-Gives Liberian Veep resounding endorsement
By O. Testimony Zeongar
Vice President Joseph Boakai has received yet another resounding endorsement for his presidential bid, this time, from the homogeneous people of Liberia’s western Gbarpolu County.
Thousands of Gbarpolu citizens last Saturday trooped at the City Hall in the capital, Bopolu City, to resoundingly endorse the presidential bid of the governing Unity Party (UP) standard bearer, VP Boakai, at a rather colorful program.
The citizens, who generally referred to VP Boakai as their traditional uncle, in a petition, said they were under what they referred to as traditional obligation to support the Liberian Veep.
Gbarpolu County traditionalists; predominately of the Poro and Sande societies, elders, zoes, women and youth groupings, as well as those from the religious community, including Muslims and Christians, all gave their approbation to VP Boakai, collectively stating that the Liberian Veep is a reconciler, a patriot and the right leader for the country at this juncture in the nation’s history.
In his acceptance remarks, Vice President Boakai, referring to the citizens of Gbarpolu as his nephews and nieces said: “Today is yet another great day and I stand before you with such pride, in yet another great and historic County of nephews, nieces, uncles, and aunts.”
He intoned that much like his home county of Lofa, Gbarpolu has been held together over the centuries by strong traditional bonds that have withstood the test of time in all circumstance.
“As I always do, I stand before you this day with great depth of humility to receive such a highly welcome booster of support from the reliable and well-intentioned people of Gbarpolu, VP Boakai said.
He continued: “My people, my nephews and nieces of Gbarpolu, what you do for me today go beyond your own imagination in terms of the proportion of its importance.”
He told the people of Gbarpolu that his beautiful wife, a Gola woman from Bomi, also has deep connections to Gbarpolu, saying, “So, yes we have our residence in Bomi, but we have our farm in Gbarpolu. Over the years, we have benefitted so much from your hospitality which you have given us so generously.”
“You, the great sons and daughters of this segment of Liberia, previously situated in our County of Lofa, are among our citizens indisputably renowned for your reliability, your trustworthiness, your dedication, and your tenacity,” he said.
He described the Gbarpolu citizens’ approbation of his presidential bid as their verdict in favor of his presidential quest, saying, “you so wisely embrace the decision of Lofa. This adds to the most powerful winds now under my wings, lifting me to heights in the supreme interest of this nation.
“As things continue to unfold along this trend, we are increasingly making the outcome of October 10 much more predictable. Yes, we are getting there,” he said.
He added: “My eyes are now more confidently set on the ushering in of the official campaign season which is to be declared by the National Elections Commission in a few months.”
“I urge you therefore that we remain within the confines of our laws governing these elections. As such, I will not utter much as I would have loved to do on this epochal occasion,” he said.
“In any case, I think I point out what is increasingly becoming a potential reality in the October 10 elections. If we continue to hold together we could do this nation a favor by closing these elections in just ONE ROUND. I venture to foresee the possibility of delivering our deafening, unequivocal and final verdict come this TUESDAY, October 10, 2017. Let us save our dear Mama Liberia the cost of an expensive and resources wasting second round,” VP Boakia noted.
He averred that with the declaration of support by a lineup of other counties, eminent citizens, he can dare to call on all Liberians to “do this 2017 election thing once and for all in the VERY FIRST ROUND. In that way every citizen benefits, be you from the opposition, independent, or governing party.”
He said one round will save the National Elections Commission the extra burden of doing it over again, adding, “One round will save our national coffers that huge and punishing financial outlay. One round will solidify our unity. One round will give us a clear cut government that will have one purpose, one direction, and one resolve to lift our people from their unsatisfactory level of living.”
“I make this call as I acknowledge with appreciation the presence here today of a huge number of others who are friends, sympathizers and well-wishers. The bond that binds Lofa and Gbarpolu are profoundly historic. And so, together we are well on our way to write a new chapter in our book of record setting events that will climax this elections season, he said.
“We recall fondly that it was just a couple of weeks ago that we received the endorsement of the great people of Bong County. Right before that, 19 of our Senators in our Honorable House of Senate stepped forth to declare their support.
Just two days ago, we received the open endorsement of 31 members of the House of Representatives, with assurances of a few others who, for now, tactically prefer anonymity. We are thus fashioning an unprecedented record the history of our political interaction. This should mean a whole lot for all of us.”
Vice President Boakai noted that “we are well on course to setting this nation on a firmer tract in terms of collective commitment, reconciliation, unity, commonality of purpose, and level of patriotism. We are getting in the best of mind to heal and unite our people. We are bracing to appropriately identify and set our priorities right.”
“Indeed, we are on the right track as we stand so overwhelmed with pride to receive this much appreciated word of support of paramount chiefs, our elders, our zoes, our women, our youth of Gbarpolu County. This is an honor that will remain so dearly stuck to my heart for the rest of my life. This is so uplifting and I will remain forever grateful,” he said.
He then reaffirmed his commitment to living up to the expectation of the people of Liberia in the discharge of the duties and roles they will assign him by their endorsements, adding, “as captain of the ship of state, I promise to remain as humble and as honest as you have found me to be over the past many years.”
“More so, he informed the citizens of Gbarpolu, I pledge to be fair and open-minded, to search at the guidance of God Almighty, with my focus only set on the supreme interest of Liberia, said VP Baoaki, who recalled that “as I told the people of Lofa, my nephews and nieces of Bong, and our lawmakers, yours is my assurance that your trust will never be betrayed. I hereby acknowledge that my duty is to submit myself to the will of God, and count on your support and prayers.”
“Let me close with the note I made to my Lofa people when they graciously celebrated me at the ATS on my birthday last year. I am fully mindful of my traditional birth and upbringing. My remarkable grooming through the traditional school, my refining through Christian education, and the shaping of me by the harsh realities of my growth and development, make me today who I am. And so, I can assure you—my chiefs, elders, youth, and people of Gbarpolu—that as I today reaffirm my acceptance of the challenge you have joined other to throw upon me, I will never depart from those ethics and principles.”
He concluded: “I continue to maintain that if we all can hold together in the struggle for these noble virtues, I guarantee you, Liberia will win! Let’s think Liberia, love Liberia, and build Liberia!”
‘Like Gbarpolu, like Reps’
Prior to the Gbarpolu citizens’ endorsement of VP Boakai, some 31 members of the House of Representatives in the 53rd National Legislature, last Thursday endorsed the Liberian Veep’s candidature.
Like 19 of their colleagues in the House of Senate, who publicly endorsed VP Boakai earlier in May, the 31 Reps in a petition read in the jam-packed Rotunda of the Capital Building, described the Liberian Vice President as the best candidate for the 10 October elections.
The Reps, who referred to themselves as ‘Likeminded Representatives’ headed by Lofa County District #4 Representative, Mariamu Fofana said they were endorsing the Liberian Veep based upon his distinguished leadership role exhibited over the years.
Rep Fofana noted that having been convinced by the VP Boakai’s outstanding public service record, she and the other 30 lawmakers were following in the footsteps of their colleagues in the Senate who she referred to as “big brothers”, who recently publicly pledged support to Veep Boakai’s presidential bid.
“Today we [have] come to tell you that when you are born and you see your father, mother, big brothers and sisters doing something positive, if you are not a stupid child, you will do the same,” said Fofana, who added that “Liberia owns Joe Boakia, the country people own Joe Boakia; Joe Boakai is the one we are supporting.”
The Reps who endorsed VP Boakai include: Lofa County’s Prince Moye; Bong County’s Edward Karfia and Corpu G. Barclay, all of the ruling UP; as well as former Deputy Speaker and Bong County’s Togba J. Mulbah of the People Unification Party (PUP).
Others are: Bomi and Gbarpolu Counties lawmakers, Haja Fata Siryon, Independent; S.Gayah Karmo and Malai Gbogar of the PUP and Gertrude T. Lamin of the UP; and Grand Gedeh’s Moras T. Watlee of the UP and Zoe Emmanuel Pennue, Independent.
The rest are: Numene T.H.Barikwa of Grand Kru; Clarence Massaquia of Lofa; Mariamu B. Fofanah of Lofa; Francis S. Nyumalin of Lofa; Julie F.Wiah of Lofa; Ben Fofana; Marbibi, Stephen S.Kafi of Margibi; Ballah G.Zayzay and Roland O. Cooper of Margibi; Mantenokay Tingban, Garrison Yealue Jr., Worlea S. Dunah, Larry P. Younquoi oand Prince O. Tokpah, all of of Nimba; Henry B. Fahnbulleh, Josephine Francis, Sekou S. Kanneh and Edwin M. Snowe of Montserrado; Matthew Zarzar and Christian S.Chea Sr., both of Sinoe and Grand Bassa’s Mary Karwor.