The ruling Unity Party’s presidential Candidate Joseph Boakai told the nation Thursday in a radio broadcast that his candidature is a mission to secure victory for every Liberian and save the country.
He urged Liberians to soberly reflect on the future of the country as the prepare to elect a new president, promising to defeat corruption and lead a country that will uphold the principles of good governance and ensure transparency and accountability.
The Vice President repeated his pledge to form a good of inclusion and said he will not seek reelection following the expiration of his term of office.
Below is the full speech:
Today, thanks to the peace we now enjoy, many individuals can hop from party to party without loyalty to anyone or commitment to country but with false promises of jobs and building heaven here on earth. Strangely, some are even advocating that education or training for our children does not matter. To them the only important thing is grabbing power.
to continue to play her leadership role and help to strengthen our hands in forging unity within our great Party and nation.
Many Liberians want a country that will be associated with good governance. They yearn for a leader
who will govern well to ensure accountability, transparency, social justice, expose and defeat corruption, promote equity and provide opportunities and the wise use of our resources. They demand a leader that can productively engage the world for the good of our people and the image of our country.
Exactly one week ago we jointly celebrated the triumph of respect for the rule of law over violence and chaos. We celebrated an opportunity to conduct free, fair and transparent elections in our country. This, we intend to follow to its logical conclusion. Ours is a commitment to not only win, but to win by ensuring that every vote counts.
Let me again salute you, the Liberian people, for enduring the legal process and bringing such pride to our nation. We give particular commendation to our President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for captaining this ship that has seen so much respect for law, tolerance and national harmony. It is on this foundation that she has laid over the past twelve years that I intend to stand when I become President of Liberia.
My Fellow Liberians,
As we prepare to go to the polls for the runoff in this crucial election for a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, I wish to call on all partisans of the unity party, partisans of collaborating parties, well-wishers and all Liberians everywhere to take a moment to soberly reflect on the future of our country.
For some it may be convenient to forget where we have come from because of the peace and stability we have enjoyed for the past twelve years. Many young people who have become first time voters during this period understandably may not have experienced the darkest part of our history and the struggles to arrive at where we are today.
Less than 20 years ago, our people were fleeing in every direction with only the clothes on their backs or bundles on their heads to save their dear lives. People were at the mercy of commanders or “COs” and child soldiers.
Our African brothers had to come to help save us from ourselves. Citizens of many West African countries paid the ultimate price with their lives in the process. The international community through the United Nations mission in Liberia (UNMIL) sent in thousands of peacekeepers and spent billions of dollars to help restore peace. We recall when civil servants worked for 5-10 months before getting paid for one month.
Our cherished country became a pariah and a failed state. Liberian leaders were viewed as laughing stock around the world. Liberians became refugees and a dispossessed people. Today, thanks to the peace we now enjoy, many individuals can hop from party to party without loyalty to anyone or commitment to country but with false promises of jobs and building heaven here on earth. Strangely, some are even advocating that education or training for our children does not matter. To them the only important thing is grabbing power.
For me it is not therefore simply about becoming president. This is bigger than the victory of a party. It is about the victory of the Liberian people and the future of our Republic. It is about saving Liberia from falling back into that abyss. I therefore call on all Liberians, no matter your party affiliation, to set aside our differences and put country above self.
The Unity Party, as is the case with many big political parties across the world, has had its fair share of challenges and internal disagreements. In one way or another, we all could have been more accommodating to various perspectives of our partisans as well as our officials, past and present.
As Unity Party partisans, we need to focus more on what unites us than what divides us. And for us, what unites us is a deep and abiding love for country and the preservation of the peace, stability, and development of this great nation. Let us thus focus on building, and not breaking one another.
I therefore call on all Unity Party partisans and all those who have felt alienated to come together and heed the clarion call to unite behind this noble mission to save our country.
As we take the last decisive sprint towards the finish line, I particularly call on my sister and Standard Bearer Emeritus of the Unity Party to continue to play her leadership role and help to strengthen our hands in forging unity within our great Party and nation.
My life has been one of humility, discipline and respect for others, no matter their position or station in life. Anyone who has followed my relationship with President Sirleaf over the past twelve years will know that not one day have we had any occasion to be disrespectful to each other.
Accordingly, I wish to admonish all UP partisans, our collaborators and well-wishers to continue to exercise deference and to accord due courtesies and respect to party and national leaders, especially our Standard Bearer Emeritus, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
As we take this turn in our election cycle today, I join all Liberians and our partisans to formally announce the resumption of our campaign activities.
We make this move consistent with the recent pronouncement of the National Elections Commission lifting the stay order over campaign activities. With this call, we charge all of our partisans and Liberians to traverse every hamlet, village, town and city to ensure final victory for our bid and country.
We make this statement not unaware of the many questions and misgivings that this announcement by the National Elections Commission (NEC) occasioned. Across the country our people are still at a loss as to what has NEC done, and what specifically it plans to do, in order to fully clean up the Final Registration Roll (FRR) as mandated by the Supreme Court.
Notwithstanding these apprehensions, I urge all to continue to rely on the efficacy of our legal and administrative processes that are available to resolve grievances. We will proceed with our political march even as we pursue options open to us to find redress to critical concerns.
As we have repeatedly stated, when we ultimately win these elections, we will form a GOVERNMENT OF INCLUSION that will bring on board all of our citizens who are capable of positively contributing to their country, no matter their political, ethnic, religious or other backgrounds.
Many Liberians want a country that will be associated with good governance. They yearn for a leader who will govern well to ensure accountability, transparency, social justice, expose and defeat corruption, promote equity and provide opportunities and the wise use of our resources. They demand a leader that can productively engage the world for the good of our people and the image of our country.
Liberians, I know your expectation and have heard your demands for better road connectivity and infrastructure, improved health care, education, increased food production, electricity, water and decent employment.
When you elect Joe Boakai, we will provide those opportunities to transform your lives. We will work with all Liberians to fulfill their dreams for a better country; a country where corruption will not define governance and where infrastructure development and a sound economy largely controlled by Liberians will be a hallmark of our leadership.
Your vote is the key to unlocking these opportunities and transforming our country, and we must campaign and join the hundreds of thousands of our compatriots around the country who are working hard to get out the votes and win this election with a clear mandate to govern.
As the campaign unfolds over the next several days, the critical question that stare us in the face is, ‘what kind of Liberia do we want for our people.’ Let us ask the critical question, who can best work with them to better deliver a country that meets their needs and general aspirations? Our quest to provide leadership in the next six years is about you–the people. Let us now go forth, bearing in mind that this is about country and not self. We offer to be your servant and not your master. I, Joseph Nyuma Boakai, make a solemn pledge to serve only ONE TERM of six years with humility and love.
We will be victorious because we bring all that it takes to provide sound leadership–maturity, humility, experience, level-headedness, and vision. We bring to this table the experience of untainted years of public service and tested leadership.
We want to thank all Liberians and praise God for his blessings upon our nation. Go out, encourage Liberians to vote in their numbers and let them know that Liberia’s better days are ahead. Those glorious days will only be realized when we work together in this campaign.
Let us campaign in peace to ensure victory for Liberia. Remember to put Liberia first.
Thank you and God bless us all.