Monrovia – Striking the iron while it is still hot, the Office of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai has sharply refuted and condemned claims made by Liberty Party’s standard bearer, Charles W. Brumskine, that the Vice President has done nothing in his current capacity to warrant his election as President.
The Liberty Party standard bearer during a press conference held Thursday at the party’s headquarters said “Vice President has received nearly US$9 million from the 2014 fiscal year to now, the total spending on health institutions in Lofa, his home county, for the same three-year period was only US$3,406,881. Only US$1,350,000 is proposed for Lofa health institutions for the 2017/2018 fiscal year.”
However, in a rebuttal which was contained in a press statement issued Friday, the Office of the Vice President said Brumskine’s narratives were far from the truth and shows his lack of understanding of the budgetary process.
“Mr. Brumskine did not take into account that the simple fact that appropriations made to the Office of Vice President cover salaries of over 140 program staff, consultants, as well as the operations of the Group of ‘77.
The Budget also includes funds for other programmatic activities and basic operations of the Office.
This point was missed by Cllr. Brumskine,” the release asserted.
Boakai’s office noted that at no time did he ever say that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was supporting the Liberty Party – a claim which Brumskine attributed to the Vice President and described as “nonsense”.
“The Office further clarifies that at no point in time did the Vice President make any claim of support from the President to the Liberty Party.
It is sad that Mr. Brumskine will deliberately decide to misinform himself and his followers in this public display of concoctions.
“The Office understands that there's a spasm of haste and protruding impatience on the part of Mr. Brumskine.
However, it is only fair that he sticks to the facts and refrains from making warped comments on matters he now clearly proves himself to be less knowledgeable.
The misstep by Mr. Brumskine is clearly understandable as the quality of public budgeting currently in use by this Government is new and strange to him,” the release noted.
VP Not Tribalistic
Brumskine claimed that supporters of the Vice President were preaching divisive politics through a congau-native divide, noting that problems that befall the country come for only congau or native people.
“We have also heard from political aspirants and their surrogates the preposterous allegations that the President is supporting me, and not Hon. Joseph Boakai, who is the Unity Party standard bearer, because she is congau and I am congau." Brumskine, among others said,
"Please, I beg all those seeking political office to stop trying to bring this division to our country again. It is the Liberian people who have kept their peace and hope since 2003. And they should be allowed to enjoy the dividends of peace.”
But refuting Brumskine’s allegation, the Vice President’s office said Vice President Boakai is neither tribalistic nor does he subscribe to any shade of sectionalism.
“The fact of the matter is that, if we were looking for anyone who is credited for evoking tribal politics, all fingers will be pointing at Charles Walker Brumskine who has elevated tribalism and sectionalism to levels unheard of in our political arena.
It is only him that has faked and hyped his lineage to perhaps avoid the hard questions about identity.
There is no denying that our history is replete with historical manifestations of sectional differences, but it has never been condoned by the Vice President anywhere in our political dialogue,” the VP argued.
In relation to allegation that he was not doing much in his home county in his capacity as Vice President, Boakai in his reaction stamped - “It is sad to note that the former Senator will forget that constitutional responsibility for allocation of the nation's financial resources lies with duly elected senators and representatives shows the depth of desperation to which this Political Leader has sunk.
“The Office of the Vice President would like to remind Mr. Brumskine that his Party has several lawmakers in the Legislature whose role it is to inform the policy discussion on appropriations for education, health, salaries, and the myriads of other sectors.”