Vice President Joseph Boakai, currently 72, is defying all odds to prove himself strong and healthy enough to be Liberia’s next President, despite his age.
The age and health factor have been a major point of argument amongst his critics who think he is too old and unhealthy and may not be able to carry out the tasks of a President if elected in the October polls.
His critics think his tenure if elected, would be like that of Nigeria’s President Buhari who has been continuously ill shortly after he took office. Buhari was flown to London last week for advanced medical attention though he had denied having protracted health issues.
But defending his health status, Vice President Boakai said despite his age, he has never missed a day from work and often climb a flight of stairs to get to his office at the Capitol Building.
He questioned those who criticize his age and health whether an unhealthy person could go to work every day and climb stairs.
“I have been hearing all kinds of condemnations and criticism about me, but one insult will not come from my mouth.”
“I go to work every day and not a single day I stay home unless when I come from out of town, and my people are washing the vehicles.
“I climb 69 steps at the Capitol everyday all by myself. Some people take up to 30 minutes to reach to me when they are coming to my office. ”
“God is there and He knows the heart. He knows who is good for this country,” Vice President Boakai said while addressing the National Movement for the Support of Boakai (NAMBO).
He cautioned his opponents and his critics to focus their arguments on issues affecting the country and how they intend to correct those issues, instead of throwing insults and perpetuating lies about him.
He added that it is such politics that has gotten Liberia nowhere over the last 170 years.
Vice President Boakai believes most of the criticisms against him are without facts and merely meant to undermine his candidacy and popularity among voters.
“You started condemning and that’s how you undermine people. When they did the petitioning, you said it was the same Lofa people. NAMBO came and you said they were jokers.
“The Senate came you said, it was 19 people. Bong County – you said it was only people in the stadium when it was jammed pack.”
“Now the House is preparing, Gbarpolu County is preparing, so let them continue. For me, everybody is important and every effort is important,” Vice President Boakai opined.
He then assured Liberians of an improved market-based economy that would render better social services to them and the possibility of proving quality education for all.
VP Boakai also committed himself to an advanced health delivery system that would address critical health conditions faced by Liberians in the wake of challenging medical needs.
For his part, former President Pro-Tempore and Grand Bassa County Senator Milton Gbezongar Findley condemned some presidential aspirants for ignoring many issues that they point out to be a focus of their campaigns.
These, according to him, include proposal to reconcile Liberians which he said has been a challenge some aspirants.
“It is frustrating when people are speaking about reconciling Liberians when they are yet to reconcile their own people, counties and districts,” he said.
Former Senator Finley admonished electorates in Liberia against taking lightly the management of power, which he said does not belong to substitutes or children.