VP Boakai Concedes Defeat, Congratulates Weah

10
3279
Unity Party standard bearer, VP Joseph Boakai said he called Mr. Weah of the CDC to congratulate him on winning the Liberian presidency

Calls on UP Partisans to put acrimony behind and push Liberia forward

William Q. Harmon and Gloria T. Tamba

Ahead of the official announcement of final results by the National Elections Commission (NEC), Vice President and standard bearer of the ruling Unity Party, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, conceded defeat to rival Senator George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) who emerged distant winner of the December 26th runoff presidential election.

Speaking at the emotionally charged headquarters of the ruling Unity Party, where scores of partisans had converged in tears on Friday afternoon, VP Boakai said “a while ago, I called Senator Weah of the CDC to congratulate him on emerging as the winner in the presidential contest.”

“I also availed myself to help him in any way he finds me useful to advance the good of our country,” said the VP, flanked by several members of the top brass of the Party, including Chairman Wilmot Paye and Campaign Manager Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.

The VP’s earlier call to the Montserrado County Senator, and his (Boakai) public concession speech ends his quest to succeed President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — his boss of 12 years and Liberia and Africa first democratically elected female president — who many believe had never been in support of her VP’s presidential bid.

The NEC, on Thursday, December 28 announced that, of the 98.1% of the total number of total polling places tallied so far across the country, the CDC candidate, Weah, emerged with a distant and comfortable lead. NEC Chairman Jerome Kokorya, at a press conference at the electoral body’s headquarters, announced that Weah had accumulated 720,023 votes, which amounts to 61.5% while Boakai earned 451,088 representing 38.5%.

However, like hundreds of thousands of supporters across the country and in the Diaspora, the VP entered the runoff election confident in a victory that would have ensured the party retained not just the Executive Mansion for what would have been considered a third consecutive term, but a change of course that would have ensured that a robust governance with focus on a more vibrant economic governance structure; vigorous fight against the menace of corruption and a more socially inclusive agenda, under its new leadership.

At that UP headquarters on Friday’s afternoon, the scene was set for Liberians to witness an event that has a rarity in the nation’s history. Liberia seems to have no history where a close political rival, the CDC included, had conceded defeated to a winner.

With tears in his eyes, the VP indicated,“I, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, a man of peace, humility and a Liberian patriot with deep faith in God, hereby accept the results of the elections.”

The VP Boakai’s emergence to the second round and subsequent defeat came following tedious litigation processes precipitated by allegations of gross irregularities and fraud of the October 10 presidential and representative elections.

In spite of Boakai’s concession, many still harbor the belief that the fraud that characterized the previous elections also attended the runoff though this is yet to be proven on a large scale, apart from the pocket of incidents where few persons were caught with pre-marked ballot papers in favor of the CDC’s candidate.

But as rightly, the UP standard bearer said Liberian history is characterized by some disturbing episodes of fraudulent electoral processes and the attendant consequences. Notable among these, he said are the presidential election of 1927 and 1985— outcomes of which were rejected, thereby engendering conflict, which occasioned the loss of lives and protracted fratricidal national conflict.”

“I refuse to subject our nation to such an experience. I reject any temptation of imposing pain, hardship, agony and uncertainty upon our people. My name will not be used as an excuse for one drop of human blood to be spilled in this country.

“My worth and ambition to serve will never push me to stoop low to violence. 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,” he said.

VP Boakai noted that Liberia is at a historic crossroad, and called on Liberians to remain “cognizant of the extent to which elections are conflict-prone and have the potential to destroy nations, disintegrate families and undermine the sanctity of a nation.”

He noted that he has seen the good of the country and learned that there are many good people, and that, ultimately, good triumphs. “Although we worked so assiduously for a different outcome than what the results show, my faith, values and principles dictate that I respect the will of our people as announced by the NEC.”

Some top UP officials along with Campaign Manager, Augustine Ngafuan at the party’s headquarters

During his concession speech VP Boakai called on his supporters and well-wishers of the Unity Party to support peace collectively join hands to build Liberia, heal wounds and serve the people with honesty, as well as a renewed dedication and commitment.

“Let us put the election and the acrimony occasioned by it behind us and close ranks to push this nation to its rightful place within the comity of nations,” he said.

“I value all of you and hereby urge you to demonstrate that Liberia can be a better country. As I have so frequently urged, we must subordinate our personal ambition and interests to the good of all and love for our country.”

“I appreciated the years I have been serving as Vice President and the privilege of serving with utmost dedication and integrity,” he said.

The VP is proud and, according to him, dearly cherishes his services to country, both in the private and public sectors, “and for that, let me express my gratitude to the people of Liberia for giving me that noble opportunity to serve my country.”

With sorrows and tears in the faces of the few supporters who had gathered at the party headquarters, the VP acknowledged that he is aware that UP partisans and his many other supporters are disappointed by the result of the election.  Yet, he asked them to be consoled by the fact that it was a collective fight.

“Our campaign was characterized by many tangible projects to communities. We did our best and each of you deserve my personal gratitude. Let us continue to work even harder to promote reconciliation and integrity in government,” he said, adding: “All of you are the Liberian heroes.”

The VP also lauded the international community for standing with Liberia. “Our gratitude goes to all our international partners who stood by Liberia during this long and arduous electoral process,” he said. “Many of you traversed this country to let our people sell our agenda to fix our roads, produce food to feed ourselves, heal wounds inflicted over the years, unite us and develop our country.

Ngafuan speaking to the press

UP Campaign Manager Ngafuan noted that the fight was a valuable one and called on those who stood with the VP to take pride in the fact that they were able to work together for worthwhile cause.

“We had wanted him to be the captain of the ship but the Liberian people in their ‘majority’ have spoken; so we want to congratulate the winning team and we wish members of the team the best as they steer the affairs of our state.

Now that Boakai has been gracious in defeat, it is now incumbent upon the winner to be magnanimous in victory.

10 COMMENTS

  1. The Old man is a Good man, but those “anarchists” he surrounded himself With, are all Hoodlums ….the like of Brumskins, Urey , Varney Sherman etc.
    Natural Trouble makers.

    • M.P; I’d rather refer to Cllr. C.W. Brumskine as a “TROUBLE SHOOTER”; not TROUBLE MAKER… The man is a “LAWYER”. He was only practicing his profession; as a true professional-in the best interest of Liberia. It’s not all about winning. It’s also about how you/we play the game.

  2. The Change of times is rapidly growing around the world with lots of inspirations for a new generation of the young. The great USA has experienceed a monumental change in the dynamic of politics and is surviving. Africa is not exception. We must learn to meet people were they arek in their short comings, and all the uncertainties of life.

    Can we agree that this is an opportunity of inspiration for the young of our nation who have cling to Liberia’s elected president before excelling to the nations’s top job? I solute you Mr. President elect and wish for you the very best as continue to share your dreams of hope and peace for all Liberians. Liberians, the people have spoken Let the voice of the people be heard and move the nation forward.

  3. Liberians and foreign friends and partners should congratulate President
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf because she had cleverly re-elected herself to still
    rule Liberia from behind the scence. The reason is that the CDC Weah has
    not at all spread his development knowledge and strength; the how, where,
    and when of developing the country.

    Another thing will George Manneh Weah bring into Liberia’s revenue the
    Maritime money in the United States- New York in particular, that President
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has been accumulated for herself and claims that she
    use the money for public relations? Will George M. Weah go after President
    Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to bring or pay back the NOCAL’s for which she took
    responsibility? The revenue raised by the Maritime Affairs can be used to
    build paved roads network in the country that Mrs. Ellen Sirleaf refused to
    do?

    Or, is George Weah going to go through the same don’t care for Liberians,
    consequence of which there is little over 85% unemployment that Liberians
    are suffering from today? We shall see!

  4. P.T; it seems, some of your thoughts are pure illusions. Do some research, before you put pen to paper; then write “PURE ILLUSIONS”. I’ve previously asked you to present us with a balance sheet; taking into consideration all expenditures of NOCAL to back up your allegations. Why not? I should also remind you and some others; Liberia’s Maritime Revenue is earmarked, to pay the bills for Liberia’s many foreign missions all over the World, in such expensive cities as; London, NewYork, Tokyo… Total Maritime Revenue is far less than what, you and some others imagine/illusion. NOCAL, Liberia had International Partners. Those partners, controlled the flows of MONEY to NOCAL. Bet You! Let’s start from there… Infact, it was absolutely necessary to cut NOCAL’S losses short and declared bankruptcy.

  5. Uncle Boakai, you’re a faithful follower of Christ and a Baptist deacon. You fought well but didn’t succeed for the presidency. Your failure to win the presidency were due to the promotion of hate messages by your Unity party chairman, former chairman, weak running mate, and insulting president sirleaf. Promoting hate messages regarding Congau VS Native or Indigenous Ticket also hurt you. Finally, you shouldn’t have join 3rd place winner Brunskine to delay the election process when all international observers as well as national observers described the October 10 elections as free, fair and credible. You’re a peaceful leader but you were surrounded by hateful partisan.

  6. Thanks Massa you said it very well. Those were the key factors that brought uncle Joe his presidential defeat. This should be a valuable lesson learn by any politician.

  7. Thank you for conceding defeat, His Excellency Amb. Vice President Joseph N. Boakai. You are indeed a true patriot, son of the soil who understand the conflicts faced by us in the past. Since the foundation of my coming to this earth and Liberia being my Motherland (Country of Birth), I have never heard that a presidential candidate had ever concede defeat like you have done not even the Congress for Democratic Change which many blind see has peaceful. I use your quotation when you said, “I refuse to subject our nation to such an experience. I reject any temptation of imposing pain, hardship, agony and uncertainty upon our people. My name will not be used as an excuse for one drop of human blood to be spilled in this Country. My worth and ambition to serve will never push me to stoop low to violence. 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.” Amb. Vice President, your willingness to accept defeat, embraced and congratulate the two Senators (Amb. Weah and Madam Taylor) for their preferment by the popular votes of the Country has convinced the world that you’re symbol of true patriotism and a lover of peace and many around the world will emulate your good example. You will forever be remembered by conscious sons and daughters of this great land. You have won my admiration Mr. Vice President, Congratulations! You will forever remain my role model, my leader and teacher. I love you, Mr. Vice President.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here