BUCHANAN, Grand Bassa – The governing Unity party has launched its campaign in Buchanan with significantly fewer supporters in attendance than what was seen at Liberty Party’s launch days earlier.
The launch of the campaign was characterized by activities and tours by Vice President Joseph Boakai and his entourage on Sunday, a day before the official launching ceremony at the fairground.
Boakai arrived in Grand Bassa through the fifth district, which borders River Cess, where he broke ground for the construction of a health center, an initiative of Unity Party’s representative candidate, Thomas A. Goshua.
The center, which is estimated at US$200,000 according to Thomas Goshua, is being constructed through his local NGO, the Gbokpayou Foundation.
The vice president also proceeded to the Liberia Agricultural Company at about 1:00 a.m. and held discussions with his supporters on the plantation on Monday Morning.
He arrived in Buchanan at about 2:30 p.m. at the Monrovia junction where his supporters were in attendance to welcome him and parade the main street of Buchanan to the fairground for the formal launch.
Representative candidates on the Unity Party ticket in addition to the party’s lone incumbent in Grand Bassa, Representative Mary M. Karwor, brought supporters from the rest of the districts to Buchanan for the grand launching program.
Speaking at the official launch of the campaign, the supreme grand zoe of Grand Bassa, Edward Garmah, a major traditional leader, told Boakai that Grand Bassa belongs to everyone and is not owned by one person, as claimed by some political parties, in likely reference to Liberty Party, which held a much better-attended event in the city days before.
“Ambassador Boakai, we welcome you to Grand Bassa County,’’ he said. “What you and President [Ellen Johnson] Sirleaf started, if you come to us to support you and complete them, we will support you.’’
He added that residents of Grand Bassa would support Boakai based on his vision to transform the country through improving the citizens’ livelihoods.
For his part, Boakai told the gathering that his soul and mind remained committed to improving the livelihood of the Liberian people.
He said his tour around the country showed him that there is a need to connect the country by building more roads because in the absence of roads, movement becomes difficult and the citizens cannot sell their produce, thereby increasing the poverty rate of the country.
“I said to God, I will not disappoint these people,” he said. “I will not steal their money to go buy houses or build something else – I will not do it, because when you build their lives, you can go anywhere and live.”
He said it is now time to turn the country around by building better roads, a better school system, and better medical facilities.
Unity Party’s Grand Bassa Chapter was recently hit by resignations and defections after its county convention at the city hall because some of its members and supporters were not allowed to participate in the county election as they were presidential appointees.
The present mayor of Edina, Austin Spiller, was one of those who was not able to run and he stayed away from the party’s activities these past few days. Maryouplee Barnwon also resigned from the party and now contesting on the Alternative National Congress ticket in Buchanan.
Despite the paltry number of supporters compared to Liberty Party’s recent campaign event, many pundits were surprised that Unity Party was even able to get the hundreds of supporters to attend its event, given the state of the party’s affairs in Grand Bassa.
Featured photo by Sampson G. David