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Sunday, July 21, 2024

BOAKAI BLASTS WEAH OVER POOR LEADERSHIP, INCOMPETENCY AND CORRUPTION

Date:

By Olando Testimony Zeongar

LIBERIA – The Standard Bearer of the immediate past former ruling party, Unity Party (UP), ex-Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai(JNB), has slammed President George Weah for what the UP political leader calls poor leadership, mounting incompetency, and corruption dogging the almost six-year reign of the retired footballer turned politician.

Boakai told a jam-packed news conference Wednesday at his party headquarters in Monrovia that national issues of bad governance taking place unabatedly on Weah’s watch as president should not be overlooked, but deserve strong criticism – and indeed the UP political leader did not mince words, as he slammed the Liberian leader and his cohorts in government with barrage of criticisms.

He charged the president and his officials of being incapable of redeeming themselves due to what he referred to as Liberians waking up daily to news of their numerous actions of poor leadership, mounting incompetency and corruption, for which he averred there is yet to be seen any improvement.

He lamented that on the heels of critical national events and continued hardship being suffered by Liberians around the country, such as shortage of the nation’s staple rice, and the poor process of conducting National Census, Liberians continue to witness other acts of poor leadership, irresponsible behavior, lack of concern, impunity and wanton misuse of public resources on the part of President Weah, even in the midst of hardship on the people of Liberia.

“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, visiting countries and meetings to which other government officials could have represented the country,” he emphasized.

Howbeit, the UP political leader pointed out that it is needless to say President Weah’s long stay away from the country with no tangible reason is unprecedented in the history of the Liberian presidency, adding, “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.”

“So, it is fair to say that Liberia continues to drift like a rudderless ship on open seas without a captain,” JNB noted, indicating that Liberia’s major problem currently 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,” maintained Boakai, who informed Liberians that what he termed as the carelessness, heedlessness and dishonesty associated with the Weah administration cannot continue to be tolerated.

“In fact, we should be critical as often as possible, of the poor leadership qualities of President Weah and other government officials, which are returning our country to a pariah, failed state,” he added.

He continued: “Today, we therefore want to categorically denounce, condemn, decry, and deplore the haphazard manner in which the Weah administration is handling the affairs of the State, especially his government’s disregard of the rights of the people of Liberia to be rightly and correctly informed  on matters that affect their lives; and on matters of presidential actions, which include travels of the president with unusually large and unprecedented entourage that is costing the Liberian taxpayers millions of dollars, which could have otherwise be used for development projects and basic social services.”

Boakai then reminded Liberians that Liberia is a post war country, reminding them further that in the name of democracy, thousands of innocent citizens of the country and foreign lives were lost in Liberia’s successive wars that shocked the world, adding that reasons provided by leaders of such insurgencies as justifications were bad governance, corruption, misuse of public office, and in the case of the military government, its failure to properly organize and preside over free and fair democratic elections in 1985.

However, he intimated that to date, Liberia and Liberians are still threatened by the same reasons that were used by insurgents to destroy the country, noting that unfortunately, there is no other way in which the Weah-led government can demonstrate ability to lead Liberia in the right direction.

“As responsible citizens, we will not fold our arms and allow an irresponsible Government to invite another crisis to Liberia,” Boakai vowed, indicating that not only did Liberia’s internecine war that lasted 14 years destroy innocent and valuable lives, but that Liberians were degraded, some displaced both at home and abroad, on the other hand homes and farms were destroyed, while families were scattered and condemned to hopelessness, and the country was made miserable.

“These are all history that is known to all. But because of our very history and sad national experience, it had been expected that post war governments would be mindful of the need to work hard and improve the living conditions of Liberians. On the contrary, Liberians are today suffering even more under the George Weah Government,” JNB lamented, adding, “never have we seen such a display of reckless disregard for the concerns of the people of this country. Never have we seen so much display of greed, selfishness, carelessness, corruption, and irresponsibility at the highest level of government. Never have we seen the president of Liberia become a laughingstock or joke in the world. Never have we lived under a government that brings so much shame and disgrace to our country.”

The former Vice President intoned that these are the visible realities of Liberia today, but was quick to point out that as graphic as what he described as bruising situations are, “we have a president who takes on an attitude of indifference.”

He stated that while the nation finds itself in crises of varying propositions, with JNB cataloging what he called the looming threat to the national census, non-payment of salaries, the rice situation, the gloomy electoral environment, he stated that President Weah is on a grand safari, using the nation’s meager resources to support his pleasurable lifestyle.

“To the best of our knowledge, a 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,” said Boakai, who added that “here we are, unfortunately, with a President who leaves the nation for seven weeks with no information to the public detailing engagements he would have on behalf of the country, then he declares a public holiday that has no meaning but serious negative impact on the Liberian economy. 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.”

He intimated that President Weah’s posture of indifference is amplified by what is happening with the former soccer player administration’s inability to pay civil servants on time and its accompanying ripple effects on parents who cannot settle their kids’ school fees, and the prevailing conditions at medical facilities across the country.

He stated that it is now commonplace that civil servants are paid much beyond the middle of the next month, indicating that in some agencies of government, it goes much beyond two to three months.

“In our hospitals, there is gross short supply of medical drugs. Patients are being made to take doctors’ prescriptions to nearby pharmacies to buy medicines, usually at very high costs. The nation is thus in a spiral of crushing hardships superimposed by a president and his cronies who take pleasure in pomp and pageantry, feeding on the life blood of our ailing economy,” Boakai lamented.

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