The Scramble for Government Jobs, Assets Declaration, and Drug Tests. The Boakai Dilemma.

Posted February 23, 2024
by Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh

The inauguration of President Joseph Nyumah Boakai is over.

President Boakai supposedly declared his assets and took a drug test, fulfilling a campaign promise that he and members of his administration would declare their assets and take drug tests.

Yes, President Boakai did, but the problem with this measure is the obliqueness of the exercise as numbers and even the fine print on the papers the report is written on are not even visible.

What President Boakai owed any bank, what he owed to individuals, the amount he has in his bank account(s), possible investments, real estate, or otherwise are kept from the public.

Except the Liberian people are told and are supposed to blindly believe that President Joseph N. Boakai declared his assets and took a drug test, which reverberated throughout the news cycle as openness.

Just believe it!

The scramble for government jobs is ongoing. Shameless sycophancy has reached a new height. Presidential enablers and apologists have reappeared as it was in previous governments, and the appointments of key personnel in most cases are over or ongoing.

Amid talks of rescuing the nation from rampant corruption and presidential overreach, it seems a return to the cyclical dysfunction and presidential unaccountability that wrecked the Liberian nation for over a century is sinking in as the smell of an imperial presidency and chaos takes hold.

The appointees are happy to be counted among the newly employed, and as usual in Liberian politics and Liberian politicians, the individuals are not discussing policies, vision, plans, ideas, and a path forward for their troubled ministries and agencies they have been appointed to lead.

Unsurprisingly, their loyal friends, partisans, and family members applaud the appointees for their “preferment” as if the individuals just won a lottery.

As shocking as it appears, that’s the Liberian way, my people.

Cheer your friends, family members, partisans, and loved ones for being appointed to a government position. Criticize, condemn, and ridicule the individuals from the other political party who are not your friends.

What a way to advance nation-building!

Some of the individuals were appointed based on their qualifications, others were appointed based on their recognizance, while others were appointed based not on their qualifications for the job, but for what appears to be a consolation prize for their service to the new president during and after the presidential campaign.

As the new president went on his hiring spree to fill his cabinet, he reportedly left out key members of his political party, Unity Party, who campaigned with him and for him to win the presidency, opting rather to stick either with outsiders or political insiders whom he felt comfortable to work with.

Tenured employees that the previous imperial and unaccountable presidents appointed for their loyalty, and honored by those presidents, are now being replaced by President Boakai who craves to bring his loyal lieutenants in to carry out his agenda.

The Reverend J. Luther Tarpeh, who held the position of Unity Party Chairman – the president’s political party during the presidential campaign believing initially that he was passed over for a presidential appointment and led an angry crowd to protest and cry loudly at President Boakai’s residence, was finally appointed Chairman of the Board, National Port Authority, a consolation prize, I guess that wiped his tears away.

It is unknown what led to President Boakai’s decision to pass over this key official of his party for a government job in the first place, and it is unknown whether others in the party were left out of the presidential appointment sweepstakes.
What is known, however, is the optics of ungratefulness some think President Boakai has shown his party members, which led to infighting in a political party that just won a historic election defeating an incompetent and out-of-touch George Manneh Weah, which merits a wild national celebration for getting this criminal off the backs of the Liberian people.

Let’s not forget the appointment and withdrawal of Cooper W. Kruah, the Justice Minister-designate on alleged corruption allegations. Mr. Kruah was later appointed to head the Ministry of Labor as if those charges levied at him were irrelevant. Mr. Kruah was later replaced by Oswald N. Tweh, as the new Minister of Justice.

Of course, let’s not forget the sideshow of kingmaker and Senator Prince Y. Johnson, the mastermind behind the elevation of Jeremiah K. Koung to the office of Vice President of the Republic of Liberia.

According to reports, Senator Johnson is demanding that President Boakai appoint more of his people from Nimba County because of his muscular role as a kingmaker in the president’s election, even though it is believed many of those appointed so far are from Lofa and Nimba Counties, with Lofa County, the president’s home county, as having the most presidential appointments.

With a total tally of 1,634.183 votes nationally, Mr. Boakai won the presidency by a narrow margin defeating President George Manneh Weah by 814,481 (50.64%) votes to 793,914 (49.36%) votes, in a runoff presidential election that set a record as one of the closest and most peaceful elections in the Liberian nation’s history.

Is it too early to expect miracles from President Boakai?

Is it too early to gauge this president’s impact on the country?

Now that the heads of the various ministries and agencies are in place or are expected to be appointed, Liberians, understandably, want jobs, investments, progress, safety, and development in their country.

Are they asking for too much?
I don’t think so! 


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