The buildup to the 2017 polls is getting heated and interesting by the day with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai adding spice to the political discourse when he told members of the ruling Unity Party (UP) following his election as standard bearer that he will build on the foundation already laid by the UP-led government, assuring partisans and Liberians in general that he will prove to be worthy to lead the nation.
“Yes, together we will win, and the process begins now,” the Vice President added.
“Today, in front of all these witnesses, and being cognizant of the tremendous task ahead of us and the duties that it imposes on me, I hereby accept the confidence that you have reposed in me by elevating me to the next level—electing me as the Standard Bearer of this great Party,” he said.
The Vice President also promised that he will not relent nor turn his back because, as he put it, “the cause is too great and the task ahead too enormous.”
He added: “I make a solemn pledge that by my dedication to hard work, that by my utterances and by my acts, not as an individual, but as your Senior Partisan, I will prove myself worthy to lead the nation.”
Boakai indicated that by virtue of the convention, the party has embarked upon the beginning of a new political cycle, a new beginning that follows from a long history and a cycle that has moved steadily through the corridors of time from its humble origin to the Grand Coalition and the Reformed Unity Party.
He pointed out that it was the Unity Party-led Government that in less than six years in its first term secured a waiver of the country’s crushing debt of US$4.5 billion accumulated by previous governments over decades.
He recalled that when the civil war was raging across the country, a foreign diplomat predicted the war’s devastation would throw the country back 100 years.
“But the Unity Party Government, with a mix of prudent policies and steady nerves, quickly navigated the country through phases of emergency relief to economic stabilization and national development,” he stated.
He said the Unity Party- led Government is moving ahead full speed with decentralization to give more power to local governance, noting that several major reforms have been instituted and important initiatives in the works for the development of infrastructure, energy and communications.
Boakai indicated that soon people living in every county will not have to go to Monrovia to obtain driver’s license or business registration as service centres are being set up in each county.
He advised that these important initiatives and projects should not be left to “untried and untested leaders,” saying, “We must never repeat the mistakes of our recent past and we must not allow our people to be fooled by those who preach theory or make false promises.”
He continued: “Unity Party, I am very proud of you! You, my esteemed partisans, have once again demonstrated your love for this Party and for this country by coming together in cohesion and oneness during these challenging times in our Party, to hold a very successful Party convention.”
“From right here, right now; from this very moment, we once again stand united and undeterred—fused together like inseparable elements of iron—as we will go forward and consolidate the gains that the Unity Party-led Government has made,” he added.
The vice president then paid “befitting tribute” to the founding fathers, including Dr. Edward Binyah Kesselly and Dr. S. Jabaru Carlon of the Unity Party(UP), Jackson Fiah Doe and Cllr. Tuan Wreh of the Liberia Action Party (LAP), and Teacher William Gabriel Kpolleh and Dr. Hne Leslie Greene of the Liberia Unification Party (LUP).
He stated that these pioneering fathers espoused the principles of hard work, integrity, and more so, the love for country and leadership that endeavors to unify and enrich the lives of people.
“The ideals of these insightful thinking men and women whose endurance and unwavering character and commitment to a better Liberia have proven beyond doubt that diversity and democracy are compatible,” Boakai pointed out.