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Gbowee Sustains Boakai’s Retirement Debate

Quoting Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher, the Nobel Laureate, Leymah Gbowee elevated the debate by saying, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it isridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”

Gbowee’s logic was stemmed from her recent call that Joseph Boakai needs to retire from politics and focus more on his health but her thoughts have generated a serious debate with comments from all quarters of society.

Ambassador Boakai who was admitted at the ELWA Hospital for a week due to poor health has always been a point of controversy in the body politics of Liberia.

“In the interest of peace, development, and the future of Liberia, allow Ambassador Boakai to retire from politics and focus on his health because he deserves to spend what she termed as his golden years interacting with his grandkids and enjoying family time,” she stated.

However, two pro-democracy institutions, the Independent Civil Society Union of Liberia (ICSUL) and the Liberia Democratic Platform-23 (LDP-23), warned Gbowee to desist from making disrespectful and provocative statements against political leaders of the country.

The pro-democracy institutions termed Gbowee’s social media post as demeaning, denigrating and that her comments were groundless, grossly disrespectful, and provocative, and should therefore not come from someone who considers herself a non-partisan stateswoman.

In their release issued on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the two civil society organizations said Gbowee’s comments are selfishly driven and politically impregnated, and that her latest action has justifiably placed her in the political firing line.

Gbowee’s statement also infuriated the Boakai Tact Team comprised of loyalists of Ambassador Boakai and which prompted various supporters of Boakai to call on various radio stations to express their anger.

The JNB Tack Team has been releasing harsh responses to the Madam Gbowee’s statement describing it as disingenuous.   

“We would like to admonish Leymah Gbowee that if she would like to enter the political space in the country and position herself as a serious political actress, she should focus on the myriad of issues that the country is currently faced with instead of attacking a reputable statesman to get attention and media coverage,” the Unity Party loyalists warned.

“We are using this medium to warn her to immediately desist from these deceptive political gimmicks that have the propensity to destroy her hard-earned reputation, and would also like to draw the public’s attention to Madam Gbowee’s silence on the rampant killings and violence that the country has been faced with over the years under the George Weah-led government,” they noted further.

“It baffles the Tact Team and many other Liberians why Leymah Gbowee has not used her voice to champion these causes, considering her claimed position as a ‘voice of reason.’ Madame Gbowee’s attention should instead also be drawn to the numerous rape cases and attacks on women in politics in the country over the past years under the Weah administration,” the UP loyalists pointed out.

“Furthermore, the advocacy for War and Economic Crimes Court in Liberia could use a strong voice like Leymah Gbowee to strengthen its call,” they suggested.

“As an ambassador of peace, we would like to call on Madam Gbowee to raise her voice on these grave issues that threaten the peace of the country instead of playing politics with the health of His Excellency Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai,” they stressed.

“Leymah Gbowee should be reminded that age is not a curse, for which one should be excluded from leadership, but it is a source of experience and wisdom needed to govern a nation like Liberia in these critical times,” they indicated.

“We find it very hypocritical that people like Leymah Gbowee will celebrate the election of Joe Biden and other leaders who are older than Ambassador Boakai, but will opt to demean their own, who has been an honest and dedicated public servant in his entire life span,” the Unity Party loyalists wondered.

“We will also like to remind Leymah Gbowee that Ambassador Boakai has been the lead proponent for the opposition Unity Party and spearheaded the formation of the CPP and has been the voice of reason within the opposition community,” the loyalists said.

 “If Madam Gbowee wants to join these efforts to unite the opposition, we suggest that she comes out and state her political interest and intentions,” they suggested.

While those who think Gbowee’s comment was a payback to opposition drawing from her 2019 oration, they lashed at those who thought the laureate’s statement was more political.

A talk-show host was even heard denigrating the chairperson of the Biakai Tact Team and calling her names as well as openly insulting Telia Urey on one of the morning shows.

Meanwhile, as Gbowee’s comments received backlash in favor and against while it also was analyzed to mean well for Mr. Boakai and therefore others believe that the statement was realistic. On the Changing Minds and Changing Attitude show, former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was said to openly apologize to Madam Gbowee as a founding member of the Unity Party.

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