-Says VP Boakai as he backs protest
Former Vice President Joseph N. Boakai says President George Weah has failed the Liberian people and insists that the government should provide protection for protesters on December 30th to express their constitutional rights.
"The President has failed the Liberian people and that instead of addressing them he has deferred to surrogates who have resorted to inflammatory language to find scapegoats and to add fuel to the fire," Mr. Boakai said in a widely circulated nationwide address Friday.
"As regards the December 30th Protest, it is important that aggrieved group of citizens exercise their constitutional right of assembly and freedom of expression. The government must perform its obligation to provide security and protection. On the go-slow by civil servants, government must meet up with its obligation. These patriotic citizens have played their part. They deserve the dignity of their labour and the right to provide for their families," the former Vice President said.
Mr. Boakai earlier painted a gloomy picture about the country's current situation describing Liberia as "a rudderless ship adrift on a turbulent sea hurtling towards disaster."
Mr. Boakai was defeated by President Weah n the 2017 election's presidential rerun. He says events such as the nonpayment of civil servants, teachers and other professional groups salary arrears and the treats of go slow action coupled with the planned December 30the Weah step down campaign are compelling indications that the country is headed for trouble if steps are not taken to address these issues.
"The Liberian people and the world continue to demand full accountability and action regarding the missing L$16 billion and the US$25 million allocated for mopping up excess liquidity.
Economic hardship continues to impact lives throughout the country. The banks are failing their obligations to depositors. Families are sleeping hungry while students are being thrown out of school for non-payment of tuition and fees. Overall school enrolment has drastically declined compared to previous years while hospitals and healthcare facilities are struggling to attend to the sick due to lack of basic equipment and supplies. Businesses are closing. Inflation is running high while unemployment defies gravity.
In the face of this mounting crisis, the people and our partners look up to the President for assurance. But, the President has failed to address his people and has instead deferred to surrogates who have resorted to inflammatory language to find scapegoats and to add fuel to the fire." The former Vice President said.
He also questions the government's request to print additional money in the face of structural deficiencies and governance abnormality highlighted by both the PIT and Kroll Reports.
"Moreover, the government has not given convincing reasons nor has it put in place adequate guarantees for accountability. We are all sitting on a tinderbox." He said.However, he said there was a need for all sides to exercise restraint and to work within the confines of the Constitution.
"We must not overturn the apple cart. Liberians have demonstrated that they are capable of conducting peaceful protests. Equally, Government has proven its ability to provide security and protection for all. Let each and every Liberian play his or her part to preserve this sacred heritage of ours. The Republic of Liberia is bigger than any one individual. Let us all work together," he concluded.