Congratulations Joseph Nyumah Boakai


Now That you have picked your vice presidential running mate in House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay and we who support you will have to live with that decision, good or bad. 

I have a problem with Mr. Nuquay but I can understand the logic of picking him: to help deliver the Kpelleh vote, by far the largest ethnic group in Liberia found in five counties: Bong, Grand Bassa, Nimba, Margibi, and Lofa.

But is that reasoning enough when Nuquay represents perhaps the most corrupt institution of government, the National Legislature?

I am sure you Mr. Boakai will take a page from American President Harry Trumam’s political playbook when he said: “the buck stops here,” meaning, the President, as captain of the ship takes full responsibility for the administration’s decisions.

This is why the corruption blame game rests squarely at the feet of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and not so much you, her Vice President.

If you are elected, then it becomes Boakai’s show.

Because I have been a proponent of the Native versus Congua debate in this election, I can live with the Nuquay pick, but I am not the one to waste my time defending the absurdity of his office as Speaker and the wealth apportioned in the national budget for his comfort in the midst of grinding poverty facing Liberians.

Except for the last two budgets, the “office budgets” for both the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate Pro Temp average $1 million each over the years.

Then the insanity of this giveaway is that we the taxpayers pay them to live in their own homes, pay for their electric generators, pay for their travels, pay for their cars, pay for their gasoline and even pay for oil change and car tune ups.

The government is sweet for some. I can’t defend such lifestyles of the rich at the expense of the poor. That is the stuff political campaigns are fought on. You have just fed raw red meat to the opposition.

Now, Team Boakai will save face by campaigning on cutting such waste in the outrageous salaries and benefits across the board in all three branches of government.

Do yourself the favor by promising to cut your own presidential salary of $72,000.00 and the other benefits of that office, and that of your VP, cut the salaries of all lawmakers from the $175,000.00 yearly for each to maybe $36,000.00 a year; cut the fat salaries of Justices of the Supreme Court reportedly at $90,000.00 each to $30,000.00 yearly; and please cut the fat $360,000.00 yearly salary for the NOCAL head and the $108,000.00 yearly pay for each NOCAL Board member. 

Then cut also the fat salaries of some cabinet ministers to a uniformed monthly salary for all cabinet members; cut also the outrageous salaries of the Liberia Telecommunication Chair and Board members, then at LPRC and all the pork in this bloated fat government.

In other words, lead by example. Cut your own salary to $60,000.00 yearly and the VP to $45,000.00 yearly. Those who want o get rich should go in the private sector.

Then we want to know how you are going to fight the cancer of corruption in government? This is why many were hoping you would pick the no-nonsense corruption critic Cllr, Kofi Woods. Let voters know some of your potential cabinet picks for Justice Minister, Police Chief, Finance Minister, Health Minister and Education Minister. 

And what do you plan to do with the over 100 General Auditing Commission audits and Presidential Task Forces findings that President Sirleaf has refused to act on? What is your position on the TRC Report and the need for a future Liberia War and Economic Crimes Court?

Let some of your future cabinet ministers be part of the “face” of your campaign to send a strong message you are going to take no prisoners in the war on corruption. This election is all yours to win but it is not going to be handed to you, You must earn it, or else.

Please recruit the likes of Kofi Woods, Tiawon Gongloe, the fearless former Auditor General John Morlu, John Stewart, Jerome Verdier, Dr. Antoinette Sayeh and others. Who is going to be your campaign manager?

People want to know, Now that you have selected your VP, it is time to craft your campaign manifesto or platform, your vision on how you will govern. 

Please don’t disappoint we native people who support you. Your public relations team has its work cut out for them.

Congratulations again, and now the work begins to sell your ideas for a better future for all Liberians and not just the powerful few.

Jerry Wehtee Wion, Journalist and Political Commentator
Washington, DC, USA