By: Frank P. Martin
MONROVIA: The 2023 National Flag Day Orator, Wantoe Teah Wantoe, has called on voters to reject Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Standard-bearer of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), for the Liberian Presidency in October this year.
Wantoe, a Steering Member of the United Nations (UN) Department of Global Communication Youth Steering Committee and AFS Youth Assembly Advisory Council pointed out that Ambassador Boakai should not be elected to the Liberian Presidency.
According to Mr. Wantoe, Unity Party (UP), of which former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai is a Political Leader and Nimba County’s Senator, Jeremiah K. Koung serves as Vice Running mate to Boakai is a failed leadership.
He indicated that for 12 unbroken years, UP has governed the Liberian Nation but the then ruling party miserably failed to develop the country.
Speaking in an interview with reporters on Monday, August 29, 2023, in Monrovia, Wantoe said, the perspectives of voters that would usher in new national leadership in October this year should be based on policy framework and sustained progress aimed at improving the living standard of the Liberian people.
He maintains that Liberians, during the 12 years rule of the UP leadership, then, headed by former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, experienced the worst living conditions, a situation, which he said, now puts UP’s Standard-bearer, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, “below the picking order” in the October elections.
In 2017, the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC’s) Political Leader, George Manneh Weah, and Unity Party (UP’s) Standard-bearer, Joseph N. Boakai, were the two leading candidates who participated in round-off elections, from which CDC’s Weah finally emerged as a winner of the coveted Liberian Presidency.
Hence, on 26 December, 2017, Weah emerged victorious with 61.54% (732,185) of the votes, while his main contender, then, Boakai lost with 38.46% (457,579).
With this percent accumulated by the UP’s candidate in the 2017 Presidential round-off, Wantoe is of the view that it is “fair enough” for the country and its international friends to witness a repeat of this situation.
He believes that Liberians are not prepared to give the Unity Party “another chance to repeat retrogression and the squandering of the country’s resources.”
He quoted Ambassador Boakai as telling the Liberian Nation long ago that the then UP-led government “squandered” several opportunities for twelve-year in the development of the Liberin Nation.
“In the space of twelve-years, the Unity Party miserably failed the country, but they still refer to themselves as ‘Rescuers”, Wanton emphasized.
He indicated that the policies that were instituted by the Unity Party—”Liberia for Transformation” and “Poverty Reduction Strategy”—were a commitment to ensuring that Liberia returns to its recovery state as a post-war country; and onward become a middle-income state.”
Wantoe: “In 12-years, Unity Party extremely failed to expand the country and Liberia did not archive half of those commitments.”
He indicated that incumbent President George Manneh Weah inherited the country under several geo-political conditions, including the COVID-19 outbreak, but those conditions could not drag the country backward, compared to other developed nations that COVID-19 sporadically rained their citizens, with all of the sophistications.
“Liberians died in 2014 during Ebola time. Dead bodies were all over the place but during the COVID-19 under President Weah, Liberians did not die like 2014 under Sirleaf-Boakai and the UP regime,” he noted.
Wantoe also compared Liberia’s post-war recovery under the erstwhile UP administration with Rwanda in 1994 when up to 1,000,000 people died.
According to him, since the Rwandan documented genocide, the Central African country has made significant progress, including upholding justice and the rule-of-law through investigation of war crimes committed in that country as opposed to Liberia’s recovery case, wherein almost every fabrics of the country’s (Liberia) remained in ruins under ex-president Sirleaf and ex-vice President Boakai as a result of wanton corruption, gross human right violations and bad governance.
“The progress Rwanda makes clearly shows that the Unity Party in Liberia should not be referred to as governmental material. Rwanda currently has transitioned into one of the progressive countries in Africa within the same space of that recovery. Currently, the Unity Party’s regime left Liberia extremely deplorable as possible,” he argued.
He said Liberia and its development partners spent billions of United States Dollars to sustain the presence of the erstwhile United Nations Mission in Liberian (UMIL) in the country for twelve-year.
“In fact, former President Sirleaf assumed that the 2017 electoral processes were not going to be free, fair and transparent in the absent of the UMIL, for which one hundred UNMIL troops were able to remain in the country during the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections,” he asserted.
Wantoe: “Since 2018, when UNMIL withdrew its peace-keeping mission from Liberia, President Weah has ensured that Liberians be the architects of their peace by maintaining and sustaining the country’s hard-earned peace.”