Zealous supporters of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai are rather harming his bid for the Liberian Presidency ahead of the October 10 polls, Presidential Press Secretary Jerolinmick Piah told journalists here Tuesday.
Piah’s comments come amidst series of accusations emanating from within the circles of the ruling Unity Party that it’s immediate past standard bearer and current President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is not in support of Vice President Boakai’s presidential bid but that she has rather pledged her support to other candidates in the race.
“Our initial thought regarding this issue was that it remains at the margins of the national discourse and not elevated because it represents triviality and a complete non-issue. But because of the nature of our society, we have determined that it is of importance to be spoken to, Piah said.
“Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,” he continues, “the issue I am making reference to is the continuous attack and accusation mainly coming from individuals and groupings that are supposed to be collaborating for the sole purpose of electing the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia and Standard Bearer of the Governing Unity, the Honorable Joseph Nyumah Boakai as the successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during the 2017 General and Presidential Elections.”
Piah said rather than using such energy to gather votes and make the case for the vice president, his surrogate groups are engage in spreading fake news about the President’s support to candidates other than Vice President Boakai.
He opined that such actions were tearing down and destroying the unity of the Unity Party and the relationship of the President and her Vice. Piah alluded to a fake communications and imaginary meetings being linked to the President by those spreading such rumors and falsehood about her support to an opposition candidate.
He said these Boakai surrogates have gone to the extent of drafting a fake communication purported to be written by President Sirleaf that are grammatically sickening and logically out of bond. “This is simply not characteristic of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf we know,” Piah added.
Setting the records straight, the Presidential Press Secretary said it all began several months ago, following lengthy discussions between President Sirleaf and Vice President Boakai and a subsequent petition by the people of Lofa County for the Vice President to contest the 2017 General and Presidential Elections as a candidate for the Liberian Presidency. He said President Sirleaf made clear and known her support for the bid of her Vice President and comrade for many years.
He said that opened declaration of support by President Sirleaf towards the Presidential bid of Boakai has been renewed and re-echoed at least three times as a means of assurance due to the attitude and conduct of people who claimed that Mrs. Sirleaf is supporting candidates other than the Vice President.
“We have thought that these re-echoed and renewed messages were enough to clear the minds of those who question the President’s commitment to support her Vice President, but the unfolding trend of events is suggesting otherwise. The insinuations and rumor mongering about not supporting the Vice President is continuing unabated. This is really really sad to say the least, Piah bemoaned.
“And so, our direct response to all of the rumors and misinformation is: As of this point, Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai remains President Sirleaf’s choice for the Presidency realizing though that the actual power of determining who becomes President of Liberia from the October elections remain the sole responsibility of the Liberian people who will make the choice through their votes.
“This declared commitment by President Sirleaf has been supported in deeds and in actions well known to the Honorable Vice President himself”, Piah added. He said as it is customary among world leaders, President Sirleaf has informed all of her colleagues at the levels of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU), the United Nations and others institutions that she supports the Presidential bid of the Vice President. “This has not changed!” Piah emphasized “In fact, the Vice President has already met a number of leaders on bilateral levels through the kind arrangements and intervention of President Sirleaf,” he said.
“Finally, it is also very important to speak to the issue of “protection for the President and members of her family”, a message being preached by the rumor mongers.Let me state for the record that when it comes to the issue of integrity, President Sirleaf stands by her integrity and those of her family members. Her integrity remains untainted and exemplary. This is therefore an open challenge to those who think otherwise because President Sirleaf has absolutely nothing to hide and seeks no protection from anyone because her records are just clear and clean. In short, President Sirleaf has done nothing wrong to warrant seeking protection from whoever takes over as President of Liberia following the elections.” He concludes.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah