‘The Vice President Stayed in His Lane’

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– AME Bishop, Dr. David R. Daniels, Jr.

Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai has been hailed as a team player who ably stayed in his lane in accordance with the Constitution.

Rt. Rev. Dr. David R. Daniels, Jr., the presiding bishop of the 15th Episcopal District – African Methodist Episcopal Church, has asserted that “history will recall that this Vice President stayed in his lane.”

Dr. Daniels was delivering the sermon at the intercessory service commemorating Liberia’s 170th Independence Day at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on Broad Street, Monrovia.

“I have told the Vice President on several occasions that he and Madam President  need to write a book on how two people can work together, and each one of them stayed in her/his lane,” he said, and commended the Unity Party standard bearer for his work that has helped to sustain the peace this long.

Although one of the major functions of the Vice President, according to the Constitution, is to preside over the Senate as president, he, however, does not have the power to vote, except to break a tie  – a luxury Vice President Boakai has not enjoyed in plenary to date.

Bishop Daniels reflected on what he described as the many wrong turns the country has taken. The first major one, he said, was when in 1979 Liberians allowed a lie to overpower them, when they succumbed to the rise in the price of rice, and the riot that eventually “led us on the road that got us to where we were for 20 years in a senseless and barbaric war that didn’t benefit us anything.”

He said Liberians at the time couldn’t wait to change the government through a peaceful election, and assassinated President Dr. William R. Tolbert, Jr. on April 12, 1980, “forgetting that when you sink the big ship, all the little boats will sink along with it. We divided the country with ignorant slogans and stupidity that made us sing stupid songs of division, danced in the streets of Monrovia forming one group over the other.”

Liberians then, Bishop Daniels continued, “forgot to know that we are all in this boat together, and together we can make it divided, and we shall fall. A house that is divided against itself cannot stand. If we have to stand and prosper, we have to be together.”

The worst and biggest wrong turn made by the country, continued Dr. Daniels, was on December 24, 1989, when Liberians brought the country to a standstill, “destroying and ruining the last progress then made.”

He, however, said sustaining the peace as a theme for the country’s 170th Independence Day celebration was the most important and meaningful for this anniversary, “but most significantly it coincides with the last Independence Day of the first female President produced by Africa.”

“We have reasons for thanksgiving because we know the power of thankfulness. Although we messed up and made some mistakes, I am convinced that God is not through with us yet and will continue to keep doors open and bless us, if we work together. It is not by accident that God has sustained us,” the AME prelate told the well-attended service.

Bishop Daniels warned Liberians against ingratitude, “because ungrateful people are destined for destruction”, he said, adding “get out of the attitude of entitlement, nobody owns anything.”

He went on to recount some of what he said is going to be the legacy of the Sirleaf Administration, among them the construction of roads, such as the paved Caldwell and Jamaica Road, and press freedom.

“I thank you for having a free press because if you think a free press is not important, I want you to watch CNN and see what is going on,” he remarked in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s dislike of “fake press” in favor of twitter).

The bishop then challenged Liberians to embrace and show gratitude for whatever little they think this government has contributed to the reconstruction “of our once devastated nation,” adding that “whoever becomes victorious in the October polls can continue from the gains made.”

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