Home Politics Victims of the System Turn Heroes of Democracy… Abraham Mitchell Says Boakai, Weah Blessings from Obscurity

Victims of the System Turn Heroes of Democracy… Abraham Mitchell Says Boakai, Weah Blessings from Obscurity

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MONROVIA: The fieriest of political foes in Liberia’s contemporary politics—President Joseph Nyuma Boakai and his immediate-past predecessor, Goerge Manneh Weah—have got fond appraisals from a Liberian legendary progressive and national security expert who says both men are “brothers” sharing similar class fate and destiny and must work together to strengthen “our democracy”.

Abraham B. Mitchell, Chairman of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC) and longtime advocate for social justice and peace, says “unity between former President Weah and President Boakai, the two most popular leaders of Liberia, is vital for strengthening our democracy and for the fight for all forms of far-reaching outcomes in Liberia”.

“I contend that former President Weah and current President Boakai are brothers – the both are victims of the system – one of a slum up-bringing, from the Southeast, and the other, a poor rural migrant-boy of the North-Western and Central, who migrated from Northern Liberia to Monrovia in search of opportunities, and by the accident of history, he ended up in the most ‘prestigious’ high school of elitist arrogance – the College of West Africa,” Mitchel stated in an article he wrote thanking President Boakai for speeding up the process of the war and economic crimes court.

He reflected that the both men, in spite of their very difficult backgrounds and upbringings, rose from obscurity to relative prominence – from youth to adulthood – nationally and internationally, with no civil spoons in their mouths, but by their own boot strings.

According to Mitchell, Boakai and Weah, the two phenomenal national characters of national stewardship, have had one major virtue in common: they both have made historic and magnanimous decisions in democratic elections, where the win or loss of elections, was a matter of “life and death”.

“Under those difficult circumstances, both Boakai and Weah, put the greed for personal power aside and magnanimously conceded to each other in different times of difficulty,” he said, adding, “By so doing, they both saved the country.”

Comparing the two rare transitional scenarios, Mitchell recalled that in 2017, Vice President Boakai said when he conceded to Ambassador Weah that he did not want anybody to “use his name to spill blood” in Liberia and he then conceded, and thanked Weah for his victory.

“Many of us who supported Vice President Boakai at the time, including myself, did not like his move, but his was virtue and strength, and the most appropriate thing he did,” he said.

“In 2017, as Secretary-General, I along with other key executives of the National Democratic Coalition (NDC), including Comrades Thomas Kaydor, Nyanquoi Kargbo, Johnson Willabo, Emmitt Blayee (Youth leader), etc., led the campaign for former Vice President Boakai within the NDC, and his subsequent overwhelming endorsement by and at the NDC 2016 Benthol Convention, leading to the 2017 Elections. Certainly, 2023 cannot be isolated and delinked from 2017, albeit, they are two distinct situations. The history is long but short.

On the other hand, Mitchell posited, “in a very tight race that the incumbent could have contested and gambled through the use of the Supreme Court to resolve post-elections conflicts, President Weah unprecedentedly conceded defeat, when the final vote counts of those elections were not yet concluded, and when the final pronouncement, were yet to be made by the constitutional authorities of the National Elections Commission”.

Mitchell contends that as an incumbent, and with all the incumbent advantages, Weah’s manner of concession was historic and unprecedented in Africa– the contrary could have very possibly cracked the “peace”, and who knows, Liberia might have possibly slipped into post-election chaos – possibly resembling the Gambian situation under Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jammeh, in which situation, ECOWAS threatened to intervene.

He said: “In the two incidents the two most popular leaders of Liberia today (of the UP and CDC), by their actions of self-less and magnanimous stewardship, raised Liberia’s profile regionally and internationally as a successful post-conflict country irreversibly on the path of democracy, thereby building global confidence that Liberia is stable for genuine partnership, long-term foreign investments, for economic growth and prosperity.

“The courage and the strong will demonstrated by both men at two separate critical post-conflict intervals of transitions – former President Weah, on the one hand, and now the 25th President of Liberia, on the other, did what neither President Samuel K. Doe, nor Charles Taylor and all war lords, had the strength and courage to do, the consequence of which was the destruction of Liberia in prolonged fourteen years of bloodbaths.

“Both Taylor and Doe demonstrated intransigence and the cling to power, when they both could have conceded when there were sufficient moments to doing so, and save the country – but what happened eventually, they both exited power by force and tragically. Their stories are well known to the Liberian people and the world at large – theirs has become the history of tragedy and vanity!”

Read the full text of Mitchell’s article on the website, https://www.theindependent.com.lr/

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