’S AGENDA towards the development of their County and Country. NOTE: YOU DON’T SEE SOME HARD WORKING PEOPLE WITH GOOD RECORDS RUNNING AROUND AND SWITCHING HERE AND THERE. They don’t have to. Be assured that even if their Party doesn’t win this election, those individuals will be retained in their respective positions or ask to come aboard the winning Party Government. I can name few right now but I don’t want to spoil their chances. You all know who I am talking about. You see, President Clinton tapped Senator Cohen, a Republican to be his Secretary of Defence while Bameh borrowed Zito and another player ( from Barolle) to help them in their Defense during a match with Hearts of Oak of Ghana. Bameh won the match. Bameh couldn’t have won that game without Zito helping in the Defence. Good politicians don’t have to switch Political Party to get jobs just like GOOD PLAYER who don’t have to fight for jerseys to play. IF YOU HAD PERFORMED DURING THOSE PAST 12 YEARS, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SWITCH POLITICAL PARTY. Please don’t give me any excuses. You didn’t say anything or had any disagreement with UNITY PARTY until now. That’s why I respect Counselor Gongolee, the Attorney, and Human Right Activist. He said something when he was the Minister of Labor. You know the rest…

  15. We need to leave this woman, the President alone. I FEEL THAT SHE IS DOING THE RIGHT THING. This is Liberia’s first election where a sitting President is leaving Office and making the transition to another incoming President. If I can recall, she mentioned this before that she was going to be neutral and watch the candidates fan for themselves. That she was going to watch them go to the people to let the people know why they want to be President and let the people decide for themselves. What else do you people want? Majority members of both houses of the Legislature have endorsed the VP anyway? You know that most of our people are not lettered (no disrespect) and by her endorsing one candidate will send a message to our unlettered citizens that this is the person she wants to succeed her. If you can remember, during her last tour to the Southeast, some of the Chiefs and citizens were asking her to tell them who to vote for. DO YOU SEE WHAT I AM SAYING (ebonics)? I believe she wants to set precedence. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. THE V. P. and all other candidates need to go to the People and tell the people what they will do. You guys need to leave her alone. I, for one, will remain neutral in this election. May the Lord bless Liberia and hand- pick who he knows is best for his people.

  16. In as much as the present silent 54% that controls the majority registered votes in practice and forthwith recorded, this major vote is crucial in transforming the nation to peace and tranquility. Strictly Liberian, we have the power and votes to protect the incumbent and all candidates concerned. The people should rest assure that it is the people of Liberia that insures the transfer to the next President and the let go of the present President, in peace under protection. No individual or organization can interfere in this transitional process.
    Gone to 54%. Tell the Liberian nation.

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