The saying, the patience dog eats the fattest bone, came to fruition in the life of former Liberian Vice President, Joseph Nyumah Boakai, as he coasted to presidential victory after decades of laying in the loop. It was like a dream come true, when the incumbent Liberian President, George Opong Weah, out a call through to him in congratulations as results from the Tuesday run-off election continue to trickle.…CONTINUE READING
His mind must have gone on a round robin journey in delayed ecstasy as the 78-year-old accomplished politician grabbed the number one seat of power in the small West African country, but oldest African Republic.
The Tuesday’s run-off election came after a tightly fought first round in October, in which neither candidate passed the 50% of votes needed to win outright.
However, official results on Friday showed Boakai had 50.9% of the vote over Weah’s 49.1%, with more than 99% of votes counted. This prompted Weah’s concession.
Touted as having seen himself through education at the country’s College of West Africa, by working as the school janitor, cleaning floors and toilets at night and studying by day, Boakai could very well be described as a focused person.
Much as not many people gave him a chance, the streets of Monrovia equally in loud jubilation when he it was obvious he was returned elected.
Lending credence the presidency of Boakai even as the world awaits January 22, 2024 when the position will become official, former football legend, who is the incumbent president, George Weah, took to the airwaves to make that both the battle and wars are over, and that Liberia has chosen a leader in the person of Boakai. As difficult as it was, Weah entered the history as one of the few Africans, who supervised a smooth transition even as they were defeated at the polls. The others are Nigeria’s Goodluck Jonathan and Ghana’s John Mahama.
Below is George Weah’s heartwarming address to the nation on the election of Boakai:
MY FELLOW LIBERIANS, DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
I stand before you tonight with a heavy heart, but with the utmost respect for the democratic process that has defined our nation. As your President and the leader of the Coalition for Democratic Change, I want to address you on the outcome of the run-off elections held on November 14, 2023.
The results announced tonight, though not final, indicate that Ambassador Joseph N. Boakai is in a lead that is insurmountable. A few moments ago, I spoke with President-elect Joseph N. Boakai to congratulate him on his victory and to offer my sincere commitment to working with him for the betterment of our beloved Liberia.
I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President-elect Boakai, his supporters, and his campaign team. May his presidency be marked by success for all Liberians, and may our nation prosper under his leadership.
Tonight, as we acknowledge the results, let us also recognize that the true winners of these elections are the people of Liberia. Through your peaceful and orderly exercise of your constitutional right to vote, you have once again demonstrated your commitment to the democratic principles that bind us together as a nation.
Under my leadership, these elections were organized with a promise to the Liberian people – a promise of fairness, transparency, and credibility. I am proud to say that, for the most part, we have fulfilled that promise. The Liberian people have spoken, and their choice will be honored and obeyed.
At this juncture, I would like to congratulate the National Elections Commission for a job well done. You have earned the respect of all Liberians, our foreign partners, international observers, and the world at large for completing this difficult task to the satisfaction of all stakeholders, including the contesting parties.
However, the closeness of the results reveals a deep division within our country. As we transition to the new Boakai administration, we must be vigilant to the dangers of division and work together to find common ground. Now, more than ever, unity is paramount for the love of Mama Liberia.
To the members of the Mighty Coalition for Democratic Change, fellow partisans, CDCians, Weahcians, auxiliaries, first-time voters, campaign managers, and party leaders, I understand that this is not the outcome we desired. Although we did not emerge victorious, your hard work and support have been the backbone of our campaign, and for that, I am deeply grateful.
I urge you to follow my example and accept the results of the elections. Go home tonight with the knowledge that our ideals and vision for Liberia remain strong. We are a young movement, and our time will come again. Tomorrow, resume your daily activities in a normal way, and come and join me at our party headquarters to reflect on our journey and plan for our return to political leadership in 2029.
MY FELLOW LIBERIANS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
Tonight, the CDC has lost the election, but Liberia has won. This is a time for graciousness in defeat, a time to place our country above party, and patriotism above personal interest. I remain your President until the handover of power, and I will continue to work for the good of Liberia. Let us heal the divisions caused by the campaign and come together as One Nation and One United People.
May God bless Liberia, and may we continue to strive for a brighter future together.
Thank you, and good night.
THE MAN, JOSEPH BOAKAI
The president-elect was born on November 30, 1944, in the remote village of Worsonga in Foya District, Lofa County, and previously served as the 29th vice president of Liberia from 2006 to 2018, under President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He was also the Minister of Agriculture from 1983 to 1985.
As vice president, he was the president of the Liberian Senate and presided over plenary sessions of that body for two days each week. He also performed supervisory functions over a number of institutions and agencies including the Liberia National Lotteries (LOTTO), the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), and the National Commission on Disarmament Demobilization Resettlement and Reintegration (NCDDRR).
In 2017, Boakai ran for president against the Weah, but lost. He would go on to defeat Weah in a rematch in 2023.
Active in philanthropic efforts, Boakai supervised and personally financed a 7-mile (11.2 kilometer) rural village road construction near Warsonga in Lofa county, Liberia. He also worked with the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the Danish Youth to construct a school for 150 students and clinic for a community of 10 villages. He was active in organizing and fund raising for rural electrification of Foya Kama in Lofa County, Northern Liberia.
A Baptist and a deacon of the Effort Baptist Church, Boakai is married to Kartumu, and they have four children.
On November 30, Boakai will turn 79, and for a fact, the people of Liberia has already given him a splendid birthday present.
Congratulations Mr. President-elect!
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