Ahead of the November 7, 2017 Liberia presidential runoff, former First Lady of Liberia and running mate to Senator George Weah, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor has said that she is confident of victory not just because herself and George Weah are the most popular candidates in the election but because they both have a track-record of competence and getting things done.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday in an exclusive interview with Ohimai Amaize, Editor-at-Large, OVATION INTERNATIONAL, Senator Taylor noted that it was time for Liberians to put aside their differences, look at the country first and choose a new generation of leaders who will change the trajectory of the country.
“I’m confident because I believe Ambassador Weah and myself are the two most popular candidates in this election and we’ve worked very hard. We have a track-record of changing and making things happen. We have a track-record of loving our people and going beyond the ordinary to make sure we keep our promises to the people and I think Liberians are looking for change. There are two people on the agenda. The first person is Joseph Boakai who is of the old generation, coming out of a twelve-year rule. I think we want change. The change wind is blowing throughout Africa and I believe Liberia is going to fall in line. But it’s not just because we are popular or maybe celebrities, because I know George Weah is a huge celebrity across the world. It is because we are both hard-working and we are committed to changing the status quo so that our people can take control of the country we all own and together we can build a beautiful Liberia. And I believe it is that change that is encouraging thousands of young people across our nation to come out and say this is the time for change.
“Our country has had 12 years of peace and stability. But we’ve had 170 years of mismanagement, misrule and lack of opportunities for our people. Twelve years ago was the last peaceful transfer of power from one democratically elected government to another. So it’s been 74 years of crisis. At this juncture, we are hoping that all of us can put aside our differences, and look at our country first, choose a new generation of leaders who will do those things that we need to change the trajectory of our country”, she said.
Speaking about the unique abilities and the differences that George Weah was bringing into the political and governance equation of Liberia, she said; “The George Weah I have come to know, love and respect is one who has a heart for Liberia. Because of his background, he has felt the pinches of poverty, loss and inequality. He’s a team leader, he’s a manager, he’s an inspiration to all of us. What we need at this point in time is not just a President who’s concerned about infrastructure and youth employment. We need a leader who is interested in reconciling our people and I think he’s that reconciler. He has a space at the table for everyone. Our country needs healing, our country needs unity, our country needs inclusiveness. This is someone I believe has what it takes to take us to the next level… When people say he’s just a footballer, I always say he’s not just a footballer. He’s the best footballer in the world. No one has beaten his record up till now. And I think he brings all of what he brings to the field into politics and I know he will be a great leader.”
Senator Taylor observed that despite the challenges of the first run of the elections, she was hopeful that the runoff would run smoothly.
“Africa has its challenges. I’m one of those people who prefers to look at the glass as half full. In the first election, there were places ballot boxes didn’t reach on time because the roads are very bad, there were many places that polling started a little late, there were some places where people whose identification numbers were not at the places they thought it was, and I think those are issues that attend every election. I believe what has happened is that Liberians in their mass numbers showed up on election day and stood in line for hours in an attempt to make a change for the future of their children. And so there might be a little rocks as you walk along the road, but we are hopeful that at the second round we can finalize some of these issues.”