Liberia: Former Vice President Joseph Boakai Says He ‘Credits’ from Banks to Survive
Monrovia – Former Vice President Joseph Boakai has said he is surviving on loans he receives from the International Bank.
In a Zoom interview with talk show host Henry Costa last week, Boakai said: “I go to the First International Bank more than five times in two months because I want to have something in my account to live by. I’m living on what I earned as vice president.”
Boakai said he earned $5,000 monthly during his first six-year tenure as vice president under Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Sirleaf, but, however, didn’t state how much he earned during his second stint as vice president. “Leadership is about serving your people and not about living a flamboyant lifestyle,” Boakai said.
The former vice president said he has been giving handouts to people throughout his nearly 42 years of public service. “I have been paying people school fees since I began job with the Ministry of Agriculture. Some of these people have gone on to establish themselves in society; that’s how I feel I should serve humanity,” he said.
Boakai, who turns 77 in November, is one of the longest-serving public officials in Liberia having worked as the country’s minister of agriculture in 1980 under former president Samuel Doe.
His admittance about surviving on loans having served as vice president for 12 years has triggered mixed reactions from the public.
In his defense, some say it’s better to live on loan than looting the people’s wealth, while others are of the view that the former vice president’s statement is untrue having worked in the public sector for over two decades.
Francis Ogara in an interview with FrontPage Africa, said: “These people think Liberian people out of their minds. This is the same Boakai who told us they squandered many opportunities how can he be living on loans”.
Patience Diggs, told FrontPage Africa: “Only low-minded people will trust what Boakai is saying. More than 43 years in government and still surviving on loans?”
Francis Forkpa, a resident of Monrovia raised issues about Boakai’s long stay in government to still be reliant on loans. How can you work in government for more than 40 years and tell us that you live on loan? And he’s waiting to become president to use the Liberian people money to pay back.”
To some, Boakai’s admittance to living on loan speaks to his sincerity and how he has managed to fend off the culture of flamboyancy. Joshua Kollie told FrontPage Africa: “These are the kind of leaders we need to move Liberia forward. This clearly shows how Boakai is transparent.”
Amos Tuah was also full of praise for the former vice president’s legacy during his 12-year tenure. “Boakai has demonstrated yet again that he hates corruption. How many public officials in Liberia will serve for a record 42 years without any history of corruption. I think he’s someone Liberia needs,” he said.