SPECIAL REMARKS DELIVERED BY
HIS EXCELLENCY , JOSEPH NYUMA BOAKAI
DURING PROGRAMS MARKING THE TURNING OVER OF
THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF THE COLLABORATING POLITICAL PARTIES (CPP) TO THE UNITY PARTY, HEADQUARTERS OF THE UNITY PARTY
CONGO TOWN, LIBERIA, OCTOBER 15, 2021
My Fellow Liberians, Political Leaders and Officials of the Constituent Parties of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Partisans and Supporters of the CPP, Well-Wishers, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen.
On these historic and sacred grounds of the Unity Party and with the guidance of God Almighty, we declare that the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) remain strong, united and unwavering. No fleeting temptation, no distraction will steer us away from our goals. We are set to win in 2023 and redirect the course of our history.
Here, on May 19, 2020, the CPP declared to our fellow citizens and the world that we were unerringly committed and dedicated to a daring cause so achievable and patriotic. Collectively we remain poised to win in 2023 building upon the expectations, hopes and justifiable excitement of the Liberian People that an alternative is possible.
This is why I feel deeply humbled to accept the responsibility bestowed upon me today by the CPP as its Chairperson for the next 8 months.
Fellow Liberians and Partisans, the past few months have been fraught with difficulties creating anxiety in the public and a sense of implosion within the CPP. We recognize these challenges, which have occasioned internal wrangling and a distasteful impression. However, we implore you to not allow differences and internal wrangling to define the CPP, no matter how contentious they have become. This is because social, economic or political conflicts are events that can be transformed into good. We must also see the positives in our differences, as these disagreements and healthy exchanges are the labor pains of the collaboration. Just as a mother experiences discomfort in childbirth but finds joy at the sight of her newborn baby, so also will our differences be transformed into unity and a common purpose in changing our country for the good of all.
I want to assure all Liberians, wherever they are in the world that the collaboration will be strong after the storm, and we will continue to demonstrate its purpose in pursuing the path of providing alternative and responsible leadership for the people of Liberia.
Over the next 8 months of our leadership, the CPP will be institutionalized. We will entrench our feet so deep that victory will be the only option. We will not betray our country. Our people have given us their confidence, we will not disappoint them.
We come to remind you all, our partisans and all well-meaning Liberians, that what we have all set out to do places us all on the threshold of history to cast out the ghost of what is a reckless political, economic and social order that benefits only very few people and has grown increasingly stubborn to change.
We have also come to let you know that we are united and determined to move forward together as an alliance, joining with millions of other Liberians across this country and the Diaspora to break the cycle of abject poverty, impunity, illiteracy, disease, social injustice, dictatorship, corruption and other challenges that haunt the present, and most profoundly the future.
Today, our country is confronted by some of the most vexing issues of the post war years, as poor governance and failed leadership; marginalization of the majority of Liberians, inequity, and institutional failure have caused low public trust in the government and its institutions. Much of the progress made in the recent past including the execution of a reformed agenda has eroded. The economy is not healthy and not performing for the people as it should be. Productivity is at an all-time low and cost of living high; with price of food and other basic commodities going up, causing most Liberians to fall into poverty.
Majority of our people, especially the youth, are unemployed, exposed to drugs, make no income and live in poor and unacceptable conditions. Poor fiscal decisions including consistent off-budget spending on nonproductive and vanity projects are causing strain and decline in significant areas such as education and health. As much as the country is endowed with natural resources, its citizens including many in communities hosting concessions are hardly benefiting, causing unwarranted tensions and hanging on the precipice of communal conflicts and insecurity.
The security situation is dire and rapidly deteriorating. Many of our citizens and residents live in constant fear, particularly, as a result of the unresolved spate of violence and killings in the past two years. This has unraveled the state of the current security apparatus, revealing the bare threads of a security sector largely aimed at protecting only public officials and leaving millions of citizens and residents to their own devices. All these problems are undergirded by public corruption, the scale of which is yet to be confronted by government in ways that hold public officials to account.
We must liberate our people from the bondage of failed leadership: A winning soccer icon whose Presidency sees our pitch banned by FIFA and our team as an underdog. The one success that brought you to prominence has become a national failure under your leadership. Missing persons, missing parts, armed robbery and general insecurity is now the Liberian Character. This must change and we must concentrate on a vision that will take Liberians from this bondage to new heights of progress.
It is often said: “Don’t give boys men job to do”. Leave an entertainer to entertain for “while Rome burns the Boy King entertains his guests with a musical harp”. While Liberia burns, the Boy King encourages the building of statutes and monuments in his name while he is alive. Demands that his followers worship him. Exudes an unrealistic lifestyle while poverty consumes our people in the “dirtiest city in Africa”. Malnutrition rages while he plays music and dance to musical cheers.
Liberia burns and people die but he entertains his guests at lavish undertakings while illiteracy and drugs maim our children. He builds lavish and luxury homes in 1 year while his entire party takes the life time of his regime to finish a vocational training center on its party premises. A change betrayed!
We, in the CPP, understand the plight of the people of Liberia whether they are in Monrovia, Saclepea, Tuzon, Sasstown and every village and hamlet in this country.
We, the CPP, understand the pains of our mothers who work in sweltering heat on the farm or in the market, and yet barely make it while some public officials steal the national coffers. We understand the frustration of students who toil in school and cannot find a job upon graduation.
The CPP understands the disappointment of the father who works hard all day but can barely get enough to buy a bag of rice to feed his family. The CPP also understands the fading hope of Yana boys, “auction girls” and the many street traders struggling to make ends meet.
The people of Liberia deserve a new and better deal; one that is people centered and aimed to improve the livelihoods of millions of Liberians including our children, our youth and our women. Our people deserve nothing less! This is why the Unity Party was founded, and this is why also the constituent parties (comprising the Alternative National Congress, All Liberian Party, the Liberty Party and the Unity Party) have come together to effect a positive change.
In broad strokes, the alternatives we offer as Collaborating Parties is deeply rooted in the ideals of economic equity, social justice and freedom so that everyone is able to explore his or her potential for better livelihoods. We vow to promote and protect the ideals of political inclusiveness, and constitutional changes that address the limiting strains on our democracy including personalization of the presidency, the dictatorial nature of the governing system, the erosion of the separation of powers within our 3 branches of government as enshrined in our constitution, and over decentralization. We will also ensure that public office is not an end in itself, but a means to serve the people of Liberia. As former American President, Franklin Roosevelt, asserted, we must abandon, and I quote “… the false belief that public office and high political position are to be valued only by standards of pride of place and personal profit…”
A new day for the CPP has dawned! We must put our differences behind us and forge ahead by bringing our strengths -and frankly our weaknesses, too – together in the true spirit of the framework to fulfill the aspiration and hope of the Liberian people. We must hold together and build alliances with the different layers of our society in transforming our country for the good of the people and the sub-region. We present ourselves as the alternative to a dispensation that is in free fall.
In this direction, I also offer myself as an interlocutor in addressing unresolved issues and other problems, and, here now, admonish my colleagues Alex, Benoni and Nyonblee to see the bigger picture – the People of Liberia; and exhaust our internal processes of conflict resolution in absolute respect for each other. The CPP will hold itself to the strict adherence to its rules.
Without any defense and justification, I accept full responsibility for all the tethering issues of today. My eloquent silence in the face of these internal wrangling and exchanges strengthens my courage to know that mere defending our individual positions without a deep sense of collectivity only make us weaker. Where others see breakdowns, we see an opportunity to build and become stronger, where other see despair, we offer hope and in the face of what appears to be division, we will work with our colleagues to unite.
I urge my colleagues and all of our supporters to let it be. We will over the next few days organize, engage, discuss all issues internally and develop a blue print going forward for our victory in 2023.
The irreversible momentum of the Liberian People garnered on December 8, 2020 mandated us to stay together, develop a vision that will offer new hope, fresh ideas and freedom from unchecked corruption, induced divisions, unrepentant looting and pillage of our national coffers. We know too well that the excitement and enthusiasm of our people has stimulated a renewed sense of enthusiasm in all of us, and sometimes the temptation becomes so evident that the healthy exchange of ideas, disagreements can lead to apathy, discouragement and despair, but we come today to reassure all Liberians that this is over. The ruling establishment trembles at the roar of the Liberian People for an alternative.
To our supporters across the country and the Diaspora, we ask you to exercise restraint in your engagement with each other. Name calling, invectives, demonization, insults and falsehoods must stop and be replaced by constructive conversations in a competitive spirit to agree or disagree. We must speak truth to each other and hold ourselves responsible for our actions in open, accountable and transparent ways.
To the millions of supporters in Liberia and the Diaspora, we salute and thank you for the amazing support and solidarity in 2019. We urge you to continue to believe and be hopeful, knowing that with the CPP, your aspiration will not go in vain. We, therefore, ask you to fold your sleeves, lace up your boots and begin the hard work across the country now, because together we can transform Liberia and the future for our children and children’s children. FORWARD, EVER! BACKWARD NEVER!! CPP All the way!!!!
May God grant us the wisdom and strength to proceed with this task; may He guide and protect us all; and may He bless Liberia to realize its true potential and honor Him through service to our people. Be great Liberians!
Think Liberia, love Liberia, and we together build Liberia.