By Lincoln G. Peters
Opposition Unity Party (UP) Presidential Candidate Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, says the UP will forcefully resist any attempt to rig the October 10th elections.
In a statement to his supporters following official launch of UP campaign on Sunday, 17 September inside the Antoinette Tubman Stadium in Monrovia, Mr. Boakai said it’s time the NEC and government be informed that any attempt to thwart the will of the people by stealing their votes, will be forcefully resisted.
“First and foremost, let me make it abundantly clear and assure you that any plans or attempts to thwart the will of the Liberian people by stealing these elections will be forcefully resisted by us, the people of Liberia, and the international community, which has invested so much in the peace and stability of this country. And as I said before, we will also leave no stone unturned to work with international prosecutors to expose and arrest those who would foster electoral violence and derail our hard-won peace”, the former Vice President said.
However, he welcomes recent statements by some partners of Liberia, including the United States government on the need to safeguard the integrity of these elections.
The opposition candidate notes that preserving the sanctity of elections is of paramount importance in upholding the principles of democracy and ensuring that the will of the people is accurately represented.
“While we welcome the imposition of sanctions on those who would attempt to thwart the will of the Liberian people, we call on ECOWAS, the United States, the European Union, the African Union, and organizations such as International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) to fully, thoroughly and actively engage the process now to avert any threat that will undermine these elections by acknowledging and understanding the significance of identifying and combatting any attempt to undermine this fundamental aspect of our society.”
Meanwhile, Amb. Boakai recognizes challenges that lie ahead, saying that the Liberian society faces many foundational challenges, including political marginalization of citizens in decision-making process, economic inequalities, social injustice, corruption, hunger, disease, ignorance, insecurity, poor infrastructure, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, a drug epidemic, among others.
He says in the face of these challenges, he firmly believes that within every challenge lies an opportunity for growth, noting that together, they will confront these challenges head-on, with compassion and determination.
He assures that the UP will work tirelessly to create an inclusive society, where no one is left behind, where opportunities are abundant, and where the future is brighter for each generation.
“In tandem, we will improve agriculture production, improve our infrastructure, including roads, ensure law and order in our society, invest in the education of young people, improve health and sanitation, prevent the degradation of our environment, and develop its potential for tourism to arrest the dire political, economic and social challenges we face as a country”, he asserted.
Boakai, who served as Vice President for 12 years under former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also promises that transformation will be driven by the people, and therefore, education will be a major part of his agenda.
He believes that a well-educated society is a thriving society, vowing to invest in schools, teachers, and students to ensure the quality of education under a UP government is accessible to all.
He notes that by equipping minds of the young with the knowledge and skills they need, will unlock their potentials, drive innovation, enhance their dignity and secure a prosperous future for Liberia.
“We will not allow the resources of this country to be mortgaged by a few people for their selfish interests. The people of this country and their government under our stewardship will be equal partners in the judicious exploitation of national resources for the good of the people. If there must be economic growth from the exploitation of our resources, that growth must be equal for our people and must come with development”, he concludes. Editing by Jonathan Browne