Vice President Joseph Boakai has moved quickly to dismiss rumors implying that he is now looking at other options outside the ruling Unity Party (UP) to contest as standard bearer.
However, when this question was recently posed to the Vice President he vehemently replied: “That’s never ever going to happen. I am a Unity Partisan and I am going to remain one until death.”
This is the assurance partisans are seeking following the resignation of three of their executive committee members, including House Speaker Alex J. Tyler, Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie and Margibi County Senator Oscar Cooper, few days ago.
Recently, after a week-long Ebola tour of his native Lofa County, the VP accepted the petition of his kinsmen and women of that county to contest for the nation’s highest office come October 2017.
In all the seven districts, including Salayea, Zorzor, Voinjama, Quardu Gboni, Kolahun, Foya and Vahun which the VP and his entourage visited, he told the people that he would officially respond to their request for him to contest in 2017, which he eventually did four months ago.
“Today the people of Lofa have asked me as their son, nephew and uncle, to contest the 2017 [Presidential and General] Elections. To me it was not a question of ‘whether he will do it.’ They said, ‘do it!'” He stated that when the people of Lofa tell someone to do something, they mean it and will stand by that person.
“So today, I want to say to you [that] I am your servant and that is what I will continue to be. Today, I want to say to you that there is nothing in my blood to say ‘no’ to the great ‘nephews’ of Lofa County,” he added.
The VP said that with the people’s blessings, along with “all the friendship that we have, we say to you, we stand ready come 2017 to take the leadership of this country.”
It can be recalled that the Vice President recently told journalists, when asked if President Sirleaf was supporting his bid for the presidency: “You see, I believe in procedures [when] working with people. I know the President and I are on [the same] course. The President is aware. In fact, the President has not come out openly. But the President has said to me on several occasions, ‘Joe, it’s you that I am looking forward to to replace me.’ So, I am not just here jumping the gun.”
So far, the VP is the only one from the ruling UP who has declared his intention to run on the party’s ticket. However, since he announced his candidacy in May, the party and its present standard bearer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, are yet to openly back his ambition.
Despite this, the VP has assured Unity Partisans that he is not thinking of divorcing the ruling party, vowing to remain a member until death.