UP Locked Down Monrovia, As Campaign Fever Swells

The launching of the official campaign of the ruling Unity Party in Monrovia and its environs has been locked down as the entire city has been besieged by supporters and sympathizers of the Unity Party in their bid to vote into office Vice President Joseph N. Boakai as Liberia’s next President come October 10, 2017.

The three corners of Monrovia and its environs have been captured by selected officials of the UP, with both Montserrado County Representative and Senator Geraldine Doe-Sheriff leading the team from western part of the city, while the UP presidential candidate, Vice President Joseph Boakai and his running mate, Emmanuel Nuquay leading their team from southeastern part of the city.

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of the UP despite of the downpour of heavy rains in Monrovia and its environs were zealously trooping to the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia for the official launch of the UP campaign today.

Our reporter who toured the city and its environs, noted that the entire city was locked down by thousands of partisans of the Unity Party as the visibility of a regular flow of vehicles in the streets were not visible as huge crowd joyously took over the streets in their jubilant mood with T-Shirts bearing the photos of Joseph N. Boakai and Emmanuel Nuquay.

Another GNN reporter who is traveling with both vice president Boakai and his running mate, Emmanuel Nuquay said both men iwere seen in their happier state of minds as thousands of the UP supporters who lane the streets to take a glance of the next president and vice president of Liberia waived to the huge crowd mainly the elderly.

Below is the profile of both men:

His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. Vice President of Liberia

Joseph N. Boakai

His Excellency Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr. is a public-spirited patriot and dedicated public servant who has served his country and people diligently. His service to the nation, which spanned more than 35 years, included various positions in government, private sector, agro-related, church and civil society. In all of those responsibilities, Vice President Boakai exhibited exemplary qualities, which is reminiscent of his humble beginnings. Born in the remote village of Worsonga in Foya District, Lofa County, on November 30, 1944, Vice President Boakai has withstood the test of time and epitomized the Liberian adage which states: “It does not matter where you are coming from, but where you are headed.” He is a radiant of hope for his home town and a model citizen.

Considering his tremendous contributions to society, it did not come much as a surprise for him to have been selected as running-mate to Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the 2005 General and Presidential Elections on the Unity Party ticket. Hon. Boakai was elected along with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to chart a new course for Africa’s oldest Republic which is just emerging from a long and bitter civil war.  During the 2011 Presidential Elections, Ambassador Boakai, was again selected by her Excellency, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, now a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, to serve as her running-mate in order to continue the development agenda that they have already started implementing in the first term. Vice President Boakai has continue to work along with Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to restore law and order in Liberia, to ensure the reconstruction of the country, ensure that peace and tranquility exist in the country, encourage investors to take advantage of the investment climate in Liberia and ensure that basic social services are provided for the people of the country, etc, etc.

He is President of the Liberian Senate and he presides two days a week over plenary sessions of that body. He performs supervisory functions over a number of institutions and agencies including the Liberia National Lotteries (LOTTO), the Liberia Marketing Association (LMA), the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), and the National Commission on Disarmament Demobilization Resettlement and Reintegration (NCDDRR).

Hon. Boakai has served his Country as Resident Manager of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) 1973-1980, Managing Director of the Liberia Produce Marketing Corporation (LPMC) 1980-1982, Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) in 1992 and as Minister of Agriculture 1983-1985.

As Minister of Agriculture, among his enormous duties and responsibilities, he was responsible for national agricultural policy formation, Implementation Support and Research, Regulatory Services. He monitored activities and chaired boards of over 20 Agricultural Development projects and Agricultural Cooperative Development Bank and support institutions. He also chaired for one year, a 15 nation West African Rice Development Association (WARDA) and toured research projects of WARDA in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast and Guinea Bissau. He also toured several agricultural projects in Denmark, Belgium, Great Britain, Malaysia and Ivory Coast in connection with poultry, cattle grazing, rubber and oil palm production and processing and assisted in the first PL-480 program evaluations for Liberia.

At the LPMC, he was the Chief Executive Officer and as the first Liberian Managing Director of that entity, he was responsible for export marketing of coffee, cocoa and palm kernel oil and was responsible for arranging purchase, shipment and handling of the PL-480 program from 1980-1984.

As a result of his vast knowledge in the social sciences, the Honorable Vice President offered short term consultancy to a number of institutions including serving as Chief Technical Advisor on Agriculture Policy, Ministry of Agriculture. He reviewed and evaluated the Liberian 1986 proposed Green Revolution and FAO World Bank 1986 Agricultural sector Review Document and evaluated AMSCO, Amsterdam Funded training program for projects in Uganda in 1994 and Tanzania in 1996.

In the Civic and Self-Help sector, as part of his philanthropic support to humanity, Hon. Boakai supervised and personally financed up to 75% a 7-mile rural village road construction to Warsonga, Liberia. He worked with the Federation of Liberian Youth (FLY) and the Danish Youth to construct a school for 150 students and clinic for a community of 10 villages. He influenced the erection of OIC project in Foya Kama, Liberia, organized and headed fund raising for rural electrification of Foya Kama in Lofa County, Northern Liberia.

Hon. Boakai has served as member and chairman of many boards including chairman-Liberia Finance and Trust Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Star Radio, member of the board of LOIC, member of the board of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary, founding member of Bethesda Christian Mission, founding organizer-African Methodist Episcopal University, founding organizer of the C.W.A. Methodist University and President of the Monrovia YMCA, President of LUSU Resource  Corporation and Ex-President of the Monrovia Rotary Club.

He is a holder of a B.A. degree in Business Administration from the University of Liberia and Advance Management Certificate GIMPA, Ghana. He speaks English, reads and writes Mendi and Kissi.

He has been happily married since 1972 to Kartumu Y. Boakai. This union is blessed with four children (3 sons and 1daughter). He is the owner of LUSU Resource Corporation and co-owner of AGROMACHINES Liberia.
Profile Of Hon. Emmanuel James Nuquay, Speaker And Head Of The Liberian Legislature

J. Emmanuel Nuquat

If one looks down the tunnel of history, one will see countless examples of people who came from relatively obscure and humble backgrounds but, by the dint of hard work mixed with the grace of God, greatly impacted their generations, their countries, and their world. Such was the case with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, King David, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and many others. Emmanuel James Nuquay certainly would hesitate to put himself in this honorable league of great men of history whose lives are strong inspirations to many across the world. But in his own humble way and by the sweat of his brow, Nuquay has risen from obscurity to prominence, from grass to grace and is making some noticeable impact on the Liberian political landscape.    Born on October 24, 1968 to George (deceased) and Kpannah Nuquay in Sein Town, Dinningta Clan, Borlorla Township, Margibi County, the young Emmanuel finished his elementary education at the Nuquay Public School in Gwee Town, Todee District, Montserrado County in 1982.

Upon completing junior high school at the Presbyterian Todee Mission in Goba Town in 1985, he went on to earn a diploma in accounting from the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in 1989. He followed this up with a BSc in Economics from the University of Liberia (UL) in 1998 and an LLB from the Louise Arthur Grimes School of Law (UL) in 2009.

Emmanuel James Nuquay or Nuq as he is affectionately called by some of his friends and colleagues started his working career in 1988 as a Bookkeeper Trainee at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC) while pursuing his diploma in accounting at BWI. Successful completion of six-month internship was a requirement for earning a diploma at BWI and between the six-month spanning November 1988 and April 1989, Nuquay was exposed to some practical application of some of the Bookkeeping theories and concepts he had acquired in the BWI classroom. After successfully delivering his mandate at the LPRC and earning his diploma in accounting from BWI in 1989, young Emmanuel’s progress was initially halted by the outbreak of war. But undeterred by the prevailing situation in the country, he went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics at UL, completing in 1998.

Upon graduation, the new graduate was hired as a Quality Control Operator by the Socfinco Group that owned and operated the Weala Rubber Company. Nuquay’s role was critical in that it was his responsibility to ensure that the rubber shipped from Liberia by the corporation met international specifications as required by customers. At that time, earnings from rubber was still one of the war-torn country’s chief earners.

Having established himself as one capable of successfully delivering his mandates, a trend that will become the hallmark of his life in public service, Nuquay was promoted to the position of Quality Control Supervisor, a position he held from 1999-2005.

Although possessing a sharp political mind, young Nuquay was not active in student politics in high school. He became more active in student politics at the University of Liberia when he served as a staunch member of the Student Integration Movement (SIM) of the University of Liberia, serving on numerous committees of the party. Whether in high school or in university, Nuquay always shield away from being in the forefront or the limelight of things. He instead took comfort in vigorously supporting a collective goal from the back.

After he left the University of Liberia, Nuquay started having some deep reflection on politics in Liberia and was concerned that for a very long time, politics in Liberia has largely been a game of rhetoric. Tell the people what they want to hear, get their votes and go about your own agenda. As a result, many ordinary people take a detached position from the political process. But change does not come just from wishing for change. Change comes from working for change and sometimes leaving your comfort zone and stepping in the front.

It is against this backdrop that Emmanuel J. Nuquay entered politics: to transform this situation from a politics of rhetoric to a politics of development. Nuquay believes that politics through development will impact the lives of our people and keep them glued to the democratic process and progress of Liberia.

As Liberia prepared for the holding of presidential and legislative elections in 2005, Nuquay developed the novel development concept of “Gbaisue,” a Kpelle name for the reserved corn that is  preserved by being hung over the fire to be planted the next season. The Kpelle people believe that this reserved corn hanging over burning firewood is sent by God, who is the only one who knows where it will germinate.

It was against this motivation and with the strong encouragement from some of his people in the Weala area that Nuquay decided to vie for a seat in the National Legislature during the 2005 presidential and legislative elections. Some naysayers, judging from the number of “heavy-weights” in the race, wrote Nuquay off completely and felt that it was a pity that the young man would decide to put himself up for political destruction. To them it was like a rat trying to compete with leopards. But Nuquay was not deterred by the critics. He had worked with his people and knew what his people were actually yearning for.

Nuquay contested as an independent candidate in 2005 and came from relative obscurity to emerge as Representative of the then District #1 of Margibi County.

The people of Margibi were moved by the promise of the Gbaisue campaign, made though the motto: “Prepare for the harvest.” In the 2011 elections, Nuquay was overwhelmingly elected by citizens of his constituency, becoming one of very few representatives who were elected with an absolute majority.

Immediately after his stunning victory in 2005, Nuquay transformed this campaign committee into a development movement renamed the Gbaisue Development Association, charged with the execution of the Representative’s development programs, as promised in the areas of education, health and grassroots empowerment.

Over the past 12 years, Hon. Nuquay has greatly impacted the development of his constituency by ensuring the construction of public clinics, high schools, resource centers, youth centers, town halls, guest houses and many other projects in many towns and villages across his constituency including Weala, Massaquoita Town, Jennita, Dinningta, Peter’s Town and many others.

Upon entering the legislature, Nuquay set himself apart by always never losing sight of the interest of his constituency and the greater national interest. As Representative for the people of Margibi County since 2005, he has made representations to protect the development interest of his people, made laws and exercised oversight on the execution of laws by the Executive Branch of government, introduced and ensured the passage of a law which exclusively sets aside the payment of Firestone land rental fees to Margibi and Montserrado Counties as a social development fund. Margibi County benefits US$160,000 annually under this law.

Since 2006, Hon. Emmanuel J. Nuquay has served in the following capacities in the legislature: Co-Chair of the Judiciary  Committee, where he co-conducted the affairs of the Judiciary Committee, handled all legal matters for the House, reviewed  and advised plenary  on the legal implications of bills submitted to the House for passage; Chairman Ways, Means and Finance Committee, where he supervised  the execution of all financial transactions for the House of Representatives, managed the Budget process and advised plenary on budget  passage and execution; Speaker of the House of Representatives, where he presently serves as Presiding Officer of the House of Representatives, Head of the Legislative Branch of Government, the third most powerful person in the land. It is worthy to note that Nuquay was elected Speaker of the National Legislature on white ballot, a rare occurrence at the House of Representatives in recent times.

Since his emergence as Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Nuquay has distinguished himself as a unifying force, when one considers the divided House he inherited. Since his tenure, he has not only established a peaceful working relationship with the other two branches of government, he has also overseen the passage of key legislations for the betterment of Liberia.

It is safe to say that from the start of his higher education to his present position as the Head of the Legislative Branch of Government,, Speaker Nuquay’s life has been one of preparing for the harvest, which he keeps bringing in year after year. Destiny has set this son of a Presbyterian pastor, farmer and politician apart from his cohorts for a special appointment with fate to in order to be one of the leading players who will transform the politics of rhetoric to a politics of development.

“My faith in built in God and I believe in destiny. From my political profile, I have never opted for anything, but God has always showered me through others. God has worked through people to get me to where I am. I am never desperate for anything. I have learned to be humble and leave the rest with God. In Hebrew 13:5, God said: “I will never leave you non forsake you.” And in Jeremiah 29:11, he said: For I know the plans in have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm; plants to give you hope and a future.” My Lord and my God has given me a hope and a future. My life is in his hands. I am a team builder. I believe that leadership will not be successful in the absence of teamwork. In my political life, I have always endeavored to build a team as the foundation for success. Just as our people say ‘one tree cannot make a forest; so I believe one person cannot provide leadership.”

The time has come again to “prepare for the harvest.”

Speaker Emmanuel J. Nuquay is married to Mrs. Ruthtoria B. Nuquay and is father to Emmantoria Happiness Nuquay (17yrs), Isaac Joy Nuquay (15yrs) and Rib Success Nuquay (6yrs).

A former grade school colleague looking back at Nuquay’s days in high school recalls that Nuquay was a quiet, smart, studious, hardworking gentleman who knew how to manage himself very well. “Unlike many of us those days, I can’t remember any instance throughout our high school days where Nuquay committed any act worthy of disciplinary action by a Dean or a teacher. He enjoyed spending long hours studying with his colleagues and cracking jokes.

A legislative colleague with who he has worked for nearly twelve years describe him in this manner: “He is smart, dynamic, credible, trustworthy, eloquent, and hardworking. He is not only a strong floor fighter, but he is also a true professional legislator who can dedicate countless hours behind his computers to make sure that a committee work is done. As Speaker, he has demonstrated that he is a wise, effective, and trusted leader of the Legislature.”

Jerry Flomo, a 67-year old resident of Weala, Margibi County, when asked about Speaker Nuquay, was very effusive in praise of the Honorable man. “He is the best Honorable we have ever had. He cares for us, that’s why we love and care for him so much. Nuquay don’t talk too much. He believes in doing. See the number of development projects he has undertaken in Weala and other parts of the district. Every day I wake up, I pray for Nuquay. I pray that God protects him and shower him with more blessings now and in the future.”

We do not know what the future holds for Nuquay or anyone of us for that matter. But one thing is certain: if the prayers and best wishes from Oldma Flomo and thousands of others for Emmanuel James Nuquay are things to go by, then we can expect better days ahead for other humble, intelligent, and well-groomed 48 year old Kpelle boy from Sein Town, Dinningta Clan, Borlorla Township, Margibi County.

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About Cholo Brooks 12206 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.