JNB Talks Tough

Joseph Boakai, one of the frontrunners for the Liberian presidency has warned that the Unity Party will not stand idly by while the ruling party of President George Weah employs tactics of fear and aggression against his supporters.

Boakai, a former Vice President who is contesting on the Unity Party ticket has accused the ruling party of President George Weah of employing underhanded tactics to suppress his supporters, which stifle the democratic spirit.

The UP Standard-bearer warned that the Unity Party would no longer sit and watch the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) terrorize his supporters without response.

“The Unity party will not sit and allow you to walk on us. Nobody has a monopoly over violence,” Boakai said in a fervent speech to supporters at his party’s campaign headquarters in Fiamah, Electoral District#9, Montserrado County.

“The Unity Party is not a Party of violence, we respect the rule, however, we will not shy away from resisting and demanding respect and peaceful contest at any cost,” he added. Boakai’s stern warning comes just days after his supporters and Weah violently clashed in Sinkor, Montserrado County District# 9, hurling stones and other projectiles at each other thus resulting in multiple injuries.

The incident was the result of the two groups having planned to hold rallies in the same district on the same day, August 10. Both groups assembled at the VAMOMA Junction in Sinkor, eagerly awaiting their respective candidates who had scheduled campaign events in the district that day.

However, both men campaign spokespersons have laid the blame on each other for the August 10 violence which also came a few days after some supporters of the President had paraded the streets with a casket plastered with images of Boakai.

However, Boakai apparently does not accept a statement by Weah following the casket incident, distancing himself from his supporters’ actions. Boakai claims that it was the President and his party who planned, orchestrated and organized a casket-toting campaign wishing him death.

According to him, the signature and hallmark of the governing party and that of Weah have been violence, intimidation, and insane acts of political thuggery — citing the casket situation as a classical example of the President’s promotion of violence.

“Under the leadership of President Weah on the first day of the campaign, there was a casket; they say I was the one in it. When they did not succeed, they are now desperately resorting to violence, the only thing they know best.

“George Weah and his gangs are desperate and have nothing tangible to campaign on. Their campaign will be characterized by fear, intimidation, and thuggery,” Boakai said. “But we call our partisans to turn out in their numbers and campaign and have no fear. We will resist any attempt to intimidate our supporters,” he added.

Meanwhile, Boakai, who believes that he can unseat the incumbent in the October 10 polls which has more than 20 contenders already has accused the Weah administration of distributing poverty, wreaked death and misery, and demonstrated outright incompetence.”

He noted that his presidency is about “redeeming the country,” and “restoring the dignity” of its people who he claimed had suffered at the hands of Weah for nearly six years.

“This campaign is to reclaim the soul of our nation,” Boakai said. “It is a national call to rally citizens of our country for a Rescue Mission to reverse the hardships being inflicted on our nation and families over the past 6 years of backward leadership.

Boakai also added that there can be no patriotic duty greater than the determination to democratically remove the Weah regime, which he claimed is about putting “an end to the relentless pillaging of the national coffers,” and establishing an accountable and responsible government.

He noted that the rejection of the President would also mean an end to the fear of insecurity and unexplained mysterious deaths, as well as economic deprivation and social degradation.

“Our country has never been at this deterioration point since the restoration of democratic governance in 2006, and at this juncture in its history, there can never be a better time than now for Liberians to make one of the most consequential decisions in salvaging the future.

“The vision we aspire is not mere ambition; it reflects a profound commitment to the welfare of every Liberian and those who reside within our borders,” Boakai said. We aspire to build a country that is equal in opportunities, and inclusive without discrimination against any group of Liberians.”

In his address also, Boakai accused the President of lying about him, claiming that he never promised after the 2011 elections not to contest anymore and retire alongside former President Sirleaf, to “allow the young people to lead.”

He contended that Weah was seeking sympathy and that he (Boakai) had never made such promises. Boakai referred to the President as a young kleptocratic leader.

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