By Tewroh-Wehtoe Sungbeh
J. Emmanuel Nuquay is the current Speaker of the Liberian House of Representatives.
Mr. Nuquay is also the running mate of the current vice president Joseph Boakai, who is running to be the next president of Liberia.
Nuquay could be President of Liberia.
Before his selection as the vice-presidential running mate of the slumberous septuagenarian Boakai, the once obscure Nuquay represented Margibi County in the House, and later became Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Mr. Nuquay became Speaker of the House of Representatives in 2016 after the disgraced Speaker Alex Tyler was removed from office for his sleazy role in the Global Witness Sable Mining investigation, which accused Tyler of receiving a $75,000 bribe.
Anxious and nakedly ambitious to climb the political ladder in a country where only the strong, sleazy and powerful political and non-political hustler can survive, the 48-year old Nuquay once a member of the ruling Unity Party in his previous political life, conveniently resigned from the Unity party and co-founded the People’s Unification Party (PUP).
What became of Nuquay and his People’s Unification Party for him to suddenly and shamelessly become the running mate of Vice President Joseph Boakai and his ruling Unity Party in this year’s electoral fervor to surpass 15 others in the selection process, is left to our speculation.
Because these are two distinct individuals with (I guess) different ideas, beliefs, values and vision for Liberia that supposed to set them apart politically.
They are also from two different political parties (Unity Party and People’s Unification Party), that supposed to have different political values, beliefs, platforms and goals for the country and the Liberian people.
Any political conviction?
Does it matter anyway in Liberian politics when ideas, values, goals, beliefs, vision and political platforms are thrown out the windows to satisfy the opportunistic and self-centered political ambitions of a politician?
A possible answer for this blatant disregard of political norms and convictions on the part of Nuquay, and Mr. Boakai’s selection of Nuquay (as the rumor mill suggests) could be bribery and the payment of $2 million that Nuquay allegedly paid the Boakai camp to get the selection.
As it was with Alex Tyler whom he succeeded as Speaker, Nuquay was embroiled in his own controversies regarding his dubious role in the passage of the 4-G multi-year Farmington Hotel tax break deal, his close and suspicious ties to the powerful Lebanese businessman, Abi Jaoudi, and the insensitive and disjointed rant he made about fellow Liberians after he was chosen by Boakai, raised eyebrows.
“People coming they want job but it’s not our business to give our job to them, to give our birthright to them. So we will never, never ever do that. If they come with rudeness, if they exhibit rudeness; but one thing I have said which I want to reiterate, let them bear in mind that whether it is one month from now, its two years from now, its three years from now, its five years from now, it’s ten years from now, they will pay the price for their rudeness. I’ve said this and I’m saying this consistently and I will do it no matter heaven open, this the time for them to exhibit rudeness? After October 11, it will be our time, from October 11 going, it will be our time,” Nuquay reportedly said.
Is this guy, Nuquay, serious? How did he get to be Speaker or a Vice-Presidential running mate, in the first place?
How low can the bar be?
However, when he was confronted about his suspicious legislative dealings with the Farmington Hotel bill and the Lebanese businessman, Abi Jaoudi, Nuquay said:
“First of all, let me establish that I’m not engaged in any business anywhere or at no point in time have I been engaged in a business venture with any Lebanese; I have never been engaged with any business with a Lebanese either here in Liberia – or in any part of this world.”
Vice President Joseph Boakai’s judgment is an issue here for choosing Nuquay as his running mate amid his volatile comments and his dealings; and he (Boakai) hasn’t demonstrated an intellectual and policy grasp for the office he wants to be elected to in the upcoming elections.
Nuquay, the man he chose as his running mate is completely out of touch, lack intellectual depth, cocky and reckless in his dealings and his utterances like a drunken sailor grasping for air to survive in a stormy sea.
Most Liberian politicians, as is already known, are not politically and emotionally connected to their constituents, and are not even held responsible for what they say or do. As a result, they usually get away with “murder” and not accountable to the voters.
Joseph Boakai is at an age (72 years old) of retirement – or he should have retired by now. Is Mr. Boakai preparing the way for J. Emmanuel Nuquay to be President of Liberia?
Lord, help Liberia and the Liberian people.
There is a serious need for new leaders – serious, respectful, caring, smart and issue-driven/development-driven leaders who are accountable to the Liberian people.
There is also a need for leaders who understands policy and can deliver. Liberia is not the place for apprenticeship, nor a place for cockiness.
We’ve had too many of those already in Liberia’s 170 years as a sovereign nation.
The Liberian Dialogue