Monrovia – Joseph Boakai, the Standard-bearer of the Unity Party says Pres. George Weah along with scores of officials that are out of the country are on a holiday spree, especially amid unbearable hardship that citizens are faced with is a slap in the face of every Liberian.
The former Vice President made the disclosure Wednesday when he addressed the state of affairs of Liberia at the Unity Party Headquarters on Broad Street.
By J.H. Webster Clayeh
According to him, the presidential tour, especially one of an extended period of more than one month, should have a clear itinerary that shows not only where the President will be at a particular point in time, but also the intended benefits that would accrue to the nation.
“President is on a grand safari, using the nation’s meager resources to support his pleasurable lifestyle. Here we are, unfortunately, with a President who leaves the nation for seven weeks with no information to the public detailing engagements,” he said.
“As I speak to you, President Weah has left the country and will be away for the next seven weeks without any tangible explanation to the Liberian people for such a long stay abroad,” he said.
Boakai added: “Yes, we are aware, and with no surprise, that he will eventually end up at the World Cup events in Qatar. That is his mainstay.”
Boakai said other officials of the government could represent the country instead of President Weah.
Boakai added: “It is needless to say that his long stay away from the country with no tangible reason is unprecedented in the history of the Liberian presidency.”
“Of course, we are aware that President Weah’s presence and absence are the same, but at least with minimum effect on our financial resources,” Boakai continues.
Joseph Boakai, the Standard-bearer of the Unity Party says the continued hardship that the Liberian people suffered around the country ranging from the rice shortage and the poor process of conducting our National Census are the results of poor leadership on the part of the Weah-led government.
According to Mr. Boakai, it is fair to say that Liberia continues to drift like a rudderless ship on open seas without a captain.
“Fellow Citizens, Liberia’s major problem right now is the lack of leadership. The country is on autopilot and lacks direction because there is no trusted leadership to move the nation in the transformative direction that it deserves,” UP’s Standard-bearer Boakai said.
Population Census Characterized by Corruption
Still speaking, former Vice President Boakai after many delays in the National Housing and Population Census government officials are allegedly stealing money intended for the Census.
He added: “My Fellow Liberians, as noted earlier, the National Housing and Population Census preparation has been marred by controversies, characterized by outright corruption and lack of well-defined policies.”
Boakai furthers: “Imagine the Census, which by law must be conducted every ten years, has not been conducted since 2008. The census should have been conducted in 2018, but the Weah/CDC-led government was not prepared to do so, and seem not prepared for it to be done.”
He stressed that the haphazard partisan training, which he said was also marred by dissatisfaction, demonstrations, and protests across the nation, points to the fact that the CDC-led Government has not realized the seriousness and critical nature of our National Census.
UP’s Standard-bearer said without realistic empirical data, all planning for the country will be based on falsehood and will lack the basis to make critical national developmental decisions.
According to him, it was not surprising that before the actual counting of citizens begins, it is already allegedly reported on the eve of the Census that the Deputy Director-General for Statistics and Data-Processing of LISGIS, G. Alex M. Williams, (now dismissed) has predicted that the National Census exercise will be a ‘flop,’ couple with media outlets reporting that enumerators would boycott the census.
He questioned the President’s stance against the Board Chair of LISGIS who is Finance Minister Samuel Tweah and others implicated in this census saga.
“Was it not the advice of Mr. Tweah to the President that everything about the census was on a course that prompted the declaration, by the President, of a Census Holiday on Friday, November 11, 2022? So, what are we to believe here, that the President is serious? Certainly not,” he said.
Boakai added: “Because of the acts of gross mismanagement and unaccountability of budgetary funds at LISGIS, I believe such corrupt acts have undermined the process that is very crucial to the nation and our partners for national development purposes.”
“Let me add that the dismissed officials and all persons associated with fraudulent acts be immediately prosecuted and held accountable for funds misused,” he said.
Adding up, the UP strong man said the rice shortage and rise in the price of a bag of rice could only be explained by the inability of the government to plan for the availability of basic commodities.
“All evidence available shows that greed and carelessness in the Weah government are fully responsible for the occasional shortage of basic commodities like food and gas in our small economy,” he said.
According to him, there is no other way in which the Weah government can demonstrate the ability to lead Liberia in the right direction.
He stressed that the Weah government must be removed from power in 2023 so that serious efforts can be made to better Liberia and protect the interest of future generations, something he said will be done through the decisive and popular vote of the Liberian people in 2023.