Tuesday, July 27, 2010

VEEP BOAKAI A LOCK?????: Hometown Lofa Tipped for 2011 Indy Celebration

07/27/2010 - M. Welemongai Ciapha II

Monrovia - 
Source: FrontPage Africa

For months speculations have been in the air that Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was contemplating dropping Dr. Joseph Boakai as her running mate in the much-anticipated presidential elections in 2011. Speculations have surfaced for months that partisans within the party’s hierarchy, fearing fielding an ageing ticket, have behind the scenes been pressing for Sirleaf to drop Boakai for a much younger candidate as the party looks to address concerns about the ageing ticket factor.

Political analysts here believed that the president’s assurance to one of the sons of Lofa of the next year celebrations is a clear signal that Hon. Boakai is physically fit to ride the political wagon of 2011 or Sirleaf is comfortable with him by her side.

On Monday, however, Sirleaf and the UP appear to have settled on sticking with Boakai. During celebrations marking the 163rd Independence Day Celebration, the incumbent leader of the post-war Unity Party government tipped Boakai’s hometown, the vote-rich Lofa County as the next stop for the Independence Day bash.

Political analysts here believed that the president’s assurance to one of the sons of Lofa of the next year celebrations is a clear signal that Hon. Boakai is physically fit to ride the political wagon of 2011 or Sirleaf is comfortable with him by her side.

In her remark, President Sirleaf told the gathering of elders, dignitaries and citizens that Liberians were proud of their global village, Liberia, despite the decade-longed civil strife fought, her country are of resilient people with undaunted pride.

The president noted that with all projects on course in Nimba, further proved that the county is on the move in terms of developments and progress.

She said that her administration has always try to celebrate the July 26th , where most of the population in leeward counties would benefit, which began in 2006 in Montserrado County, followed by Grand Bassa County, Bong County, and now it is in Nimba county, adding, “and now I say to you Lofa,” amid applause from the audience.

The president further observed that her visit to Sanniquellie has brought back to her memory of 1959, when the leaders of Ghana, Guinea and Liberia, Kweme Nkrumah, Sekou Toure’ and William V.S. Tubman and other leaders at the time, met to discuss the formation of African Unity, now African Union.

She maintained that the discussion between the three leaders led to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU).

Boakai was noticeably absent from the celebrations in Sanniquellie as he represented Sirleaf in Chad at the Community of Sahel Saharan States (CEN-SAD). Following the CEN-SAD meeting, the Vice President will proceeded to Kampala, Uganda to represent President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the 15th Session of the African Union Summit. The Vice President also participated in the 14th Summit Bureau Meeting upon the request of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. The Vice President and party are expected to return home on Wednesday, July 28.

With Boakai being from the ruling Unity Party, political pundits are still unsure whether UP will abide by the merger agreement signed along with LUP and LAP - or stick with Boakai.

Boakai has not shied away from addressing the controversy surrounding his political future. In a 2009 FrontPageAfrica interview, the veep said he came on the ticket of the Unity Party not as a liability but as an asset.”I have large constituency and during the campaign of this party, unlike other parties you didn’t see me follow the president to go and campaign, I campaigned independently because I knew that not just in Lofa but all over Liberia, people know who I am.”

Over the past few months, Boakai has been showing his card, making of tour in Lofa in weeks leading to the recent Unity Party convention in Ganta, Nimba County where the party tipped Cllr. Varney Sherman as Chairman. Ironically, Sherman has been one of many names in the mix of potential replacements for Boakai but Sirleaf appears to be comfortable with the subtle Boakai.

Sherman debunked the speculations himself in a recent FrontPageAfrica interview when he said that he had no intentions of replacement Boakai. But the complications of the recent merger remains a prevailing dilemma for the ruling party.

According to Sherman in a recent FPA interview, the parties had an article for merger and the article of merger says that if the standard bearer of the Unity Party is selected for one of the constituent parties, that standard bearer will exercise his or her best efforts to select a vice standard bearer from one of the other two constituent parties. “That is what the article of merger says. Based on that, you gentlemen and ladies assume that Varney Sherman will be the vice standard bearer. There is no basis for that. I don’t see how you analysis can come to that kind of conclusion.”

With Boakai being from the ruling Unity Party, political pundits are still unsure whether UP will abide by the merger agreement or stick with Boakai.

Sherman was clear when pressed as to whether the merger meant that Boakai would not be Vice President because he’s from the Unity Party as is Sirleaf.

Said Sherman: “They say exert your best efforts. If the standard bearer exerts his or her best efforts and comes to the conclusion that it is Boakai and that is approved by the party, that’s it. But the thing about it is this. Even though Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has said that she would be formidable candidate, we still have to have a convention and come to that decision as to whether or not she would be the candidate. The assumption that she is automatically the candidate is wrong. Not in this unity party.”

The talk of replacing Boakai has fueled speculations that several young officials in the current government were being considered. Among them, Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan, Dr. Henrique Tokpah, President of Cuttington University, Planning and Economic Affairs Minister, Amara Konneh, Bureau of Maritime Affairs Commissioner Binyah Kesselly and others surfacing, VP Boakai admitted in an interview with FPA in Ganta shortly before the electoral process of the UP convention that in politics anything can happen and nothing is taken for granted.

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Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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