By: Kadiatu Musa-Frantz
Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai is a very good family man, a wonderful husband and a loving father who has served successive Liberian governments – from President Tolbert to Presidents Doe and Sirleaf. However, the Vice President must not attempt to seek the Office of President of the Republic of Liberia in 2017 and here is why: He failed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the current Liberian administration miserably. Moreover, he failed the Liberian people during the last ten years as Vice President of the nation. Undoubtedly, the President must be regretting her choice of Vice President considering all that she is undergoing with no refreshing help from her number two.
Both President Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai were elected by the Liberian people. The position of Vice President is not an appointed cabinet level position and is not dismissible. Yet, the Vice President provides excuses that he is only a Vice President whenever he is questioned about failures and problems in the current Liberian administration. This is not leadership. Liberia needs a strong and effective leader and not someone who does not take responsibility by providing unacceptable defense mechanism. Secondly, the Vice President is too passive (or weak) and seems to be concerned more about his personal wellbeing than the wellbeing of the Liberian people. As Vice President, elected like the President, he is expected to be actionable and proactive in addressing the ills and issues that continue to plague the country and the administration, including rampant corruption. Apparently, every signal from the Vice President seem to suggest that he knows nothing about what is happening in the Liberian government and the country, leaving President Sirleaf to struggle in dealing with a nation of about four million people with diverse interests and behavior patterns, built over a 14 years of war period.
If Vice President Boakai was effective and provided the necessary support to President Sirleaf and the administration, many of the lapses that the President struggles to deal with would have been minimized or non-existent. The President alone cannot be dealing with international engagements as well as struggle to curtail the ugly tendencies of officials in the administration, opposition groups and others in the country. A typical example is the President’s struggles with the House of Representatives and the Liberian senate, a combined body that the Vice President interacts with constitutionally. In essence, the Vice President is an absolute failure to our President, and the Liberian people. Our country cannot and must not settle for a disastrous failure again because we have had enough. Electing the Vice President as President of Liberia must not be an option in 2017. Liberians cannot reward the ruling Unity Party for failed policies. Electing Vice President Boakai will be rewarding the failed policies of the current Liberian administration or choosing a man who does not take responsibility for anything, including the spread of corruption, failure in addressing the Ebola epidemic heads-on from the start, the poor educational system, massive poverty and hunger, and the high unemployment nationwide.
Lastly, the Vice President is a respected elderly man and the typical retirement age is 65. He has already exceeded that, at age 70 plus. After age 70, bodily and mental fatigue become to take firm roots. The human body by this time needs more relaxation, care and attention. In many instances, involuntary mental distractions and persistent sleep syndrome take a hold on individuals, no matter whether they are wealthy or not. And the Vice President is no exception from this, particularly at age 70 plus. No degree of argument can erase this medical and physiological fact. And the fact that presidents in other African nations are passed age 70 does not mean Liberia should be palatable to that. So if the Vice President is really patriotic and loves Liberia, which I believes he does, the best thing he can do is to retire honorably along with President Sirleaf. After all, he has too much money to live off on for the rest of his life.
About the author: Kadiatu Musa-Frantz is a young Liberian businesswoman from Lofa County, Liberia. She lives in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg with her husband Dr. Frantz and their son, Mus. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org