Henry Costa’s Public Meltdown over the ‘Betrayal’ of Joe Boakai

It is unfortunate that Henry Costa is learning who Joseph Boakai is so late in the game,  but given that the radio host had no real experience dealing with political figures from the inside, it’s not surprising. Yesterday, reports came out that exposed Costa’s disappointment with Boakai, and described a tale of broken promises and betrayal. It was a complete reversal from earlier this year when Costa was thrilled at the prospect of being vetted as Boakai’s potential running mate. 

Yet, for those embedded in politics– and for those of us old enough to remember Boakai’s time as vice president– this deceit has been synonymous with his name. And while the corruptness of Boakai is deeply disappointing, it’s a relief to finally see his comeuppance.

During the civil wars and during the Sirleaf Administration, Liberians learned a hard and valuable lesson: politicians in Liberia have a demonstrated history of double-crossing the public. Boakai was no exception then– or now. 

In fact, in recent years it has become apparent that Boakai is clinging to this last ditch effort to fulfill his ego and become president. Indeed, it has become increasingly clear he will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. 

Ultimately, the man who claims his belief system is rooted in “integrity,” has shown several times he doesn’t know the definition of honesty, having partnered with two notorious civil war criminals, Benoni Urey and Prince Johnson– both of whom have been sanctioned by Liberia’s largest financial supporter, the United States. 

The reality is that Boakai is just as bad as these men and maybe even worse, because he pretends to be better when his actions show otherwise. 

Take the ousting of Urey’s daughter from his campaign after all Urey has done for him (not to condone Urey’s behavior at all). We can’t be foolish enough to believe that Telia decided to leave the campaign on her own. No, this was a concerted and calculated effort by Boakai to rid himself of what he perceives as dead weight – especially as voters are starting to question his relationship with such nefarious people. 

Afterall, Urey was the primary reason the CPP framework disintegrated when he made accusations that it had been altered. At the time, there were rumors that suggested Urey was a puppeteer preying on Boakai’s poor health and weakness, but on reflection, it seems more likely that Boakai was the ringleader– especially given his silence on the framework matter. 

There is a famous quote, “silence is assent.” 

Boakai knew his silence would be damaging to Alexander Cummings reputation. He knew the consequences of Urey’s accusations would be potential jail time (and in fact, Cummings had an arrest warrant). 

Boakai was silent because he wanted Cummings to fall, and any assertions to the contrary dismiss that at 78-years-old, he’s had a longer lifetime than most Liberians to understand the ways of the world. Plain and simple, Boakai allowed the witchhunt on Cummings to proceed because he was threatened by his credentials.  

As a former high-profile businessman for Coca Cola, Cummings has the business acumen and economic know-how Boakai lacks; he has been an advocate for women when Boakai has supported policies which directly harm the women of Liberia through silence and action; and he has been an advocate for ending impunity, when Boakai seems to endorse all those who laugh in the face of Liberia’s judicial system. 

Then take into consideration President Weah. 

As the incumbent, Weah has a huge advantage: more name recognition than anyone else on the ballot, which makes him the candidate to beat. Furthermore, the qualities the electorate dislikes about Weah are the same ones they dislike about Boakai. 

Boakai is scared, and so he has compromised his ethics.

But when Boakai decided to sell his soul to serve his ego, he dismissed the qualities that could have gotten him elected; instead, Liberians see him as a washed up, old man, who is a reminder of the old guard politicians we are trying to get rid of. Worse, he’s now made an enemy of one of Liberia’s popular radio personalities. 


Boakai’s karma is finally coming to get him, and those of us who want to see Liberia improve for the better are happy to see it.