Claim: ‘Former Vice President has decided to support Cummings following retirement from politics,’ Sekou Kalasco Damaro, Presidential Aide to Weah, alleges.
Verdict: False. Joseph Nyumah Boakai (JNB) refuted the claims about his resignation on his official Facebook page. He further states that the Vice President will contest the Presidency come October.
A screenshot of an alleged Facebook account, which carries the photograph and full name of Joseph Nyumah Boakai (JNB), was widely shared, saying: “I have served the people for over 43 years and understand that it is time to move on in different directions. Today I have decided to withdraw my bid for the presidency. I believe the way forward is to give a chance to somebody who understands how to fix this country. I’ve decided to support Alex Cumming.
“I’ve served the people for over 43 years and understand that it is now time to move in a different direction. Today, I’ve decided to withdraw my bid for the presidency. I believe the way forward is to give a chance to somebody who understands how to fix this country. I’ve decided to support Cummings.”
One of the Facebook users who shared the news was an aide to the incumbent president, Sekou Kalasco Damaro. Damaro captioned the post: “Finally, former Vice President Boakai has decided to support Cummings. The game is on.”
The post generated mixed reactions in public, culminating in over five hundred comments and two hundred emoji on Facebook.
Like Sekou, another Facebook user Samson Mosery believed to be a supporter of Mr Alexander Cummings, wrote that the news of Mr Boakai stepping down was confirmed.
In addition, Estrada Duke Jayajy posted a picture of Ghana’s sitting president Akufo-Addo congratulating JNB on Twitter about his supposed resignation from politics.
Amid the rounds of his resignation from politics and subsequent support for Mr Cummings of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Joseph Boakai, in response, debunked the claim while describing the screenshot as ‘fake.’
“I’ve seen a screenshot of a post circulating on social media from a fake Joseph Nyuma Boakai page that I am not contesting for the presidency in October 2023. Let me reassure the Liberians that nothing will stop the Rescue Mission we are embarking upon. We will be on the ballot, and with God above, we will succeed in rescuing this our beloved country,” he said.
DUBAWA also visited the official Twitter page of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, hoping to find the post in which the president congratulated JNB but saw nothing of that sort. After carefully examining the page containing the controversial tweet, DUBAWA observed that the blue tick had been used as a verified account for the president. However, checks on the official Twitter account of Ghana’s president show a grey tick instead.
According to Twitter, the blue verified ticks are for persons or individuals, whilst the grey verified ticks are for governments.
Based on our findings, the claim that Boakai has resigned from Liberian politics and has decided to support Alexander B. Cummings is false.
The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2023 Kwame KariKari Fellowship partnership with OK FM to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.