"Good Journalism Makes Democracy Works"

Boakai squandered yet another opportunity to sell himself

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By: Isaac W. Jackson, Jr.

Aware that the opposition community is likely to collaborate in case of a runoff in the 2023 presidential election, I have been very reluctant to offer a critique of any member of said community. However, I was alarmed by a quote gleefully attributed to Oldman Boakia by his diehard supporters on Facebook.

According to the dyed-in-the-wool Boakai’s fanatics, while appearing on “The Class Reloaded”, a pro-Boakai’s network, Boakai is reported to have said “we are living in a country where the government is pretending to pay people, and in return the people are pretending to work.”

In the first place, I think the above statement was beneath Boakai’s caliber as an astute ambassador, in that, the statement is not only appalling since it obfuscates the sacrifices of our people. Moreover, it represents a scathing condemnation of the hard work and sacrifices many Liberians are making – notably, doctors, nurses, teachers, civil servants, and others with such little pay, which cannot even cover their monthly costs of transportation, let alone provide for their families.

By dint of the assertion supra, is Boakai, the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party suggesting that the doctors and nurses who died providing care for our people during the COVID pandemic were pretending to work? Also, is he suggesting that teachers who travel to teach our children amidst heavy down pour of rain are pretending to work? What’s about those who provide security for Oldman Joe Boakai while he sleeps; are they pretending too? How dare the Papay makes such a bizarre statement; and how dare his supporters celebrate same!

It’s regrettable that our country is turning into something else – a fertile ground for gullibility. Some of our brothers and sisters are basically swallowing anything their leaders say, even though some of the claims cannot withstand the slightest scrutiny. Imagine, CDCians applauding President Weah for likening Monrovia to Miami – a comparison that is far removed from reality.

When two young girls (Tangie Banto and Mai Gray) who are supposed to be preparing for wifehood in society took to social media to fuss over President Weah who is legally married, CDCians described the President’s behavior as morally upright. This, even though such immoral practices fall well below acceptable standards expected of the Liberian presidency. So, when are we going to muster the courage to tell our leaders that their assertions, and behavioral patterns are ruining our institutions and the outlooks of our youths?

I think, as was practiced in ancient Rome, we need to constantly whisper in the ears of our leaders, memento mori – a reminder that they are mortals. We are told that “memento mori” was continuously whispered to prevent the celebrated commander in ancient Rome from losing his sense of proportion in the excesses of the celebrations.

To be honest, describing the genuine sacrifices of our hard-working people who are struggling daily to keep the services of our nation running as “pretending to work, is incredulous! Hence, Oldman Boakai squandered yet another opportunity to effectively market himself on “The Class Reloaded Show”.

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