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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Liberia: Boakai’s First 31 Days of the First 100 Days

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 By Festus Poquie

Following his inauguration on Jan. 22, 2024, President Joseph Boakai has used his first 31 days in office filling in cabinet positions and other vacancies across government, making statement on his war against drugs proliferation, rolling out his administration’s agenda, managing nerves in the ruling Unity Party alliance and fighting to get his first appropriation bill through the legislature.

In this edition marking the 79-year-old leader’s first 744 hours in office, the Oracle News Daily chronicles the first set of decisions, policies, interactions and actions in the opening days of his reign as the honeymoon period folds.

  • One day after his inauguration, the President met with top US government officials in Monrovia discussing democracy, governance, trade and finance. United States Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas Greenfield who was on post here when Boakai was vice president led the USG team promising to work with the new administration to harness the resources of Liberia for the benefit of its people and how the United States through the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, supports the private sector.
  • The meeting ended with the Americans imploring the Boakai administration to generate the confidence required to attract that support that is needed to develop the nation and its people in a country where corruption is a big issue.
  • 23 January 24, the President received a donation of Firefighting equipment from the International Association of Fire Chiefs for use by the Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS). He appeal to the group assist the LNFS combat growing fire disasters in Monrovia and parts of the country.
  • 29 January, Boakai declared support for One China Policy, describing China as a strategic ally and reliable partner that has demonstrated excellent partnership with Liberia, providing substantial support in many spheres of the country’s development program. On the same day the President presented his administration’s agenda to the national legislature declaring that poverty, drug abuse, corruption, poor infrastructure, and an underperforming economy continue to undermine national development and the livelihood of Liberians. He told lawmakers that the state of the nation was in distress and that he will build a middle income economy before leaving office in 2029.
  • 3 Feb. the president ordered former government officials to turn over all public assets  in their possession.
  • 7 Feb. Boakai directed the General Auditing Commission (GAC) to conduct a comprehensive audit of three key government institutions, including the Central Bank of Liberia, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Executive Protection Service (EPS). The audit period spans the six-year stewardship of his predecessor George Weah. Findings will be reported in three months.
  • 8 Feb. Boakai takes drug test, results showing negative of drugs and other illegal substances. The public test was a show of political willingness against the menace.
  • 9 Feb. President Joseph Boakai filed with the Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission the declaration of personal interests, income, assets and liabilities forms, 16 days after his inauguration.
  • The content of declared assets remains unknown, making it difficult or impossible to determine the actual wealth of the President at the inception of his six-year term.
  • 11 Feb. Armed Forces celebration cutoff as military barracks across the country revolt against the President’s Defense Minister. Soldiers used wives to lockdown the country to send message about poor living conditions and wages. Defense Chief, retied General Prince C. Johnson resigned the next day as tension escalates. President addressed the nation accepting the General’s resignation while the soldiers return to barracks.
  • 13 Feb. President makes first foreign travel away from the country to the Republic of Ghana, returning on the 14th.
  • 21 Feb. on the eve of his first month in office, President Joseph Boakai appointed 138 government officials in a single day.

 

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