An opinion by Paul M. Kanneh
Evident do exist that most young people who are active in the current Liberian politics are spoilers. They are spoilers because of the lack of requisite experience due to the civil war which derailed their professional growths. Like any ambitious young man would do, the young people felt that age had caught up with them with absolutely nothing to show.
Hence, they decided to venture into state governance to acquire properties and financial wealth since government was the easy way to get money. In less than six years, they destroyed everything, and their own policies failed them and rendered them worthless in political governance. Six years, no foreign head of state paid a state visit to Liberia, least to say genuine foreign investments.
This is not only unique to the CDC government, as Ellen was coerced to recruit young members of the Unity Party into her government during her second term. The party, as part of strategy to deliver promises it made, decided to recruit educated, experienced and competent people outside of the party. This seemed not to have gone down well with the young partisans of UP. So during the second term, Ellen gave the young partisans opportunity to serve in Ministerial positions as well as senior executives positions. What happened afterward? Laziness, flamboyance, delays in deliverables, employment of incompetent girlfriends and relatives became the order of the day. This was the period we witnessed the issuance of US$100 as call cards to young girls and others on a patronage basis.
Disclaimer: This generational history is in no way blaming Henry Costa as part of the misrule in government; however, it is only meant to set the basis of my argument to Henry Costa, who I appreciate for his support to my uncle for the last 4 years. Whether he did it in good faith or not, I leave it with God. In no small way we can mention the support provided by Henry Costa. Also, in no small way we can mention the role Henry played in bringing this spoiler of a government to power through using derogatory and disparaging words on Joseph Boakia in the 2017 election. Yes, Henry Costa insulted, denigrated and embarrassed Joseph Boakai, who, he (Costa) would later pledged support to.
But is Henry Costa really matured, experienced and prepared to be given the opportunity to decide for an experienced man like Joseph Boakai? No! I say no because, unlike his radio power that is based on propaganda that doesn’t observe the rudiments of public debate, there is no evident that Henry Costa possesses the fortune of knowledge and patient to make a determination for an old, wise and experienced JNB when it comes to state governance. But there is sufficient evidence that Henry Costa has the propagandistic radio power and voice to provide significant support to the election of Joseph Boakai to the presidency. No one nor even the young and “arrogant” Unity Party’s officials and partisans can deny this. This, I must admit, is an undeniable fact that all supporters and well-wishers of Unity Party should accept and put down their weapons of badmouths or counters against the once upon a time, strong JNB’s supporters who feel disenchanted, whether for the right or wrong reasons.
Unlike others, I am not blaming Henry Costa for advancing his proposal for the running mate slot. After all, he got the experience after testing the microphone. I am sure he would not have made such a proposal had he really known who Joseph Boakai was/is. Henry, in this Liberia, I will be naive to say Joe Boakia is the most integrous person. Even in this election, there are integrous persons like Joe Boakia. But Uncle Joe’s behavior to you and others should not be construed as “wickedness” or “ungratefulness”. Joe Boakai truly knows what he is doing. He is trying to avoid committing himself to an arrangement that would compelled him to offering jobs, in most instances, to the wrong people simply because they supported his election.
My dear Henry Costa, party politics/collaboration is one major cause for corruption and poor performance in government (i.e NTGL, and even the current CDC regime, etc, is an example). A 42-year old experienced public sector manager, Boakai knows this; that is why he is being careful to commit to collaborations that most often have preconditions long before elections are won. Trust me Henry; Liberians are good at rejecting good things for simple reasons. Let my caution to Henry Costa not be seen as an endorsement to his style of talk-show, but an endorsement for his call for change of leadership for a better Liberia, again whether he is sincere, history will be the judge. In your now opposition mood as in 2017, you cannot take way the humility, experienced, competent and integrity nature from Joseph Boakai. You may, in a short while, succeed in your endeavor to put your admirals against JNB, but this will only add to your 2017 record of contributing to nation retrogression and state plunders that we are experiencing today.
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