Rejoinder to Charles Brumskine Claim That VP Boakai Failed at LPMC
I am not writing this article as a spokesman for Vice President Joseph Boakai nor am I the spokesman or a member of the movement to elect Boakai. This article is in no way the official position of the Unity Party man for the 2017 presidential and legislative elections, neither is it an official position of the Unity Party; rather, I am writing this article principally for three reasons: an informed Liberian who likes to put truth to where it belongs; debunking the weaknesses and or inconsistencies of Cllr. Brumskine’s argument; and the failure of Vice President Boakai’s movement to come to his rescue and defense by setting the record straight.
According to the New Dawn newspaper Vol.6 No.11, published February 5, captioned, “Boakai Failed at LPMC,” Cllr Charles Brumskine of the opposition Liberty Party asserted that “the LPMC under Ambassador Boakai was not able to ease farmers’ suffering and the entity itself collapsed.”
Here, I categorize Cllr. Brumskine’s statement as a genetic fallacy. Cllr. Brumskine did not do fair to Vice President Boakai and the reading public, neither did he elaborate on circumstances that were at play when the Vice President was heading the LPMC. Informed Liberians will hold Cllr. Brumskine for withholding facts, facts if told that would exonerate Vice President Boakai of those alleged claims. Quoting Cllr Brumskine, New Dawn stated,”He (Cllr Brumskine) offered to, under a Liberty Party-led government, appoint Ambassador Boakai back to the LPMC and provide him support.”
On critical analysis of this quote, one can surmise that Vice President Boakai did not have support when he headed the LPMC and because of the lack of support, he (Cllr. Brumskine) is willing if elected, to appoint and give him (Boakai) all the support.
One must ask: If indeed Mr. Boakai did not have support from the government of President Doe, how could he have succeeded? Could Cllr. Brumskine have succeeded without support if he were in the shoes of Mr. Boakai? If indeed Cllr. Brumskine is willing to appoint Vice President Boakai back to LPMC, it means that Boakai is competent and the only thing he needed and did not have was support. Brumskine adds, “as a leader, when the organization fails, you fail also; and so is LPMC.”
Here, Brumskine’s logic and analysis is academically unclear, flawed and baffling. Here is my contention: When Brumskine speaks of a leader, to whom was he referring? Vice President Boakai as a leader and appointee at LPMC, or President Doe as a Head of State who appointed Boakai and did not give him the support as insinuated in Brumskine’s conception? If one were to speak of a failure in the case of Boakai and Doe considering the positions of both men, who then is or was the leader? Consider these scenarios:
We know that our educational system in Liberia is a “mess.” If the “mess” is not cleaned up to meet present day realities, who is to be blamed? Is it Joseph Korto, Othello Gongar, Etmonia Tarpeh and George Werner, or is it President Sirleaf? Between President Sirleaf and education ministers named, who have the appointing power? Who then will be culpable as a leader when things go wrong?
Let me make a legal reference since Cllr. Brumskine is a lawyer by profession: Considering the weakness and corruption in the judicial system, if judicial reform fails until the next President, who takes the blame? Is it the Chief Justice or the President, who appointed the Chief Justice? These two analogies bring to mind the roles of both Boakai and Doe.
If we are to speak of a failure between Boakai and Doe, in my opinion, it was President Doe, the head of the government, not an appointee like Boakai. In the same way, if we are to speak of failures and successes in President Sirleaf’s government, it is President Sirleaf who will take the credit or culpability and not appointed officials.
Farming of the Lower Class?
Another point for consideration is that Cllr. Brumskine is not a farmer like ordinary Liberians; he buys imported rice and other food crops. I do not know how long Cllr. Brumskine has been buying imported rice and other food crops, but one can extend the longevity to that of his parents and grandparents.
According to New Dawn, “Brumskine said, he is not a farmer himself, and said, if elected, he will support farmers.” Cllr Brumskine by his own admission stated that he is not a farmer and by such an admission undermines Joseph Boakai, when he Boakai was at LPMC. Brumskine and his parents could have made farms but their failure to make farms could rightly be construed as their failure and refusal to create jobs for indigenous Bassas.
Could it also be that their refusal could be equated to the class warfare, where farming belongs to indigenous people and those who buy imported food crops belong to the Congo establishments? I am very proud of the strong and loving people of Grand Bassa County; when I see rice and cassava farms in Grand Bassa, it reminds me of my heritage in Nimba County when my father and I used to be on the farm brushing, planting and harvesting food crops. Could it also be that farmers are of the lower class and those who buy imported foods are of the upper class and that’s why Cllr. Brumskine refused to make farms?
My fellow compatriots please consider what I call Cllr. Brumskine’s conundrum: The New Dawn newspaper stated, “The LP political leader added that Liberia is not self-sufficient in food because the country has failed to produce its staple food rice; it continues to depend on other countries for food.” Cllr Brumskine’s argument is a self-defeated argument.
Brumskine is accusing the country for not sufficiently producing its own staple food, yet he refuses to make farm, but instead goes to the store to buy imported food crops. His allegation against Vice President Boakai and suggesting that he should not seek the office of the president is unfair, unwanted and did not do justice to the many difficulties the Vice President experienced when he served as a Managing Director at LPMC.
If indeed Boakai failed as Brumskine made us to think and believe, why then was Boakai promoted to a deputy Minister of Agriculture and subsequently as a minister proper of Agriculture? If indeed Boakai was a failure and did not have anything to contribute, one must ask why did President Sirleaf picked him as her running mate and for almost eleven years, he has enjoyed the office of the Vice President? Brumskine did not do justice to the reading public because he withheld exculpatory information that would have exonerated the Vice President.
Kadiker Rex Dahn, PhD,