Liberia: Henry Costa Breaks Silence Over Murmurs to be Running Mate to Boakai


MONROVIA – Popular Talk-Show host, Henry P. Costa, has said he would accept an offer to be running mate to the Unity Party (UP) standard bearer, Joseph Boakai, if the position were offered.

By Selma Lomax and Francis G. Boayue

“Yes, I will,” said Costa during his show on Tuesday, in response to rumors if Boakai asked him to run as his running mate.

“If Joseph Boakai picks me it will be the will of God. I didn’t initiate the discussion for my name to be on the radar for VP Boakai, but there are Liberians home and abroad who are craving for this ticket,”  Costa added.

Costa’s name has been trending on social media and Facebook, with many claiming that a deal has been sealed for him to go as running mate to Boakai. But there appears to be an internal fight within the ranks of the Unity Party, that could stall his selection. And on Tuesday, Costa admitted he was aware of the internal plot within the Unity Party against his potential selection.

“I know very well some folks within the Unity Party are against this. Some are even against me because of my proximity with Joseph Boakai. I have lost a lot because of my proximity to Amb. Boakai. I have made sacrifices to keep this relationship with Boakai,” Costa said.

Costa’s potential selection as running mate to Boakai has divided opinions, with a faction of supporters of Unity Party describing it as a ploy of the ruling party, while others believe it’s a ticket capable of defeating incumbent president George Weah.

James Murphy, a Liberian, said of the potential Costa and Boakai ticket: “Imagine a Henry P. Costa who called Joseph Nyuma Boakai Sr “a dead man walking” wants to be a running mate to the very so called ‘dead man walking’. We are aware that it’s his right to name a running mate, but we dare hear Costa’s name. It will not be easy. JNB la my man ooo, no doubt.”

Byron Byron, another Liberian, said: “It’s going to be a political calamity if Amb. Joseph Boakai that we all support for President picks Nyonbee Kangar-Laurence or Jeremiah Koung over a youthful man like Henry Costa in the basis the people do not have youth other side as compared to Henry Costa. Costa is grounded with the young people. I do believe he can be a better VP to JNB, because he’s young, energetic and not desperate for power.”

Another Liberian, James Musa, said: “A lot of Unity Party  partisans have forgotten too soon the name Henry P. Costa. When the UP fell dead to Weah and his Looters and were nowhere to be recognized, the name Henry P. Costa, with the intervention of God Almighty, brought your party and standard bearer back in onto the spotlight. And some of you are in your feelings just by hearing a mention of his name being considered for running mate, so you people want to disrespect him, hahaha, don’t dare try, because I, one man army or two men army will stand up to anyone.”

Boakai’s running mate options

FrontPageAfrica has gathered Boakai’s team has been slowly narrowing a lengthy list of aspirants. There’s been increased pressure for Boakai to pick a woman running mate, and this is where Grand Bassa County senator Youngblee Karngar Lawrence’s name has been making rounds.

FrontPageAfrica also gathered there are a number of factors going into Boakai’s important decision that goes far beyond politics. 

As former Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf No. 2, Boakai wants a vice president who is ideologically aligned with him and is someone he can work well with. As the oldest first-term president ever, if elected, Boakai has also been clear he wants someone considerably younger and ready to assume the duties of the presidency should health problems or other unforeseen circumstances arise.

“The most important thing —  the most important thing is that there has to be someone who, the day after they’re picked, is prepared to be president of the Republic of Liberia if something happened,” Boakai said.