Monrovia – They started up as two friends from their days in grade school at the College of West Africa (CWA) back in the days. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Vice President, Mr. Joseph Nyuma Boakai, were friends even after high school.
They maintained their friendship even in the Diaspora until 2005 when they decided and agreed to run for the country’s highest offices - President and Vice President - respectively. Even as President and Vice President, they remained best of friends until 2017.
Sometime after the first quarter of 2017, rumours and speculations became to circulate that the two ‘best friends’ had become enemies to the extent of keeping speech from each other when he (VP Boakai) declared that he wanted to succeed his boss, who, by the Liberian Constitution, can't contest again for Office, as her second and final Presidential term comes to an end by mid January 2018.
To many, the so-called “bad blood” between the two best friends was/is because of the friends they have made and the kind of people they have associated with during their tenures as President and Vice President, respectively.
For the first time, both the President and the Vice President did not attend one another birthday parties -- showing the extent to which both leaders' relation had gotten sour.
The Costa Show & 1st 150-Day Deliverables
On a local morning radio talk-show, “The Costa Show,” VP Joseph Boakai, on Monday, December 18, made it clear that his association with Cllr. Varney Sherman and Unity Party Chairman Wilmot Paye has soured his relationship with his long-time best friend, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
“I am guilty by association, that is the only crime I have committed against my long-time friend Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. My association with Cllr. Sherman and Party Chairman Wilmot Paye, who won the chairmanship on white ballot is the only crime I have committed.”
The Unity Party standard bearer, who is expected to face up with Montserrado County Senator George M. Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) in the second round of the October 10, 2017 polls, promised to provide 50 thousand jobs in his first 150 days as President of Liberia when elected.
He said, his vision and plan to build roads across the country will help provide Jobs and create wealth.
VP Boakai believes if the country is connected by roads, people especially local farmers will have the means to bring their crops and produce to the market and they will get empowered.
The Unity Party government under Madam President, has been heavily criticized for doing nothing or very little in the fight against corruption.
Some Liberians believe that this administration under the leadership Madam Sirleaf and VP Boakai is the most corrupt.
To others, this government’s efforts to step up the fight against the maniac, is why the song of corruption is being sung the way it is now by most Liberians and their international friends.
As President, the Unity Party’s standard bearer, has promised to fight corruption to his best.
He described it as a poison that makes people in authority to want to use government to provide for them and their unborn generations.
“You want to be corrupt go elsewhere; it won't happen under my watch,” he warned as he threatened stern actions.
National Elections Commission
Like many critics of the National Elections Commission (NEC), VP Boakai, too, believes the Final Voter Roll (FRR) needs to be clean up.
“This voter registration thing is fraudulent. It was done so by Mr. (Jerome) Korkoya. Let’s give this election process a chance,” he stressed.
Responding to questions about same-sex marriage, the Unity Party standard bearer, who is poised like Senator George Weah, to become Liberia’s next President, said the Liberian culture doesn’t permit such practice.
“In the Bible, we read God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve,” he said rhetorically taking a jibe on those promoting same-sex marriage.
The VP urged Liberia’s international partners, who are desirous of tying aid to governments legalizing the practice in their countries, to change that policy of theirs.
He called on them to allow Liberia and Liberians the chance to live and respect their culture.